Hospitals May Be Injurious to YOUR Health
“Recent research reveals 210,000 lives are lost each year by preventable hospital errors! If you choose to include diagnostic errors, failure to follow proper guidelines and omission errors, the number climbs to 440,000 preventable deaths each year. Turns out that these errors are the third leading cause of death in the US, immediately after heart disease and cancer,” writes Mike Adams, editor of Naturalnews.
A problem peculiar to hospital environments is the possible presence of super-bugs. Due to exposure to antibiotics and medicines over long periods of time, bacteria and pathogens evolve to become resistant to these antibiotics. it becomes very difficult to treat a patient who contracts a super-bug in a hospital.
Western Medicine Needs To Move Away from Its Normative Approach
Writing in the International Journal of Evidence-based Health Care (2006: 4: 180-186), Dave Holmes, Stuart J Murray, Amélie Perron and Genevieve Rail argue that evidence-based health system is “...outrageously exclusionary and dangerously normative with regards to scientific knowledge. As such, we assert that the evidence-based movement in health sciences constitutes a good example of micro-fascism at play in the contemporary scientific arena.” They go on to show “how health sciences are colonised (territorialised) by an all-encompassing scientific research paradigm—that of post-positivism—but also and foremost in showing the process by which a dominant ideology comes to exclude alternative forms of knowledge, therefore acting as a fascist structure.”
Science and Non-science
We are still groping in the dark when it comes to randomised controlled trials (RCTs). For example, common sense tells us that giving beta-blockers perioperatively can only be foolish; it is not a matter of RCTs being misunderstood. Surgery is a big stress to even normal human bodies. Our only defence against stress is our autonomic nervous system which helps us survive in a fight-flight-fright situation. Blocking such a protection in a “closed systems human biology” could be inviting disaster. No wonder, thousands of lives are lost in the bargain. But deaths are only a statistic for the pharma lobby; profit being their God. I have a gut feeling that giving beta-blockers in heart failure does not stand logical scrutiny. In a closed system, if you block the beta-receptors in the heart, they are immediately replaced by the body’s wisdom to keep the heart going. In case the patient misses the doses for a day or so, the suppressed receptors get reactivated making too many receptors active. The tired horse, the heart, gets whipped up to bring on arrhythmias. I know the ‘wise’ people will say that the RCTs have shown otherwise! Luckily, I do not think RCTs are ‘science’.
Tissue engineering and organ growing operations are leaving the realm of science fiction and are becoming reality. The future of life-saving organ transplants hinges on organ farming technology which uses a patient’s own tissue.
Remarkably, this process is working. The artificial bladder, or any other organ, is derived from a patient’s own cells and grows around a scaffold. In stage-two testing, one company has already implanted the neo-bladder into patients and studied how their body reacts and adapts. Between five and seven weeks, the organ grows around the scaffold.
A new fertiliser policy should cover ways and means to achieve self-sufficiency. At the same time, we need to set up joint ventures outside in gas producing countries so that fertiliser is imported and gas from India is diverted for other purposes
The weather predictions from Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), actual erratic pattern of monsoon that usually happens every year and the lurking fear of an El Nino have all had a mind boggling effect on one and all this year. Some parts of North and East India face drought conditions while many others have been hit by heavy rains and floods.
In some parts, while rains damaged standing crop, others like Punjab and Haryana had late rains, thus threatening cotton and paddy crops. Press reports show that apart from some of the affected areas as above, monsoon delays have pushed 20 of the 75 districts in Uttar Pradesh (UP) to drought conditions. Odisha's large scale flooding due to heavy rains has affected 23 districts and yet RS Gopalan, Agriculture Director, appears to be confident and is reported to have stated that they "expect above average yield". And the rain deficit in Bihar, with some floods in the north is expected to lead to a fall in production of oil seeds and pulses. Jharkhand, on the other hand, after a poor early monsoon rains had better showers in August, resulting in better paddy output this season.
All these up and down factors - vagaries of the monsoon effect - have a direct repercussion on the need and use of fertilisers. So, let's take a look at the state of fertiliser industry in the country.
As per the directive of the government, urea units have been receiving gas from Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) to meet their needs, which, in the past couple of years, have been falling drastically, due to lower output of gas. To support farmers and to ensure continued agricultural production, the government has been subsidising fertiliser industry, which is likely to reach a staggering Rs90,000 crore in 2014-15. Domestic production of urea, for instance, has been around 22 million tonnes (mt), while the demand is around 29 mt, thus necessitating the import of 8 mt per year. Indigenous production cannot be increased due to inadequate supply of gas. Additionally, India imports about 3.5 million tonnes of potash from Russia/ Belarus.
More importantly, the use of fertilisers, both bio-fertiliser and micro-nutrients and the ratios of use, has also been haphazard. It is well-known that in order to maintain soil health and to obtain optimum benefit of fertiliser application the farmer has to use all the three nutrients, generally classified as NPK or nitrogen, phosphate and potash.
According to international practice, the most ideal NPK fertilizer ratio is 4:2:1 but in actual practice in India has been found vary from 4:2:1 to go as high as 23:2:1 and varying from state to state, depending upon what they grow! Such a reckless mix may increase the crop yield in some areas but now there is serious concern that this may lead to increased incidence of cancer.
The fertiliser industry is now being studied in detail and a road map to reach self-sufficiency is being prepared by Ananth Kumar, the Union Minister for Fertilizer and Chemicals. His plans are expected to include provisions for revival of defunct plants, such as those at Talcher and Ramagundam. Additionally, press reports indicate that proposals are being prepared to set up fertiliser units along the proposed Jagdishpur-Haldia natural gas grid pipe line.
A national fertiliser policy that will cover ways and means to achieve self-sufficiency would be a welcome change and in the long run may reduce our dependence upon imports. It is hoped that this policy will also cover the urgent and imperative need to "educate" farmers in the right use of NPK. Would it be workable for establishing a composing unit that would receive all the three nutrients and then prepare single packaged NPK in right ratios, so as to eliminate the use of fertiliser by wrong combinations?
It would be ideal if the new policy outlines proposals for joint ventures outside in gas producing countries, such as Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Iran, Nigeria and Russia, so that the fertiliser is imported and gas from India is diverted for other purposes. This does not mean we should close the existing units, but we should refrain from setting up new ones, unless, the overseas joint venture partners from Qatar, Iran and other countries, offer to ship the gas as working capital?
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)
Valuable information hangs in the balance with the Game of Secrets app
The app is called Game of Secrets and it’s an invaluable tool for anyone looking to cut ties with family and friends while giving up valuable information to a company that doesn’t readily disclose what it’s going to do with it.
From what we can tell from several dozen disparaging customer reviews, the destruction starts with an unsolicited text message from one of your contacts indicating that someone has recently answered a question about you on Game of Secrets.
Click through and you’re taken to the app, which requests access to your contacts without saying exactly how it plans to use that information (more on this to come). Eager to find out who said what about you, let’s say you click “OK.”
But before you can find out, there’s another hurdle, as the app proceeds to ask you to answer some intimate questions about your contacts. Questions like: Would you ever kiss so and so? Would you think this person is boyfriend material? Choose the “not skip” option and then that contact gets the same text you did — that’s what allowing access to your contacts entails.
Nearly all of the customer reviews on iTunes slam the developer, Rocketeer Inc, for creating an app users say is misleading, hurtful, and inappropriate. Some reviewers even claim that the app sent out text messages despite blocking the app’s access to contacts and skipping all the questions.
One reviewer, who said he received several text messages saying people were answering questions about him on Game of Secrets, wrote:
I downloaded the app and you can’t see what people wrote about you until you answered questions. I didn’t want to answer any questions and hurt anyone’s feelings. My friends have had their feelings hurt from it because some people’s answers are very hurtful.
Don’t get this app. I mean, unless of course you are okay with receiving texts from you grandparents asking why you answered a question about how good they look naked. Just saying… This app has spammed most of my contacts and it’s a huge mess to clean up. You will regret it.
And one more:
This app is misleading and offensive in every way. I can’t even understand how it got passed [sic] apple and is allowed to be downloaded through the App Store. The app isn’t all happy and fun as it seems in the description. It’s hurtful and mean, and it destroys friendships.
Apple’s policy would appear to prohibit such an app to be sold in its App Store. According to the company’s review guidelines, “Any App that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harm’s way will be rejected.”
But there’s conflicting information. Apple’s 17-plus app rating, which is where Game of Secrets falls, states that “[a]pps in this category may also contain frequent and intense offensive language.” (And while it’s rated 17-plus, readers tell TINA.org that many middle school students are using this app to send unsolicited texts to fellow students who can’t block them unless they start blocking the texts with their phone carrier number by number.)
So where does Apple draw the line on apps with offensive material if they have a guideline banning it but also a rating regulating it? That’s not clear. TINA.org reached out to Apple for comment about this app and its guidelines but we did not receive a response.
However, a parent whose son received unsolicited text messages from the Game of Secrets app said that an iTunes representative told them that the app has not violated Apple policy and suggested that the parent contact the developer directly.
The other issue is what Rocketeer does with the information it gathers from Game of Secrets. We looked online and even installed the app but couldn’t find a terms and conditions policy for using the program, or details on what becomes of the information they have about you once you sign up. If Game of Secrets is anything like Whisper, another secret sharing app, users may want to take note of Forbes’ article on three reasons to be wary.
The takeaway here is to think twice about apps that ask to access your contacts. They may have some secrets of their own.