US gov shutdown is life-or-death for some cancer patients, including children


#1

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#2

As if we needed another reason to spit on GOP lawmakers and call them babykillers...


#3

It would be nice if some people donated time. I know that's a lot to ask. Still, it seems to be an emergency. Any law makers who are still receiving salaries, in spite of not doing any work, who give a rat's ass about people, could actually donate their paychecks to staff at the NIH.


#4

They may or may not have the option: Even if Dr. Medicine, MD. is willing to come in for no money, the difference between "The building is closed, skeleton security staff and sample refrigerators only" and "The building is open" can be quite significant for a large institutional structure. Even if there isn't some 'Government shutdown means no gummint until I get what I want!!' rule in place, it would probably be tricky for some of the people who would want to (and have the means to) donate time to do so (usefully) without roping in a bunch of support staff, access to (probably access controlled, unless this is magic painless cancer) pharmacy and equipment storage rooms, and so on.


#5

The only way that epithet would stick is if those "babies" are, in reality, fetuses. The GOP clearly has no fucks to give about living children.


#6

I'm finding this hard to believe, for rational reasons. Just because of a government "shutdown" doesn't mean everything grinds to a halt. Departments get budgets. Those budgets each have general funds that were set at the beginning of the budget year. Those budgets and funds get played out, bit by bit, as the year progresses. For a government shutdown to mean "STOP ALL BANK ACTIVITY" is kind of a ridiculous thing to get people to believe. I don't know what the truth is, but this whole shutdown thing is no small bit of hogwash mixed in with a bunch of grandstanding.


#7

Given that telling kids that their disguisting illegal parants should be deported is good for a cheer in front of the right crowd, somebody is probably painting away at a Kinkade-inspired-lighting "John Boehner denouncing the social parasite" piece as we speak....


#8

Just imagine it as a horrible combination of 'Mission Impossible' style infiltration thriller, schlock-hearththrob medical drama, and freaky fetish movie: Can a childhood leukemia patient whose options have run out beat the odds by making an intrauterine infiltration of a shuttered NiH treatment facility, disguised as a 66-month-old fetus? Stay tuned...


#9

I hear what you are saying, but there would need to be support staff on hand just to maintain the existing inpatients, right? Administrative people could donate time. When there are emergency drills in hospitals, for a major disaster, those people take on different roles during a time of crisis. Why not now? It seems to be a time of crisis.


#10

Well we know there is no way in hell that the NSA is shutdown today, tomorrow, and so on.
Why is it more important to track potential terrorists instead of tracking emerging disease, which could potentially cause more death? Oh that's right, big business interests.


#11

You are not allowed to work for free, dudes. They won't let you do it.


#12

Would they be arrested, and by whom?


#13

Don't worry, the NSA's privacy officer is probably furloughed, and the FOIA guys. Just not the Mission Critical ones.


#14

That's quite the adventure for a kid who's not even 5. wink


#15

They certainly could be. This article mentions Bill Fink, who faced prosecution for working during the last shutdown, although he was ultimately just reprimanded.


#16

Just because the money is "budgeted" doesn't mean it's actually there. Much of that money was budgeted on the assumption that the US would be able to borrow more in the future to meet said budget. The Agonist has about as good an analysis as I've seen of what a shutdown timetable would look like.


#17

That's pretty disgusting that people who want to do their jobs, even without pay, should be reprimanded while lawmakers who don't want to do their jobs, still get paid. Let's arrest those who shut the government down, but still believe they deserve a paycheck.


#18

Hmm. the sudden(ish) dissolution of the Sovjet empire didn't take long either. "Not with a bang but with a whimper etc.."
Maybe they just realized that, "Shit folks, we have been spending all our (and our grand-grand-childrens) money on cool weapons fighting windmills for decades and now we can't even pay for healthcare for our sick grandma or give our kids a decent education", and then just all agreed to shut the whole thing down and hope someone get's a better idea how to run a society with all those internet-tubes around.

Why don't you just keep the whole thing closed, and keep closing them around, and let's make the Cosmic Federation of the Internet together.
Yeah


#19

This is a perfect example of something that absolutely can't be done on a shoestring. Kid with rare, or late stage, possibly otherwise untreatable cancer is typically medically fragile. Bloodwork, other labs, radiology may need to be done. You need all hands on deck. Some support people may be going paycheck to paycheck, and may need to temp, do childcare or make use of the time, so they can afford to keep a job that will hopefully be there in weeks or months. If there's an emergency with the building, you can't wait around if water, electrical, plumbing aren't working, so facility people need to be on site. Plenty of people in research are already working insane numbers of hours, for less pay than in the public sector.
The republican congressman responsible for this kerfuffle should instead donate their living carcasses to science for medical testing and vivisection so we can make up for the lack of progress happening while they're capering about, drinking, talking on Fox and fundraising.


#20

Because if you're treating patients in a half-assed fashion, you're potentially exposing them to more harm then benefit. A research hospital is not something you can do by halves.