Topic

Health

635 petitions

Update posted 34 minutes ago

Petition to Scott Gottlieb MD, Jeff Shuren, Sybill Storz, Managing Director, Hal Lawrence, William Maisel MD

Health Alert: Many Women Have Died Unnecessarily Because Dangerous Cancers of the Uterus and Ovaries Are Being Spread using MORCELLATORS. Stop MORCELLATION in Minimally Invasive Gynecological Surgery.

Friends of the Public, Many women have been harmed and have died prematurely or unnecessarily because of a routine but avoidable gynecological practice known as MORCELLATION. This world-wide practice has devastated many families for well over two decades now. More than 600,000 hysterectomies are done in the US every year. By the age of 70, one out of every three American women will have had a hysterectomy. About 90% of these surgeries are done for what is presumed to be a benign condition called fibroids. More and more of these surgeries are done with minimally invasive techniques.  Usually, to get the uterus out of the body using the "minimally invasive" technique, it is cut into small pieces with a machine called a morcellator.  However, a devastating problem happens if in fact the woman did NOT have fibroids – but if she actually had cancer.  Unfortunately, the tests that are done before a hysterectomy do not identify these cancers well.  Many gynecologists don't even bother getting any tests. In fact, morcellating cancer spreads the cancer inside the woman’s body.   This is called ‘up staging’ the cancer.  It is important to understand: 1) The average life span following accidental morcellation of sarcoma is only 24-36 months. 2) Only 15% of woman who have leiomyosarcoma (LMS) that has spread (stage 4) will be alive after 5 years. 3) Women with sarcoma who are morcellated are about 4 times more likely to die from sarcoma than if they had not been morcellated.  This is an avoidable disaster. This problem has been recognized for more than two decades.  A review of the literature, by the Food and Drug Administration, revealed that 1 in 350 women who go for fibroid surgery actually have sarcoma.  This means that everyday 2-5 women in the US – and more around the world are susceptible to having a deadly cancer spread because of morcellation. This catastrophic problem has happened in my family and we are fighting to stop this dangerous activity called morcellation.  A chance of 1 in 350 for such a devastating outcome is much too high to accept.  Women should be told the truth and the practice should stop. Please help us bring an end to spreading cancer with morcellation.  This is a totally AVOIDABLE practice.  People need to understand their options, which include hysterectomy through a mini-lapartomy incision or trans-vaginally – but – up until recently, most women never heard anything about morcellation or about the possibility of cancer upstaging. And, if they do, this risk is down-played by most minimally invasive gynecologists. We can tell you based on our experience, when cancers are spread by morcellation, the outcomes can be devastating - because the cancer is upstaged. We need your help. Please sign our petition so we can get the word out.  We want the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology to change this "standard of care" by ending the needless waste of life caused by spreading cancer with morcellation. For more information and original references see: http://journals.lww.com/oncology-times/blog/onlinefirst/pages/post.aspx?PostID=188 ) (also see:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23189178) (also see:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21565389). The attached video below shows an example of morcellation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPkKw0j-aXE The following companies manufacture and distribute uterine morcellator devices: 1) ETHICON: Gynecare morcellator 2) Storz: Rotocut Morcellator 3) Richard Wolf Medical Instrumentation Company 4) LiNA: LiNA Xcise Cordless Laparoscopic Morcellator 5) Blue Endo MOREsolution Tissue Morcellator 6) Pneumoliner Power Morcellation System by Olympus Corporation. Intuitive Surgical's Da Vinci Robot deserves special mention, as the frequency of robotic hysterectomies performed by minimally invasive gynecologists is currently on the rise across the United States. Note that Intuitive Surgical builds and markets the DaVinci robot, which is not itself a "morcellator". However, use of the DaVinci robot almost invariably appears to require that the uterus be minced up, or morcellated, into smaller pieces inside the woman's belly cavity in order to extract from the abdomen. A clear example is shown in the following YouTube video of DaVinci being used to perform a robotic hysterectomy and manually morcellating the uterus using the endo-wrist component of the robot (morcellation is being performed at minute 5:30 of the video).  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6luiX6UQmg  Without morcellation using equipment manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, robotic hysterectomies would, likely, not be possible using the DaVinci Robot. It is noteworthy that the DaVinci robot does not appear to have a readily available warning label advising against its use to morcellate tumors with malignant potential inside the body. The company's Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Myriam Curet, a surgeon herself, has been informed and advised of this severe hazard in the use of DaVinci for robotic hysterectomy and the absence of a readily available warning label.

Hooman Noorchashm
93,467 supporters
Update posted 21 hours ago

Petition to mike keidler, washington state health care authority, Jay Inslee, Guy Palumbo, Randi Becker, Andy Billig, Mike Padden, Mark Mullet, Michael Baumgartner, Shelly Short, Sharon Brown, Mark Schoesler, Barbara Bailey, Bob Hasegawa, Brad Hawkins, judy warnick, Curtis King, Jim Honeyford, Maureen Walsh, Lynda Wilson, Ann Rivers, Dean Takko, John Braun, Marko Liias, Sam Hunt, Christine Rolfes, Kevin Van De Wege, Hans Zeiger, Jan Angel, Jeannie Darneille, Steve O'Ban, Steve Conway, Mark Miloscia, Phil Fortunato, Maralyn Chase, Karen Keiser, Sharon Nelson, Tim Sheldon, Reuven Carlyle, Rebecca Saldana, John McCoy, Kirk Pearson, Kevin Ranker, Lisa Wellman, Doug Ericksen, Jamie Pedersen, Steve Hobbs, manka dhingra, David Frockt, Joe Fain, Patty Kuderer, Annette Cleveland, Suzan DelBene

Mandated coverage for Fertility Treatment in Washington - Help us build families

1 in every 8 couples will deal with some type of infertility at some point in their life. I am 1 in 8. I am the young age of 26 years old and I cannot conceive a child through natural means. I require medical intervention due to multiple different conditions. Including PCOS, endometriosis, and a few others. Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that I do not produce viable eggs without medication, and I have a high risk for miscarriage. I cannot explain to you the impact this disease has made on my life, between the heart wrenching depression, anxiety, financial stress and so much more I have difficulty feeling like my life reaches it's potential. A lot of women feel defined by their ability to have children and raise them to be successful, constructive parts of society. This is our impact on the world in so many ways, this is the only way we leave a piece of ourselves here after we have passed away. My husband and I have done everything we are currently able, the only procedure we have yet to attempt is invitro fertilization, primarily due to the out of pocket costs being roughly $12,000-$20,000 for just one cycle of Invitro (IVF) This 1 in 8 equates to roughly 12.5% of American’s. According to Resolve.org, Washington State has 147,772 women of reproductive age in state that experience difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to live birth. This doesn’t even record the statistical evidence on the amount of men in Washington that experience this was well. There are 7.288 million people in Washington State. Assuming 12.5% of those citizens will experience infertility at some point in their lives, we are looking at approximately 911,000 people that will be impacted by infertility . How many states require fertility coverage? 15 Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and West Virginia. What are the average costs that an infertile couple spend on infertility? According to creatingafamily.org “On average, women with successful outcomes spent $48,424 total on fertility treatment” I have spent roughly 30,000 over the last 6 years. We have only had 2 pregnancies, both of which ended in an early miscarriage. Our next and only step left to take is IVF (aka Invitro Fertilization). For a lot of us, this amount can equate to a year’s wages. So let’s talk premiums and how offering infertility insurance coverage can and will impact those that are fertile on a day to day basis.  According to Resolve.org: Those with infertility are 2.5 times LESS LIKELY to miss time from work due to infertility. I personally can relate to this, if I had to option to jump to IVF (like my doctor recommended) I would have stopped doing other medical treatments that have been less expensive that have ultimately just been a waste of time and money for both me and my employer. I have been doing IUI’s (inter uterine insemination), with hormone injections of Follicle Stimulating Hormones, HCG, and clomid with very close monitoring. This causes about 6 doctor visits per month. Which means roughly 12 hours of work missed per month. As apposed to going straight to IVF which has about the same amount of doctors’ visits, but I would likely not need to repeat the cycle 6-12 times to get pregnant. 86% of couples who go through IVF get pregnant within 3 cycles. Often people believe that adding an infertility coverage benefit will increase health care costs. However, studies indicate that including comprehensive infertility coverage in a health benefit package may actually reduce costs and improve outcomes. For example, a survey of employers, conducted by the consulting firm William M. Mercer found that 91 percent of respondents offering infertility treatment have not experienced an increase in their medical costs as a result of providing this coverage. Often patients select treatment based on what is covered in their health benefit plan rather than what is most appropriate treatment. For example, a woman having trouble conceiving because of blocked fallopian tubes or tubal scarring may opt for tubal surgery, a covered treatment, which can cost $8,000 -$13,000 per surgery. Many patients are forced to forgo in vitro fertilization (IVF) because it is not a covered service even though it costs about the same as tubal surgery and statistically is more likely to result in a successful pregnancy. According to William M Mercer, “The decline in use of high-cost procedures like tubal surgery would likely offset the cost to include IVF as a benefit and provide improved health outcomes.” (William M. Mercer, Infertility as a Covered Benefit, 1997). In states with mandated infertility insurance, the rate of multiple births is lower than in states without coverage. (New England Journal of Medicine, “Insurance Coverage and Outcomes of In Vitro Fertilization,” August 2002). Couples with insurance coverage are free to make more appropriate decisions with their physicians based on medical necessity rather than financial considerations which often result in multiple births and a high rate of complications during and post-pregnancy. Comprehensive infertility coverage may actually reduce premium expense by as much as $1 per member/per month. According to The Hidden Costs of Infertility Treatment in Employee Health Benefits Plans (Blackwell, Richard E. and the William Mercer Actuarial Team, 2000), insurance premiums now indirectly provide coverage for “hidden” infertility benefits such as surgeries to remove scarring in the fallopian tubes for women or varicose vein removal for men, were calculated to be adequate to cover more effective and often less expensive treatments such as ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization. So I come to you today, asking you to support our right to start a family. I ask you to take away the years of pain and suffering my husband and I have experienced, and to help ensure that no other person will have to say no to the proper treatment for their infertility due to the high costs of procedures.  

Jennifer Coggins
94 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Brian C. Cornell, Target

Tell Target You Expect More And Want Them To Waste Less Food

The power of our collective action has convinced Whole Foods Market and Walmart to start selling ugly produce. Let’s now work together to encourage Target to combat food waste and increase fresh produce access by sourcing, selling and marketing ugly produce. Target says it listens to its customers so let’s give a clear message that we want it to do something simple, effective and good for the retailers’ and its customers bottom line. This can have a major impact, given it is one of America’s largest retailers with about 1,800 U.S. stores. Target already offers lower prices on “regular” produce at its stores and we applaud its efforts on fruit and vegetable prescriptions (FVRx) in Los Angeles and beyond. In the U.S. studies show that almost 90% of people are not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables, the recommended five servings a day. Many American families simply can’t afford enough fresh produce. Yet, we throw away about 25% of all produce before it even reaches the grocery store due mostly to cosmetic standards from large grocers that dictate exactly how fruits and veggies should look. If produce fails to make the grade for size, shape, or color, retailers deem it "ugly" and refuse to sell it in their stores. Billions of pounds of good, healthy produce goes uneaten because it’s not pretty! But this food is perfectly edible. Studies confirm that the “uglies” are equally as nutritious as any produce you get in the store, and, can actually have more taste and nutrition! Stores in Australia, Canada, Europe, have seen success selling many different types of not quite "perfect" produce, offering it at an average of 30% off, and it has increased store traffic and total sales. Giant Eagle in Pennsylvania and Ohio, Hannaford in New York and Whole Foods Market in California have successful “ugly” produce programs, with multiple fruits and vegetables as well. Wouldn’t you buy “ugly” but perfectly delicious and nutritious produce for 30-50% off if you had the chance? So join us and the “ugly fruit & veg revolution” as we ask Target to be part of the solution, not the problem. Tell them to add an ugly produce program to their store aisles so you can save money, fight produce deficiency and help the environment all in one. Culinary Nutritionist Stefanie Sacks and I were successful in petitioning Whole Foods Market to sell ugly produce. And we have received over 150,000 signatures to urge Walmart to sell it as well. We delivered the petition and Walmart started two ugly produce efforts but didn’t commit to anything long-term (Whole Foods did commit). Now we are asking you to call on Target to help stop massive food waste by selling cosmetically “less than perfect” produce. #GetUglyProduce

Jordan Figueiredo
28,687 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris, Ray Leclerc, Jerry Brown, Boeing, Senator Henry Stern

No more kids with cancer: clean up the Santa Susana Field Lab

When my daughter Grace Ellen was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer, at age four, I thought that our family had the worst, most devastating luck. But after spending months in the hospital with her, we learned that she was one of 50 children who may have been poisoned by one of the worst nuclear meltdowns in America. Sign to demand that the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) safely and completely clean the Santa Susana Field Lab and prevent any more children from getting cancer. Grace Ellen’s form of cancer is incredibly aggressive. At age four she was put on several clinical trials, had ten times the normal amount of chemotherapy, and spent two years fighting her cancer. A year and a half later her cancer came back. Today she’s inpatient again, having finished more radiation and intense chemotherapy, and is healing from a bone marrow transplant. She’s addicted to morphine, unable to eat or drink, and is fighting for her life in the hospital isolation floor. It haunts me to know her cancer might have been avoidable. She, like the other 49 children, grew up within 20 miles the Santa Susana Field Lab, land which was developed in the 1940s to conduct nuclear research. In 1959 an uncontained partial meltdown of a sodium reactor caused such a devastating radiation leak that many consider it to be the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history –and it was completely covered up for years. Our community has up to 60% higher cancer rates, we have decades of EPA reports to prove it. But the Boeing Company, who partially owns the site, is proposing that the land be open to families for recreational use, even while the disaster has still not been cleaned up. It is the Department of Toxic Substance Control’s job to clean up this mess, but they aren’t taking any meaningful action. Instead they released an Environmental Impact Report that proposes to leave vast amounts of the radioactive and carcinogenic waste on site permanently.  They know our children are sick and dying, but Boeing doesn't care. They care about stockholders and profits more than people, and the government isn’t doing anything to stop them. I will protect my children even if I have to tear down mountains with my bare hands – and I am one of many parents fighting for our kids. To win this, we need #1millionparents standing with us to demand that DTSC clean up this disaster once and for all. Will you join us?

Melissa Bumstead
67,553 supporters