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Bush Government to Docs, Nurses, Aides: Don't Wash Your Hands

Sarah's picture

A medical research program develops a five-item checklist for healthcare personnel saves hundreds of lives and millions of dollars and lowers the rate of hospital-acquired infections, and what does the Bush government do? Shut down the program.

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Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Could they even be more cruel?

kelley b's picture
Submitted by kelley b on

Pasteur, a Frenchman predating the Company takeover of the French government, clearly insults Christian sensibility.

According to the Bible, disease is caused by failure in the eyes of God, not microscopic organisms that parasitize all living things.

Any other belief is an attempt to set up the false God of science, clearly challenges Faith-based government authority, and may fall under the homegrown terror act.

No Hell below us
Above us, only sky

Reducing opportunistic infection, reducing costs in the face of deliberately bloated prices in a hugely profitable industry and promoting sensible, inexpensive health solutions, these things are not profitable.

This administration has made it clear that they side with entrenched business interests, with profit, over the interests of consumers and citizens every single time.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Maybe the germs have souls and washing them down the drain would be an offense in the eyes of the lord. Good thing pheasants are soulless though because they are tons of fun to blast out of the air.

Submitted by lambert on

The germs could be blastocysts!

I say what we need to be doing is examining all germs , saving out any blastocysts, and then reimplanting them in the nearest "vessel" available.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Ruth's picture
Submitted by Ruth on

Lowest forms of life being associated with GoPervs, it makes sense they would want to see them thrive, and extend the vote to them.


Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

...that there's a secret report Bush has in his possession that says global warming is going to wipe out 4/5s of the planet's arable land or the world's real oil reserves are down to sticks and seeds and he's just doing what he can to cull the herd and amass the wealth needed for he and his kind to survive the coming catastrophe. I can see he or Cheney skimming this checklist and saying "Nope,
can't have this. The bird flu epidemic scheduled for next year will never break out if they follow these procedures." Tinfoil hat stuff for sure but it'd explain a whole lot of the crazyass shit they've done for 7 years.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Not the hospitals, who get stuck with the bill for these patients when their Medicare or private pay insurance caps are exceeded, if there is any insurance coverage at all; not the patients who suffer and die, or their loved ones who also suffer, and not the health care professionals who treat them and agonize over their care. The only entities that profit are the suppliers whose earnings come from illness and who profit exceptionally from illnesses that linger; pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.

It’s a tricky business, health care manufacturing, from an ethical standpoint. Certainly, effectively treating the ill and in some cases healing them is noble, and making a reasonable income from the endeavor is not wrong; everybody has bills to pay. But the temptation to unfairly exploit the suffering of others is constant, insidious and seductive; there is big money to be made. Like germs on unclean hands, such corruption thrives in an environment that is not regularly scrubbed. The Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP), the outfit putting the kibosh on the hand-washing study, is one of the agencies that are supposed to regularly clean up the practice of human subjects research; under the Bush regime it has ceased to do so, and become another enabler of unethical profiteering.

Throughout this administration, career positions have been rolled over to ideologically driven “Bushies” who are either inept or corrupt or both. Just as destructively, vast numbers of administrative positions are either unfilled or staffed with interim or acting appointments, leaving those people who are functionally supposed to administer public policy in a limbo where they do not have the power to properly do their jobs. Not to single him out, because surely he is a fine and upstanding fellow caught in an untenable position, but Ivor Pritchard is one of them. He is “Acting Director” of OHRP, meaning the job is his to keep purely at the whim of his superiors; worse, he continues to hold the position of Senior Policy Advisor to the Director, meaning that he receives advice from himself as to whether or not he is properly executing the policies of his department. A saint could not succeed in such an environment.

OHRP was established to ensure that clinical studies are conducted in a fashion that ensures the preservation of patient’s rights to be informed and reasonably cared for. It is the culmination of an effort that began as a response to publicity about the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. Less widely known is that up until 1980 there was a large and active program of human experimentation in the nation’s prisons, with effects no less shocking. Even less well known is the reality that human experimentation on hospital patients, that is, the testing of drugs, devices and treatment regimens, has until quite recently been a haphazard and unregulated affair with ethical considerations left to either the investigators themselves or to supposedly-independent Institutional Review Boards (IRBs).

Most of the time these studies were, if not perfect, at least well-intentioned. But with a reduction in government research funding under Reagan came an increase in manufacturer funds; to keep a research program operating came to mean providing manufacturers with the results they wanted to hear. More insidious yet is the temptation of the Magic Bullet breakthrough, the new drug or treatment that can make an individual clinician famous and tenured as well as rich and respected; many people have succumbed to the temptation to be both their own study director and conscience, and many institutions have allowed it to happen because the hospital or university also stood to gain financially from any possible success. OHRP was supposed to put a stop to these abuses.

But the Bush Administration never met a virtue that it would not seek to corrupt. Disregarding the internationally recognized principle that prisoners fundamentally cannot freely provide consent because they are not free, OHRP requested that a study be done by the Institute of Medicine branch of the National Academy of Sciences to assess whether or not biomedical experiments with prisoners could be resumed. All very high-minded sounding and arms length except for the fact that all of the nation’s oversight structure has been corrupted. Unsurprisingly, the report was positive. This absurdist recommendation came under considerable criticism from patient-rights advocates and bioethicists, but OHRP and Ivor Pritchard are undeterred:

"The report's recommendations are undergoing a complex multi-agency review and it's unclear when any regulatory changes might occur, said Ivor Pritchard of the Office for Human Research Protections, the Health and Human Services Department committee that requested the study."

OHRP and Ivor Pritchard could have chosen to view the hand-washing study under public health guidelines that provide exceptions to the strictest interpretations of informed consent; in most if not all public health settings the requirements are either impossible to implement or so onerous that the study could never be done. By instead blocking further work and not incidentally causing a great deal of trouble for the investigators and participating institutions, this hugely beneficial work is now clouded and will not be as fully implemented as it would have been. The result will be more infections, more suffering, more deaths and more cost. The beneficiaries will be big business interests and the ethically vacuous bureaucrats of this corrupted government who serve them.

A pox on all their houses.