Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Homeopaths Take Heed.

'Cruel' parents jailed over baby's death is the headline on the ABC.

Thomas and Manju Sam have been sentenced to 6 and 4 years jail respectively for allowing their 6-month old daughter, Gloria, to die from eczema.

The reason she died? Thomas, being a homeopath, decided that homeopathy would be a better way to help her daughter then proper medicine.

The report that I found from AdelaideNow is more graphic in some details:

On the ninth day, concerned about a lingering eye infection, the Sams took their daughter to the Sydney Children's Hospital at Randwick.

Doctors described Gloria as "incredibly sick" with a "massive eroded rash" and "grossly malnourished".

They gave her morphine for the pain and began treating her eye infection - her corneas were melting.

The sad thing is that even though these people are going to jail, I still don't think that they understand the gravity of their crime. I'm of the opinion that they honestly thought that they were helping their child.

Although this is a child negligence case the ABC article says something interesting:

Thomas Sam got the longer sentence of at least six years because, as a homeopath, he had a double duty of care.

This I believe is very important. And I suspect that it will have some rather big repercussions in the CAM industry. In NSW at least. If the above is actually true it means that homeopaths have a greater duty of care to their clients, and can be held responsible for whatever happens to them. This probably won't affect the "take this along with regular medicine" crowd, but it will affect the "don't take the regular medicine, take this instead" crowd.

Even if it doesn't I hope that people who are in the "Complimentary and Alternative Medicine Industry" take a good long look at themselves and think about the possible ramifications of what they tell people. This little girl never got a chance at life because her parents didn't seem to trust modern medicine. Would you want to live like they do, with the blood of an innocent on their hands?

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

All the US is like Texas

Just like all Australia is like Queensland.

This is the story in question regarding Tegan Leach who is currently charged with procuring drugs for an abortion.

This article from the Courier Mail states that the laws that she is being charged with are actually over a century old.

Now the issue isn't "Why does Australia have such crappy abortion laws" but it's in fact "Why does Queensland have such crappy abortion laws". The issue of abortion is not a Federal issue, but a state one. In general whatever isn't explicitly stated in the Constitution as something the Federal Government is in charge of is the job of the States to deal with. That is why Marriage law is dealt with on a Federal level, but de facto relationships are dealt with on a State level.

Now to be fair, the state I live in (South Australia) actually has some rather crappy laws regarding abortion compared to other parts of Australia. Wikipedia has a nice picture summing it up here.

Queensland does not even allow abortion in rape cases.

Victoria and the ACT allow abortion on request (there might be limits I don't know about though...) and they are basically the polar opposite of Queensland in this sense.

With time, and also from the reactions that people have against those who firebomb the houses of people charged with violating the abortion laws, the view should change and Queensland should start to come in line with the rest of the country.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

RIP Norman Borlaug

He is, beyond all doubt, the greatest man who ever lived. Through his work in agricultural research he helped to improve the lives of billions by ensuring that enough food could be grown for them.

He died today at age 95.

His life was spent creating strains of plants that were high yield and disease resistant. He helped countries like Mexico, India and Pakistan become self-sufficient in their production of wheat, and did similar work with rice and other cereal crops. In doing so he prevented hundreds of millions of people from starving.

His work helped to make the world a better place, and we should remember him, and also try to make the world a better place as well.

Friday, 4 September 2009

With $4 I'll be a Millionaire

Not even in Zimbabwe would I be a millionaire with A$4.

However that is the amount of money I got back on my tax return.

I don't think I'll ever cash the cheque they gave me though. Probably going to frame it.