Monthly Archives: February 2006

Two New American Cardinals Tethered to Sex Abuse Scandal

When Pope Benedict XVI tapped two American archbishops as cardinals this week, it was widely noted in the press that both men have been at the center of the sex abuse controversy. Archbishop William Levada, formerly Archbishop of San Francisco and now head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith was dogged by the scandals and was recently deposed in a sex abuse lawsuit. Sean O’Malley of Boston inherited Cardinal Law’s mess in Boston. Both bishops have been criticized for their handling of the crisis.

Dubuque Archdiocese Settles Priest Abuse Cases

While the victims talked about the settlement in Waterloo, church leaders in Dubuque gave a public apology and talked about how the archdiocese would move forward. Closure and restitution seem to be the two words that best describe this settlement for abuse cases that happened in the 1950’s and 1960’s. During a news conference, archbishop Jerome Hanus outlined exactly how the church will pay $5 million to abuse victims. “The bulk of it will come from the Dubuque Archdiocesan Protection Program,” says Hanus.

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Nashville Police Revise Taser Policy

Metro police sergeants are called in whenever a taser is needed. Beginning Friday, paramedics will also help subdue people who could be tasered.
This new policy is an effort to prevent deaths from excited delirium. Exited delirium can happen when a person is on drugs and has to be tasered because they are out of control.
Now, in those cases, police will restrain the suspect and a paramedic will inject a tranquilizer. Metro police revised their taser policy after Patrick Lee died last September.

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Carbon Monoxide Keeps the Meat Red

Have you ever noticed how you steaks or hamburger meat start to turn brown or gray soon after you open the wrapping? However, the meat industry has an answer that’s causing quite a stir among consumer advocates. They are treating the meat with carbon monoxide which keeps that fresh red color in the meat. Consumer advocates say this is a dangerous practice not because of the levels of carbon monoxide used but that this practice makes it harder for consumers to tell the freshness of meat. Debate will continue. . .

Medical Device Approved in Spite of FDA Objection

According to an article in the NY Times, “A top federal medical official overruled the unanimous opinion of his scientific staff when he decided last year to approve a pacemaker-like device to treat persistent depression, a Senate committee reported Thursday.
The device, the surgically implanted vagus nerve stimulator, had not proved effective against depression in its only clinical trial for treatment of that illness. As a result, scientists at the Food and Drug Administration repeatedly and unanimously recommended rejecting the application of its maker, Cyberonics Inc., to sell it as such a treatment, said the report, written by the staff of the Senate Finance Committee.”

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Early Morning Fog a Hazard to Florida Drivers

The late winter/early spring in central Florida brings snowbirds and visitors alike to Florida for vacations and spring break. It also brings a rash of early morning car crashes. The combination of early morning fog, slick roads, and drivers new to Florida roads can lead to a spike in auto accidents. The Florida fog can linger into the mid-morning hours reducing visibility and increasing the chance for a mishap. Headlights should be used until this fog burns off completely and drivers should operate vehicle with more caution and lower speed to make up for these hazards.

Kava Kava Feels Good but May Produce Harmful Consequences

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers of the potential risk of severe liver injury associated with the use of kava-containing dietary supplements. Kava (Piper methysticum) is a plant indigenous to the islands in the South Pacific where it is commonly used to prepare a traditional beverage. Supplements containing the herbal ingredient kava are promoted for relaxation (e.g., to relieve stress, anxiety, and tension), sleeplessness, menopausal symptoms and other uses. Liver-related risks associated with the use of kava have prompted regulatory agencies in other countries, including those in Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada, and the United Kingdom, to take action ranging from warning consumers about the potential risks of kava use to removing kava-containing products from the marketplace. Although liver damage appears to be rare, FDA believes consumers should be informed of this potential risk.

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FDA to Put Warning on Ortho Evra

The FDA will put a new warning on the Ortho Evra birth control patch in order to warn consumers and healthcare professionals that users may be at a much greater risk of blood clots when using the patch.
Dr. Daniel Shames, director of the FDA’s division of reproductive and urologic drug products, says updated labeling has been approved for the product to warn healthcare providers and patients that women who use it are exposed to to higher levels of estrogen than most birth control pills.