"Medical negligence is a subject no one wants to talk about until it happens to them.
It is made all the worse for affected families because Australia's health system is saturated in cover-ups; a system so ruthless it does not matter if trusting patients end up dead.
When our loved ones die from their medical treatment, it is human nature to want an all encompassing explanation on what went wrong. The duty to our loved ones kicks in and drives us. We expect statutory authorities to act.
Therese Mackay, in demanding answers to 'what went wrong' with her late husband Don's treatment and care in a Sydney public hospital that led to his untimely and unnecessary death, was not only blocked by people with greater resources but also not helped by those people whose help she needed because of their institutionalized indifference.
No bereaved family with iatrogenesis the cause of death should have to steer the investigation to find the truth. The Mackay family so did. But those people in power who failed to exercise their statutory duty and do what is right did not consider that the Mackay family's efforts in wanting justice for Don would help others encountering the same tragedy when their loved ones too die from medical negligence.
The New South Wales health system let Don Mackay down. His family did not.
This is an account of a loving family's plight and fight for justice for the late Donald William Mackay 1950-2007."
Friday, August 27, 2010
"Medical negligence is a subject no one wants to talk about until it happens to them.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
She sits on the warm loose dirt, her feet buried in the soil and looks away dreamily, so at peace in herself that to me then and now, she was as much a part of the earth she sat on as any of the trees and hills that framed the world - her world.
I can imagine the warmth she feels and the light she is a part of, long before the world took her and told her how things were meant to be. The year she turned four her young mother died. As she and her father lived miles from town, the best part of a day trip by horse and sulky into town and the same back a housekeeper was soon ensconced in the house and things changed, became more rigid, more serious less light hearted.
Gone was the young laughing mother who loved music and is photographed shortly before her death poking her tongue out at the camera because she was caught with her hair, set curling in rags.
Gone was the love and companionship that a brother or sister might have brought into a house which catered to the needs of what was proper. Mum told me once that as an adult she realised how very lonely she was as a child but as a child didn’t know the words for what she felt.
Grandfather did his best, never re marrying and being the best father he knew how – but without his wife’s soft touch sometimes although he loved mum dearly he was too proper, and also too afraid something might happen and take her away as well. Who can blame him? Pictures of mum riding the big draft horse as a small child but then later her father’s fear of accident meant this pleasure was also gone. Mum told me that so I do know.
Declared “not proper” were the exercise books mum as a child filled with stories about the birds and animals and about what lay over the hills and under the hills – all gone burned by a stupid superstitious housekeeper who knew her job was safe, being so far from town and considered trustworthy – too hard to replace. The books gone, the stories slowed and stopped till only a year before her death they began again, only one or two but the gift was still there.
And still in spirit light filled she would walk for miles the high rocky lichen covered mountains and hills she knew so well, dreaming her dreams, abandoning herself to the intense greens, greys and blues of the land she was part of.
All this remained in her, no matter the tight lips of the relatives, no matter her beloved father’s concerned displeasure at her raw youthful exuberance – it all remained and was poured into us as we came from her body, drank her milk and were held in her gentle, tolerant arms. Allowed to dream without fetters, allowed to be different, she even covered for me sometimes when others tried to pull rank on her and tell her how to raise us. Allowed into a world light and full of laughter and an understanding of how the world really is – called common sense.
Endless conversations after school, when she would listen to all my stories, something she was to do till she died. The pair of us could talk under cement, but it was always interesting and we never ran out of topics. In the early days mum was not big on gossip and I don’t recall her being nasty about anyone and there were plenty to be nasty about at times. As the years passed, towards the end she showed what a wonderful mimic she was, often imitating the voice or attitude of this or that person who considered themselves so important. I wondered how often she must have privately exercised this gift in private when we were young and she was expected to be oh so proper. In the afternoons at her place, at her little table we would talk, almost no subject left untouched. Mum’s idea of a good visit was to say, “We had some lovely talks.”
... and sadly there were days when depression came over her in waves, only to lift again – something she knew she had to deal with as the cycles flowed about her. One of the bravest of people I have ever known.
Somewhere the memory of a little girl, sitting with her feet in the warm loose soil, secure in the knowledge she was born with, shimmers in the haze amongst the rocky hills, hearing the animals and birds, wondering what lays over the hills or under them...remembering things too often forgotten.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
This was an issue I deal with in my book " Without Due Care"
In my husband's case the pharmacist at the hospital okayed IV Vit C for Don but the ICU specialist refused to allow it to be used. While it may not have saved Don’s life it would have alleviated his brutal suffering; Vit C would have helped him - I know this!!!He died in misery and with brutality. The symptoms that made his suffering worse would have been alleviated by the IV Vit C we asked for him to have. I found out later after Don died that the ICU doctor involved did not have the legal right to refuse the treatment we asked for which was okayed by the pharmacist - the ICU specialist laughingly claimed thet IV Vit C at the levels we asked for might give Don kidney stones - what a nonsense...he'd been taking the stuff for 25 years at really high doses and not a stone in sight - and as he was clearly dying kidney stones were the last of his worries...this story from New Zealand only goes to show what a help it might have been - but then the Pharmaceutical companies can nt patent Vit C...and only a very few doctors will credit it for its marvellous properties when given at the right doses...
Our daughter Alison had this treatment weekly for two years for another condition - and it helped her as she recovered form a multiple of issues which saw her almost unable to look after herself. She slowly recovered. Alongside her were others who were going through Chemotherapy and were having the IV Vit C...it did help them overcome the dreadful side effects of Chemo in that she said they seldom experienced nausea and other drastic symptoms of the Chemotherapy regime.
Watch the link first before the you tube -
Monday, August 16, 2010
As Foxymoron said...another young Australian soldier dead in Afghanistan - and why is this not a major issue in the federal election to take part on Saturday -
Where are the students on the street, the moratoriums, the strikes?
Its like no one cares enough about anything any more...
how many are there injured - we are never told. How many are mentally shattered.
And for what?
Saturday, August 14, 2010
The Sun in late winter.
In late winter the sun goes down quickly. Its soft golden light reflects off a hundred different greens. The leaves of the trees are dunked for the moment and gilded, shining as no earthly golden metal can.
Soft as the breeze in the high pines the light is placed... and then in a moment is gone as twilight comes in on a wisp – all in a moment.
And on the horizon the sun’s eyelid blinks and simmers in the coolness and closes the light down.
The sun! Oh, the sun! Life bringer and life taker; its warmth and light describes the world. Its fury and fire create the balance of that beneficence... and so as twilight wanders about in its cloak of blue, covering up the small spots and sparks of gold of the sun, the cold of winter sets in.
The curtains close. The doors are locked. Out in the cold and dark Earth sets in with its croaks and creaks and the cry of a lone bird flying home is a bugle lament to the day. The nights are long but then the sun creeps and slithers slowly up, strobing fingers of liquid gold on mountain tops, between the hills and in the gullies.
All hail the sun which gives us light and heat and all we need to look in wonder upon this earth.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Google-Verizon Deal: The End of The Internet as We Know It : ICH - Information Clearing House
Google-Verizon Deal: The End of The Internet as We Know It
By Josh Silver
August 06, 2010 "Huffington Post" -- For years, Internet advocates have warned of the doomsday scenario that will play out on Monday: Google and Verizon will announce a deal that the New York Times reports "could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content's creators are willing to pay for the privilege."
The deal marks the beginning of the end of the Internet as you know it. Since its beginnings, the Net was a level playing field that allowed all content to move at the same speed, whether it's ABC News or your uncle's video blog. That's all about to change, and the result couldn't be more bleak for the future of the Internet, for television, radio and independent voices.
How did this happen? We have a Federal Communications Commission that has been denied authority by the courts to police the activities of Internet service providers like Verizon and Comcast. All because of a bad decision by the Bush-era FCC. We have a pro-industry FCC Chairman who is terrified of making a decision, conducting back room dealmaking, and willing to sit on his hands rather than reassert his agency's authority. We have a president who promised to "take a back seat to no one on Net Neutrality" yet remains silent. We have a congress that is nearly completely captured by industry. Yes, more than half of the US congress will do pretty much whatever the phone and cable companies ask them to. Add the clout of Google, and you have near-complete control of Capitol Hill.
A non-neutral Internet means that companies like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and Google can turn the Net into cable TV and pick winners and losers online. A problem just for Internet geeks? You wish. All video, radio, phone and other services will soon be delivered through an Internet connection. Ending Net Neutrality would end the revolutionary potential that any website can act as a television or radio network. It would spell the end of our opportunity to wrest access and distribution of media content away from the handful of massive media corporations that currently control the television and radio dial.
So the Google-Verizon deal can be summed up as this: "FCC, you have no authority over us and you're not going to do anything about it. Congress, we own you, and we'll get whatever legislation we want. And American people, you can't stop us.
This Google-Verizon deal, this industry-captured FCC, and the way this is playing out is akin to the largest banks and the largest hedge funds writing the regulatory policy on derivative trading without any oversight or input from the public, and having it rubber stamped by the SEC. It's like BP and Halliburton ironing out the rules for offshore oil drilling with no public input, and having MMS sign off.
Fortunately, while they are outnumbered, there are several powerful Net Neutrality champions on Capitol Hill, like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Henry Waxman, Jay Rockefeller, Ed Markey, Jay Inslee and many others. But they will not be able to turn this tide unless they have massive, visible support from every American who uses the Internet --- whether it's for news, email, shopping, Facebook, Twitter --- whatever. So stop what you're doing and tell them you're not letting the Internet go the way of Big Oil and Big Banks. The future of the Internet, and your access to information depends on it.
Author's note: Notice how a company can change their tune in the name of profitmaking. From Google in 2006: "Today the Internet is an information highway where anybody - no matter how large or small, how traditional or unconventional - has equal access. But the phone and cable monopolies, who control almost all Internet access, want the power to choose who gets access to high-speed lanes and whose content gets seen first and fastest. They want to build a two-tiered system and block the on-ramps for those who can't pay."
Josh Silver, President, Free Press
Thursday, August 05, 2010
For non Aussie bloggers Julia is the caretaker Primeminister till the election later this month - she's a redhead hence the ginger nut comment - She used to be the Education minister till she toppled Prime Minister Rudd and took his place -
I get the feeling this guy is not really a Julia lover - made me laugh anyhow...
Monday, August 02, 2010
Reading Cazzie's post about her husband and the veggie garden he's showing his kids reminded me of a subject which really pisses me off. Cazzie and her husband are actually "interested" parents - this doesn't mean having to be on tap for your kids as some sort of entertainment provider - it means being aware, being a parent first - before being a friend - all of this - we all know what I mean there.
What has had me gasping at times is when I see mums and dads in the shopping centers with little kids who are so disconnected that they don't respond to smiles, or little questions and don't look at their kids. Sometimes you will see little ones straggling after a parent who doesn't even look back to see the child is still there. I have walked behind people like this watching to see if they ever turn around and check that the child hasn't wandered off in another direction - whereas other parents will hold their child's hand, or have them hold onto a trolley, or in one case I saw recently carry the child and talk to it eyes to eyes. I have seen parents crossing busy roads and allowing three or four of their small kids to just amble across behind them and not even holding hands -
Sometimes I hear beautiful little kids try to engage the parent and all they get in response is a dead stare of disinterest...or worse they are sworn at and called the worst names imaginable - the worst being a mother calling her child a little "C..." My daughters were shocked to their core when they heard this beauty.
How many years can a small child maintain the interest and curiousity in the new world it inhabits if it is turned off constantly? This is for me a real tragedy. I used to talk my head off to mum and dad, and no doubt they were tired at times, no doubt I may have been tiresome as well (I am sure of that) but all I remember is them answering me, laughing with (or at) me and treating me kindly. From this I was able to maintain and grow an insatiable curiousity about the world I had just met - still do today.
Another thing I don't like when i am at it is there is a choice when you buy a pram to have one facing the mother or dad pushing the stroller - so the little one can see your face and interact - or to choose one which is faced away and enclosed like a sort of capsule wherein all the baby sees is a small area in front of it...no wonder they get upset and grizzle -
another thing while I am on my rant - are parents who push the stroller out into the road in front of them on busy roads thus ensuring that if anyone is hit by a car its the baby first - this just beggars believe and is so common.
Our kids were precious to us and all kids are precious - To see kids treated with such a lack of interest is hard and you feel like saying something or doing something - maybe I will start and just become that mad old woman I feel like being at times.
Things like being engaged with your kids cost nothing at all. I remember when mine were little loving to carry them and talk with them as we went places...they were more interesting to me than some of the adults I had about me. To be attentive and engaged is not to spoil a child...its the time in life when you get to teach them about the world before the world gets hold of them and imposes its limits - I remember walking for ages with our eldest's little face close to mine and at only 15months having quite a converstaion with her giggling every few minutes or so. We went everywhere together and she made as much sens to me as anyone else did around then. I remember when the youngestwas just three she made the most amazing statement about why God made us and in a short sentence she explained for me the purpose of my life. Sadly i didn't write this down and forgot the actual words but still remember my flood of amazement at her wisdom - that wisdom did not come from me, it came from her own little heart - but had I been bored by her and disengaged she wouldn't have talked to me in that ways.
Our kids didn't have much. The first home was a $12 a week rented house...For a time clothes shelves were made by me by nailing half a dozen old fruit boxes together, after scrubbing them out and painting them bright orange - and then putting a curtain around the front -in lieu of a cupboard door - so they were not spoiled with things - and I was too young and feisty as was their dad to give in to them too often - but I have memories of us all rocketing off each other and laughing a lot. maybe easier to do when really young -
It just breaks my heart when I see the little faces trying to get the attention/acknowledgement of a parent who would rather be elsewhere and alone. We have all been tired - but some people treat kids as if they were their own objects maybe thinking they won't remember (thats if they think at all) and the children do remember - they remember to forget their curiousity, forget their spontaneity, and to slowly close down and in many cases become as disengaged as the parents who raised them.
I was so lucky to have been born into a family who knew how to be, what to do - so lucky that we had enough in us to be the same - and the product of that is two amazingly curious, funny, compassionate and aware women, soon to be mothers themselves - i hope :)
We weren't any special sorts of parents - and there are millions of families out there just like ours where kids are precious and wanted - but there are also millions of families out there where children are "switched off" by parents who couldn't be bothered switching them on -
What a wonderful world it would be if all children had parents who looked into their eyes and wondered...and talked and laughed.