This week’s directed reading hit home for me. Many autistic children have undergone genomic testing, which show hundreds of polymorphic variations that primarily inhibit the ability to detoxify, disrupt metabolic pathways, prevent pharmaceutical therapeutic response, and increase susceptibility to brain inflammation. These gene variants are common in the autistic population; however, the combination in which the present in each individual are often varied. I applaud the efforts of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, primarily the director Dr. Linda S. Birnbaum who has been a close friend to the autism community and has worked tirelessly to find the epigenetic factors causing autism, which will aid in the recovery of our children who are disproportionately affected by a largely ignored epidemic by mainstream medicine.
I would like to share an article that I was directed to read this week. It included something that got me thinking regarding those with genetic susceptibility and mandatory vaccination.
individuals with heightened genetic sensitivities may seek protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act or state legislature protecting against genetic discrimination
Polymorphic variations in genes that reduce the ability to detoxify and increase the risk of inflammation is prevalent in autism. This may be an avenue to circumvent medical and religious vaccine waivers
I am sharing a training presentation that I organized as a course project in Patient Safety and Medical Error. I hope you enjoy! The PowerPoint is linked at the end.
It is estimated that 106,000 hospitalized patients have a fatal adverse drug reaction each year in the United States, and drug therapies are only moderately (25-60%) successful (Lazarou, Pomeranz, & Corey, 1998; Samer, Lorenzini, Rollason, Daali & Desmeules, 2013). Further, polymedication compounds the risk of iatrogenic disease (Vogt-Ferrier, 2011). Undoubtedly, there are multiplying reasons why these fatalities occur, which include (a) variable body composition and mass, (b) decreased ability for the liver to process drugs, (c) decreased ability of the kidneys to clear drugs, (d) increased sensitivity to drugs, (e) decreased blood-pressure-maintaining ability, (f) decreased temperature compensation, (g) diseases that affect drug response, (h) synergistic effects of drug interactions, and (i) inadequate FDA approval process (Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, n.d.).
Individuals diagnosed with autism “fall off a cliff” regarding covered therapy once they hit age caps that typically are set to 21 (Andrews, 2014). Federal organizations and some state mandates require insurers, Children’s Health Insurance Programs, and Medicaid to cover autism therapies until the age of 21. Six states do not have age caps, which include New York, California, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Wisconsin, and Indiana (Andrews, 2014). It is argued that setting age caps on mental health services is setting a quantitative limit, such as dollar caps on benefits (Andrews, 2014). The federal mental health parity law restricts insurers from imposing quantitative or qualitative; therefore, the age caps could be overturned on appeal (Andrews, 2014).
In 1990, the National Children’s Study (NCS) was formulated than authorized by the Children’s Health Act of 2000. It was inspired by the Framingham Heart Study, which was a prospective, longitudinal birth-cohort analysis. The NCS intended to be a 21-year prospective longitudinal study of 100,000 children to predict and develop strategies to combat asthma, autism, attention deficit disorder, schizophrenia, obesity, diabetes, dyslexia, and birth defects (Gillespie, 2014; National Institutes of Health [NIH], n.d.). The study design was focused on environmental exposures during the prenatal period through childhood, with the collection of genetic and epigenetic information (NIH, n.d.). In 2007, the Vanguard Study launched, which was a pilot study for the NCS, enrolling 5,000 children in 40 target locations (Gillespie, 2014; NIH, n.d.). The Vanguard Study suffered from a disorganized sampling strategy, and ineffective networking (Gillespie, 2014). Further, federal support waned as $30 million per year was cut from the initial congressional appropriations grants (Gillespie, 2014). Due to a problematic study design, the NCS was scrapped, which potentially wasted fifteen years of research and 1.3 billion dollars (Schmidt, 2015).
During a campaign speech in Florida, Hillary Clinton spoke of remedying the gap in autism treatment accessibility through private health insurance plans. Mrs. Clinton highlighted the need for state-run health insurance exchanges to cover autism treatment plans, which are typically unaffordable (Leary, 2016).
There are several issues and challenges that make up the development of health policy and law. Due to the wide-reaching effects of health care policy, it is important to balance public health with individual rights (Teitelbaum, & Wilensky, 2013, p. 4). this discussion will focus on several directed reading requirement, which is primarily separated by two textbooks, which include Essentials of Health Policy and Law and Understanding Health Policy.
This week in my directed reading in Health Care Ethics there were some enlightening findings regarding patient-centered care, informed consent, and a physician right to terminate the patient-provider relationship. As I read through the material, I could not help to think of some in my autism community who by informed consent refuse perceived medically indicated treatments being vaccines.