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February 2013

Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est

This HND piece examines the importance of charity in health care. The title is taken from an ancient hymn, translated as "Where true charity is, there is God."

While charity has always been an important component of health care, it's more so today than ever---given decreased reimbursements and other cutbacks. Arguably, for the first time in 400 years, the desire to help people has once again become the primary reason to enter the field of health care.

Read the complete article.

Gun control–-demystified

Over at the Mike's Comments, we expose the matrix that is "Gun Control." George Orwell himself would have been impressed with the mendacity of language, not to mention the Public Duty doctrine, which holds the police harmless for failing to protect you. When informed of this concept, many liberals go catatonic.

I cite a few landmark court cases upholding this doctrine, although they are by no means the most egregious. The concepts of Natural Law and self-defense also come into play. Since both the police and the average citizen use firearms for self-defense, why should their rights trump yours---especially when they don't have to protect you?

Read the complete article.

Watching the Affordable Care Act unfold (or maybe unravel)

This HND piece provides a relatively gentle critique of a few of the more troubling aspects of the ACA--aka Obamacare.

Those of you unaccustomed to the rarefied environments of academia, think tanks, and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) might be shocked as to how our "betters" craft the policies that so affect us. And, you'll likely be angry that no contrary thoughts seem to enter the echo chamber of so-called ideas.

While we single out Harvard, the AMA, and RAND Corporation in this particular essay, rest assured that the situation described is virtually identical in any situation whereby big money, narrow-mindedness, and downright mendacity prevail.

Read the complete article.

Meds aren’t always the answer

This HND piece takes a hard look at psychiatry and its over-reliance on psychotropic medications. We put up some good quotes from psychiatrist-reformers Peter Breggin and Thomas Szasz.

Some Szasz...

It is customary to define psychiatry as a medical specialty concerned with the study, diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses. This is a worthless and misleading definition. Mental illness is a myth. Psychiatrists are not concerned with mental illnesses and their treatments. In actual practice they deal with personal, social, and ethical problems in living.

Some Breggin...

[I]nstead of meeting the normal needs of our children we are suppressing them with drugs. And the child is being deprived of the most important learning process of childhood—learning to grow in personal responsibility and self-direction. Instead the child is taught to believe, 'I have ADHD' and 'I need a pill to help me control myself.'


Much more in the complete article.

Talk about giving up something for Lent

How about giving up the papacy itself? In so doing, Pope Benedict XVI becomes the first pontiff to resign his post since Pope Gregory XII in 1415. When Gregory did it, it was to end the Great Western Schism, in which there were multiple claimants to the papacy.

It also happened in 1294, when Pope Celestine V--a very reluctant choice--resigned after only three months in office, preferring to return to being a monk. He was mistreated, imprisoned, and possibly even killed by his successor Boniface VIII, who worried that the old monk would be re-installed as an antipope. Celestine was canonized in 1313, a mere 17 years after his death.

The Church has long frowned on papal resignation, fearing that such a precedent could lead to endless infighting, forcing a pope to step down. And, many cite the extremely frail condition of John Paul II, who stayed on until his death.

However, the prospect of an incapacitated pope does not work very well in this media-drenched age. A pope needs to be more than a symbol. He actually has things to do, and given the state of affairs during the last few years of John Paul's reign, I'm afraid a symbol was not enough.

As my friend Bud MacFarlane says, the modern papacy needs younger old guys.

BPM and health care

BPM stands for Business Process Management (as in software), and this HND piece examines how many of these packages--especially the proprietary ones--often fail their users.

Jesse Shiah of AgilePoint minces no words...

Most forms of BPM software do little to alleviate health care administrative costs. If anything, expenses rise and technical complications ensue because, by their very design, the majority of BPM products and services quickly become obsolete. Health care organizations then have to make a painful decision: Spend more money and upgrade to the latest version of a particular brand of BPM software currently in use, or switch to a competitor with the same technical challenges.

The trend, thankfully, is to more accessible platforms, such as Microsoft's SharePoint.

Read the complete article.