When 17-year-old Connecticut teen Cassandra was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, she refused chemotherapy treatments, arguing that she didn’t want to poison her body. After several missed appointments and arguments with doctors over her diagnosis, the state removed Cassandra from her mother’s care in December. She’s currently in the custody of child welfare services and staying in a monitored hospital room where she’s being forced to undergo chemo. Now, the court is trying to determine whether she has the right to refuse further treatment. Keep reading »
When you get prescribed a pharmaceutical drug, you generally assume — or at least would hope you can assume — that it’s in your best interest to take it. Because your doctor actually believes the pros outweigh the cons for your particular health situation … and that he has no ulterior motives (like a financial kickback) for prescribing the drug. Sadly, think again. Doctors being paid by pharmaceutical companies for hawking their drugs and pharmaceutical reps being paid based on how many prescriptions doctors write for drugs has been a longtime common practice … Yup, it’s just plain sick. Read more on The Stir…
Juice Couture is known for its expensive denim and its velour track suits. Jeans retail for upwards of $178 and handbags around $230. And yet! Employees at the company’s flagship store on 5th Avenue in NYC allege that the company is systematically trying to bilk employees out of hours and benefits. A petition started by employee Duane and former employee Darrell claims that the company has reduced all but a few employees to part time work. Now, they say, most of the store’s 128 employees are limited to less than 21 hours a week. That’s so they don’t have to offer health insurance to their workers — under the Affordable Health Care Act, employees who work 30 hours or more are eligible to receive health care benefits. Further, in order to qualify for sick days, Juicy says you must work more than 1400 per year, which is impossible on a 21-hour per week schedule.
“Darrell and I are just two of the full-time employees that have been forced out of Juicy Couture,” writes Duane on his Retail Action Project petition. “Now we’re speaking out on behalf of my coworkers who remain at the store, because we all deserve Just Hours.”
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The Obama administration released new details this morning about which religious employers will be exempt from covering the cost of birth control under health care reform — which the Associated Press describes as a “broader opt-out.”
The Health and Human Services Department announced this morning that businesses which object must “self-certify that they are non-profits with religion as a core part of their mission,” according to The Huffington Post. For example, you can’t just object to covering women’s preventative care if you are, for example, a religious Catholic who objects to birth control and also happens to employ people working at a nonprofit animal shelter. Additionally, if a religious nonprofit refuses to provide coverage of contraception, a third-party health insurer must handle the coverage for women who want it. Keep reading »
Earlier this week, the world reacted to the news that a hospital in Ireland refused medical care to a woman during her miscarriage and she eventually died from blood poisoning. Savita Halappanavar, a dentist, began slowly and painfully miscarrying at 17 weeks into her pregnancy, but University Hospital Galway refused to terminate the pregnancy because a fetal heartbeat could still be detected. Halappanavar and her husband, who are both Indian and Hindu, repeatedly asked for an abortion but were told no because Ireland is “a Catholic country.” Within days, the fetus died inside Halappanavar and was removed, but it was too late; she died soon after at age 31 from blood poisoning and E.coli ESBL. Keep reading »
Unlike my future captor Tom Cruise, I’m a big fan of psychiatry. Why? Well, it’s given me opportunities I never could have experienced without medical intervention for depression, agoraphobia and panic attacks. To put it more simply: Psychiatry has saved my life. But thanks to a couple of friendly letters from health insurance companies, I’ve recently learned I don’t deserve to go to the doctor.
And here I thought I was doing well. Keep reading »