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Death Panels - Just a Matter of Perspective?

I inadvertently became part of a 'death panel', and the cause of the NHS waiting lists!
Ooooh big headline claim that eh?

Yeah it's a bit sensational and eyeball grabbing, but no more blarney than we're used to, from politicians and media hype!!

I was an emergency on the 12th of August, You may have read about it in "The Great British National Health Service Saved My Life"

In that moment I jumped the queue - I didn't know I was going to, I had no warning signs whatsoever, but jump the queue I did.
My emergency care pushed me to the top of the angioplasty list.

I assume, that all those thousands of people waiting for the procedure and already scheduled for surgery, would have been a bit disgruntled at being pushed down the list; maybe they've had to spend another few days in pain or discomfort.

Make no mistake I feel for their pain, 9 years ago I was waiting for surgery on a prolapsed spinal disc, the surgery was postponed 3 times because of emergencies, and twice I'd already travelled to the hospital for the surgery only to be turned away again. It was a pestereance to me, extra weeks of pain, but the emergencies would have been somebody in imminent danger of paralysis or death. So of course, had I been asked if I minded that person in emergency need of care going in front of me in the queue, I, and I presume any other humane being would say "Yeah ok, i'm only in pain, I'm not in danger, you go first."

It seems to me that the best one can hope for from any National health service, the best outcome you can expect is, in an unpredicted or emergency occurrence, the system copes with the extra strain.
In a system of limited funds, triage must be applied, those in greatest need first.

We all loved the TV series about an army surgical unit in the Korean war - MASH.
Almost weekly we would watch the courageous doctors and nurses choose which soldiers to save and which to leave to die. Their difficult decisions always, sensibly, based on their past experience of the survivability of various injuries.
This can only be described, by any humane being, as fair, just, moral and sensible.

But a typically self-centred, right-wing bastard, would describe those nurses and doctors as a death panel!

We all complain about having to wait for treatment, each of us likes to think ourselves the most important, but in medical emergency situations, we all accept that the 'most important' is the one closest to death whom is most likely to be saved.

The NHS works brilliantly well, and lets face it, everybody on the planet wishes they had one just as good!

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Do Americans Not See Themselves As A Team?

I had not thought much about health care until everything kicked off last week and I started hearing the horror stories from Americans about their apparently selfish and heartless system. Until then I'd assumed that the American system would be as good as Britain's NHS, but just simply funded differently.
I've been shocked by the stories I've heard from many Americans about their health care, you can read some on my blog comments. Stories of how Americans have been permanently disabled or disfigured, because they personally couldn't afford medical care at their time of need. (Makes the big book of British smiles seem less important - don't you think?)
I am astonished because, myself and all members of my family, from my great grandmother to my youngest nephew, AND EVERYONE I KNOW, have been in the complete care of the NHS for all our lives. NONE of us ever had to consider the cost of treatment, or put treatment off for thrift's sake.
Disablement and disfigurement for the lack of cash has been absent from Britain for more half a century. It's unheard of!
The first thought for every citizen in the UK is - call the ambulance and if it can be fixed, the NHS Will fix it, no charge. I can't begin to describe what a great comfort the system is. (Although my heart attack story tells it's own truth about the value of an NHS)
See The Great British National Health Service Saved My Life

With the American system it seems, one must make a judgement call, at a time when you are least able, as to the value of your life!
Is my life more valuable than the debt I'm about to incur?
Whereas, with the British system, at the time when you are least able, there is this great team of people at your instant disposal, and they are all in it, only to save your skin! NO CHARGE!

I don't get why Americans think that's a bad idea!!
It seems contrary to the stuff we know about America!

Probably one of the most recognisable buzz-phrases is from American movies, where high school coaches trip out the trite line "There is no I in Team", but the the adage does not seem to apply to the 'great nation of America'! Your health care seems to be all about 'I', displaying no team spirit whatsoever! Why is your health care not a team?

Another buzz phrase - 'Divide and Conquer' (Julius Caesar)

When you've managed to stomp all over your own civilisation and are giving whoops and cheers that you defeated Obama's humane health care reform, please remember that you've done the bidding of the pharmaceutical giants!

Of course they want you to think a National Health Service is bad and evil

They make more money
selling you your medicines,
one pill to one customer at a time.

The corporations fuel your fear of socialism to keep you from banding into the force they fear.

Defy them
Forge your country into a family,
and remember,
Together Everyone Achieves More

When 300 million people buy their medicines together, they can pretty much dictate the price! Hell - 300 million people can buy a licence to make their own pills!!
300 million people acting with one voice!
No corporation in the universe
can drown out that kind of noise!

So, why let the corporations have your cash, when you could be using it to fund the American dream for all?

You say that ANY American can follow the American dream to the white house, and it would seem, that, as you now have your first black leader, the dream is true
but is it actually false?
Not so much a lie,
but an accidental falsehood?
If president Obama had been born with a congenital heart problem, which had needed constant medical care for the whole of his life, his medical insurance would have run out before he got chance to lead you in your 'yes we can' dream.
He would therefore not have had the opportunity for the American dream.
As it is for each and every American who has been tossed away because of the lack of a fully functioning National health-care team.
All, automatically denied the American dream.

Every person disabled or disfigured when their health insurance runs out, is lost from a nations potential.
Why choose to waste potential?

Look to your future USA
Tell me, to which U.S. family will the next Abraham Lincoln or Samuel Clemence be born? A rich or a poor one?
Impossible to tell right! And if it's impossible to tell, it's foolhardy to play favourites.
Whether that potential great talent survives to be a great talent, could be down to whether he has adequate personal health insurance!
How can you think entrusting the health care of your future geniuses to random chance is a good idea?
People are the future of a nation - why toss potential aside because the corporations encourage you to fear each other?

Without the solidarity brought by caring for all,
a nation is not a band of kinsmen under one banner,
but just a bunch of potential enemies,
existing in an uncomfortable truce.

I wonder if that explains all the blunderbusses?

I don't think the notion of death panels would occur in a nation of kinsmen.

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I Love The NHS - Did I Mention They Saved My Life

I Just had a visit from the NHS Cardio Rehabilitation team.
Joanne, a delightful lady with a great sense of humour and an uncanny resemblance to Lilly Allen sat in my lounge and, with the aid of a very cool little plastic model heart, illustrated and explained everything about what had happened to me and exactly which bit of my heart had been fat fault, how it had been repaired and what a stent is. For those that don't know it's a little piece of titanium that holds the artery open to its 'proper' diameter and it looks like a tiny fishnet stocking!
So - that's a bonus! - sexy on the inside now as well! - lol.

Joanne clearly explained the purpose, effect and any possible side effects of the medication's I'd been given on discharge from hospital, then went on to discuss suggested dietary requirements. She spoke about amount and type of exercise for correct recovery from attack in the initial recovery period of 4wks. As She took Bp and pulse, Joanne filled me in on the report she'd had from the hospital.
Turns out, after a heart attack which lasted somewhere in the region of 4 hours, my heart has survived with
NO residual Damage,
The Blood pressure of a teenager,
And a pulse rate of 44!!
Joanne spoke with us for a good hour and a half, in which both my, and my wife's, minds were put completely at rest, she left saying they'd be in touch in a few weeks, to organise a fitness assessment and monitored cardio rehab workout programme at a local gym.

I knew I was feeling stronger, since the attack than I had been for a good while, maybe three or more years (well no actually, it's only been a couple of days since I've felt like I've got the right batteries back in!), but I hadn't realised that my heart was now in a condition, which it hadn't been in since my 20's!
Woop, Woop, Woop, Yay me and my 20 year healthy eating plan!!!

20 years of wholemeal everything, porridge, no fat, grill never fry, white meat and fish and mountains of fruit and veg, not to mention omitting the extra biscuits, have paid off big style.
Don't misunderstand me, I'm not getting all up in myself and patting me on the back, I did smoke, no longer, and I have no doubt that without the massive support of the brilliant NHS, I'd have died last week, and today my Wife, children, family and friends, would have been reminiscing at my funeral, but My healthy eating plan and general fitness routine, all my adult life, has played a part in the lack of damage and my rapid recovery, so I thought it was worth mentioning - straight from the living proof (so to speak)

Listen to what they tell you about diet!

If you don't have one,
GET one
It's like medicinal crowd surfing!

At the time of my greatest need, my kinsmen raised me aloft and transported me via numerous caring professionals back to health and the bosom of my very relieved family and friends.
You All have my HEART felt gratitude.

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A National Health Service Is A National Treasure

A National Health Service is not easy for any nation, but a country's citizens must be big enough to accept high principles cost.

I believe the establishment of a properly functioning NHS, as we have in the UK (It struggles under the weight but it works), has value greater than the medical care of its citizens.

Every worker knows that a little piece of the working day is donated to caring for those whom are, at that moment, suffering. Every week we in the UK show how we value every human in our borders no matter who they are or where they are from.

Every 11th word a typist types, every 11th brick laid by every bricklayer, every eleventh cake baked by every baker, goes to supporting those with the skills to cure the injured and sick.
Every 11th minute of every citizens working day is spent on supporting the needs of those in need of care.

That is a GREAT feeling - knowing that our country is THAT caring - it makes every job more worthy, every worker more key.
There is an underlying understanding that ALL are working to ensure ALL is 'as well as it can be' for ALL within our nation's borders, it's an ethos of 'while you're in our house we look after you'. A distinct but marginal leap from being a good host.

As far as I am concerned that feeling of benevolent security alone is worth the cost of supporting the health service with every eleventh minute of your working day and far more rewarding than a new TV or an extra round of drinks at the bar.


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It Is Supposed To be The land Of The Free

I heard President Obama yesterday(15-08-09) saying he was trying to create a "Uniquely American system" - Why? It seams to me to be because he's realised that Americans are so vain that they'd rather go on with their uncaring health system than accept something that they didn't invent.
Whatever way you look at it, free health care has already been invented, it's now just down to whether the USA catches up and accepts that "I'm alright jack" society is unacceptable and diametrically opposed to those who'd choose to call themselves humanitarian.

It's supposed to be

The land of the free.


The land of those

who can afford to be free.

I think I'm now more than fully qualified to say,
I'd recommend the Great British NHS in a Heartbeat, that's the heartbeat I would not have had the NHS not been there for me.

But I'd go further,
I'd say that any modern rich country who chooses a heartless 'every man for himself' system is preferring to profess and support socio-political Darwinism, the defunct philosophical system that previously heralded the rise of the Nazis.

For me the only way a society can justifiably call itself civilised, is if it cares for all its citizens regardless of birth status or bank roll.

Health care should be a human right, a pillar of what we call humane behaviour.

Those who rally against caring for the weak and in need are despicably selfish beings, (I feel I cannot use the word humans) who should feel ashamed of their self serving standpoint.

Compassion for our fellow should be an intrinsic aspiration, a core value of the human race - the way we want and choose to be.
Fuck you, I'm all right jack, is the way of the primitive beast.

America, you see yourselves as the best country on the planet but until you have an NHS like the UK you have only the facade of greatness.

Look at it this way - your tax dollars are currently being spent in the millions killing foreigners for free, wouldn't you feel better about yourselves if those dollars were instead (or additionally) being spent saving lives of your families and friends?
Surely, to remain on the side of good, one must be seen to be spending as much on saving the good guys, as you do slaughtering the bad guys.

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The Great British National Health Service Saved My Life

I'm sorry if this blog is not up to my usual standards - but hey I'm four days post-dead and although exceptionally happy to be that - I'm not really in tip top form - I hope you'll excuse any that is not quite legible (as that was. lol.)

ON Wednesday 12th of August 2009 I died

No really! Early am, on the 'glorious' 12th, flashing lights, multiple people caring for me etc. But the point is I died - 44 - Heart attack - DEAD! I don't know for how long, but dead's dead isn't it. So, you wanna know what it's like?
Of Course you do, everybody does - I did, although I didn't know I did, but now I have, well I know - I KNOW FOR SURE - What happens when you die!

Well it's like this, I think the easiest way to explain it is how it happened.

03.00 Pain, but only like a blood-pressure cuff, on my left arm
03.10 Chest pain like child sitting on me
03.20 Arm and chest pain (gripping/adult sitting on chest)
03.25 Ambulance called
03.35 Ambulance arrived, paramedics with me, I was sweating profusely and V.cold - given oxygen immediately
03.40 I was in the ambulance, my shirt shielding my eyes from the glaring lights and the Paramedics sweating profusely - I'm a big lad see, like a rugby player - 6 foot 4 inches and 220 pounds of (mostly) muscle.
03.42 I died
04.10(est) I was resuscitated
04.15 Ambulance departs for Local hospital - Glan Clwyd.
04.30 Arrive at local hospital - puke almost instantly on nurse
05.05 I died and crash team called
05.30(est) I was resuscitated

07.05 Transferred to ambulance for trip to specialist heart hospital about 50 miles away - Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital
07.35 Police escort, into Liverpool through the morning traffic - I had slept the journey, I've always had the uncanny knack of being able to fall asleep almost at will. Decided I couldn't handle a high speed trip to Liverpool and chose to sleep through it, so I missed the escort, and was told about it by a chap on the general cardio ward later - "Oh that was you was it, they woke us up!"
07.45 Arrived at LHCH and awoke as the ambulance doors opened. The first person I saw was one of the Police officers who had escorted me saying. 'Good luck mate.' It was bizarre, I wondered, a little groggy from a horde of drugs including some form of Morphine, why I was being greeted by a well wishing cop! Thanks to that officer for his and his colleagues help.
08.00 Procedure to install a stent into a the narrowed artery which was causing the problem was carried out immediately by, and I am totally hetero, the most handsome man on the planet, who fortunately for me decided to be a heart surgeon rather than a Model or film star, called I believe Ash Patwaly.
09.00 I was moved to Cardio Care unit (critical care ward) and slept intermittently throughout day, saw my wife and my best friend, then later my mother and brothers, and chatted in snatches of apparently quite lucid consciousness, though I don't remember a great deal. I do remember a very nice nurse called Deepa helping me all day and another nurse, Clare, that night.

17.00 Another drug given, also by Ash Patwaly, to regulate the heart's rhythm, which was out of tune because of the shocks
17.30 fell asleep - much more comfortable
20.00 awoke feeling MUCH better.

09.30 Ash Patwaly came to see my progress, and was I think surprised by how well I was doing. I was like nothing had happened, yes I was tired, knackered in fact, like I'd spent a day moving a couple of wardrobes around a room for an indecisive woman but back to my normal self.

13.15 Transferred to general cardio ward, escorted by Nurse Marj and Student Nurse Sherifa who looked after me on the 13th and a porter (by the way all the names are probably spelled wrong - sorry).

15.00 Discharged with a bagful of tablets.

Great thanks therefore to Nurses Deepa, Clare, Sherifa, Marj, Katie, the ones whose names I can remember - bit of a stressful whirlwind visit you understand. Also To Dylan and His oppo who nearly died themselves carrying me the hundred yards to the ambulance, then brought me back to life and to the team at Glan Clwyd Hospital whose names I don't know, I was completely out of it you know!
And the police escort.
Thanks to Aneurin Bevan (1897 - 1960 Firebrand socialist and orator who is regarded as the father of the National Health Service.) for thinking up the National health service in the first place, William Beveridge (1879 - 1963 British economist and social reformer, closely associated with the development of the welfare state) and to my ancestors, the people of Great Britain UK of 1948 who decided that it would be a great thing to do.

Without ALL of you Crispy Sea would not be here to thank you all for your foresight and compassion. Without you my children would not have a father, my wife not have a husband, my mother 1 less son, my friends, 1 less friend and the world 1 less warrior for truth.

I am indebted to your vision and wallets.

The current and future beating of my heart is

totally down to the size of yours

It's 7am I've been up for about an hour. Just sitting, watching a sunrise I shouldn't be seeing. I'm really glad the molecules that formed this solar system bumped into each other in such a way that this ball on which we grew, orbits such a beautiful star.

I have nothing to thank any imaginary being for, but my eyes on this sunrise, and all others I shall see, are down to the massive, almost incalculably massive, support team.

So, the question was, what's it like?
No lights, no angels, no demons
Just simply - it's exactly the same as going to sleep
You know when you are watching TV and you drop off to sleep for a moment, but the only way you know is that the people on the screen aren't in the same position as they were a moment ago, you've missed a bit of the story and are not sure what's going on. You instantly recognise you've been asleep for a few mins.
It's exactly the same when you die, just like dropping off to sleep
How do I know? What's my proof?
Simple, when the team resuscitated me, brought me back to life in Glan Clwyd, the first words out of my mouth to the nurse who was standing next to me were
'Oh I fell asleep for a bit there did I?'
Her answer bewildered me a bit at the time, I was groggy but I noticed it as odd
'Er, er, er, you, er, you lost consciousness for a while'
she blurted unconvincingly.
It's later, when I pieced together the events, that I realised, that was when I'd died for the second time.

So before, when I wrote my blogs, and ranted on about there being no god etc. I was standing on a rock called 'I don't know but the probability of a god is pretty much zero', whereas now, there is nobody on the planet more qualified. I know what happens when you're really 'most sincerely dead' because I've been there, and it's just exactly like being asleep.

Thank You again to the
Dedicated and highly professional staff

of the


Now, to the current 'debate' about health care.
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The Cost of Faith

Are you religious?
What is the cost of YOUR faith?

I am utterly convinced now, that the only reason sentient people choose to have spiritual faith is because they are too weak to face their own or their loved one's mortality.
I am equally also convinced that the general opinion, that "it's good to have religious faith" is humanity's most extreme falsehood. There is an ethos, a feeling, of
"Let her believe whatever gives her comfort;
what harm does it do?"

What harm does it do!!!!

Examine the cost of your religious CHOICE to believe that your fanciful scripture is true.
What is the cost of that weakness?
  • ALL deaths caused by the phrase 'God told me to do it'
  • Every Person of faith who interfered with a child
  • The numerous victims of 'honour' murders
  • The Persecution because of sexuality
  • Those persecuted because they believe the wrong fairy story
  • All lives lost when this or that religion undertakes a, shall we say, 'purity drive'.
  • The wasted lives of brainwashed Suicide bombers and their victims
Those innocent lives extinguished before their full measure of days, or psychologically damaged beyond repair, are ALL because you want to believe your childish 'comforting' fairy stories.

"Don't be so silly..."
the religious would I suspect reply 
"...I'm religious and I'm not killing or assaulting."

Maybe not, but you are perpetuating the myth - If spiritual nonsense was ridiculed, like any other supposedly supernatural entities, then those who choose an extreme path, would not have god as an excuse, or 'paradise eternal' as an incentive.
Spiritual faith is flim-flam, fakery to appease the weak, and far from 'merely a harmless comfort in an hour of need', it is a cancerous growth on the face of reason, a strident, forceful, buggering, middle finger to those who value rational behaviour over voodoo.

If you are religious, or spiritual, the cost of those deaths is on your hands. The blood spilled by those, whose only difference to you is in the extent to which they believe the fairy story, is a putrid stain on humanity, you and your faith share the blame, and all because you are too weak to accept reality.
Your continuing belief is an embarrassment
Your weakness gets the innocent dead.
while you continue to promote your chosen delusion,
you dare not call yourselves people of peace and love.
You make me sick.
Where did this opinion come from?
Check the news daily for religious idiots, doing their religious idiot stuff.

It's sadly plentiful

Just recently, mostly from the last month

Or, from a little further back, from the Too Many Questions Stupidity Archive
More here
Religion - Refuge of the Weak and Powerless?

I'll let Laci Green have the final word, as she says it so eloquently...

Why Atheists Care About YOUR Religion

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Irish Blasphemy Law - Discriminatory?

I read an interesting blog about a European Union directive which plans to combat discrimination by ending the exclusivity of faith schools, allowing non-believers to attend. It could also clear the path for Gay marriage in church.
“Ooh that’s good” I thought; you know, how you do when something’s good and concluded “I bet ‘the deluded community’ aren’t chuffed” as I browsed for answers.
Mostly, various liberal dollops of disgust are spread thickly across the Christian web media; they are not chuffed and all are, largely, reporting that Roman Catholic Bishops are calling the EU equality law an instrument of oppression!
Set me thinking, how can a law FOR equality and AGAINST discrimination be an “instrument of oppression”?
Catholic Bish’s couldn’t be misunderstanding, misinterpreting or misrepresenting, could they?
Or, are the bishops up in arms because the directive removes their authoritarian brainwashing position; their 'right' to indoctrinate their flock, the way they see fit? 
Or are they starting to understand the meaning of free speech? (ROFLMAO)

Is it because faith schools ability to manipulate the tender minds of its pupils will be usurped by multi-faith intake?
Should atheist parents seek out faith schools to send their children too?

So Many questions, but floating to the top of murky understanding was Ireland's brand new blasphemy law.
Can this EU directive be applied
to Ireland's (or any) Blasphemy Law?
Could it usurp it completely?
Is Ireland's (or any) blasphemy law
discriminatory against atheists?
The simple fact is, it is never going to be possible for an atheist to claim offence against a prayer, hymn, ritual, or other 'witch-doctory' - one cannot be offended by 'words against god', when one's belief is there is no god.
It is therefore intrinsically discriminatory to bring a law whose very nature is designed, not only to exclude the opinion of a minority(currently) group, but to compound the discrimination with punitive measures.
As it is the nature of humans to air their views,
Atheists will become the most persecuted under this (or any) blasphemy law.


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Your Religion is False

Your Religion Is False
from Jeriaska on Vimeo.

Saw the presentation, realised I'd spent 15 minutes grinning (Thanks Joel) and thought I'd plug the book

The funniest book ever written about why your religion is false!

Whether you’re a Christian or a Jew, a Muslim or a Hindu, a Rasta or a Jain, an Environmentalist or a Cheondoist, a Scientologist or a Giant Stone Head Worshipper, your religion is false.

But don’t feel bad — so is everyone else’s! When you want to know what not to believe, this is the only book you need.

In addition, you’ll learn

* Why “god” doesn’t exist
* Why there’s no such thing as a “soul”
* How to find “meaning” in a religion-less world
* Which of your religious heroes are pedophiles
* Why “religious tolerance” is a terrible idea

And, as a bonus, the greatest religious joke ever told. You can’t afford not to read this book!

Your Religion Is False by Joel Grus

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