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i'm currently on daily blogging sabbatical, but i'll be back very soon.

Safe Access DC’s Protest at the Department of Justice
|| 5/2/2011 || 10:12 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Today I attended the Americans for Safe Access demonstration at the Department of Justice Building in downtown Washington, DC.

safe access dc at doj1 Safe Access DCs Protest at the Department of Justice

safe access dc at doj2 Safe Access DCs Protest at the Department of Justice

safe access dc at doj3 Safe Access DCs Protest at the Department of Justice


This was written by Steph Sherer:

Stand in solidarity with me for a National Day of Action this Monday, May 2, 2011. Our community is sick and tired. We are suffering from chronic or debilitating conditions, and we are weary of false promises that do nothing to protect our rights as patients.

After previously giving us a false sense of security, the Obama administration now continues to ignore state laws and raid medical cannabis patients and facilities, while creating new ways to marginalize our community, including issues related to patient privacy, access, banking, taxation, and threats of filing suit against state employees who participate in upholding state law. This community is still under attack.

Just yesterday, our community witnessed raid activity in Washington State and on Monday, our community will lose two more of our brothers and sisters to the failed war on drugs. Dale Shafer and Dr. Mollie fry will turn themselves over to federal agents to serve five-year mandatory minimum sentences for legally participating in state sanctioned medical cannabis programs. Enough is enough and Monday, May 2, 2011 is our time to take stand against federal interference!

Fellow community members and local activists are preparing to deliver ASA’s Cease and Desist to local DEA offices and federal buildings across the country. Commit to do the same. Join activists in several cities across the country. Locations include, but are not limited to, the following areas: Washington State, Oregon, Rhode Island, Colorado, Montana, Michigan, Maine, New Jersey, Washington, DC, California, Arizona, Nevada, and Maryland. To find out what is going on in your area, email action@safeaccessnow.org, or print out the Cease and Desist Order and take it to a local DEA Office or Federal Building near you on Monday!! Remember: if you don’t stand up for safe access, who will?

Special Patients’ Rights Rallies will be occurring in both Washington, DC outside of the Department of Justice at 12pEST (event flyer) and outside of the Federal Courthouse in Sacramento, CA at 12pPST for Dale Schafer and Dr. Mollie Fry (event flyer).

It’s thanks to the support from our members that ASA is able to hold Days of Action like this one. Please consider making a donation to ASA today, so we can continue to strengthen our fight for safe access.

I look forward to participating in our National Day of Action for patients’ rights with you on Monday, May 2, 2011.



Text of The District of Columbia Home Rule Act – As Amended Through 1997
|| 1/22/2011 || 7:27 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


Home Rule Act Text of The District of Columbia Home Rule Act   As Amended Through 1997

District of Columbia Home Rule Act

Approved December 24, 1973

Amended through November 19, 1997
Originally published on-line in February of 1999

Click here to view a PDF as amended to 2008

Public Law 93-198; 87 Stat. 777; D.C. Code § 1-201 passim

+ MORE



A LETTER FROM DISCOVER CARD FOR THE STATE OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA RESIDENTS
|| 12/22/2010 || 10:29 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Dear Discover Card,
I know its weird that you are given the option to put “District of Columbia” in the field that lists all of the other states in America, but unless a constitutional amendment is passed or Congress votes to admit the District of Columbia as a State, your faux-IRS looking letter is marginally insulting….

discover card statehood A LETTER FROM DISCOVER CARD FOR THE STATE OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA RESIDENTS

this graphic was altered by the removal my street address

This arrived in the mail in the middle of November and I recently got around to scanning this piece of usury awesomeness.

discover card statehood2 A LETTER FROM DISCOVER CARD FOR THE STATE OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA RESIDENTS

And no, I have zero intentions of taking out a line of credit with 29.9% APR, but thank you very much for the offer. I might, however, take Discover Card up on the offer when the District of Columbia residents become equal to Americans of the Several States…



Watergate Quilt
|| 10/17/2010 || 1:36 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
watergatequilt Watergate Quilt

This map contains my first effort to recolor the murky water of the Potomac river. Since the Watergate complex is next to the Saudi Arabian Embassy, I decided to color the water the color which I attribute to the oil-rich nation: black. Water & oil don’t mix well and I don’t think I did a very good job with the colorization in this map, but to be honest, I don’t care. It was the effort that I was after in this iteration, not necessarily the aesthetics of perfection.

View the Google Map of the Watergate complex in the District of Columbia.


: detail :
watergatequilt cut Watergate Quilt

View the rest of the details:

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Map Mashup: Healthcare Heartburn
|| 3/23/2010 || 5:39 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

heartburn map Map Mashup: Healthcare Heartburn

Above is Amy Martin’s “Keep America Healthy – Public Option Please” with a map of the average federal revenue per capita by state in 2007 superimposed. At over $34,000 per citizen, the District of Columbia pays the more any jurisdiction in America, yet the 600,000 citizens have no representation in Congress….

Ironically related is my entry on Hartburn, DC.



The Full Text Of An Act for the Release of certain Persons held to Service or Labor in the District of Columbia
|| 3/5/2010 || 2:58 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Washington, DC celebrates April 16 as Emancipation Day. On that day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia. The Act freed about 3,000 slaves in the District of Columbia nine months before President Lincoln issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation. The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act represents the only example of compensation by the federal government to former owners of emancipated slaves. While the slaves of DC were the first to be freed in America, through the continued denial of congressional representation, their decedents are the last to be fully equal.

dc emancipation act page one The Full Text Of An Act for the Release of certain Persons held to Service or Labor in the District of Columbia

Text and Image Courtesy of the National Archives


An Act for the Release of certain Persons held to Service or Labor in the District of Columbia

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all persons held to service or labor within the District of Columbia by reason of African descent are hereby discharged and freed of and from all claim to such service or labor; and from and after the passage of this act neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except for crime, whereof the party shall be duly convicted, shall hereafter exist in said District.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That all persons loyal to the United States, holding claims to service or labor against persons discharged therefrom by this act, may, within ninety days from the passage thereof, but not thereafter, present to the commissioners hereinafter mentioned their respective statements or petitions in writing, verified by oath or affirmation, setting forth the names, ages, and personal description of such persons, the manner in which said petitioners acquired such claim, and any facts touching the value thereof, and declaring his allegiance to the Government of the United States, and that he has not borne arms against the United States during the present rebellion, nor in any way given aid or comfort thereto: Provided, That the oath of the party to the petition shall not be evidence of the facts therein stated.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United States, with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint three commissioners, residents of the District of Columbia, any two of whom shall have power to act, who shall receive the petitions above mentioned, and who shall investigate and determine the validity and value of the claims therein presented, as aforesaid, and appraise and apportion, under the proviso hereto annexed, the value in money of the several claims by them found to be valid: Provided, however, That the entire sum so appraised and apportioned shall not exceed in the aggregate an amount equal to three hundred dollars for each person shown to have been so held by lawful claim: And provided, further, That no claim shall be allowed for any slave or slaves brought into said District after the passage of this act, nor for any slave claimed by any person who has borne arms against the Government of the United States in the present rebellion, or in any way given aid or comfort thereto, or which originates in or by virtue of any transfer heretofore made, or which shall hereafter be made by any person who has in any manner aided or sustained the rebellion against the Government of the United States.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That said commissioners shall, within nine months from the passage of this act, make a full and final report of their proceedings, findings, and appraisement, and shall deliver the same to the Secretary of the Treasury, which report shall be deemed and taken to be conclusive in all respects, except as hereinafter provided; and the Secretary of the Treasury shall, with like exception, cause the amounts so apportioned to said claims to be paid from the Treasury of the United States to the parties found by said report to be entitled thereto as aforesaid, and the same shall be received in full and complete compensation: Provided, That in cases where petitions may be filed presenting conflicting claims, or setting up liens, said commissioners shall so specify in said report, and payment shall not be made according to the award of said commissioners until a period of sixty days shall have elapsed, during which time any petitioner claiming an interest in the particular amount may file a bill in equity in the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia, making all other claimants defendants thereto, setting forth the proceedings in such case before said commissioners and their actions therein, and praying that the party to whom payment has been awarded may be enjoined form receiving the same; and if said court shall grant such provisional order, a copy thereof may, on motion of said complainant, be served upon the Secretary of the Treasury, who shall thereupon cause the said amount of money to be paid into said court, subject to its orders and final decree, which payment shall be in full and complete compensation, as in other cases.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That said commissioners shall hold their sessions in the city of Washington, at such place and times as the President of the United States may direct, of which they shall give due and public notice. They shall have power to subpoena and compel the attendance of witnesses, and to receive testimony and enforce its production, as in civil cases before courts of justice, without the exclusion of any witness on account of color; and they may summon before them the persons making claim to service or labor, and examine them under oath; and they may also, for purposes of identification and appraisement, call before them the persons so claimed. Said commissioners shall appoint a clerk, who shall keep files and [a] complete record of all proceedings before them, who shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations in said proceedings, and who shall issue all lawful process by them ordered. The Marshal of the District of Columbia shall personally, or by deputy, attend upon the sessions of said commissioners, and shall execute the process issued by said clerk.

Sec.6. And be it further enacted, That said commissioners shall receive in compensation for their services the sum of two thousand dollars each, to be paid upon the filing of their report; that said clerk shall receive for his services the sum of two hundred dollars per month; that said marshal shall receive such fees as are allowed by law for similar services performed by him in the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia; that the Secretary of the Treasury shall cause all other reasonable expenses of said commission to be audited and allowed, and that said compensation, fees, and expenses shall be paid from the Treasury of the United States.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That for the purpose of carrying this act into effect there is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, a sum not exceeding one million of dollars.

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That any person or persons who shall kidnap, or in any manner transport or procure to be taken out of said District, any person or persons discharged and freed by the provisions of this act, or any free person or persons with intent to re-enslave or sell such person or person into slavery, or shall re-enslave any of said freed persons, the person of persons so offending shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and on conviction thereof in any court of competent jurisdiction in said District, shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary not less than five nor more that twenty years.

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That within twenty days, or within such further time as the commissioners herein provided for shall limit, after the passage of this act, a statement in writing or schedule shall be filed with the clerk of the Circuit court for the District of Columbia, by the several owners or claimants to the services of the persons made free or manumitted by this act, setting forth the names, ages, sex, and particular description of such persons, severally; and the said clerk shall receive and record, in a book by him to be provided and kept for that purpose, the said statements or schedules on receiving fifty cents each therefor, and no claim shall be allowed to any claimant or owner who shall neglect this requirement.

Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That the said clerk and his successors in office shall, from time to time, on demand, and on receiving twenty-five cents therefor, prepare, sign, and deliver to each person made free or manumitted by this act, a certificate under the seal of said court, setting out the name, age, and description of such person, and stating that such person was duly manumitted and set free by this act.

Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, is hereby appropriated, to be expended under the direction of the President of the United States, to aid in the colonization and settlement of such free persons of African descent now residing in said District, including those to be liberated by this act, as may desire to emigrate to the Republics of Hayti or Liberia, or such other country beyond the limits of the United States as the President may determine: Provided, The expenditure for this purpose shall not exceed one hundred dollars for each emigrant.

Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, That all acts of Congress and all laws of the State of Maryland in force in said District, and all ordinances of the cities of Washington and Georgetown, inconsistent with the provisions of this act, are hereby repealed.

Approved, April 16, 1862.



Chronicling One Century Ago – A Listing Of All The Daily American Newspapers Published In 1910 In The Chronicling America Collection
|| 1/13/2010 || 4:32 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

For the year 2010, the Chronicling America historic newspaper collection has a nearly complete collection of 11 American daily newspapers that were published exactly 100 years ago. Click on the masthead to view the newspaper’s 1910 publication calendar:


1910 Publication Calendar of the Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, Virginia)
alexandria gazette masthead Chronicling One Century Ago   A Listing Of All The Daily American Newspapers Published In 1910 In The Chronicling America Collection


1910 Publication Calendar of the Deseret Evening News (Salt Lake City, Utah)
deseret evening news masthead Chronicling One Century Ago   A Listing Of All The Daily American Newspapers Published In 1910 In The Chronicling America Collection


1910 Publication Calendar of the Los Angeles Herald (Los Angeles, California)
los angeles herald masthead Chronicling One Century Ago   A Listing Of All The Daily American Newspapers Published In 1910 In The Chronicling America Collection


1910 Publication Calendar of the New York Sun (New York City, New York)
new york sun masthead Chronicling One Century Ago   A Listing Of All The Daily American Newspapers Published In 1910 In The Chronicling America Collection


1910 Publication Calendar of the New York Tribune (New York City, New York)
new york tribune masthead Chronicling One Century Ago   A Listing Of All The Daily American Newspapers Published In 1910 In The Chronicling America Collection


1910 Publication Calendar of the Ogden Standard (Ogden, Utah)
ogden standard masthead Chronicling One Century Ago   A Listing Of All The Daily American Newspapers Published In 1910 In The Chronicling America Collection


1910 Publication Calendar of the Paducah Evening Sun (Paducah, Kentucky)
padukah evening sun masthead Chronicling One Century Ago   A Listing Of All The Daily American Newspapers Published In 1910 In The Chronicling America Collection


1910 Publication Calendar of the Palestine Daily Herald (Palestine, Texas)
palestine daily herald masthead Chronicling One Century Ago   A Listing Of All The Daily American Newspapers Published In 1910 In The Chronicling America Collection


1910 Publication Calendar of the San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California)
san francisco call masthead Chronicling One Century Ago   A Listing Of All The Daily American Newspapers Published In 1910 In The Chronicling America Collection


1910 Publication Calendar of the Washington Herald (Washington, DC)
washington herald masthead Chronicling One Century Ago   A Listing Of All The Daily American Newspapers Published In 1910 In The Chronicling America Collection


1910 Publication Calendar of the Washington Times (Washington, DC)
washington times masthead Chronicling One Century Ago   A Listing Of All The Daily American Newspapers Published In 1910 In The Chronicling America Collection


Curious about what happened on your birthday 100 years ago? Try clicking on the day after your birthday :-)



The Medicare Constitution – American Healthcare Reform Parodied from the UK’s NHS Constitution
|| 8/18/2009 || 1:01 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Yesterday I read the op-ed “In Defense of Britain’s Health System” by British doctors Ara Darzi and Tom Kibasi in the Washington Post. Near the end of the article they stated:

Standing in defense of Britain’s health service does not mean that we believe it is the right prescription for the United States. It is not for us to propose the solution for America, but we hope that correcting the record on some of the facts about our NHS will help Americans evaluate the real strengths and challenges of our system, instead of focusing on the misinformation spread by fear-mongers.

It got me thinking, what if the American healthcare reform was simply expanded Medicare coverage? Even though only people 65 or older qualify for Medicare, its already America’s largest health insurance program, covering over 40 million Americans (Number of Uninsured Americans = 47 million). This concept of expanding America’s current single-payer healthcare option is already outlined in the bill HR 676, which is withering away in Congress due to intense pressure from insurance corporations, pharmaceutical corporations, industry trade groups, and small-government conservatives. But what if Americans received a Medicare Constitution that outlined the rights, pledges, expectations, responsibilities, and values of a national healthcare system? To answer these hypothetical questions I decided to plagiarize the British NHS Constitution and replace NHS with Medicare and Parliament with Congress (as well as few other minor changes). Below is the result:


medicare constitution The Medicare Constitution   American Healthcare Reform Parodied from the UKs NHS Constitution

Medicare belongs to the people.

It is there to improve our health and well-being, supporting us to keep mentally and physically well, to get better when we are ill and, when we cannot fully recover, to stay as well as we can to the end of our lives. It works at the limits of science – bringing the highest levels of human knowledge and skill to save lives and improve health. It touches our lives at times of basic human need, when care and compassion are what matter most.

Medicare was founded on a common set of principles and values that bind together the communities and people it serves – patients and public – and the staff who work for it.

This Constitution establishes the principles and values of Medicare in the United States of America. It sets out rights to which patients, public and staff are entitled, and pledges which Medicare is committed to achieve, together with responsibilities which the public, patients and staff owe to one another to ensure that the Medicare operates fairly and effectively. All Medicare bodies and private and third sector providers supplying Medicare services will be required by law to take account of this Constitution in their decisions and actions.

The Constitution will be renewed every 10 years, with the involvement of the public, patients and staff. It will be accompanied by the Handbook to the Medicare Constitution, to be renewed at least every three years, setting out current guidance on the rights, pledges, duties and responsibilities established by the Constitution. These requirements for renewal will be made legally binding. They will guarantee that the principles and values which underpin Medicare are subject to regular review and recommitment; and that any government which seeks to alter the principles or values of Medicare, or the rights, pledges, duties and responsibilities set out in this Constitution, will have to engage in a full and transparent debate with the public, patients and staff.



1. Principles that guide Medicare

Seven key principles guide Medicare in all it does. They are underpinned by core Medicare values which have been derived from extensive discussions with staff, patients and the public. These values are set out at the end of this document.

1. Medicare provides a comprehensive service, available to all irrespective of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief. It has a duty to each and every individual that it serves and must respect their human rights. At the same time, it has a wider social duty to promote equality through the services it provides and to pay particular attention to groups or sections of society where improvements in health and life expectancy are not keeping pace with the rest of the population.


2. Access to Medicare services is based on clinical need, not an individual’s ability to pay. Medicare services are free of charge, except in limited circumstances sanctioned by Congress.


3. Medicare aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism – in the provision of high-quality care that is safe, effective and focused on patient experience; in the planning and delivery of the clinical and other services it provides; in the people it employs and the education, training and development they receive; in the leadership and management of its organizations; and through its commitment to innovation and to the promotion and conduct of research to improve the current and future health and care of the population.


4. Medicare services must reflect the needs and preferences of patients, their families and their carers. Patients, with their families and carers, where appropriate, will be involved in and consulted on all decisions about their care and treatment.


5. Medicare works across organizational boundaries and in partnership with other organizations in the interest of patients, local communities and the wider population. Medicare is an integrated system of organizations and services bound together by the principles and values now reflected in the Constitution. Medicare is committed to working jointly with local authorities and a wide range of other private, public and third sector organizations at national and local level to provide and deliver improvements in health and well-being.


6. Medicare is committed to providing best value for taxpayers’ money and the most effective, fair and sustainable use of finite resources. Public funds for healthcare will be devoted solely to the benefit of the people that Medicare serves.


7. Medicare is accountable to the public, communities and patients that it serves. Medicare is a national service funded through national taxation, and it is the Government which sets the framework for Medicare and which is accountable to Congress for its operation. However, most decisions in Medicare, especially those about the treatment of individuals and the detailed organization of services, are rightly taken by state & local Medicare and by patients with their clinicians. The system of responsibility and accountability for taking decisions in Medicare should be transparent and clear to the public, patients and staff. The Government will ensure that there is always a clear and up-to-date statement of Medicare’s accountability for this purpose.



2a. Patients and the public – your rights and Medicare’s pledges to you

Everyone who uses Medicare should understand what legal rights they have. For this reason, important legal rights are summarized in this Constitution and explained in more detail in the Handbook to the Medicare Constitution, which also explains what you can do if you think you have not received what is rightfully yours. This summary does not alter the content of your legal rights.

The Constitution also contains pledges that Medicare is committed to achieve. Pledges go above and beyond legal rights. This means that pledges are not legally binding but represent a commitment by Medicare to provide high quality services.

Access to health services:

You have the right to receive Medicare services free of charge, apart from certain limited exceptions sanctioned by Congress.
You have the right to access Medicare services. You will not be refused access on unreasonable grounds.
You have the right to expect your local Medicare provider to assess the health requirements of the local community and to commission and put in place the services to meet those needs as considered necessary.
You have the right, in certain circumstances, to go to other states or countries for treatment which would be available to you through your local Medicare provider.
You have the right not to be unlawfully discriminated against in the provision of Medicare services including on grounds of gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability (including learning disability or mental illness) or age.

Medicare also commits:

  • to provide convenient, easy access to services within the waiting times set out in the Handbook to the Medicare Constitution (pledge);
  • to make decisions in a clear and transparent way, so that patients and the public can understand how services are planned and delivered (pledge); and
  • to make the transition as smooth as possible when you are referred between services, and to include you in relevant discussions (pledge).

Quality of care and environment:

You have the right to be treated with a professional standard of care, by appropriately qualified and experienced staff, in a properly approved or registered organization that meets required levels of safety and quality.
You have the right to expect Medicare organizations to monitor, and make efforts to improve, the quality of healthcare they commission or provide.

Medicare also commits:

  • to ensure that services are provided in a clean and safe environment that is fit for purpose, based on national best practice (pledge); and
  • to continuous improvement in the quality of services you receive, identifying and sharing best practice in quality of care and treatments (pledge).

Nationally approved treatments, drugs and programs:

You have the right to drugs and treatments that have been recommended by FDA for use in Medicare, if your doctor says they are clinically appropriate for you.
You have the right to expect local decisions on funding of other drugs and treatments to be made rationally following a proper consideration of the evidence. If Medicare decides not to fund a drug or treatment you and your doctor feel would be right for you, they will explain that decision to you.
You have the right to receive the vaccinations that the CDC recommends that you should receive under a Medicare-provided national immunization program.

Medicare also commits:

  • to provide screening programs as recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services (pledge).

Respect, consent and confidentiality:

You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, in accordance with your human rights.
You have the right to accept or refuse treatment that is offered to you, and not to be given any physical examination or treatment unless you have given valid consent. If you do not have the capacity to do so, consent must be obtained from a person legally able to act on your behalf, or the treatment must be in your best interests.



2b. Patients and the public – your responsibilities

Medicare belongs to all of us. There are things that we can all do for ourselves and for one another to help it work effectively, and to ensure resources are used responsibly:

You should recognize that you can make a significant contribution to your own, and your family’s, good health and well-being, and take some personal responsibility for it.
You should register with a General Practitioner, who will become your main point of access to Medicare.
You should treat Medicare staff and other patients with respect and recognize that causing a nuisance or disturbance in clinics and hospitals could result in prosecution.
You should provide accurate information about your health, condition and status.
You should keep appointments, or cancel within reasonable time. Receiving treatment within the maximum waiting times may be compromised unless you do.
You should follow the course of treatment which you have agreed, and talk to your clinician if you find this difficult.
You should participate in important public health programs such as vaccination.
You should ensure that those closest to you are aware of your wishes about organ donation.
You should give feedback – both positive and negative – about the treatment and care you have received, including any adverse reactions you may have had.



3a. Staff – your rights and Medicare pledges to you

It is the commitment, professionalism and dedication of staff working for the benefit of the people Medicare serves which really make the difference. High quality care requires high quality workplaces, with commissioners and providers aiming to be employers of choice.

All staff should have rewarding and worthwhile jobs, with the freedom and confidence to act in the interest of patients. To do this, they need to be trusted and actively listened to. They must be treated with respect at work, have the tools, training and support to deliver care, and opportunities to develop and progress.

The Constitution applies to all staff, doing clinical or non-clinical Medicare work, and their employers. It covers staff wherever they are working, whether in public, private or third sector organizations.

Staff have extensive legal rights, embodied in general employment and discrimination law. These are summarized in the Handbook to the Medicare Constitution. In addition, individual contracts of employment contain terms and conditions giving staff further rights.

The rights are there to help ensure that staff:

  • have a good working environment with flexible working opportunities, consistent with the needs of patients and with the way that people live their lives;
  • have a fair pay and contract framework;
  • can be involved and represented in the workplace;
  • have healthy and safe working conditions and an environment free from harassment, bullying or violence;
  • are treated fairly, equally and free from discrimination; and
  • can raise an internal grievance and if necessary seek redress, where it is felt that a right has not been upheld.

In addition to these legal rights, there are a number of pledges, which Medicare is committed to achieve. Pledges go above and beyond your legal rights. This means that they are not legally binding but represent a commitment by Medicare to provide high-quality working environments for staff.

Medicare commits:

  • to provide all staff with clear roles and responsibilities and rewarding jobs for teams and individuals that make a difference to patients, their families and carers and communities (pledge);
  • to provide all staff with personal development, access to appropriate training for their jobs and line management support to succeed (pledge);
  • to provide support and opportunities for staff to maintain their health, well-being and safety (pledge); and
  • to engage staff in decisions that affect them and the services they provide, individually, through representative organizations and through local partnership working arrangements. All staff will be empowered to put forward ways to deliver better and safer services for patients and their families (pledge).


3b. Staff – your responsibilities

All staff have responsibilities to the public, their patients and colleagues.

Important legal duties are summarized below.


You have a duty to accept professional accountability and maintain the standards of professional practice as set by the appropriate regulatory body applicable to your profession or role.
You have a duty to take reasonable care of health and safety at work for you, your team and others, and to cooperate with employers to ensure compliance with health and safety requirements.
You have a duty to act in accordance with the express and implied terms of your contract of employment.
You have a duty not to discriminate against patients or staff and to adhere to equal opportunities and equality and human rights legislation.
You have a duty to protect the confidentiality of personal information that you hold unless to do so would put anyone at risk of significant harm.
You have a duty to be honest and truthful in applying for a job and in carrying out that job.


The Constitution also includes expectations that reflect how staff should play their part in ensuring the success of Medicare and delivering high-quality care.

You should aim:

  • to maintain the highest standards of care and service, taking responsibility not only for the care you personally provide, but also for your wider contribution to the aims of your team and Medicare as a whole;
  • to take up training and development opportunities provided over and above those legally required of your post;
  • to play your part in sustainably improving services by working in partnership with patients, the public and communities;
  • to be open with patients, their families, carers or representatives, including if anything goes wrong; welcoming and listening to feedback and addressing concerns promptly and in a spirit of co-operation. You should contribute to a climate where the truth can be heard and the reporting of, and learning from, errors is encouraged; and
  • to view the services you provide from the standpoint of a patient, and involve patients, their families and carers in the services you provide, working with them, their communities and other organizations, and making it clear who is responsible for their care.


Medicare values

Patients, public and staff have helped develop this expression of values that inspire passion in Medicare and should guide it in the 21st century. Individual organizations will develop and refresh their own values, tailored to their local needs. Medicare values provide common ground for cooperation to achieve shared aspirations.


Respect and dignity. We value each person as an individual, respect their aspirations and commitments in life, and seek to understand their priorities, needs, abilities and limits. We take what others have to say seriously. We are honest about our point of view and what we can and cannot do.


Commitment to quality of care. We earn the trust placed in us by insisting on quality and striving to get the basics right every time: safety, confidentiality, professional and managerial integrity, accountability, dependable service and good communication. We welcome feedback, learn from our mistakes and build on our successes.


Compassion. We respond with humanity and kindness to each person’s pain, distress, anxiety or need. We search for the things we can do, however small, to give comfort and relieve suffering. We find time for those we serve and work alongside. We do not wait to be asked, because we care.


Improving lives. We strive to improve health and well-being and people’s experiences of Medicare. We value excellence and professionalism wherever we find it – in the everyday things that make people’s lives better as much as in clinical practice, service improvements and innovation.


Working together for patients. We put patients first in everything we do, by reaching out to staff, patients, carers, families, communities, and professionals outside Medicare. We put the needs of patients and communities before organizational boundaries.


Everyone counts. We use our resources for the benefit of the whole community, and make sure nobody is excluded or left behind. We accept that some people need more help, that difficult decisions have to be taken – and that when we waste resources we waste others’ opportunities. We recognize that we all have a part to play in making ourselves and our communities healthier.





####

Alas, I don’t think Americans will receive such a utopic result when it comes to healthcare reform. As I stated before, there is too much money to be made off of pain & suffering for the American system to radically change to a system like the one parodied above. But I do have hope that one day people will wake up and realize that we are all in this together.



Nixon Sends GIs Into Cambodia And An Inverted 1970 Map of Communist Controlled Laos and Cambodia
|| 3/1/2009 || 8:53 pm || Comments Off || ||

The other week I found this flyer in the Library of Congress’ An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera. I inverted the colors because the location of the conflict & reason for mobilization are different, but the circumstances remain timely because America currently at war in two countries. I remember going to the White House for a demonstration nearly six years ago the weekend after George Bush invaded Iraq. I have the video that I produced that day somewhere backed up and I plan on uploading to the YouTube this month as a somber reminder. However, I learned six years ago that our government is going to go to war without the consent of the American public and protesting, while important, does little to change the course of events in present-day America. 39 years ago, however, demonstrations were an important part of ending the war in Vietnam. But will they help bring the troops home from Iraq & Afghanistan? Doubtful. Really doubtful.


THE WASHINGTON POST – Friday, May 1, 1970

Nixon Sends GIs Into Cambodia

NIXON DECLARES ALL-OUT WAR ON SOUTHEAST ASIA

THE PEOPLE MUST ACT NOW

map of communist controlled areas in Laos and Cambodia Nixon Sends GIs Into Cambodia And An Inverted 1970 Map of Communist Controlled Laos and Cambodia

MASS MEETING at the WHITE HOUSE at noon on saturday, may 9

In another attempt to stifle dissent, the Nixon administration has handed down regulations prohibiting demonstrations on federal park land without a 15 day advance notice. Public outrage at the invasion of Cambodia is so great we will go to the White House in spite of these regulations. We will assert our right to peacefully assemble. The police may block us. If they also decide to arrest us, we will maintain a militant non-violent discipline, and options will be provided for those not prepared for arrest. Meet us at the White House!

DEMAND IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL OF ALL U.S. TROOPS & SUPPLIES FROM SOUTHEAST ASIA

The New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam — 1029 Vermont Av. N.W. Wash. D.C. 20005


nixon sends troops into cambodia Nixon Sends GIs Into Cambodia And An Inverted 1970 Map of Communist Controlled Laos and Cambodia

Courtesy of the Library of Congress


Notes:
1) On the transcription page on the Library of Congress website, I found that the map above was improperly cited as an “illustration”
2) I believe the map was probably published in the Washington Post on Friday May 1st, 1970



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The 23rd Amendment – Time Magazine – March 31, 1961
|| 2/14/2009 || 6:05 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

I found this article when I was looking up more information about the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution:

Thanks to a succession of oversights by the Founding Fathers and early Congresses, the residents of the District of Columbia have never enjoyed one particular constitutional right cherished by all other Americans: the privilege of voting. There was no reasoning attending the oversights; it was just plain neglect.† Last week Rhode Island cast the 36th affirmative vote for the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution, giving 746,000 Washingtonians the right to vote in presidential elections — and three electoral votes. Ohio and Kansas are expected to ratify the amendment this week, making the necessary two-thirds majority for official adoption (only one legislature—Arkansas—rejected the amendment outright, on the ground that 54% of the District’s citizens are Negroes).

But after 161 years, Washingtonians will be limited to voting for the President and Vice President. They will continue to have no representative in Congress, no voice in their municipal government.

†One segment of the capital gained the right to vote in 1846, when one-third of the District’s land area, now Arlington County, was ceded back to Virginia.

What this article shows to me is how racist America used to be….
In some ways, even with an African American president, it still is.
sigh



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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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