Not Understanding Suicide

(Disclosure:  I am not a mental health professional.  The claims made in this post are based on personal experience and common observations.) The public reactions to reports of Anthony Bourdain’s death have been, for the most part, respectful.  They should be.  People who weren’t acquainted with him should note only his professional accomplishments and other things he allowed into the public record.  Appreciate what he shared, and respect boundaries so we aren’t debating things Mr. Bourdain didn’t share. I’m guessing that most public figures who end their own lives don’t want their actions interpreted as endorsements of suicide.  It’s hard … Continue reading Not Understanding Suicide

This Isn’t Unheard of in the United States, Either

At the end of this post, please click the link to an article on The Independent’s site.  It describes how forty-seven prosecutions for sex offenses in the jurisdiction covering England and Wales have been dismissed due to lack of disclosure by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Defense attorneys were kept in the dark about details that could have helped their clients.  This happens in many countries, including the United States.  We’ll never know how many innocent people have spent time in prison or had their reputations ruined after oversights or corruption interfered with their defense.  Likewise, we’ll never know how many dangerous … Continue reading This Isn’t Unheard of in the United States, Either

New Theory on How to Treat Breast Cancer

(Note:  I am not a healthcare provider.  This blog post is intended mainly to share a link to a news article.) During the 1980s, I heard that some women with early stage breast cancer were being advised to skip chemotherapy.  The advice changed later, after those guidelines turned out to be deadly for some women who supposedly met the criteria for less aggressive treatment. Now, new information suggests that some women will be able to receive successful treatment for breast cancer while putting their bodies through less strain after surgery. The link to a New York Times article is below.  Please read … Continue reading New Theory on How to Treat Breast Cancer

When Marketing Affects Habits — and Can Kill Us

(This post was updated on June 4, 2018 to correct an embarrassing error.  My mother passed aged eighty-three, not seventy-nine.) During the last three months of my mother’s life (2010), when she was shuttled between two facilities in Oakland (California), I felt grateful for the way the hospital cafeteria at Summit-Alta Bates Medical Center’s Merritt Pavilion was organized. The healthiest food was near the entrance. When I visited my mother, I was careful to eat well so I wouldn’t be forced to miss seeing her because of illness.  I was overwhelmed, though, and appreciated every convenience.  If high-fat comfort food … Continue reading When Marketing Affects Habits — and Can Kill Us