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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Archive for March, 2010

An Outrageous Trick

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Nancy Pelosi’s perverted legislative tricks truly have no end of twists and turns. The Democrats are now planning to bypass time honored rules of the House of Representatives, and the Constitution itself. The latest Pelosi gimmick is to force Obamacare on America via the so-called “Slaughter Solution,” dreamed up by liberal Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. If this abominable trick is used, the House will pass the Senate version of Obamacare without casting a direct vote for the actual Senate Bill , but instead voting on a rule that “deems” the Senate bill passed. The bill will then go directly to the president for his signature, which makes it the law of the land!! Pelosi believes the “Slaughter Solution” allows wavering Democrat House members political cover, since they can pretend to vote on a “rule” without voting directly for the Senate Bill itself.

The “Slaughter Solution” is a subversion of our democratic principles and its use here is unconstitutional. I predict that if the bill passes by the use of this outrageous maneuver, there will be an immediate challenge to its constitutionality, perhaps with a lawsuit going directly to the Supreme Court.

Digital Fortress

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

I am repeatedly surprised by Dan Brown.  I’ve just completed reading one of his earlier works, DIGITAL FORTRESS, published in 1998 before ANGELS and DEMONS and the DA VINCI CODE.  DIGITAL FORTRESS is a thriller about codes and computers, and deserves the cliché, “page turner.” Now I ask why can’t a writer who does such obviously extensive research and models such ingenious plots write in a more carefully crafted manner? Why can’t he use indirect discourse instead of italics when he is in the head of one of his characters? Why must his characters present themselves as such one-dimensional cartoons? Certainly, character development is not his strong point.  Why must he use such damn flowery language? Instead he uses such terribly purple prose.  Here are some examples:

” The soft rays sifted through the curtains . . . ”
” She kissed him deeply.  ”
” He broke into a sudden wide grin. ”
” Susan gasped.  ”

Digital Fortress is not as well developed as ANGELS and DEMONS or the DA VINCI CODE, but is a reasonable beach read. There are some interesting details about codes and how to break them, and some computer quirks that are mildly interesting.  Great literature it is not.

The Organ Follies Continue.

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

This morning, the Philadelphia Inquirer has a front page article below the fold, with a headline as follows: ORGANS FOR SALE? STUDY SAYS DONORS ARE WILLING. The article continues –– “A Penn survey suggests that payments would draw more participants.” I don’t agree with that conclusion, but it certainly suggests that this issue is heating up.

Along these same lines, a friend e-mailed me yesterday in response to my comments about organ donations. She wrote that “Some at the AMA want to make organ donation automatic – in other words you need to opt out instead of volunteer, ie thru drivers license. So, if you don’t “opt out” you’ll automatically donate. Sends shivers up my spine…”

I think the concept of organ sales is immoral, unethical, and reprehensible. Organ procurement and transplantation are medically necessary. They must be accomplished with the utmost care, with strict guidelines, with careful and complete informed consent, and must occur without any financial incentives.

Watch Your Organs Carefully

Monday, March 15th, 2010

ER Physicians might be allowed to obtain organs from critically ill patients under a new HHS program. In a Washington Post article today, 03/15, because of an increasing number of deaths among patients waiting for organs, and in an effort to deal with this problem, some misguided officials in the federal government are providing a $321,000 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to the emergency departments at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Presbyterian Hospital and Allegheny General Hospital on how to procure organs in the ER from patients dying from heart attacks, car accidents, strokes, and other urgent care patients. Critics say that allowing this to happen in “the tumultuous environment of an ED raises the specter of doctors preying on dying patients.” James Bowman, medical director of the transplantation division at the Health Resources and Services Administration, claims there are “strict firewalls in place,” whatever that means. This is unethical, immoral, and an abhorrent medical practice. And just think about this: the Department of HHS will be in charge of U.S. health care if Obamacare passes. Heaven help us!!

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