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Update From Haiti: Despair Sets In And Women Consider Suicide

jangurleyDr. Jan Gurley just returned from a mission trip to Haiti, 5 weeks after the earthquake hit. In this audio clip, she relays a horrific first-hand account of the current realities of life in Port Au Prince. With no running water, bathrooms, or place to shelter – and packed into a field with 100,000 people – some young women are choosing to stop drinking water in an effort to commit suicide.

Dr. Gurley describes the loss of human dignity associated with the crisis in Haiti, including a near stampede when sanitary napkins were offered in a crowd of women. She explains that the place is becoming dangerous – and the screams of women being raped in the night fill the dark air. In the day time, people huddle together for safety while the stench of rotting corpses surrounds them. With the rainy season approaching, and tent cities perched precariously on land-slide prone hills, Dr. Gurley predicts a second wave of disease, violence, despair, and death in Haiti.

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Is Rape A Pre-existing Condition?

Charming, if true. I’m so glad we have Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln working tirelessly on the Hill to protect and preserve the insurance companies and their profits.

Christina Turner feared that she might have been sexually assaulted after two men slipped her a knockout drug. She thought she was taking proper precautions when her doctor prescribed a month’s worth of anti-AIDS medicine.

Only later did she learn that she had made herself all but uninsurable.

Turner had let the men buy her drinks at a bar in Fort Lauderdale. The next thing she knew, she said, she was lying on a roadside with cuts and bruises that indicated she had been raped. She never developed an HIV infection. But months later, when she lost her health insurance and sought new coverage, she ran into a problem. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Movin' Meat*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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