Open health programs create a range of ethical concerns. Some of these are old, and some are new; some need action now, and some need a longer view.Responding to these concerns requires the use of a…
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We should all be sick and tired of the coalition’s unflinching war on the disabled and the destitute in Britain.
'Being sick and tired is no reason not to keep fighting - a growing number of people are refusing to accept this new, cruel reality.'
'Lucy Aldridge is on hunger strike. She is disabled, but her state benefits were suspended after she received a “death-in-service” payment for her 18-year-old son William, the youngest British soldier to be killed in Afghanistan. New, harsh welfare rules mean that Aldridge, from Herefordshire, is entitled to nothing.
Christos Palmer is on hunger strike. The 32-year-old Welshman is also disabled, and has spent the past month protesting outside the Cardiff offices of Atos Origin, the private firm charged with turfing thousands of sick people off the welfare rolls. “After a few days, due to a lack of nutrients, the hunger striker will feel dizzy and faint,” explains Palmer, whose bodyweight has plummeted following his protest. “Why do people like myself and Lucy take this form of action in protesting? We see it as a last resort. No-one seems to be listening to us. We are the invisible silent minority that everyone is happy to ignore.”
A hunger strike is a phenomenal act of willpower. It’s a final attempt to wrest back dignified control of your own body when your dignity and control have been confiscated. That’s why the hunger strike has historically been a strategy employed by political prisoners and peaceful civil rights protesters: it’s the last resort of proud, desperate people with nothing to lose. It is suicide as spectacle.'
A new report claims perinatal depression and anxiety stemming from the births of children born in 2012 could cost Australia almost $500 million by the time the children turn two.
'Using projected birth numbers in 2012 and the current rates of perinatal depression in men and women, the report calculated the projected health-care and lost productivity costs to mothers, fathers, their children and the wider community of perinatal depression and anxiety not being treated.
It found that the total cost of not treating perinatal depression and anxiety stemming from approximately 290,000 births in 2012 would be $496 million by the time every one of those children had turned two.'
'............The report found the associated health cost relating to women who experience depression or anxiety during the perinatal period, including costs such as hospital bills as the mothers’ health worsens and leads to further illness, is $70 million for the year between the children’s first and second birthdays. The cost for fathers over the same period is $16 million.
The report also found that because women experiencing perinatal depression or anxiety are forced to take more time off work, there is an additional cost to the Australian economy of $142 million in lost productivity over the period between the children’s first and second birthdays.'
'..............The same cost to the economy of fathers’ lost productivity stemming from untreated perinatal depression or anxiety is $62 million.
The report predicts that because maternal depression and anxiety can also lead to poorer birth outcomes, such as higher risk of premature birth and low birth weight, there is an estimated associated health cost of $200 million as a result of treating these babies.'