LGBTI News and Politics

Archive for the ‘Health/Mental Care’ Category

Time to Ban Conversion Therapy

 | Truth Wins Out | May 19, 2015

Conversion (aka reparative) therapy is on the long, arduous road to extinction in America because to label it “therapy” is a misnomer.

All leading mental health associations have emphatically declared that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people are mentally sound. Yet, conversion therapists conversion 3brazenly, and without evidence or peer reviewed studies, claim that homosexuality and transgenderism are pathologies that can be treated – for a substantial fee.

With no basis in science, the goal of conversion therapy isn’t to change one’s sexual orientation, which is not possible. Its real purpose is to co-opt medical language to offer a psychotherapeutic veneer to theologically based animus. The raw hatred is evident when conversion therapists talk about their clients.

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Pharmaceutical giant forms new partnership to find the cure for HIV

Nick Duffy | Pink News | May 11, 2015

One of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies and one of the world’s leading universities have teamed up to research a cure for HIV/AIDS.

The mammoth British drugs company GlaxoSmithKline has formed a new first-of-its-kind venture as part of a 50/50 partnership with University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

The ambitious project – to which GSK will provide a team of top scientists and $20 million over five years – aims not to just prevent or treat HIV, but to actually cure it.

UNC-Chapel Hill will provide a team of 40 researchers to the project, to work alongside GSK’s team of scientists in perfecting the research.

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Congress: House Lawmakers Narrowly Defeat Measure To Allow Veterans Greater Access To Medical Marijuana

NORML | May 9, 2015

Congress: House Lawmakers Narrowly Defeat Measure To Allow Veterans Greater Access To Medical MarijuanaWashington, DC: Members of the US House of Representatives narrowly defeated a proposed amendment that sought to allow veterans greater access to cannabis therapy.

House members rejected the amendment by a vote of 210 to 213. One hundred and seventy-five Democrats voted for the measure, while eight voted against it. Thirty-five Republicans voted for the amendment, while 205 voted against it.

A similar measure was defeated in 2014 by a vote of 195 to 222.

The bipartisan amendment, introduced by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Joe Heck (R-NV), would have permitted physicians affiliated with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to recommend cannabis therapy to veterans in states that allow for its therapeutic use. Under current federal law, VA doctors are not permitted to fill out written documentation forms authorizing their patients to participate in state-sanctioned medical cannabis programs.

Stand-alone legislation (HR 667) to permit VA physicians to recommend cannabis therapy is pending in the US House of Representatives, Committee on Veterans Affairs: Health Subcommittee. A similar provision is also included in Senate Bill 683/HR 1538, The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500(202) 483-5500.

Supreme Court Rejects Appeal of Gay Conversion Therapy Ban

Supreme Court. (photo: Greg Nash/The Hill)
(Supreme Court. (photo: Greg Nash/The Hill)

Lydia Wheeler | The Hill | Reader Supported News | May 5, 2015

he Supreme Court has decided not to consider New Jersey’s ban on gay conversion therapy.

The high court rejected a case Monday challenging a law Gov. Chris Christie (R) passed in August 2013 prohibiting state-licensed counselors from offering therapy services that try to change a minor’s sexual orientation.

Licensed therapists Tara King and Ronald Newman appealed the New Jersey Circuit Court of Appeals decision to uphold the state ban. They argue New Jersey’s law violates their state and federal rights to free speech and freedom of religion under the First Amendment.

On behalf of their minor clients, King and Newman further argued that New Jersey’s law interferes with clients’ rights to determine their own sexual identity and parents’ fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children.

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Diverse Coalition Warns that Political Interference in Practice of Medicine is Undermining Patient-Provider Relationship

Leading Medical, Gun Violence Prevention, Women’s Health Groups Cite Arizona and Arkansas Laws as Examples of Problematic Trend of Requiring Health Care Providers to Violate Their Medical Training, Ethics
Bad Medicine | April 15, 2015

Members of the Coalition to Protect the Patient-Provider Relationship, a diverse group of medical, health, women’s health, gun violence prevention and other groups, today released an unprecedented statement expressing alarm about the recent trend of state politicians passing laws that interfere in the relationship between patients and their health care providers.

The statement is co-signed by 13 organizations, including the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and National Physicians Alliance, as well as advocacy groups including the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the National Partnership for Women & Families. It expresses “serious concern about an increasing number of governmental actions that inappropriately interfere in the relationship between patients and their health care providers by requiring health care professionals to violate their medical training and ethical obligation to their patients.” The signers urge “states to exercise caution and restraint to safeguard this important relationship.”

“With complete disregard to scientific evidence, politicians all over the country are mandating what health care providers, especially obstetrician-gynecologists, can and cannot say to their patients. This interference is incredibly dangerous,” stated Hal Lawrence III, MD, executive vice president and CEO of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “Physicians in all specialties and patients in all states will be hurt by these laws, if they aren’t already. We must join together and fight to keep open, honest and appropriate communication between patients and physicians. There’s no room for politicians in our exam rooms.”

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New paperwork: VA filing, appeals system changes begin Tuesday; advocates voice concerns

Heath Druzin | Stars & Stripes | March 23, 2015

WASHINGTON — Beginning Tuesday, veterans filing or appealing claims must use standardized forms, a controversial move that the VA says will streamline the process, but some advocates say it will cost tens of thousands of veterans their benefits.

“This change is largely unnecessary and it’s been made solely for the convenience of the VA,” said Gerald Manar, Veterans of Foreign Wars National Veterans Service deputy director.

UPDATE | VA grossly underestimates paper claims as new forms policy begins

Until now, veterans have been able to begin the claims or appeals process by submitting a letter or even a scrap of paper. That informal system preserved the initial date of their claim, meaning any benefits awarded would go back to the date that the VA received the note. Under the new system, benefits will still go back to the date of claim or appeal, but the clock starts only when a veteran files standardized VA paperwork.

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Group Says Breaking Up VA Best Way To Serve Veterans

Nathan Baca | 10tv | April 4, 2015

One national Veterans Group is in Columbus with a big message: they say It’s time to break up the Veterans Administration. They believe it’s the only way to improve Veterans Health Care.

The idea is similar to school vouchers. Parents get public money to pay for either public or private school. The idea would be the same for the VA: allowing patients to see either public or private doctors.

Dozens of veterans gathered to at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Columbus to hear ideas they believe will improve the level of Veterans health care in Ohio and nationwide. Nita Thomas isn’t a veteran – but her granddaughters’ fiancé is.

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