Monthly Archives: October 2005

Guidant Reports Six More Defibrillator Failures

Guidant Corp. told U.S. regulators that it learned of six additional failures of implantable heart defibrillators since issuing a July notice about the devices used to regulate cardiac rhythms.
The failures occurred in the Contak Renewal and Renewal 2 brand of devices, the Food and Drug Administration said. The two devices were among models included in warnings Guidant sent to doctors in June.
The new reports of failures since a previous FDA notice July 14 bring the total worldwide to 21, including three cases in which patients died, the FDA said.

Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ Priest Personnel Files Reveal Cover Up and More Scandal

Now I know why Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles refused to disclose his priests’ personnel files. They’re full of stories of sexual abuse cover ups and re-shuffling pedophile and ephebophile clergy. The NY Times got an advance copy of the personnel files of 126 Roman Catholic clergymen that “provides a numbing chronicle of 75 years of the church’s shame,” according to the Times. I think that’s an understatement on the Times’ part. The clergy abuse scandal which doesn’t seem to go away in spite of the bishops’ best efforts is about an egregious abuse of authority and power. The victimization of young people, especially innocent children cries out for justice and reparation.
According to those who have viewed the files, the personnel records have been cleansed so that many of the damaging details have been removed from public viewing. This appears to be another public relations move on the part of the Church rather than an attempt at resolution and healing.

Spinal Cord Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Between 250,000 and 400,000 Americans suffer from some type of spinal cord injury. Every year, there are approximately 11,000 new spinal cord injuries. That’s 30 new injuries daily. Most spinal cord injuries occur as a result of an auto accident or a sports related injury. There is no cure for spinal cord injury. Once it has been damaged there is no cure. That’s why prevention is so important. Here are 8 steps the National Spinal Cord Injury Association recommends to avoid this type of injury:
1. Always follow safe practices at work and at play.
2. Follow correct safety procedures and use recommended safety equipment at work
3. Regular exercise, good posture, and proper lifting techniques help prevent injuury
4. Before exercise, make sure you warm up properly and thoroughly
5. When swimming, check the depth of the water before attempting to dive
6. When on the roads, practice defensive driving and never drink alcohol or use drugs
7. Wear an approved helmet when biking, skateboarding, or roller blading
8. Don’t take unnecessary risks

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Judge in Vioxx Trial Says She Was Mislead By Merck

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee ordered the testimony of Briggs Morrison, a Vice President for Merck Research Labs to be stricken from the record and ignored by the jury. “Quite frankly, I felt sick yesterday afternoon,” she said. “I realized how I have got sucked into this. I feel that I was misled during the testimony.” The comments came on the heels of Merck testimony about a series of animal tests and their implications for the safety of Vioxx, but the judge said he was not an expert on the topic. The judge ordered that the entire testimony be ignored by the jury and that if Merck wished to use him as a witness any further, the company’s defense lawyers would have to rely on testimony given during an earlier videotaped deposition. Merck attorney Diane Sullivan protested the judge’s ruling but was repeatedly told by the judge to sit down and stop speaking. The judge at one point threatened to remove Sullivan from the courtroom after the lawyer continued to argue against the judge’s decision.

Philly Grand Jury Report Heartbreaking for Victims

The recently released 422 page Grand Jury report from Philadelphia is a damning condemnation of how the Catholic Church in Philadelphia has used its power and influence over many decades to cover up and excuse horrific child sexual abuse. The report lays out in graphic detail the heinous crimes of priests who continued to abuse children in their care. Probably the most important part of the report is the prosecutor’s call for a change in the local statute of limitations so that these crimes can be prosecuted and victims receive their day in court and some semblance of justice.
The manner in which the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has responded to the report and its treatment of victims make it difficult for new victims to come forward. Very often, they feel guily and marginalized by their own church. The real heroes in this tragedy are the victims who have courageously stepped out of the darkness and told their story.