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Underdeveloped Giving

In fiscal year 2001, the US spent less than one-fourth of one percent of the total federal budget on development aid, placing the country last among developed nations for percentage of gross national product devoted to poverty-focused foreign aid.- Bread for the World, as quoted inWorld Vision Today, Autumn 2001


Baby Mailers

No more scribbled notes about baby's accomplishments, frantic searches for medical records, confusion over instructions for administering medication or distress over which foods or medications cause an allergic reaction. A new CD-ROM program, Baby Matters, gives new parents a wealth of tools and information to help navigate their baby's life. The "interactive baby book" allows parents to record personalized information about each of their children, including details of prenatal care, baby's developmental progress, medical events and family health histories, in a safe and easy-to-use system. Parents become more active participants in their child's care, and the information could one day save a young life. The program includes parenting tips and Internet links to valuable parenting resources. For more information, call Parenting Solutions, Inc. at (818) 905-8085 or visit the website,


Uninsured Kids?

Parents with children who do not have health coverage are seven times more likely to delay or not get medical care for their kids than parents whose children have health insurance, according to a new national study. Nearly 70 percent of parents of uninsured kids worry frequently or almost all the time about whether they can pay medical bills if their kids are sick or injured. One in five parents of uninsured children has kept or would keep their kids out of a sporting or athletic event for fear of an injury they couldn't pay for (23 states would prohibit them from playing if they lacked insurance!!). Covering Kids is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that connects eligible families to State Children's Health Insurance Program or Medicaid. Most of the US's nine million uninsured kids are eligible for these programs. Families who would like to learn more about low-cost or free health care coverage can call toll-free (877) KIDS-NOW. Callers will be automatically connected to their appropriate state offices.


An Important Lesson

During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely, this was a joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how could I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, a student asked if that question would count toward our quiz grade. "Absolutely," the professor said. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello.'" I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.- anonymous, via e-mail


Are You a MedicAlert Candidate?

In a serious accident or medical emergency, a person may be disoriented, unconscious or unable to speak. When that happens, a MedicAlert necklace or bracelet identifies someone who needs special treatment The rescuer can call the Emergency Response Center, staffed twenty-four hours a day by trained personnel ready to dispatch vital medical facts anywhere in the world. Correct treatment can spell the difference between life and death. For forty-five years, MedicAlert has served its members, now numbering 2.3 million, as a non-profit organization. First-year membership is $35, with an annual renewal fee of $20. For more information call (800) 432-5378 or visit the website,


Bush's Stem-Cell Decision

The Christian Medical Association (CMA) stated on August 9, 2001, that President Bush's decision to allow federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research crosses a crucial moral line and warned of the consequences of breaching the longstanding medical principle of "Do no harm." CMA's executive director David Stevens, MD, noted, "I was encouraged to see our president commit to funding the tremendous promise of adult stem-cell research-an alternative that may enable us to solve the problems of diabetes, Parkinson's and a host of other chronic diseases. And I was encouraged to hear of the formation of an advisory council that will continue to examine the important ethical aspects as well as the scientific progress of stem cell research.


"But as a physician who represents thousands of physicians and research scientists who find it morally unacceptable to destroy human embryos for the purpose of experimentation, I am also deeply concerned. [horizontal ellipsis] If it is wrong to destroy human embryos for research purposes, it is wrong to use human embryos who already have been destroyed for research purposes. [horizontal ellipsis] I am concerned that this decision may encourage a view of a human embryos not as a precious human life made in God's image, but as a commodity for our manipulation. [horizontal ellipsis] If we violate the protective medical ethic of 'Do no harm' and cross over into lethal human experimentation, what will the limits be?" See the CMA website for further information:


Condoms Prevent STDs?

For years the public has been told that consistent, proper condom use will reduce the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently reported otherwise. Based on the results of over 100 clinical studies, the NIH concludes there is no scientific proof that condoms prevent the transmission of most STDs. Christian Medical Association associate executive director Gene Rudd, MD, said the availability of "safe sex" has misled many, causing suffering and even death as a result of "condom propaganda." Rudd stresses the ethical obligation health care practitioners have to inform the public of these findings and concludes that lifelong monogamy is the only true form of "safe sex." - news release, The Annals of Pharma-cotherapy, (513) 793-3555;


Terrorism Redirects Our Focus

Many eyes are now directed upward toward God, or outward toward others. Many people are having trouble finding a place for their comparatively small affairs in the context of such an immense thing.-Jeremy Mallory in Sightings, September 19, 2001