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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Taking Our Voices to Olympia - Cover Page

When we reach out to our government, do we feel heard?
If we have signed a petition or sent an email, likely not.
If we have called and spoken to a person, maybe.
If we have visited the seat of government, yes?
But, what good is it to be heard, if one's gift of thought are not remembered or acted upon?

On Tuesday, March 17th, Karen and I spent the entire day in Olympia and, 
we actually felt pretty well heard. Which, of course, means that 
much work lies ahead...for us...AND FOR YOU.

Imagine a huge ocean filled with people who have thoughts.
 On that ocean, there floats a large cruise ship.
Inside, there are many different levels.
Ranging from large to small.

This is how one can view our society, and in our view...all of those people have a role to play.
Karen and I have taken a trip to the cruise ship. We hung around for a day,
we chatted with folks in a couple of levels, and we departed.
But, we left behind our thought. Ideas. Proposals.

Now, we would like to share with you, the ocean, our thoughts as well.
Because, we are all the source of our society.

Over the next two months, we will share the handouts we offered to those in the seats of government.
We invite your responses, ideas, curiosity & additional comments.

In May, we will revisit the issue of "what shall we do to improve public health in WA state?"
We will call upon our government employees and partake in the conversations
 necessary to seek our ultimate goal: A Proposal That Captures Near Consensus

Sound impossible?
So did flight.
And flying a rocket to the moon.
And landing on Mars.

(we already posted page #1 on March 11th)

We, Karen Crisalli Winter & March Twisdale, believe 
that HB 2009 failed for valid and important reasons.
This packet covers the issues which relate to:

(1) why HB 2009 was inherently flawed, 
(2) why we need to continue the conversation,  
(3) the counter-intuitive ways in which increased freedom can improve public health, and
(4) how the state can improve the effectiveness of its public health messaging by soliciting feedback from the residents of WA state.

Handouts Included:

Handout Title
Informed Consent Benefits Public Health - Here’s How
Current Problems That May Be Reducing Vaccination Levels
Assumptions VS Reality
A letter from a WA state resident
The Philosophical/Personal Exemption Protects Our Right To Vaccinate
Vaccine Exemption Survey
“Safe & Effective”
FDA Press Release
Mumps Vaccine Fraud

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Informed Consent = Much Better Healthcare For All

I spoke with a wise journalist who's been around the block for awhile and he said to me, "People have a short attention span. It's just that way. So, make sure you can express your idea succinctly, in five paragraphs or less...even better, focus on talking points."

I thought for a moment and replied, "It's the hook. We'll still reel the fish in with a long fishing line, but we have to set the hook. So, a talking point is just the beginning of the conversation. It's meant to catch their attention and, if it works, they'll begin to ask you for more information. And that’s where we’ll find the good the conversation.”

Tuesday, March 17th - Karen & March (and their children) head to Olympia to share ideas & proposals with Representatives, Senators, Advisors to the Governor and Officials at the WA State Dept. of Public Health in Tumwater. 

We have several goals, but one is to insert the concept and guarantee of "Informed Consent" into our state law. Why? Because, for the following reasons...this alone will immediately improve public health from the ground up, one patient at a time.

Ten Ways Informed Consent Benefits Us All

1.  With no consent, there is no reason to get informed. Public health benefits from an informed citizenry.

2.  Patient feedback is vitally important for the continual improvement of our medical knowledge. Patients are more inclined to give feedback about adverse reactions to drugs or interventions if they know they have alternative options. 

3.  Without informed consent, patients are less involved in their care and pay less attention to details. Doctors make mistakes in vaccine identification, timing and records. Involved patients are more likely to catch these errors before a harm occurs. 

4.  Consent creates a natural control group for scientific study. No human ethics board will approve a placebo study in which patients are given a placebo instead of an existing approved vaccine. However, it is perfectly ethical to study people who have voluntarily chosen to exempt themselves. This creates opportunities that can increase our understanding and benefit public health.

5.  Every serious vaccine injury scares many patients away from vaccines and traumatizes doctors. Minimizing these injuries is in everyone’s best interest. Informed consent leads to patients who are more likely to share pre-existing conditions & history before consenting to vaccination.  

6.  Doctors are being forced to spend less and less time with patients. Informed consent creates a legal mandate that pushes back against this trend, increases the time that doctors can spend with patients, and improves public health.

7.  Informed consent tends to allow people who are nervous about vaccines to become more confident about vaccines. Coercion, on the other hand, tends to increase anxiety and result in a backlash effect that reduces overall confidence in vaccines.

8.  Informed patients demand that vaccines meet their minimum standards. By doing so, patient choices create a market that supports higher quality vaccines.

9.  Informed patients are more likely to recognize early symptoms and seek diagnosis and testing which leads to earlier treatment and this is good for all.

10.  Informed patients have a better understanding of how vaccines work and don’t work. Over-confidence in vaccine efficacy can lead to carelessness in vaccinated individuals which is bad for public health. 

11.  And now it's your turn. Share with us a story of how Informed Consent improved your medical experience. If you've given birth, had any surgery (minor or major), if you've been prescribed a medication or have utilized any medical testing...your doctor was required to make sure you understood the options, the possible side effects, and other available alternatives...and your doctor waited while you decided whether or not to "consent" to one option or the other or wait and research it further before making your decision. Please consider sharing your experience!