Suicide Is Not Painless

Thinking of the theme song for M*A*S*H…..

But on a more serious note…..suicides among our service people is not getting better……https://lobotero.com/2019/06/24/suicides/

In the 4 months since I wrote my last post on this subject the figures are looking worse…….

Looks like the US Navy could set a new all-time high for suicides…..

A total of 53 active-duty and seven reserve sailors have died by suicide so far this year, and that is “roughly a little bit ahead” of the number of sailors who had taken their own lives this time in 2018, the Navy’s top suicide prevention officer said.

“That trend is unacceptable,” Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, director, 21st Century Sailor, told reporters on Thursday. “We are looking at every aspect of why that trend continues, at least for the last three years. We’re determined not to allow it to continue the way it’s going.”

Last year, Navy suicides reached their highest level since the service began recording data on the matter in 2006, with 68 active-duty sailors and 11 sailors in the Navy Reserve dying by suicide.

https://taskandpurpose.com/navy-suicides-new-record

And unfortunately the US Navy is not alone in this…..

The rate of suicide among active duty service members has increased significantly over the past five years, according to a Pentagon report released on Thursday.

The report comes after three U.S. sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush died by apparent suicide last week, incidents the Navy has said are separate and unrelated.

The Pentagon’s first annual suicide report said that the rate of suicide deaths among active duty service members was 24.8 per 100,000 service members, up from just under 20 per 100,000 in 2013. In 2018, 541 service members died by suicide, the report said, adding that the most common method of suicide was with firearms.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-military-suicide/suicide-rate-in-active-duty-u-s-service-members-rises-significantly-idUKKBN1WB2SY

The active duty trooper is not alone…the National Guard has also seen a rise……

The National Guard’s suicide rate has surpassed the entire active-duty force and the reserves, as well as the civilian population.

30.6 people of every 100,000 in the National Guard died by suicide in 2018, the Pentagon’s first-ever Annual Suicide Report for 2018 said, compared to 24.8 active-duty service members, and 22.9 reservists.

https://taskandpurpose.com/national-guard-pentagon-suicide-report

Families are also not immune…..

In what was hailed as the Pentagon’s first-ever report on military family suicides, the Defense Department said Thursday that 123 spouses and 63 children took their own lives in 2017.

According to the inaugural Department of Defense 2018 Annual Suicide Report, the 186 deaths included 122 among of active-duty personnel families, 29 among Reserve families and 35 within National Guard families.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/09/27/first-pentagon-releases-data-military-spouse-and-child-suicides.html

This is a sad turn and it just keeps getting worse…..maybe the military should go about trying to find a cause and a good treatment to prevent our brave service people from feeling like they need to oft themselves.

Then there are those that try to make suicide painless……

Opponents of euthanasia have expressed concern at the creation of a “suicide machine”, which has been developed by Dr Philip Nitschke.

The well-known advocate of individuals’ right to die has regularly caused controversy by assisting what he calls “rational suicides”. 

Having developed machines in the past that could be used by individuals to inject themselves with lethal doses of barbiturates, Dr Nitschke says he is now close to finalising a new device which uses nitrogen gas to cause death.

He says the idea for the invention was sparked by conversations in 2012 over the case of British man Tony Nicklinson, who suffered from locked-in syndrome – the result of a severe stroke in 2005 that had left him unable to speak or move.

Mr Nicklinson fought a long, and ultimately unsuccessful, court battle in a bid to allow his doctors legally to assist his suicide. In search of assisted suicide options, his lawyer reached out to Dr Nitschke, who began to consider how it would be possible for an individual whose movements were limited to blinking might be able to trigger death without the need for help by others. 

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/suicide-machine-assisted-dying-euthanasia-debate-uk-clinic-sarco-nitschke-a8307741.html

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Closing Thought–16Sep19

When I was in the military (1967-1971) the best food was at Navy installations in second place was the Air Force….but that was the days when we had cooks not culinary specialists.

The US military is hell bent on the appearance of their members. Are they buff? Are they overweight? Are they in good shape?

So which service branch is the most obese?

The US Navy takes the prize.

Sailors need remedial physical training.

That could be one just one of many conclusions drawn by a recent Department of Defense study that found the Navy earned the dubious honor of surpassing all other branches in its rate of obese personnel.

The overall rate of fat service members is also up from recent years, with the percentage of personnel weighing in at obese standards climbing to over 17 percent, according to a Health of the DoD Force study.

That number spiked to over a quarter of service members over the age of 35.

For the Navy, the overall number of obese personnel was a shocking 22 percent. The other branches reported the following frequency of obesity:

  • Air Force: 18 percent
  • Army: 17 percent
  • Marine Corps: 8.3 percent

https://www.militarytimes.com/off-duty/military-culture/2019/09/03/this-branch-takes-the-cake-as-the-us-militarys-fattest/

I guess the food is still pretty damn good, huh?

Thoughts?

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–12Sep19

Health care has been a point of contention on the campaign trail for 2020….there are a wealth of “plans” to get the American people their health care…..from single payer to Obamacare.

Biden is the one that has hung his reputation and his campaign on Obamacare……but his support for the plan may be in jeopardy….Obamacare may be losing its luster….

The number of Americans without health insurance edged up in 2018—the first evidence from the government that coverage gains from President Obama’s health care plan might be eroding under President Trump, the AP reports. The Census Bureau also said in an annual report Tuesday that household income rose last year at its slowest pace in four years but finally matched its previous peak set in 1999. Median household income rose 0.9% in 2018 to an inflation-adjusted $63,179, from $62,626 in 2017. The data suggest that the economic expansion, now the longest on record at more than 10 years, is still struggling to provide widespread benefits to the US population. Solid gains in household incomes in the past four years have returned the median only to where it was two decades ago.

An estimated 27.5 million people, 8.5% of the population, went without health insurance in 2018. That was an increase of 1.9 million uninsured people, or 0.5 percentage point. More people were covered by Medicare, reflecting the aging of the baby boomers. But Medicaid coverage declined. The number of uninsured children also rose, and there were more uninsured adults ages 35-64. Though the increase in the number of uninsured Americans last year was modest, it could be a turning point, the first real sign that coverage gains under Obama could be at least partly reversed. This year, the number of uninsured could rise again because a previous Republican-led Congress repealed fines under the Affordable Care Act for people who remain uninsured if they can afford coverage.

If this is properly reported then Biden may have an epiphany and worm his way into some other plan…..or he could double down and use the media to help control any fallout from this report.

I prefer the Medicare For All and will vote that way for 2020…..

Be Smart!

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“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Are You An Organ Donor?

Closing Thought–03Sep19

I am not…..an organ donor that is……my thoughts are if I donate a kidney then why should all along the medical line make money off my free kidney?

When the whole process is free then all my organs can be had.

This is a story that I wish I did not have to read or report…..

Speaking of kidneys and transplants….

Every day, 12 Americans die while waiting for a kidney transplant. In what will be an especially hard pill to swallow for the 93,000 Americans currently on the waiting list, about 10 donated kidneys are discarded in that same period, reports USA Today. A study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine found that 17.9% of kidneys donated in the US over the decade ending in 2014 were rejected (28,000 kidneys in all), compared to 9.1% in France. In 2016 alone, about 20% of 3,631 donated kidneys in the US were discarded, per CNN.

France, it turns out, is more willing to use kidneys from older donors or those who have an ailment such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or Hepatitis C. Researchers cite the “intense regulatory scrutiny of US transplant programs, which may lose credentials if their one-year death and graft failure outcomes exceed predicted outcomes.” Meaning, the programs don’t want to risk their credentials and opt to use only organs in the best condition. But patients “using kidneys from diabetic donors do remarkably well,” study co-author Sumit Mohan of the Columbia University Medical Center tells USA Today.

You read it right 28,000 wasted kidneys in a decade.

Someone please explain that waste to me.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Speaking Of Mental Health

The panels have been gathered and the media is having their typical discussions on the subject of gun violence….and they discuss…..and more will die.

Our Dear Leader has decided that a focus on mental illness is a cure for gun violence, this after a talk with the NRA……

President Donald Trump on Sunday emphasized a need for the country to focus on “a very big mental health problem” in the wake of two mass shootings in one weekend that left 32 people dead earlier this month as he appeared to defend current US gun control measures, stating “we do have a lot of background checks right now.”

“It’s the people that pull the trigger, not the gun that pulls the trigger so we have a very, very big mental health problem and Congress is working on various things and I will be looking at it,” Trump told reporters on the tarmac before heading back to Washington after a vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
The White House, Trump said, is “very much involved” in the discussions Congress is having to address gun violence and while “a lot of things are happening on the gun level” he said “the concept of mental institutions” must be addressed.
 
These are people that have to be in institutions for help, I’m not talking about as a form of a prison, I’m saying for help and I think it’s something we have to really look at, the whole concept of mental institutions,” he said. “I remember growing up we had mental institutions, then they were closed — in New York, I’m talking about — they were, many of them closed. A lot of them were closed and all of those people were put out on the street.”
 
(CNN)
There is a method to this madness (pun intended)…..according to some…..
The U.S. president is widely mischaracterized as a cynical politician maneuvering for personal power and financial gain. Yet the situation is far more dangerous.
 
It is important to call these actions what they are: the personal decisions of an incontinent individual, not the result of legislative action or the outcome of any semblance of public deliberation. Remarkably, 230 years after its constitution was adopted, the United States suffers from one-man rule. Trump has rid his administration of anyone of independent stature, such as the former defense secretary, retired General James Mattis, and few congressional Republicans murmur a word against their leader.
 
That aside…have you ever listened to the president explain something to the media?
 
He sounds like a 8 year trying to justify his last lie while trying to remember what he said earlier…..his constant redundancies make him sound like a mental midget.
 
I agree with the findings…..Trump is a mental case that needs immediate help and institutionalization.
 
But I have no say in the problem….just my bitching and moaning….something we Americans do very well…..and as an old fart I do it better than most.
 
“Lego Ergo Scribo”

KamalaCare

That time of the election cycle…..we have health care issues and promises from all sides…..with the exception of Republicans…..we have Madicare For All, Medicare USA, and now KamalaCare.

This is Kamala Harris proposal for solving our health care dilemma…..but what is it….no really what?

There’s no question that the American health care system is a crazy quilt that leaves health “insurance companies in charge,” as Senator Kamala Harris appreciates. Unfortunately, her health reform proposal, “KamalaCare” does not match her rhetoric. It leaves health insurers running the show.

Harris’ proposal relies extensively on for-profit health insurers to provide coverage. But, they are the reason health care is unaffordable and the reason people are often faced with denials of care and coverage. She claims her plan will hold the health insurers to account if they game the system. That sounds great in theory, but how exactly would it work in practice?

Like Senator Bernie Sanders’ and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal’s Medicare for All legislation, Harris’ proposal makes an improved traditional Medicare public plan available to all Americans. Unlike Sanders and Jayapal, after a ten-year transition, she keeps the for-profit health insurance industry in business, offering Medicare Advantage plan options to people who want a private plan.

KamalaCare leaves health insurers running the show

As usual from the “corporatist” candidates….the health industry stays in control of your health care….so basically it is the status quo with some minor adjustments…..

If you get health insurance at work or buy your own plan, will you be able to keep it? No. Harris says insurance companies will be allowed “to offer a plan” in the government-run system but only if they follow the government’s strict rules to skimp on what’s spent on your care. “If they want to play by our rules, they can be in the system. If not, they have to get out,” she says.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/07/31/the_truth_about_kamalacare_140894.html

This one has holes all through it to allow the industry to keep control of your health care.  Is that what you want?

Leran Stuff!

VOTE!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–02Aug19

I have written ,much about the problems that our veterans are having….their mental health……suicides were on the rise at a time when the VA has its problems as well…..I have written about these problems often….

https://lobotero.com/2015/04/02/veterans-suicide/

https://lobotero.com/2019/06/24/suicides/

I revisit my post on veterans suicide because I read that the UK seems to be having a like problem with the veterans…..

A coroner has warned that more military veterans suffering PTSD may take their own lives unless urgent action is taken to improve their care.

Emma Brown, the coroner for Birmingham and Solihull, has written to NHS services and police highlighting a catalogue of failures in the treatment of Lance Corporal Dave Jukes in the months leading up to his suicide.

Earlier this month, she ruled the 49-year-old veteran from Birmingham, who had served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia, took his own life last year after repeated calls for help were largely ignored.

In a strongly worded letter seen by The Sunday Telegraph, she has urged NHS England, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust and West Midlands Police to learn from mistakes in the soldier’s treatment.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/british-armed-services-veterans-suicides-200000175.html

It is a crying shame that these men and women made it home to their loved ones only to face PTSD that could just as lethal as any enemy on the battlefield.

Hopefully my readers in the UK will fill in any blanks that I may have in this issue.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”