“Way too many people are being harmed by unintentional medical error, and it needs to be corrected.” – Dr David Mayer Vice President Of Medstar Health
As many of us know, medical negligence has reached staggering heights – it is indeed one of the leading causes of death in the United States and, according to one study, between 210,000 and 440,000 needless deaths of patients have been reported each year in the USA alone. If tracked in the same manner as real diseases, preventable errors and complications would rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States. This is undoubtably a disaster of epidemic proportions. You only need to do a quick search for “medical negligence” to see how many law firms deal especially in cases where the industry has messed up.
Our system needs a huge wake up call and those involved need to be held accountable.
I hope that together we can make this happen – at least for just one man to receive justice.
I am about to share with you one of those real life cases of negligence that, I am sure, will leave you as horrified as I was.
How It All Began
When Bobby Russell visited the ER at The University of Kentucky Medical Centre in 2004 for unexplained bleeding, he had no idea that his whole life – in pretty much every way – was about to turn completely upside down.
From that hospital visit, Bobby eventually became diagnosed with HIV and spent the next 8 years taking HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) drugs every day, as per the advice from his doctors.
After receiving what is perhaps one of the “worst possible diagnoses,” Bobby felt deeply ashamed and even stopped talking to his entire family. When his friends were told he was HIV positive, they soon stopped calling and Bobby found himself on his own.
Bobby also spent almost a decade thinking that at some stage, he was going to die sooner than he should. Bobby started feeling very ill and became so depressed that, not surprisingly, he seriously contemplated suicide. Before he visited that ER that fateful night in 2004, Bobby had previously had HIV tests which always came back negative.
Bobby Was Told He Was HIV Positive But Doctors Didn’t Actually Have Proof
But here is the real clincher – Bobby was not actually infected with HIV and the hospital and doctors involved had no proof that he was.
This massive mistake cost Bobby his family, friends, career – and is now risking his health because he took highly toxic medications he simply did not need for almost a decade.
How Did He Find Out He Wasn’t HIV Positive?
Bobby, now a military veteran, ended up being so stressed and sick (who wouldn’t be when you are told you are “probably” going to die from eventual AIDS), that he tried to claim medical benefits for himself, as he was not able to continue working.
When the Veteran’s Administration told him that he would need to provide the proof of a positive diagnosis to receive his benefits, he went to the hospital, for what seemed like a routine request. However, his doctors were unable to provide him with any proof whatsoever. Bobby was gobsmacked – he was told by his doctors back in 2004 that he was HIV positive! How could it be that they didn’t have the proof?
In 2012, Bobby took a new HIV test at the Bluegrass Care Clinic and the results came back negative. Bobby was shocked – and of course started looking into legal action towards all involved so they could be held accountable for this dreadful mistake. I don’t blame him and I am sure you don’t either.
To this day, when the hospitals and doctors involved are contacted regarding Bobby’s story, they say he was “not misdiagnosed,” but cannot provide the proof he was HIV positive. They also won’t comment any further.
Thinking He Was HIV Positive, Bobby Would Only Have Relationships With Other HIV Positive People
As is quite common with HIV positive people, out of concern for the risk of spreading HIV to others, many seek out partners who have the same diagnosis. Bobby had several relationships with HIV positive people and, ironically (as one lady commented in a Daily Mail article), he risked himself actually becoming HIV positive. Think about that for a moment. Bobby didn’t actually have HIV, but because he was told he did, he thought he was doing the right thing for himself by having relationships with other HIV people – all due to the advice from his doctors. Wow. Horrific, right?
See the video below from the guys at Source Feed about Bobby’s story.
Bobby Now Suing Doctors & Hospital Involved
Bobby is now trying to sue the doctors and hospital involved. He is being represented by Jonathan C. Dailey, a Washington D.C. lawyer, who had this to say about Bobby’s case:
The fact is that the standard-of-care-protocol methodologies for HIV testing were never done,” Dailey said. “By failing to follow the standard protocol, and telling him that he was HIV positive, telling him that he could only have relations with HIV-positives, then that damage has been done. You can’t take that back. That’s the critical part of this case.”
According to their lawsuit, the tests to confirm he had the HIV virus were never carried out by anyone and the other routine tests carried out since his first alleged diagnosis back in 2004 showed either negative or “indeterminable” results – which Bobby was unaware of until the hospital surrendered his own medical records to him in 2012.
Bobby says the defendants were negligent in misdiagnosing him and negligent in failing to order the appropriate tests for HIV. He now wants a trial by jury and to receive an award for compensatory damages a jury deems appropriate.
The Daily Mail reported him describing how this ordeal has been for him:
“It’s just the most difficult thing I’ve had to deal with my entire life,” he told Lex18. “I feel like I was lied to.”
Speaking to the Lexington Herald Leader, he said: “I feel like I was sentenced to a crime I wasn’t guilty of. I have intentionally put distance between my family and my friends because I thought I was dying, and I didn’t want my family to see me dying. I didn’t want my nieces and nephews see me deteriorating.
I thought I was dying. Emotionally, mentally, it destroyed me. It just destroyed me. In 2009, when things got really bad for me, suicide was a strong option for me.”
Grateful He’s Not HIV Positive But Life Still In Ruins
While it could be said that, indeed, it’s truly wonderful that Bobby is not HIV positive, this new diagnosis hasn’t instantly made his life better. He hasn’t been able to reestablish a good relationship with his family – too much time has passed – and for the past 8 years he has been taking medications that were simply not needed for his body.
Tragically, Bobby today is now at risk of developing other health problems associated with the toxic effects from the HAART medications. These drugs aren’t your average over-the-counter drugs – they are available only by prescription and have clearly listed adverse reactions and side effects. The fact that Bobby took these for almost a decade is very concerning because a non-HIV person should NOT be taking these medications.
Today, Bobby is still not well enough to work, and can barely afford to support himself. He needs money to sue and money to get his health back on track. He needs to start taking supplements which can help repair some of the damage done by these drugs. This is not a case of someone taking some standard over the counter drugs for nearly 9 years – this is almost a decade of taking some of the most extreme medications on the planet.
According to the Aids Pandemic blog, the side effects from HAART are not at all pretty:
While side effects of HAART treatment vary considerably between individuals and the particular medicines making up their therapy, the most common side effects include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting (‘Side effects’). Lipodystrophy is another common side effect of HAART treatment in which fat is redistributed to other parts of the body (Ammassari 2001). Often in this condition, face and limbs become thin while one’s breasts, stomach and/or neck enlarge. Hyperglycemia and onset of diabetes have also occurred in a significant number of HAART patients. Liver toxicity including liver failure, pancreatitis and neuropathy are other unpleasant and potentially life threatening side effects experienced by some patients. These side effects can amount to such a physical and psychological burden that patients skip doses or stop taking their medications all together which increases the likelihood of drug resistance developing. In fact, about 25% of patients stop therapy within the first year on HAART because of side effects (d’Arminio Monforte 2000). Reconstitution of the immune system, a major goal of HAART treatment, may even carry risks in some patients. A debilitating inflammatory syndrome has recently been linked to HAART treatment (Stoll and Reinhold 2004).
The most frequent toxic effects were gastrointestinal tract intolerance (28.9%), hypersensitivity (18.3%), central nervous system adverse events (17.3%), and hepatic events (11.5%).”
Frightening information, isn’t it, considering Bobby was never HIV positive. He took these drugs for 8 years until he found out he never had HIV in the first place.It is easy to imagine what these drugs may have done to Bobby’s health and what it may take to repair the damage.
Bobby Did Not Have Children Due To His HIV Diagnosis
Here is the part of the story that, I can easily admit, made me cry. Before Bobby was misdiagnosed, he was about to have a child with a friend. They had discussed this in great detail and planned to have a baby together. After his HIV diagnosis he knew that this would not be possible.
Now Bobby is 45, and his chances of becoming a father are – as I am sure you can appreciate – pretty slim. How can he support a child without being able to financially support himself? How could he get the adoption services to allow him to adopt a child when they know his story and his financial position?
Bobby had his chance at having his own family ripped away from him that day back in 2004. And I find this unforgivable.
As a mother myself, where every day I experience joyful moments with my daughter, I can’t think of anything worse than not being able to experience this gift – nothing else in life even comes close to the love of your own child – because of a mistake made by the medical industry.
Initial Hearing In Court “Dismissed, “Judge Said “Too Late To Sue”
Bobby was able to present his case last year in Kentucky. During his initial hearing with a judge, Bobby ended up having his case dismissed. Judge Thomas Clark said that according to medical malpractice guidelines in the state, people only have a year to file a lawsuit after the problem occurred. As the misdiagnosis was made in 2004, he therefore said it was “too late to sue.”
But Bobby’s lawyer said “his client couldn’t have had a case until he had his negative test result in his hands.”
Bobby only found out in September 2014 that he was never found to be HIV positive.
It’s clear that he has only known about this problem for less than a year.
Bobby Needs To Appeal – Lets Help Him Fight This In A New Court
I don’t know about you, but I’m personally sick of hearing about people needlessly suffering due to our broken medical system. I am also sick of seeing how rarely this industry is held accountable, with people having their cases thrown out long before proper evidence is provided. I am tired of seeing innocent people having their lives in ruins and it breaks my heart knowing that the only thing holding them back from getting justice and moving forward in their lives is, typically, money.
I want to ask you all to to consider Bobby’s case and try to think about how it would have ruined your life if you too had been given a false HIV diagnosis.
Would you have wanted to commit suicide too, or perhaps may have actually done so? Would you have had your right to have a child of your own ripped away from you? Would your family have possibly deserted you too? Would your health have been seriously harmed due to medications you simply did not need to take?
As I am sure you can appreciate, Bobby needs quite a large amount of funding to help him get his case heard in court. It won’t be easy to fight the powerful system that is the medical industry.
Legal fees can be astronomical if you plan to fight it the whole way through. Bobby also needs to start taking some high quality supplements each month to help him get his health on track, and he has to do this ASAP.
What people also don’t generally know about HAART drugs is that they give patients doses of chemotherapy which, as we know, have some seriously concerning effects. They can actually cause cancer, for one thing. Studies done on rats who were given HAART drugs were shown to produce tumours.
I probably don’t need to spell it out to you that Bobby’s health is still very much in peril.
Here is Bobby’s Gofund Me Campaign, please try and help as much as you can – even if it’s just $10. We have 12 million readers of CE each month, so we could very quickly get Bobby all the money he needs.
We can’t let another person’s life be destroyed by our twisted medical system.
Thank you for your help.
News reports on Bobby’s story:
Boy or Girl – Baby Gender Selection Issues
Some parents have the possibility to opt for gender selection; however, being able to decide whether to have a baby boy or girl is a controversial issue.
Many couples expecting a baby do not think it’s a big issue whether they have a boy or a girl; however there are several medical, social, and personal reasons that could influence parents to recur to some form of gender selection.
Like many other controversial practices, the legality of gender selection, also known as sex selection, varies from country to country.
The Legality of Baby Gender Selection
The United States has perhaps some of the most relaxed laws regarding baby gender selection in the world. Most European countries and Australia, on the other hand, have bans on sex selection and only allow it for medical reasons. For example, if a parent is a carrier of a mutation or gene with more chances of manifesting itself in a certain gender, baby gender selection is valid. However, if parents simply wish to balance the ratio of boys and girls in their family, they are not allowed to recur to sex selection.
This has generated a form of medical tourism in which couples from countries where gender selection is illegal, like the UK, travel to the US in order to be able to choose whether to have a baby boy or girl.
On the other hand, sex selection is illegal in the two most populated countries on Earth, China and India. In these countries, baby gender selection has been performed clandestinely for many years and for reasons other than family balancing or avoiding genetic diseases. In these societies, having a baby boy is preferred mainly for cultural and economic reasons. Parents believe that boys have better chances of earning income and eventually support them when they reach an old age.
Methods of Baby Gender Selection
There are two major types of gender selection methods: the first one is called sperm sorting, and involves separating X-chromosome sperm from Y-chromosome sperm by flow cytometry, a purification technique in which chromosomes are suspended in a stream of sperm and identified by an electronic detector before being separated. Intra-uterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization can then be performed with the enriched sperm. The success rates for this method vary from 80% to 93%.
The other method, called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, consists in generating several embryos through in-vitro fertilization, which are then genetically tested to determine a baby’s gender. The chosen embryos can then be implanted. This method has a success rate of almost 100%; however, it can be quite expensive, costing up to $15,000.
Issues Regarding Baby Gender Selection
While there are few objections against baby gender selection when it is performed for medical reasons, it has become a highly controversial issue when it is used for balancing the number of boys or girls in families. Some people raise the obvious ethical question of whether people who opt for gender selection are “playing God” by manipulating whether to have a baby boy or girl. Others believe that new parents will raise a baby more appropriately if he or she belongs to their preferred gender.
Gender Imbalance Caused by Baby Gender Selection
Gender selection has caused demographic concern in China and India since it has contributed to generate a gender imbalance in the populations of those countries. In some regions of China, for example, the sex ratio for newborns is 118:100, boys to girls. This phenomenon has in turn been associated with social problems such as an increase in violence and prostitution.
It seems like a logical solution for governments around the globe to legalize baby gender selection but to analyze the personal reasons why each couple intends to select a baby boy or girl. Gender selection for medical reasons should even be encouraged, since it could prevent serious genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and Haemophilia A. Balancing the gender ratio of a family should be accepted if by doing this, a healthy family environment is created. On the other hand, China and India have shown that baby gender selection as a result of a bias towards a particular gender can not only create a gender imbalance in the population, but contribute to social problems as well.
Organic Certification: What the USDA Organic Label Means
- The Facts:
Organic and natural labels mean different things, and various types of labels tells you what percentage of ingredients are actually organic. We'll explore what to look for.
- Reflect On:
Do you sometimes buy products thinking they are organic or fully natural based on their wording? Have you later found out that those products aren't natural or organic at all? Read labels more closely at grocery stores to be aware.
Don’t get conned by fraudulent claims of “natural” or “organic.” Learn what to look for, and why it’s important, to ensure you’re getting the quality you are paying for.
The industrial age of the 20th century brought about changing agricultural practices that have generated increasing alarm about the effects of these practices on the environment and health. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, irradiated and genetically altered food and fiber products has created a groundswell of rightful concern. It has led to the growing demand for non-toxic, organic products that many are willing to pay a higher price for to ensure the healthful purity of food and clothing provided for their families.
With such profit opportunities, it’s little wonder that the lucrative organic product market has suffered abuse with so-called “organic” labels being fraudulently placed on products that have not earned the right. As a result of pressure from farming and consumer groups, legislation for the standardization of organic certification was introduced in the 1980s. It has been updated to include more vigorous enforcement and control methods since, with the current standards established in 2002 by the USDA.
The Standards of USDA Organic Certification
Specific standards must be met in order to legally claim a product as USDA certified organic. Organic producers must utilize methods that conserve water, maximize soil health, and reduce air pollution. The specific standards to earn USDA organic certification include:
• Free of synthetic chemicals such as insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, and additives
• Free from irradiation and genetically modified organisms
• Agricultural products grown on land that has been free of prohibited substances for a period of three years
• Animals used for meat, eggs, milk or other animal products must be exclusively fed foods that are organically grown, may not be given antibiotics or hormones, and must have access to outdoors.
• Clean and sanitized harvesting and processing equipment throughout the process from harvest to finished, packaged product
• Detailed chain-of-handling records from the field through final sales
• Physical separation of certified organic products from non-organic products throughout the process of production
• Regular on-site inspections from USDA-approved inspectors to ensure compliance
Understanding the Certified Organic Label
Once the rigorous process of certification has been completed, organic producers may place the USDA certified organic seal on their products. Currently, there are four levels of certified organic products, with a specific definition of the percentage of organic ingredients the final products contains. They are as follows:
• 100% organic: all production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic.
• Organic: at least 95% of the production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.
• Made With Organic Ingredients: at least 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.
• No organic wording or seal: less than 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic and no claims may be made on the front or back of the product.
Manufacturers or producers who knowingly label a product “organic” when it does not meet the USDA standards are subject to fines up to $11,000 per violation.
Why Organic Certification is Important
When you see the official USDA organic certification seal on food, clothing, and bedding products, you can be assured that these products have met the meticulous standards required and are free of chemicals, toxins, antibiotics, and hormones. When you see the USDA certified organic label, you will understand the value of the higher priced organic products as compared to non-organically produced products.
With the current stringent organic certification requirements enforced by regular inspections from USDA accredited agents, the USDA certified organic label has great meaning and importance to the consumer. Look for the label to know that you are getting the quality you are paying for.
WHO Finds Global Lack Of Inactivity Rising Especially In Wealthier Countries — What You Can Do
- The Facts:
Inactivity is on the rise and it's the cause of a wide range of health concerns. Our population is only becoming more inactive, not less, and it's time to change that.
- Reflect On:
There are many factors of our modern world that make us less active. Our jobs, driving rather than walking/biking, too much screen time. What can you do differently to bring more activity into your life? What story stops you from starting?
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than a quarter of the entire population on this planet are not getting enough physical exercise, this number has barely improved since 2001. There are many factors that contribute to this, but just how much damage are we doing by failing to be active?
The lack of physical exercise raises the risk of many health problems, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes and various types of cancers.
Interestingly, according to their study published in The Lancet Global Health, higher income countries, such as the UK, were among the least active population. Women were also found to be more sedentary throughout the world, excluding two regions in Asia.
The study looked at self-reported data on activity levels from 358 population based surveys covering 168 countries and included 1.9 million people.
The populations of higher income countries, which include the UK and USA showed an increase in the proportion of inactive people and had actually risen from 32% in 2001 to 37% in 2016, in the lower income countries it remained at 16%.
Those who were classified as inactive did less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise and around 75 minutes of intense activity per week.
It was found that women were less active than men overall, except for in South and Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and higher-income Western countries. The authors believe that this was caused by a few different factors including extra childcare duties and cultural perspectives that may have made it more difficult for them to exercise.
Why More Inactivity In Wealthier Countries?
According to the researchers, in the wealthier countries, many of the jobs have transitioned to more office or desk jobs, meaning a more sedentary type of lifestyle. On top of that much of the population of these countries drive automobiles or take public transit to and from work which in many cases accounts for a lot of their time.
In the lower income countries, many of the jobs require the people to be more active, are physically demanding and people often have to walk to and from their jobs.
The WHO has had a goal to reduce the global levels of inactivity by 10% by 2025, the authors of the study feel that at the rate we are currently going, this target will be missed.
Lead author of the study, Dr. Regina Guthold said, “Unlike other major global health risks, levels of insufficient physical activity are not falling worldwide, on average, and over a quarter of all adults are not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity for good health.”
Regions with increasing levels of insufficient physical activity are a major concern for public health and the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.”
Co-author, Dr. Fiona Bull added, “Addressing these inequalities in physical activity levels between men and women will be critical to achieving global activity targets and will require interventions to promote and improve women’s access to opportunities that are safe, affordable and culturally acceptable.”
According to the WHO,
Exercise guidelines for 19- to 64-year-olds
- at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week
- strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles
- break up long periods of sitting with light activity
What is moderate aerobic activity?
- Walking fast, water aerobics, riding a bike on level ground or with a few hills, doubles tennis, pushing a lawn mower, hiking, skateboarding, rollerblading, volleyball, basketball
What counts as vigorous activity?
- Jogging or running, swimming fast, riding a bike fast or on hills, singles tennis, football, rugby, skipping rope, hockey, aerobics, gymnastics, martial arts
What activities strengthen muscles?
- lifting weights, working with resistance bands, doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups, heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling, yoga
What activities are both aerobic and muscle-strengthening?
- circuit training, aerobics, running, football, rugby, netball, hockey
I was surprised to see that the WHO didn’t touch on inactivity due to too much screen time — watching television, Netflix, Facebook scrolling, messaging, texting, browsing etc. Certainly, the increase in screen time plays a roll with the amount of inactivity, especially in the higher income countries. If you are someone who spends too much time staring at a screen, then it is important to consider the above information. Can you limit your screen time and replace it with something active? Or would you consider jumping rope, or rebounding while watching the television? Our health is our greatest wealth and having awareness about an issue is the first way to create change and take responsibility for our lives.
Could you walk or bike to work instead of drive? What about trying a new sport? Could you commit to adding a few hours each week of physical activity? These small decisions could have a profound impact on your health, longevity and overall well-being.
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