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Eddie Mair | 08:52 UK time, Monday, 5 November 2007

No, seriously.


  1. At 10:06 AM on 05 Nov 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Well first of all....welcome back Eddie, where have you been? Hope you had a good time whatever you were up to

    And thank you Sequin for an excellent job as always, hope you can have a rest now.

    Now I need to rant! I've been lurking a lot of late (partly due to 502s and partly due to being a bit too busy to partake in the fun). Anyway just read something which really angered me (as a mother myself). A woman has died after giving birth to twins because of her refusal to accept a blood transfusion due to her Jehovah's Witness beliefs!!! So now her two helpless little babies have to grow up motherless and because of what - her wretched religious beliefs! Is it really worth it? Now I am not against religion per se, everyone is entitled to believe what they want and I do think of myself as a Christian. But is there no end to the misery and suffering that is a direct result of people's religious beliefs - be it on the scale of a full scale war or loss of a mother to two helpless newborn little innocent babies?? I remember giving birth as clear as the day it happened and the utter joy and love you feel for that little baby, I cannot imagine anything surpassing that and taking priority over doing the best for them. Maybe I don't know the full facts of this story so feel free to enlighten me if I am making an incorrect point here.

    Ok, rant over - am off to make a cup of tea to calm down


  2. At 10:12 AM on 05 Nov 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Seriously, how are you? How was China? Good to see you back (though Sequin was quite marvellous, of course!)

  3. At 10:37 AM on 05 Nov 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Welcome back, Eddie. It looks as if you arrived before your postcard. It's always the same with
    the foreign mail.

  4. At 11:01 AM on 05 Nov 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    Is it over? Has the Usual Second Choice gone? You will have me back as a listener, then. Welcome!

  5. At 11:56 AM on 05 Nov 2007, Peej wrote:

    I hear you're sitting in for Sequin tonight Eddie ? welcome back.

  6. At 12:23 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Eddie Mair wrote:

    Well how loverly of you all. China, Big Sis?

    Nice to be back. Bit tired. And I will stop there as this is The Furrowed Brow. Be serious! :o)

  7. At 12:43 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Ok, I'll be serious:

    What is Eddie's carbon footprint for this year after his recent sejourne? As a BBC broadcaster with a responsibility to the nation, should he have cancelled his long-haul flight and holidayed in Bournemouth instead? I know of a great hotel there.


  8. At 12:44 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Don't blame me, Eddie, 'twas Fifi who spilled the beans ...... Or perhaps she was telling us porkies? - Gosh, you can't trust anybody these days, can you?

  9. At 01:15 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Sara wrote:

    Oh it's great to see you back, Eddie. Try a large whisky with lemon and hot water - doesn't cure the cold, but makes you feel much better.

    Fiona at 1 - the mother who refuses a blood transfusion to enable her to live to look after her babies may not actually be a good mother at all. Hardly a sacrificial death, is it!

  10. At 02:52 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Peej wrote:

    Sara (9) and Fiona (1) I seem to remember cases where the parents have refused medical treatment for their children on the same grounds, and the courts have intervened. Most people I'm sure will be both bemused and horrified, but I wish I had faith that strong. I'd like to hear a representitve of the Church explain their point of view.

  11. At 03:52 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Karen wrote:

    Busy few weeks but I'm back!

    We had a Jehovah's Witness with a serious post partum haemorrhage when I first qualified as a pharmacist. My first weekend on call and ITU needed advice on what they could give her. That was a horrible weekend.

    Fortunately for us she had completed a very comprehensive advance directive on what she would and wouldn't have. I will confess that when I got called at 1am in the morning when her haemoglobin was 1.8 (should be around about 12) I was a little frustrated that we weren't able to use the one thing that would really work for her. Things were really very shaky for her for 4 or 5 days. I spent the whole weekend convinced that she was going to die on my watch.

    Thankfully she survived without any harm although she did miss out on her baby's first few days and who knows what impact that would have had.

    Overall I'm really glad that I was part of the team that made this work. To be honest with you if we'd tried all this and it hadn't worked I wouldn't have regretted it because we would have tried to do what was best for our patient.

    No one ever did a cost analysis of what sticking to the AD actually cost the NHS. Blood is expensive but so too is Epoetin, folic acid injection, iron injection, fluids, B12 injection and all the other things we tried to keep her going. An ITU bed was tied up for a week with the expensive nurse and equipment and the cost of the medicine to keep her safely sedated.

    I think I might be in favour of a standard package of care being provided by your local hospital and if you choose to vary your treatment from the standard and this attracts additional charges then you should be expected to pay some of the costs of the choice. Controversial I know but her choice reduced the number of ITU beds in the pool by one. We may have had to turn away a critically injured RTC or meningitis patient because we had no beds available.

  12. At 03:53 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Peej (10)

    Doubt if the JWs will oblige, but there have been times recently when accepting a blood transfusion from a bank would have been very risky. Hepatitis and AIDS are but two diseases that have been contracted by blood transfusion. So they do have a point.

  13. At 04:10 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Sara (9), good point! And Peej (10), I too would be interested to hear the church's point of view on this. However I can honestly say I do have faith that strong - that is faith in my children and knowing that it is my duty and responsibility to do all I can to take care of them (including taking care of myself to be there for them).

    Am surprised no-one else has commented on this - thought it was such an emotive issue that there would be other points of view put forward but it seems not.

  14. At 08:02 PM on 05 Nov 2007, jacques wrote:

    On the "16 - 18 years..." series of the blog, nearly everyone was horrified at the thought of your government compelling adolescents to work/to train/to be in education etc. Also punishing them if they did not do so.

    In the case of the mother in this series, do you think that your government should have compelled her to have a blood transfusion ? As she is now dead, should your government stop Family Allowance for the surviving children, etc. as "punishment" for her action. Does she have the "right" to take this decision/action and ignore the "responsibilities" which motherhood entails ?

  15. At 12:09 AM on 06 Nov 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    I suppose that if one is certain that one will be damned for accepting a blood transfusion, then that would over-ride all other considerations including the well-being of some infants one didn't actually know at all. It may seem silly and selfish to me, but then I don't think I would be damned for having a blood transfusion. Infected, possibly, but I don't really want to believe in a God who would be that petty-minded.

    As for making teenagers *do* something, when Knight has worked out how to do it I'm sure there are a lot of mothers who'd like to have a chat with him about it. Perhaps he's setting up a lecture-circuit for himself when he is no longer in Parliament?

  16. At 03:09 PM on 06 Nov 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Food for thought?

    An Agricultural Crime Against Humanity Posted November 6, 2007

    Biofuels could kill more people than the Iraq war.

    By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 6th November 2007

    It doesn’t get madder than this. Swaziland is in the grip of a famine and receiving emergency food aid. Forty per cent of its people are facing acute food shortages. So what has the government decided to export? Biofuel made from one of its staple crops, cassava(1). The government has allocated several thousand hectares of farmland to ethanol production in the county of Lavumisa, which happens to be the place worst hit by drought(2). It would surely be quicker and more humane to refine the Swazi people and put them in our tanks. Doubtless a team of development consultants is already doing the sums.

    This is one of many examples of a trade described last month by Jean Ziegler, the UN’s special rapporteur, as “a crime against humanity”(3). Ziegler took up the call first made by this column for a five-year moratorium on all government targets and incentives for biofuel(4): the trade should be frozen until second-generation fuels - made from wood or straw or waste - become commercially available. Otherwise the superior purchasing power of drivers in the rich world means that they will snatch food from people’s mouths. Run your car on virgin biofuel and other people will starve.

    Even the International Monetary Fund, always ready to immolate the poor on the altar of business, now warns that using food to produce biofuels “might further strain already tight supplies of arable land and water all over the world, thereby pushing food prices up even further.”(5) This week the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation will announce the lowest global food reserves in 25 years, threatening what it calls “a very serious crisis”(6). Even when the price of food was low, 850 million people went hungry because they could not afford to buy it. With every increment in the price of flour or grain, several million more are pushed below the breadline.


    Another round?

    University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.
    -- Henry Kissinger

  17. At 03:12 PM on 06 Nov 2007, Sara wrote:

    I gather the JWs were on Breakfast TV this morning but I didn't hear them as I had already left for work. I too would be very interested to know how they justify this rule.

    "The church" and Jehovas Witnesses are not the same thing. The JWs' Bible differs quite significantly from the bible used by the trinitarian churches - JWs are unitarian and outside the World Council of Churches. However, this does not mean that the "orthodox" Christian churches interpret the bible any more intelligently, hence the number of rows which rumble on over the ordination of women and homosexuality, etc. Somehow some of these people have got it into their heads that the bible equates to some kind of scientific textbook. But it is not. The bible is a combination of history, stories and poetry. It makes no claim to state literal truth (despite what fundamentalists say) but it uses all three media to guide one into the truth. Sadly, when a Christian (or JW I suppose) gets fixated on a specific detail they can easily find in the bible some text or other to support them, whilst cheerfully ignoring other texts which they don't choose to support.

    Personally I find it almost impossible to have meaningful argument with fundamentalists, which would include JWs. On the other hand, there can be of course (and usually is!) a great deal of debate on how scripture can be interpreted as guiding us into the truth, some of it better informed and considered than others. To me, it is as much of a nonsense to focus rigidly on the bits of scripture you happen to want to believe as it is to ignore the bits you don't like. Theology is not about making me happy, it's about discerning what is true. Christianity has only two absolute rules: to love God with all your heart, etc., and to love your neighbour (ie everyone) as yourself. The rest may be open to debate.

    Well, that's it for today. Back to work!

  18. At 03:14 PM on 06 Nov 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Karen (11), I was very interested to read your post. And your suggestion with regard to charging is challenging but not easily dosmissable. Thanks for that -- I will be chewing it pover forsome time.

    Jacques (14), Your first and third questions I understand -- and my responses would be "no" and "yes" in that order but this: As she is now dead, should your government stop Family Allowance for the surviving children, etc. as "punishment" for her action is just silly. Why would punishing children even be a consideration?

  19. At 04:07 PM on 06 Nov 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    Did I detect irony from a Frenchman?


    Many changes of mind and mood; do not hesitate too long.

  20. At 04:33 PM on 06 Nov 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Good grief -- my apologies for my poor fingering above!

    Ed (19) Did you? I didn't but that doesn't mean it wasn't there.

  21. At 04:40 PM on 06 Nov 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Jacques (14) - I agree with Appy's responses - particular to your point about punishing the children, absolutely not! It sticks in my throat to say that I don't think she, or anyone else, should be forced to have a transfusion against their will in order to save them, as I believe above all else in the individual's right to freedom of choice. However it will trouble me forever how anyone could possibly put any kind of religious belief before the welfare of their own flesh and blood. Sara (17) I totally agree with you regarding your feelings about fundamentalists. I could waffle on about this for long enough but nothing will ever convince me her actions were justified, to me her death wasn't a tragedy, it was just totally pointless.

  22. At 08:35 PM on 06 Nov 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Appers @ 18, because of the quote-marks round the word "punishment" what I read jacques as saying @ 14 was that punishing people of 16-18 for not working was on a par with trying to punish the infant members of the dead woman's family for her action... In other words that it would be as reasonable to punish those children as to punish the 16-18-year-old children who aren't toeing the government line properly. I didn't think he was advocating the course, I think he was pointing out that since that was absurd, so was the other, and we ought to look at it that way.

    Gosh I'm glad that my children are all over eighteen and thus (apart from ID cards and all the rest of the totalitarian unpleasantness) comparatively safe from this wretched ill-judging bunch of wannabe nannies! Indeed, I grieve that two of them are mostly out of the country and so I don't see them much, but I'm very glad for their sakes that they are clear of this mess for the time being at least.

    Fiona @ 21, I think the word we need may be "responsibility": this woman ought to have accepted her responsibility for her children, and that would include putting herself at risk for their benefit. If it is the case (whether we think it's true or not) that having a transfusion is a risk to herself but would benefit the children, isn't she being rather selfish by choosing her own benefit over theirs? Her death could be seen as an ultimate selfishness, rather than merely pointless, on that basis, and that may be why we find it objectionable. (Since I only just noticed this and did so because of thinking about what you wrote, I owe you thanks...)

  23. At 05:13 AM on 07 Nov 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
    As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
    -- Edgar Allan Poe, "The Raven"

    [Quoted in "VMS Internals and Data Structures", V4.4, when
    referring to hardware interrupts.]

    And now I see with eye serene
    The very pulse of the machine.
    -- William Wordsworth, "She Was a Phantom of Delight"

    [Quoted in "VMS Internals and Data Structures", V4.4, when
    referring to software interrupts.]

  24. At 08:23 AM on 07 Nov 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    So, poppies. Red, white, or both?

    (Taciturn, me.)

  25. At 12:47 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Sara wrote:

    SSC (24). Red. Or black. As seen on the final Blackadder. Not white. No point.

  26. At 01:08 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Fiona wrote:

    thank you Chris (22), absolutely! How can any God condone actions which means a person puts themselves and their beliefs before their responsibility to their own flesh and blood?? I don't think I explained that very well but I hope my point is clear enough. This is a subject I have very strong feelings about (in case you hadn't noticed already!)

  27. At 01:25 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Red, certainly until someone trying to sell me a white one is able to tell me what the money will be spent on. I already know what happens to red-poppy money, but so far nobody has given me proper information about the white ones. I know that I could find it out for myself if I hunted around far enough, but I think the people who care enough to sell them ought to know what they are selling them for -- and a vague mumble of 'peace studies' isn't quite enough.

    Telling me that by wearing a red one I am 'glorifying war' is not calculated to convert me to white, either.

  28. At 01:36 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Jane wrote:

    Apparently, news is emerging that the Jehovah's Witness lady had an advanced medical directive which informed the medical team of her alternatives to a blood transfusion. I believe that a cell saver machine was one of her choices, although, I can't comment further because I don't have all the details, only what I can ascertain through the media online.

    I am also aware, through surfing the internet that hospitals are using these desirable advancements in bloodless surgery.

    Quoting from what I've read in the Herald Tribute -Asia and Pacific, 5/11/07 Max Essex the chairman of the Harvard AIDS initiative and professor at the school of Health in Boston, refered to blood transfusions as dumb medicine,and despite the state of the art testing, there has been a tremendous expansion of the HIV epidemic.

    The situation is such that in some countries doctors and nurses are being sentenced to death after being judged guilty of infecting hundreds of children through tainted blood.

    One epidemiologist said simply:"It's insane."

    These medical websites were also an eye opener for me after typing in noblood in my google search engine:

    www.noblood.org is a non Witness medical website forum to investigate, discuss and report the latest techniques in
    blood management and alternatives to blood transfusion.
    Additional Resources Organizations to Contact for Information ...

    www.noblood.org. Bloodless Medicine Research of the University of Pisa, Italy.
    www.bloodless.it. Medical Society for Blood Management ...



    Tools of the Trade

    *Cells saver—a device that recycles a patient’s blood lost during surgery. It collects, cleans, then returns the blood to the patient.

    *Oximetry—tracks oxygen levels during surgery.

    *Hyperbaric chamber—distributes high concentrations of oxygen into blood before surgery to increase a patient’s ability to withstand surgical procedures.

    *Argon beam coagulation—coagulates or clots blood during surgery to minimize loss.

    *Volume expanders and hemodilution—enhances the circulation of the patient’s blood via intravenous fluids.

    *Synthetic erythropoietin—stimulates bone marrow to produce enough red blood cells to make transfusion unnecessary.

    *Harmonic scalpel — a scalpel that uses vibration and friction to cut and cause blood clotting at virtually the same time.

    *Electrocautery — uses heat to stop vessels from bleeding.

    SOURCE: The New Jersey Institute for the Advancement of Bloodless

    Nurseweek/Healthweek|Bloodless surgery

  29. At 02:22 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Thank you Jane.

  30. At 02:56 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Thanks Jane - very interesting stuff!
    Fiona x

  31. At 03:00 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Sid Cumberland wrote:

    I think I've mentioned this before. But I'll mention it again.

    Someone's been on TV lately recommending old-fashioned nonsense with regard to child-care. I came across this:

    "Correlating these findings with human behavioural research suggests which events lead to chronic stress and its permanent consequences:
    • allowing a child to 'cry it out' without parental attention and affection
    • not feeding the child when hungry
    • not offering comfort when the child is disturbed or distressed
    limiting body contact during feeding throughout the day, and during stressful parts of the night
    • low levels of human attention, stimulation, 'conversation' and play"

    Yet these are the very things which were being recommended to parents. Do we really have so little respect for (a) our children and (b) science that we find it acceptable to allow people to peddle such crap for our entertainment? I'm all for free speech - but if it is known to damage children ...


  32. At 03:00 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Jane @ 28, this is no doubt all laudible and sensible and alternatives should be looked at, but the fact appears to remain that in the particular hospital and at the particular time the alternatives were not available and the life was not saved by them, so they were not a lot of use to the infants orphaned by the death.

    When infants are at risk, a degree of pragmatism trumps idealistic hypothetical solutions, on the whole. "I want to be treated with something that isn't available" is a fine directive but a waste of ink...

    As I understand it, the religious objection in JWs to blood-transfusions extends to their own recycled blood, since blood is life-force and must be spilt freely to God, and cannot be reclaimed. 'cell-saver' would presumably be unacceptable for the same reasons, so I can't see it as a reasonable religious request.

    Given that suicide is I believe still illegal in Britain, and doctors are utterly forbidden to assist in it, I do wonder whether the JW who refuses a life-saving treatment is deemed to be committing suicide thereby, and what the legal position is of a doctor who assists in this determined self-immolation. Similarly, if a transfusion to the mother had been essential for the lives of her children to continue, would her refusal to have one have constituted murder of those infants, and if so, who is the murderer, the woman or the medical team?

    Are medical teams entitled to refuse to give a treatment that they know will not work, and will leave them open to prosecution of this sort? if so, are they allowed to refuse to assist at a birth of this kind?

    I note that the sources you quote about blood-transfusion seem to be based in America. The situation in Britain, where donated blood and its donors are screened for impurities that make it unsuitable for transmission to the sick, and many donors are turned away as unacceptable because they have had for example brucilosis or a thyroid malfunction in the past, may be slightly different from a system in which blood is paid for and may come from sources in need of a boost to their income, with less consideration given to the health of the vendors.

  33. At 03:38 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Karen wrote:

    The guidance we used was


    The holistic care of the patient means that you involve the patient in decision making as far as possible. Our patient had considered the fact that things may go wrong and had written us an advanced directive telling us what she did and did not want. If she had died despite our efforts then, as I understood it, we would not be culpable because we had gone with her wishes. Her family were involved at all stages through.

    Had we given her blood whilst she was unconscious and unable to object but she then recovered she apparently could have had us on an assault charge had we not followed some complicated legal procedure.

    I suppose it is a similar situation with other religions. I would not knowingly give capsules containing pork gelatin to a Muslim patient . In the past I have had to give advice to very strict Muslims who were diabetic but wanted to observe Ramadan which is really going against what is best for their physical health but is probably better for them if you consider their wellbeing holistically. That all sounds terribly fluffy, I know, but it cannot be good to think that you have gone against your fundamental belief system accidentally or against your own free will.

    It's equally challenging though when a Rastafarian brings cannabis on site telling you that it's a sacrament that he needs to take. That one still makes me shudder.

  34. At 03:46 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Thank you Chris (30) for making an excellent counter point. Jane's post is very interesting reading but I am with you completely on this subject.

    Personally speaking blood transfusions are completely acceptable in my head as I have grown up with a father who has been ill since I was just a little girl, he has had countless operations over the years and countless transfusions, without these he would have been gone a long time ago.

    Nothing, but nothing will ever convince me that this woman's decision was not selfish and irresponsible..........sorry if that offends anyone

  35. At 04:25 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Karen @ 33, thanks for that link.

    I think I've been told that Queen Victoria drank an infusion of cannibis during child-birth to relax her and reduce the pain, before the invention of anasthaetic gas for her use; presumably her doctor approved it for that purpose. i wonder how well it worked, and given that we're told relaxation during child-birth is a good thing whether the Rastafarian might have a point in that particular case. ;-)

  36. At 04:31 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    "It's equally challenging though when a Rastafarian brings cannabis on site telling you that it's a sacrament that he needs to take. That one still makes me shudder.

    Makes me stand there waiting for a toke!


    Lady Astor was giving a costume ball and Winston Churchill asked her what disguise she would recommend for him. She replied, "Why don't you come sober, Mr. Prime Minister?"

  37. At 06:28 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Part of our continuing service,
    understanding the possibility of being accused of "gloating"!


    A woman's place is in the house... and in the Senate.

  38. At 06:32 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Sid Cumberland wrote:

    Karen (11 & 33) - thanks for some interesting thoughts. I too like the idea of providing what I would describe as a sensible level of care, with the patient being required to pay extra for additional facilities.

    Or do we want to equip all hospitals with all possible kit for every bunch of fruitcakes? (Sorry, that's my liberal side coming out.)


  39. At 06:48 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Karen wrote:

    Ed (35)

    Holistic Healthcare meeting the Misuse of Drugs Act is never a pretty sight!! Every single time I come across it I have a nightmare of a time. The worst was the patient who was coming for weekly therapy sessions and had "found something that really worked for the pain."

    I'm interested at the spectrum of views that this has thrown up. I only briefly thought, "Give the woman some blood," but that was because I didn't really have the experience to advise the team properly and it was the middle of the night. There have been other refusals by patients in the past of treatments which have seemed equally bizarre to me but at the end of the day it is their body and they should have choice in what happens to it.

    I'm not a parent and I'm in no way religious which obviously colours my take on this. There is the question though - if the lady who died was given blood against her and her families wishes and survived what would the JW community have thought of this? Would the children be without a mother because she was shunned and driven to depression and suicide? Difficult one all round.

  40. At 07:38 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    I think we'd find little upon which to disagree.

    I honour your professional expertise and perspective as well as your native moral good sense.

    I'm religiously INclusive, and therefore not bound by any 'sect' - only by those tenets of deep wisdom which seem pretty much common to all.

    Namaste (look it up)

    O, it is excellent
    To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
    To use it like a giant.
    -- Shakespeare, "Measure for Measure", II, 2

  41. At 08:06 PM on 07 Nov 2007, Humph wrote:

    SSCat (24) My attitude is “none of the above”. I have not worn a poppy since the Legion decided to use the phrase “Wear your poppy with pride” to encourage people to buy them. Pride? What is there to be proud about? We did not win any war. Wars are never won! We might not lose as badly as the other side, but every death, every wounding is a loss and something that we should not feel proud about.

    I am grateful for the sacrifices made by many people that has preserved/provided for my freedom. I do put money into collections tins when I see them. But I do not see the need to wear a piece of paper stuck on a plastic stick to say that I have done it.


  42. At 06:20 AM on 08 Nov 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Humph (41):

    I largely agree with you, though on the occasions I do wear a poppy, it's a white one. Partly because of the pacifist connotations*, partly because of the attitude of some of the higher-ups in the Legion - I prefer to donate to charities such as Erskine - and partly because I feel the red poppy has been devalued by the way *anyone* on TV or giving a publlic speech wears one from the end of October until the 11th. I can't believe that all these people are remembering the dead and injured of the wars all that time.

    [*] I *will* fight for my family, I *will* fight for my closest friends, I *won't* fight for a nebulous concept such as Queen and Country, or Politics, or Religion, or Oil or Water or Thunderbirds-Island or whatever the latest resource-grab happens to be.

  43. At 03:51 PM on 08 Nov 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    Namaste -ed

    You can't judge a book by the way it wears its hair.

  44. At 01:15 AM on 09 Nov 2007, Jane wrote:

    Some media reports have speculated that a complication was the cause of this unfortunate woman's death.

    According to a medical student in a noblood.org forum, with or without a blood tranfusion she would not have survived if the complication was dissemeninated intravascular coagulation.

    Novel treatments are being investigated for treating DIC; many of these experimental modalities target the excessive T[issue] F[actor] activity that characterizes DIC (Am J Hematol 1998 Sep;59(1):65-73)
    Antithrombin III, antifibrinolytic agents, activated protein C, tissue factor pathway inhibitor, hirudin, or synthetic serine protease inhibitors. (Semin Thromb Hemost 1998;24(1):53-9)

    This is from the University of Pisa, Italy, Bloodless Medicine Research website under Myelodysplastic Syndromes

    My own mother died due to a hemmoraging, she wasn't a Jehovah's Witness and a blood transfusion wasn't even an option.

  45. At 01:25 PM on 09 Nov 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Oh dear.

    Glasgow has won the bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. There will now follow seven years of penury as this big sports day sucks up a ridiculous proportion of Scotland's block grant, expensive flats get thrown up on any spare patch of currently green land to get let out to gullible sports fans, and the company that runs the local rail franchise thinks up excuses not to put any extra trains on past the national stadium, so that it will be impossible for me to get to/from work for a fortnight, just as it is whenever there's a concert there these days.

    I'm gutted.

    Is there *any* reason to want this in your home town? I don't believe any of the estimates of how much it'll bring to the economy - that argument's been clearly discredited with the last few Olympic Games.

  46. At 02:21 PM on 09 Nov 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Me (45):

    £300 million!?!?!? (Says News 24)

    How on Earth can you possibly spend £300 million on a couple of weeks of running, jumping and swimming?

    Are people expecting Glaswegians to suddenly switch to athletic lifestyles if the powers-that-by build a couple more stadia? Are we going to have the old tram-lines rebuilt to fix our transport problems?

    Or is this just going to go on white-elephant projects and yet more executive flats which presumably only property developers will be able to afford to live in?

  47. At 03:08 PM on 09 Nov 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    I get a wee bit uneasy when I find myself agreeing too much with anyone. Are you some sort of twin to me, most honourable and intelligent Feline?

    This from the only city in Britain where one canstill get a decent measure of the water of life - one of the great homes of simple common sense?

    Never mind the organisers flying about the place for the next seven years. (Just occurred to me when I mis-read 'executive flats' as 'flights').

    Another uncommonly bad idea from Our Great Leaders! The Tubes!


    Coming together is a beginning;
    keeping together is progress;
    working together is success.

  48. At 03:18 PM on 09 Nov 2007, UptheTrossachs wrote:

    Erm - don't want to upset you even more SSC, but I'm sure the bid document says that £1.25 billion will be spent on 'making the city accessible'. Presumably, a big chunk of this is the M74 extension which will go ahead anyway.
    I also noticed that they claim that the reason for plumping for late July to hold the Games is because a high proportion of the population will be on holiday. The advantages of this they claim are:
    that the city will be quiet

    people will be available as volunteers
    people will be around and so be able to be spectators

    erm, so how does that make the city quieter??

    I can do you a good deal on a holiday cottage in Callander for the period of the Games if you want to escape the City...... :¬)

  49. At 03:49 PM on 09 Nov 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    All Froggers: I can hereby confirm that Ed and I are two different people (well one person and one artificial cat) with many and varied viewpoints. I would like to point out that I am not using my feline psychic abilities to pre-empt Ed's views and freak him out. ;o)

    UptheTrossachs (48):

    "Accessible" would be good if it included the Glasgow Crossrail project (currently costed at £160m, a tiny fraction of the London one), or possibly the proposed new loop to the Subway, but as you say, it'll probably just be the M74 Monstrosity, sorry Motorway extension.

    I suppose July 23rd is just after the Fair Weekend when Glasgow is traditionally all on holiday (all the factories and shipyards used to take the same two weeks off at the Fair Fortnight). Sadly, I doubt I'll get that time off, due to the actual sports fans booking that time and complaining if someone who isn't going to watch any of it gets the time off instead of them.

  50. At 04:52 PM on 10 Nov 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Our continuing Service continues, despite floods of 502....

    Namaste -ed

    How can I miss you if you won't go away?

  51. At 05:16 PM on 10 Nov 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Our continuing Service continues, despite floods of 502....

    Namaste -ed

    How can I miss you if you won't go away?

  52. At 02:37 PM on 12 Nov 2007, Karen wrote:

    Jane (44)

    DIC is never good. We used activated protein C for a patient once but had to jump through so many hoops to get it and there was no certainty it would work and it cost more than £2500 per vial.... That patient did actually survive but the logistics and timing to get success were a nightmare.

    That was a Holby City moment. Pondering about whether we should try this incredibly expensive last resort treatment for a man who had survived 2 bowel cancer ops whilst a chap in the bed next to him was spectactularly bleeding to death from bleeding oesophageal varices possibly brought about by a history of excessive alcohol intake.

    We reckoned that both patients received in excess of £2500 in treatments but no one flinched at paying for all the blood for the man with a history of alcohol misuse. He died. As I said the man who received the APC survived and was eventually discharged home. Not a nice day though.

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