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Health Care

Many U.S. nursing home residents with a form of dementia are being medicated without informed consent, according to a report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Feb. 5. While the American Psychiatric Association (APA) recommends antipsychotic drugs only in limited circumstances, they are regularly administered in assisted living facilities to residents with dementia in […] Read More

Kenya will celebrate its 54th independence day later this year. The east African nation’s motto is “Harambee,” which is a Swahili word that basically means, “All pull together.” It is a term and concept emphasized by Jomo Kenyatta (1891-1978), who became the first president of the Republic of Kenya, and “Harambee!” is the title of […] Read More

I’ve been preparing to explore the theme of “Good News for the Poor” with my seminary ethics class as the U.S. Congress has been debating changes to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. One of the things I do with my students is to walk through the New Testament to show them just how continuously […] Read More

A U.S. congressman recently commented that medical care was not a right. That got me to thinking. If rights are conferred only by law, then rights can both be given and taken away. However, are there rights that we have because we are human beings, and that are not subject to law? Enshrined in our […] Read More

“Simon Says” and “Mother May I?” were two versions of a popular game in my childhood. Success resulted from remembering and using these key words. You were “out” if you responded to a directive that wasn’t preceded with “Simon Says” or didn’t use the request for permission, “Mother May I?” A juvenile game, of course, […] Read More

In a nation that cherishes choice, most of the time a decision between alternatives is made on a nonconsequential basis. It’s simply a matter of preference. Should I choose one brand over another? One store over another? One size over another? It really doesn’t matter, so I go with an inclination or what has become […] Read More

With all the news about health care, most are familiar with the phrase “pre-existing conditions” that might affect the kind of health care coverage one can access. The intention is simple and understandable, at least from a strictly financial standpoint. If an insurance company or health plan knows or suspects that a person or family […] Read More

In my weekly column in Church Health Reader, “Ask Deborah,” I responded to the following question: I am finding health ministry to be more stressful than I had imagined it would be when I was going through the Foundations in Faith Community Nursing course, even as a seasoned RN. I am well aware of the […] Read More

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of co-authoring an op-ed with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon titled “Standing in the Gap for Working Missourians.” It was written in support of providing health coverage to 300,000 working Missourians through the expansion of the state’s Medicaid program. Under the proposed expansion, low-income Missourians who can’t afford […] Read More

Several years ago, I met Sally Jane as she walked into the clinic pushing her severely impaired granddaughter in a wheelchair. Sally Jane had become Melissa’s caregiver when her mother abandoned her, no longer able to cope with the daily behavior problems and seizures. Sally Jane had only an eighth-grade education, lived in a mobile […] Read More