Joni Eareckson Tada, an internationally known advocate for the disability community who has been a quadriplegic more than 47 years and is a breast cancer survivor as well, has made a plea to terminal cancer patient Brittany Maynard who plans to die through physician-assisted suicide to rethink her decision.
"Like many, my heart broke when I watched Brittany's video in which she outlined her plans to die through physician-assisted suicide. No one — absolutely no one — welcomes the pain that dealing with a terminal disease invariably brings, and it's clear that this young woman is firm in her convictions," said Tada in a statement released on Monday.
"But if I could park my wheelchair beside her, I would tell her how the love of Jesus has sustained me through my chronic pain, quadriplegia and cancer. I don't want her to wake up on the other side of her tombstone only to face a dark, grim existence without life and joy; that is, without God. There's only one person who has transformed the landscape of life-after-death, and that is Jesus, the One who conquered the grave, opening the path to life eternal. Three grams of phenobarbital in the veins will only provide a temporary reprieve. It is not the answer for the most important passage of her life. more >>
A number of nurses and medical professionals in Liberia went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay and safer working conditions in the fight against Ebola. The World Health Organization, meanwhile, called the outbreak "the most severe acute public health emergency in modern times."
Local journalist Terence Sesay told Al Jazeera on Monday that a number of facilities in the country were "virtually abandoned," with "nurses afraid of touching patients."
"They refuse to take blood samples from patients or even take their temperature because these require them to touch patients," Sesay said. more >>
America's response to the deadly Ebola virus took a political turn on the weekend when progressive policy organization, The Agenda Project Action Fund, blamed the current outbreak of the virus on budget cuts supported by Republicans. Director of the National Institutes of Health Dr. Francis Collins, an evangelical, also declared on Friday that budget cuts hurt the agency and seriously hampered the development of an Ebola vaccine.
A one-minute video produced by the Agenda project and posted to YouTube Sunday called 'Republican Cuts Kill' mixes chilling footage of the Ebola outbreak with clips of Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky; Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.; Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Republicans in some of the most competitive races around the country calling for more spending cuts. The demands are also juxtaposed with testimony from top Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and NIH officials explaining how the budget cuts hampered their ability to address the virus that is currently sweeping across West Africa and fueling panic across the U.S.
"To accomplish our mission we tell Americans the truth — about elected officials, multi-national corporations, political parties, public policy and corruption. We aggressively challenge individuals and institutions of power that prevent public policy from serving the American people, and refute hegemonic ideas that act as the intellectual rationalization for policies that do not serve the American people," explained the Agenda Project on their website. more >>
Have you wondered why Ebola patients are being sent to Omaha, Nebraska?
It's because one physician, Dr. Philip Smith, had the foresight to set up the Nebraska Biocontainment Patient Care Unit after the 9/11 attacks as a bulwark against bioterrorism. Empty for more than a decade, used only for drills, it was called "Maurer's Folly," for Harold Maurer, former chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
The unit has a special air handling system to keep germs from escaping from patient rooms, and a steam sterilizer for scrubs and equipment. more >>
Nurses and other healthcare experts have rejected the accusation by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Thomas Frieden that a "protocol breach" led to the infection of a Dallas nurse from Ebola, arguing that there should be no "scapegoats" made during a troubling situation like this.
"You don't scapegoat and blame when you have a disease outbreak," said Bonnie Castillo, a registered nurse and a disaster relief expert at National Nurses United, according to Reuters on Monday. "We have a system failure. That is what we have to correct."
UPDATE: 4:15 p.m. Oct. 12
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Sunday afternoon that a nurse who cared for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has contracted the virus and remains in isolation at the hospital. The CDC also confirmed Sunday that the nurse wore full protective gear while caring for Duncan, who died Wednesday.
A nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas who cared for a Liberian man with Ebola is the first known person to contract the fatal virus in the United States. more >>