Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Freedom in Burma

Men kind has an ingrained seed of liberty in their nature. Through history this liberty has been tampered with by the ones that use their liberty to put another in bondage. All men across every corner of the earth have made an endeavor to bring freedom to their communities. The birth of the US is and it was an inspiration for many in their endeavors for freedom and democracy, in The Revolution of the Spirit, San Suu Kyi’s son recognizes the example of those nations that have revolted against the yoke of oppression. Burma has decided to proceed in their march for freedom, it is not a fight left only to those in positions of authority, but as Kyi’s son stated the Nobel peace price was also dedicated ‘to all those men, women and children who, even as I speak, continue o sacrifice their well being, their freedom and their lives in pursuit of a democratic Burma. Theirs is the price and their will be the eventual victory in Burma’s long struggle for peace, freedom and democracy’. A truly democratic nation lies within the principle of guarantee freedom of every individual regardless of circumstances. American’s are among the few privilege people to obtain what was rightfully theirs: freedom. Today let’s support those who are perusing for what is rightfully theirs as well. Today we can at least pray for the cause of true freedom to be established among those places where they are seeking for the natural rights that we so cherish today.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

On Washing Hands

Hospitals are the dirtiest place in America. A powerful theme in this essay is that doctors don’t take the time to cleanse themselves and to stay clean. They will go from patient to patient and shake hands and rub their nose, wipe their hands on their clothing or coat. They are in such a rush that they don’t (or wont?) take the time to wash their hands to rid themselves of bacteria to keep patients from getting infected with new diseases where it could possibly cost them their life. If not death it will make them sicker and they will be hospitalized even longer, putting them at further risk for infections and diseases. Semmelweis realized that simply by not washing ones hands well enough or even consistently that the doctors were to blame for childbed fever. At the time the death rate from this disease was an astonishing 20 percent! Realizing that they were to blame and that the doctors were spreading the disease; Semmelweis decided to order everyone in his ward to wash their hands with chlorine and a brush.
After they were instructed to wash their hands in this manner the rate fell immediately to 1 percent; therefore proving that doctors were the ones to blame for the disease because of their un-cleanliness. It was undeniable proof that he was right and that things needed to change in order for them to save their patients’ lives. Yet doctors ignored his theory and the proof and continued in the manner in which they had been. Instead of being saluted for his discovery and the solution to the problem he was insulted and eventually dismissed from the hospital. At that time there were many and seemingly powerful theories for childbed fever. One belief was that it was the air in the hospitals, that the bacteria in the air was what was killing people. Unfortunately because he was very stubborn and unwilling to acknowledge that anyone else could be right he was outcast. He harangued people about washing their hands; he stood by the sink and made people wash. “Semmelweis was a genius, be he was also a lunatic, and that made him a failed genius (208).”
Another theme in the essay the way we are trying to overcome this spreading of disease. There has been a proper hand washing procedure, we have introduced alcohol rinses and gels to make it easier because they take less time and allow doctors to keep to their busy schedule. These are more effective than hand washing because they are more effective when the concentration goes above 50 percent. But surprisingly enough pure alcohol isn’t more effective than 50 percent. Water is still needed to remove the micro bacterial proteins. There have been protests against this from unwarranted fears of creating noxious air, it doesn’t.

But one major theme would be in the operating rooms, where nothing less than 100 percent compliance with scrubbing is acceptable. This is where infections can be developed the easiest. This setting needs to applied everywhere in the hospital, not just the operating room. The problem with this is not ignorance, people are aware of this and how to prevent further spread of diseases. It’s the fact that people aren’t complying. It has been shown that those who comply within the operating room are the very ones who don’t comply outside of those big double doors. This is a problem that needs fixed all over America. Hospitals are the dirtiest place in America

On Washing Hands

The most powerful and unsettling statement in the essay, “On Washing Hands”, written by Atul Gawande is the sentence “no part of the human skin is spared from bacteria”. It is startling to know that so many bacterial counts can show up on your skin, especially on your hands and in hair on parts of your body. Bacterial counts on the hands vary from “five thousand to five million colony forming units per square meter”. It makes sense though since we use our hands for many different purposes throughout the day.
Alcohol rinses and gels have been recently introduced to help cut down on the amount of hand washing. If you wash your hands to much it can cause your hands to dry out and harbor bacteria on them. This defeats the whole purpose of washing your hands. Alcohol rinses and gels are much quicker than washing your hands with soap and water as well. This helps to cut down on the amount of time that company’s staff needs to go and actually wash their hands with soap and water. If people take the time to use the different methods to clean their hands, we can cut down on the bacterial counts. The statement, “no part of the human skin is spared from bacteria” can also not sound so negative.

Nelson Mandel, The End of Apartheid

The most powerful idea in Nelson Mandela’s Nobel Peace Prize speech is “the normal condition for human existence is democracy, justice, peace, non-racism, non-sexism, prosperity for everybody, a healthy environment and equality and solidarity among the peoples.”
Nelson Mandela’s speech is very powerful, explaining the wrongs of racism, the problems that arise with it, and all the things that could be so much better if it wasn’t there in the first place. It tells of the people that would be so much better off and able to live up to their potential, because they would no longer be bound to being called “the wretched of the earth.”
His speech also tells of the people that have made sacrifices for the effort, risking their very lives to help people in need, people who they did not even know, but felt compelled to take a responsibility for. Mandela makes sure that he does not take full credit for the accomplishment on his own, and he mentions everyone, be it singular people or groups of people that contributed toward his cause and success.
Once again, the most powerful idea in Mandela’s speech is that humankind should devote themselves to living with democracy, justice, peace, non-racism, non-sexism, prosperity for everybody, a healthy environment and equality and solidarity among the peoples.

A tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people

To have the courage to stand up and call the King of England who was one of the most powerful men in the world at that time, a tyrant, took serious audacity and bravery on the part of the founding fathers. Not only standing up to the king, but also including the entire nation in a decision to absolve its ties with English put the lives of all Americans at that time in danger. The best line of the passage is, “a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people” because it best summarizes the purpose of this piece. Today, I think that we have forgotten the risk the new country took to do what was right. As a result, our society may in fact be more hesitant and scared of change than our founders. Some themes that should be learned from this declaration of independence are that doing what is right takes strength, unity and heroism on the part of all citizens for the good of one another. It should be remembered that this short statement by the leaders of the new world sparked a revolution and gave birth to this great nation today.

The Boldest Writing of All Time

The Declaration of Independence is one of the boldest writings of all time. Written to the King of Great Britain, this letter makes a firm stance on the beliefs of America’s fore fathers. In this declaration to the most powerful country of the 18th century, there are a few themes and points the writer, as well as the signers, give.
The first theme this essay gives is their right. Not just their right as countrymen, but their right as a human being. “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of People to alter or to abolish it.” Their RIGHT to abolish and break from an oppressive government is the first stance this essay takes.
The second point these fore fathers bring up is the abuse they have suffered with the King. Notice here how they singled out the king, not the government as a whole. I could only imagine the look on his face when he read this letter! Sentence after sentence and paragraph after paragraph, they continue to list all the offenses he has made toward them.
Both final and critical is this last theme in this declaration. Here they officially declare themselves apart from Britain and now the “Representatives of the United States of America.” The men knew the grave danger and trouble they would be in for such a position as this by declaring that they would pledge each others’ lives for one another. This is one of the boldest if not they boldest writing of all time.

On Washing Hands

In the essay, On Washing hands, this essay makes it clear how vital it is for anyone, and especially so with doctors, to wash their hands. The idea that washing one’s hands significantly decreases ones chance of contracting a disease is certainly no mystery. In fact, as it says in the essay, “This is, embarrassingly, nothing new. In 1847, at the age of twenty-eight, the Viennese obstetrician Ignac Semmelweis famously deduced that, by not washing their hands consistently or well enough, doctors themselves were to blame for childbed fever.” During this time, childbed fever was the leading cause of maternal death in childbirth which also, as the essay states, was responsible for at least twenty percent of maternal deaths at hospitals. Shockingly, only one percent of mothers who delivered their children at home died at all. This was so because doctors transferred germs between patients, whereas at home no such thing could take place. One would think that this would lead to change in doctor’s practices however no such change took place for a very long time. As it says in this essay the patient who died from the MRSA and VRE infection after an operation, got said infection in the first place because the doctors failed to wash their hands after they had been around all the other patients with MRSA and VRE. It is important for everyone to wash their hands, but it is critical for doctors to do so.