The C2S blog draws on the arts, the social and biological sciences to explore the many meanings of health and "dis-ease." Designed to be a locus where patients, their families and professionals can meet on a level playing field, it is the natural off-shoot of the Cell 2 Soul Online Journal. We encourage the submission of ideas, essays, poems, stories, humor, and timely reviews relating to the humanities and health care.
This documentary produced by Dana Nachman and Don Hardy and narrated by Sean Penn chronicles the unraveling of a small town's justice system. The main
characters in this new non-fiction film are working class parents, moms
and dads, who were all wrongly convicted of child molestation in the
early 1980s in the town of Bakersfield, California. Each of these
falsely convicted people was recklessly pursued by the same Kern County
District Attorney who remains in office today. "Witch Hunt" is a true
crime drama, where the real criminals were the authorities, themselves.
Starting in 1984 at
the height of child molestation hysteria, the local District Attorney
used this sensational crime in order to get himself elected by preying
on these innocent families and convincing an easily swayed public of
their crimes. These innocent citizens served unwarranted lengthy prison
time from 6 years to 20 years in some of California's most horrendous
prisons, ultimately resulting in tremendous hardships for themselves
and their loved ones leaving everyone emotionally and psychologically
damaged for life. Miraculously, after lengthy court battles and the
uncovering of evidence left out of the initial trials, each person was
finally exonerated. However, they have yet to receive an apology from
those who wrongfully convicted them. "Witch Hunt" promises to be a
heart-wrenching story about wrongful persecution, an unbalanced justice
system, coercion, and at the same time, endurance and hope that this
type of injustice can be stopped.
It is the story of
John Stoll, Jeffrey Modahl, Brenda and Scott Kniffen, Marcella and Rick
Pitts, Jack and Jackie Cummings and their children and families whose
lives were ruined and turned upside down for decades by a system they
trusted. John Stolll and Jeff
Modahl have now dedicated their lives to helping other falsely
convicted innocents to get their day in court.
"Witch Hunt" is directed and produced by first time feature
filmmakers Dana Nachman and Don Hardy. The film is narrated and
executive produced by Oscar winner Sean Penn ("Mystic River").
My pulse kicked into overdrive when I read the subject line of a recent e-mail from a friend: “Bad News.”
I took a deep breath as I opened the message and read the lines of text. My friend had lost his job. The previous day, with no prior warning, he had been let go from a position he had occupied for the past seven years.
What’s so odd about that scenario, you might ask. In these difficult economic times many folks are in the same predicament. Ordinarily, I would have to agree with you. Except in this instance, my friend is a family physician....more
Brian T. Maurer has practiced pediatrics as a Physician Assistant for thirty years. His "Marginal Notes" column appears periodically in the Cell2Soul Blog. The title "Marginal Notes" is taken from a quote by Henry David Thoreau: "I love a broad margin to my life."
This woman is one of the 13.2 million uninsured young adults in the U.S. That is more than the population of Cuba and many other countries.
Boyd [pictured above] is an uninsured 28-year-old receptionist in New York City. She had
the misfortune to wind up in a NYC hospital with a bout of
diverticulitis. This fine article was on the front page of the NY
Times on Wednesday, February 18, 2009. Boyd's bill was $17,398 after
spending just 46 hours in hospital last October. “My first reaction was
to start laughing — I just kept saying, ‘No way,
no way,’ I could have gone to a major university for a year. Instead, I
went to the hospital for two days.”
The Commonwealth Fund conducted a survey of chronically ill adults in
Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the
United Kingdom, and the United States in 2008 and found major differences in health
care access, safety, and efficiency, with U.S. patients at particularly
high risk of forgoing care because of costs and experiencing errors or
inefficient, poorly organized care.
To view the salient points of the survey see: CF Report.
There was an interesting piece on NPR's Morning Edition today on choosing a doctor.
"Health consumers are increasingly shopping online for doctors through peer-based sites like FindADoc.com, DoctorScorecard.com, and even local city search sites." To read or listen to this fine piece go to: NPR Piece
A 21 year-old college student runs the elevators at the Capitol on which the U.S.senators ride. Whenever the Senate is in session, he is on duty. He is presently struggling with $255,000 of medical bills incurred by his
mother before she died in April 2007 from an aggressive form of brain cancer at age 61.
A local hospital and its collection agency have been hounding him in an
effort to collect from his mother’s estate. To pay the
bills, he must sell the Maryland home where he lived with his mother.
This article highlights the problems
of the uninsured, from which members of Congress are usually insulated.
The leading Democratic presidential candidates say all Americans should
have coverage as good as what Congress has.
This is a sad American story. Many are left outside the health care system. Any physician who practices here knows the crazy-quilt pastiche of insurance plans (federal, state, private, HMO etc.) just doesn't work; yet change seems too daunting.
Shannon Brownlee, a Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, gave two important talks at Williams College on October 10, 2007. Her visit was sponsored by the Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Brownlee's stories,
essays, and opinion pieces about medicine and health care have appeared
in such publications as The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times
Magazine, The New Republic, Slate, Time, Discover, BusinessWeek,
Washington Monthly, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The
Canadian entrepreneur Frank Stronach, chairman of auto parts giant Magna International, built the village after being moved by the plight of New Orleanians who fled their homes when Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005.