Petition to U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump
Remove health-care subsidies for Members of Congress and their families
Several years ago, my dad got the news that he had cancer. Sadly, he passed away. My dad had a job at the time, but his employer did not cover him, and without coverage, he avoided going to the doctor until it was too late. As Congress and President Trump try to pass a new healthcare law, I'm reminded of my father and whether he would have made it if he had early access to cost-effective health care. Affordable health care is in decline as premiums and health costs increase at exponential rates. Some politicians cannot relate to the cost burden experienced by families across the nation because they’ve historically received health benefits that most Americans have not. Like millions of people who are panicking about possible changes to their health insurance, I’m concerned the people elected to represent us won’t have to live with the consequences or expenses that the rest of us may have to face soon. I want lawmakers to commit to treating themselves just like those who will be impacted by ACA repeal or replacement. A lot of Members of Congress promote choice as an American value, which is all the more reason for them to have to continue to choose their own health coverage from the free marketplace. If private health care is good for the American citizen, it should also be good for the people that defend it. If Congress is willing to drastically cut healthcare subsidies for most people, are they willing to have the same rules apply to them and their families?
Petition to Dr. Stephen Ostroff
Ban Electroshock (ECT) Device Being Used on Children, the Elderly and Vulnerable Patients
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed the electroshock therapy (ECT) device to remain on the market without requiring clinical studies proving safety and efficacy, and is considering the American Psychiatric Association’s written proposal to expand ECT’s use on the general public, including on children. According to the FDA’s mission statement, the FDA “is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety” and “efficacy” of medical products, including “medical devices” (the ECT device included). Due to the documented risks attributed to ECT (cited below), we are calling on the FDA to prohibit its use. At a 2011 FDA Hearing and in the December 2015 FDA Draft Guidance on “Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Devices,” the agency warns that ECT may cause: Prolonged or delayed onset seizures Cardiovascular complications (including heart attacks) Breathing complications Confusion Permanent memory loss Brain damage Death Despite modern ECT being promoted as “new and improved,” there is evidence that contradicts this claim: The study, “Memory and cognitive effects of ECT: informing and assessing patients,” published in Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, stated the “newer methods of ECT have not resulted in an appreciable decrease in adverse effects.” In 2013, the principal investigator of a 20-year retrospective study at the Mayo Clinic admitted that their results showed that ECT does not cure. A Psychiatric News article in 2016 stated, “We don’t know exactly how electroconvulsive therapy works….” The article further stated: “At least a dozen theories have been proposed as mechanisms of action for ECT but few, if any, have found much acceptance,” with one theory suggesting that “ECT caused a good kind of brain damage.” According to Federal Medicare records (Medicare primarily covers the elderly and disabled), over 20,000 Americans received electroshock in 2014 under Medicare alone. State Medicaid records document children aged five and younger are being subjected to electroshock in the U.S. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is now lobbying the FDA to widen their use of electroshock on children, stating in their letter to the FDA that having ECT available is “especially meaningful in children and adolescents….” This is in direct contradiction to the World Health Organization’s Resource Book on Mental Health, Human Rights and Legislation, which states, “There are no indications for the use of ECT on minors, and hence this should be prohibited through legislation.” California, Colorado, Tennessee and Texas have already banned the use of ECT on those 0-12 and 0-16. The Western Australian government recently banned the use of ECT on those younger than 14, with criminal penalties if this is violated. ECT should never be used on children. This is why several U.S. states and Australia have acted accordingly to ban its use on them. Neither should such a brutal treatment be used on our elderly, pregnant women or any vulnerable individual seeking help. In light of the fact that the FDA admits ECT can cause cardiovascular complications, memory loss, cognitive impairment, brain damage and death and that psychiatrists admit they do not know how ECT “works,” we call upon the FDA to ban the electroshock (ECT) device from use. CCHR encourages anyone who has been harmed by ECT, or whose family member has been harmed, to report this to CCHR by filling out this form (all information kept in strictest confidence). This petition was started by Citizens Commission on Human Rights International, a mental health industry watchdog that has helped to enact more than 175 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices.
Petition to Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, John Barrasso, Tom Carper, James Inhofe, Shelley Capito, John Boozman, Roger Wicker, Deb Fischer, Jerry Moran, Mike Rounds, Joni Ernst, Dan Sullivan, Richard Shelby, Bernie Sanders, Ben Cardin, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Edward Markey, Tammy Duckworth
Tell Congress to Maintain EPA & NOAA Funding
Protect Our Oceans. Protect Our Health. Protect Our EPA & NOAA. The White House recently proposed debilitating budget and workforce cuts for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) starting this October when the 2018 fiscal year begins. Every department seems to be affected; from environmental justice programs and science education, to research and monitoring. In the new administration’s plan, many critical ocean grants, programs, and services will be completely eliminated unless our representatives and legislators vote against the cuts in Congress. This comes at a critical time when America’s coastal infrastructure is failing in the face of intensifying storms and rising seas associated with climate change. We should be doubling down on efforts to prepare and defend our coastlines. We should be empowering scientists, researchers, and youth in America to become stewards for our ocean and environment. We should be investing our hard-earned tax dollars into the next generation of ocean innovation. Instead, the proposals drastically reduce fundamental resources to prepare and respond to environmental emergencies. The White House’s plan includes slashing the EPA budget by 31 percent — to the tune of $2.6 billion — and reducing staff by more than 3,200 people The EPA is already operating on a lean budget – federal funding has been decreased by over $2 billion since 2010. Nearly three-quarters of the EPA’s annual budget goes toward funding grants for states, tribes, and contractors. These grants aid crucial environmental cleanup, monitoring, and preparedness efforts. Commonly known for its weather forecasting services, NOAA also leads the nation on climate monitoring, fisheries, and ocean services. NOAA’s annual budget is $5.6 billion, a small fraction of the overall federal budget. The administration proposed a stiff 17% cut to NOAA’s overall budget. And, a 22% reduction in funding for NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, which creates and operates weather satellites. This program also houses the National Centers for Environmental Information – an essential environmental science research center and repository of climate data. Additionally, climate protection programs would suffer a nearly 70% cut, which would thwart efforts to prepare for sea level rise, adapt to hotter urban areas, and buffer our communities for increased storm intensity and flooding. This is particularly important as previous worst case scenario projections for sea level rise in Southern California – 5.5 feet by 2100 – are now being revised to predict even more extreme impacts as ice sheets at our planet’s poles are melting faster than expected. Beach tourism and the coast recreation economy are valued at close to $90 billion, so EPA’s investment of $10 million annually in beach water quality monitoring makes fiscal and public health sense to ensure that beachgoers are healthy and safe. However, the Beach Grant Program would suffer complete elimination. This vital program supports weekly water quality sampling at beaches across the country, and, helps to sustain thriving marine life and public awareness of pollution for the 90 million people visiting our nation’s beaches annually. Environmental education through the EPA would be cut by over 90% - a disservice to preparing and educating our youth, who are the future stewards of our nation. And, communities who are already the most under-served would be disproportionately impacted by the planned 78% cuts to environmental justice programs. Funding would be completely zeroed out for several smaller programs, including coastal management, estuary reserves, and Sea Grant – a well-leveraged scientific research partnership with universities throughout the nation. Removing the Sea Grant program would cut funding for important fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, and public health research at 33 universities across the country – this is hands-on and applied research that informs management and protection of our economically and environmentally beneficial coastal and ocean resources. The new administration’s proposals would cripple our efforts to safeguard marine habitats, threatened animals, and coastal resilience – placing entire communities and ecosystems at a further disadvantage. The White House has said it is committed to promoting clean water and clean air, but these proposed actions demonstrate otherwise. It seems virtually impossible to maintain basic environmental and public health protections, given such deep cuts and job losses. Please help Heal the Bay and many other trusted environmental groups nationwide in our effort to keep the EPA and NOAA from being disabled. Tell your Congressional Representatives and Legislators that funding for the EPA and NOAA is important to you, your family, your business, and community.
Petition to The Honourable Jane Philpott MP
Ask the Federal Government to ensure all babies get an equal start in life
Your voice matters; add your name in support of asking the Government of Canada to give the babies of Canada an equal chance at reaching their full potential!Hearing loss is invisible and many babies live for months, even years without diagnosis. This can cause preventable and unnecessary cognitive and developmental setbacks. Imagine the awful feeling when you suspect that your child isn't hearing you. You drop a plate and your baby doesn’t startle. Your older children run through the house, yet somehow they never seem to wake your baby. Canada doesn’t have a national infant hearing mandate. Early hearing screening and treatment programs vary widely between provinces and territories. Sign this petition calling on leadership from the federal government to work with provinces to ensure every child in Canada has the best possible start. Because health care decisions are made at the Provincial/Territorial level, this means that a baby born in British Columbia has a greater-than 95% chance of being screened for hearing problems, and if necessary, will receive essential early intervention. Did you know that some provinces have screening rates lower than 20%, and while some have screening in place, they have no process or policy for the critical intervention needed to assist communication at this crucial life stage. You can help change that. By signing this petition, you can provide access to the world of sound. You can provide access to the world of language (spoken language and/or sign language). We believe that no matter where a Canadian baby is born, they should have the same resources and help, if needed!May is ‘Speech and Hearing Month’, the ideal time to approach the Canadian Government with our voices united on behalf of babies. It is time for you to speak up for babies who can’t.Sign your name to this petition, and please share Tiny Ears with your friends and family! Every signature helps to speak for a baby who can’t Every share helps show the government that all babies need an equal chance at reaching their potential Every like, tweet and in person conversation helps to solidify the national change we want to see for all Canadian babies Yours for better hearing health, John Pepperell Chair of the Board, The Hearing Foundation of Canada Steve J Aiken PhD Director, The Hearing Foundation of Canada and Associate Professor, School of Human Communication Disorders, Departments of Surgery and Psychology & Neuroscience, Dalhousie University
Petition to Donald Trump
Fight For Those Who Fought For You
As federal patients, Veterans are being prescribed extremely addictive pharmaceuticals linked to widespread death across the country. Despite this fact, these pills remain at a lower classification within the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) than cannabis. Cannabis has helped many people suffering from debilitating conditions such as PTSD, cancer, chronic pain, addiction withdrawal and has statistically lowered the suicide rate in states where it is “legal.” Veterans Health Administration (VA) primary care teams should be educated on how to best implement cannabis into a veterans treatment plan. When a patient is a legal medical cannabis card holder as well as a veteran, they should be afforded the freedom to use cannabis within the VA system as a recognized medical alternative to psychiatric drugs without any discrimination or unjust actions against them. Do you agree? Should veterans be able to treat themselves with medical marijuana. If you do, please join us in the fight to provide veterans safe access and compassionate care within the Veterans Health Administration.
Petition to Greg O'toole, Alex Best, The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Sussan Ley MP, Professor Andrew Wilson
Make Soliris (Eculizumab) Available for Dialysis Patients with aHUS in Australia.
Those on dialysis with aHUS in Australia are in desperate need of your help and you can make a difference by signing this petition! Atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome (aHUS) is an ultra-rare life-threatening blood disease that can damage major organs like the kidneys, heart, brain, and can even cause death. Soliris (eculizumab) is the only approved drug that can save the lives of those with aHUS. It is saving lives in the US, Spain, France, England, Germany, Russia, Argentina, Italy, and other countries. On 12/1/2014 the Australian government made the decision to fund Soliris for a small number of aHUS patients who met “defined clinical criteria”. This was great news for those who were new patients with active aHUS. But those who had already lost their kidneys due to their aHUS, and were on dialysis in need of a kidney transplant, have been denied funding. Without access to Soliris, a transplanted kidney would suffer the same aHUS attack as their native kidneys. A meeting was held in March 2016 by the PBAC to discuss funding Soliris for those patients needing a kidney transplant but the PBAC decided against it leaving these patients a life tied to the dialysis machine. Please sign this petition telling Sussan Ley MP, Minister of Health in Australia, and Professor Andrew Wilson, Chair of the PBAC, that they should immediately provide Soliris to those patients in Australia with aHUS who are on dialysis and in need of a kidney transplant. These dialysis patients just want their lives back and you can help them.
Petition to Robert Califf MD, Peter Lurie, Lamar Alexander, Patty Murray, Larry C. Gilstrap III, M.D., Bob Casey Jr., Jeff Shuren MD, Sybill Storz, Managing Director, Hal Lawrence, William Maisel MD, Donald J. Trump
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.
Petition to Donald J. Trump
End Predatory Healthcare Pricing
I recently served as president of a Miami hospital and got an insider’s view of the healthcare system. The lack of “legitimate” healthcare pricing has destroyed the system. Ask the price of any healthcare service and you will always receive the same answer: “What insurance do you have?” Billing is determined by how much can be extracted from each patient on a case by case basis. Because billing rates are not set, the industry is able to prey on patients at their most vulnerable. And if you are out of network or uninsured, you pay the highest rates. A simple blood test for cholesterol can range from $10 to $400 or more at the same lab. Hospitalization for chest pain can result in a bill from the same hospital for the same services ranging anywhere from $3,000 to $25,000 or more. Price transparency initiatives are futile when prices may vary by a factor of 100 for the exact same service performed by the same provider. To stop the bleeding, Congress need only require that healthcare providers publish “legitimate pricing” which means, they can continue to set their own rates, but - a different rate for each patient - must be prohibited. Rates must be published in a uniform format such as industry standard CPT codes or a percentage of Medicare rates. Every citizen would be empowered to search any medical procedure online and see pricing for all providers within X miles. It would be as easy and familiar as checking the price of any other goods or services. Legitimate prices mean networks will be obsolete, along with the administrative burdens, tremendous costs, and limitations on patient choice which they impose. Reducing healthcare costs is the only way to materially lower health insurance premiums. Legitimate pricing will force providers to compete. Costs and therefore insurance premiums will plummet overnight. But if we keep the status quo, we will continue to see rising prices and outrage over medical bills. We shouldn’t have a system that makes us so powerless. To reverse our nation’s financial bleeding and end restrictions on patient choice, we petition for the President-Elect's support for Congress to empower citizens by mandating legitimate healthcare pricing.