The time I didn’t stab a XXXXXXX nurse in the throat

Holla!

I blog in peace.

It’s been almost two months since my beautiful Dad lost his life. There is a lot of stuff that I am still battling to wrap my head and heart around. But I count the gifts in the pain with gratitude. I spend a little more time with my husband and my kids. Actually a lot more. This stuff really gets you to re-think crazy 18 hour work days. I have lost my appetite for funny (but getting it back), and have become a vegetarian and have decided to partake in a relay swim to RobbenIsland in March. Great Whites don’t eat vegetarians do they?

I still have much unresolved anger though. I am being intentional about trying to work through it in helpful ways. But for me my Dad’s death underscores what I regard as one of the biggest crimes against humanity: off-label drugging. My father was indeed very ill. I accept that. But I 100% believe that the practice of off-label drugging in the last weeks of his life, excluded any chance he had to survive. So when the kind XXXXXX nurse came to consol us after his death, I was sitting there thinking “Lady, you have no idea you are sitting within a metre of someone who would actually like to stab you right now.” Not the greatest advert for my work in non-violence, I know. But, in my defence, I didn’t act on it. And in her defence she knows no better. But getting through the following conversation took some super-human strength for me: “Sheena I am so sorry about your father….so, have you got any exciting plans for Christmas?”

If information and education on medication is coming direct from the marketers, then it is bound to be flawed. If medical trialists are employed by those who market medication, education and information cannot possibly be independent and in tact. Another case of blatant in-separation of powers and complete lack of, or at least compromise of independence.

The whole of medical law operates on informed consent. That is the axis. If patients and families are not fully appraised of adverse reactions and side effects, then informed consent does not exist.

One of the projects I will be taking on this year, via our Access to Justice Foundation, is to campaign for educated choice-making when it comes to medical treatment. Primarily in the world of pharma-psychiatry. My view is that psychotropic drugs (SSRI’s, ritalin, benzodiazepines and the like) should not even exist. But at the very least, they should be an absolute last resort. Much work is needed though, in looking at viable alternatives.

In other news, in the world of Alternative Dispute Resolution, the number of legal disputes and other disputes getting referred to private dispute resolution continues to grow exponentially. We continue, where we can to petition courts to refer matters to ADR Dialogue processes.

In a recent matter of 43 arrested protesting workers, a postponement was achieved to make representations on ADR Dialogue. This is an interesting matter in which workers, who had been dispossessed of their ID documents gathered to peacefully protest their inability to join trade unions, wages of as little as R 27 a day and the sexual exploitation of female workers. Live rounds were fired at the group before 43 were arrested. Dialogue is the only way this stuff will ever be resolved. We will keep you posted on this. Look out for court dates on our Facebook page and Twitter Feed. Your presence in solidarity with the workers is always appreciated.

Please email me any thoughts you may have. I love hearing from you.

Until next time, peace.

Sheena

sheena@mediatorsa.co.za

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