Topic

Health Care

502 petitions

Update posted 20 hours ago

Petition to Andrew M. Cuomo

Give us the right to cultivate free cannabis for veterans

Substance abuse and addiction rates are staggeringly high, especially among veterans, and it is well publicized that over prescribing opioids and narcotics plays a key factor in the ever increasing “war on drugs.” Antidepressants and mood altering medications merely mask the problems they are said to treat, while talk therapy can cause repeat trauma in some cases. But these are not the only options to help veterans heal! Cannabis has been proven to be powerful medicine to help fight physical pain, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and a host of other ailments common among the veteran community. While medical marijuana has been legalized in some states, access to this useful natural medicine is very limited, and usually prohibitively expensive.  We at CheckPoint 6 feel that access to free or low cost cannabis of the highest quality is vital to helping veterans heal in a healthier way. We have the skills and ability to make our dream of saving veterans a reality, but unfortunately the laws have not kept up with this important mission. While access to cannabis is slowly increasing, it is not enough. We are seeking your support to start a veteran-run cannabis cultivation operation here in New York. The VA hospitals have continued to offer mainly pharmaceuticals and talk therapy as healing tools, but unfortunately these options are not the best or most appropriate for many veterans. Suicide rates among veterans and active duty soldiers remains at more than 20 suicides each day.  Help us reach up to Governor Cuomo so we can start helping Veterans in New York gain access to a more natural medicine.

Dennis Duell
1,932 supporters
Update posted 5 days ago

Petition to HHS Secretary, Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Francis Collins, Dr. Elizabeth Unger, CFSAC , Dr. Walter Koroshetz, Vicky Whittemore

#PwME4ICC Demand US Health Agencies Recognize Myalgic Encephalomyelitis as Defined by ICC

We are international medical practitioners and researchers in the field of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), ME advocates, patients and their supporters.  We are located in the US and in other countries that are affected by US health policy. We call on the US government health agencies to accurately name, define, fund and represent the distinct biomedical disease ME which has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1969 as a neurological disease with the ICD code G93.3 and has been well-defined by the 2011 International Consensus Criteria (ICC). Since October 2015, the US ICD-10-CM classifies ME with the same neurological code, G93.3, as the WHO ICD.  We demand the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and all its agencies: Adopt ICC for diagnostic purposes Adopt ICC for research purposes Use ICC on all HHS and all HHS agency websites and all educational materials created by or for HHS and its agencies Educate medical practitioners to use the IC Primer for diagnosis Disseminate the IC primer to educate medical practitioners on testing and treatment Insist that ME researchers use ICC for their research funded by HHS or HHS agencies The Problem: ME has appeared in 50+ outbreaks worldwide and was first named and defined by Dr. A. Melvin Ramsay after a massive outbreak in 1955 in the Royal Free Hospital in London.  The disease also appears in the sporadic form and is neurological in nature with immune dysfunction, muscle weakness (including paralysis) and pain as well as affecting multiple body systems.  It renders most afflicted unable to work – many become house or bed bound. Severely affected patients are left isolated, unable to tolerate human interaction and often require 24/7 care for basic needs. Currently, there is no FDA approved treatment or cure. In an attempt to mystify and marginalize this severely debilitating disease, government health agencies have misrepresented ME as part of an ill-defined chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) (Reeves’, Fukuda, Oxford).  The latest attempt at obfuscation by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been sponsoring and adopting the recommendations by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) (now called the National Academy of Medicine) to use the name Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID) and the IOM/SEID criteria.  The IOM/SEID definition does not require any neurological or immune dysfunction symptoms and because of its lack of specificity will include many who do not suffer from ME. Research by Dr. Leonard Jason’s group at DePaul University, Frank Twisk, and Asprusten et al. has shown that the IOM/SEID criteria do not define the distinct neuroimmune disease ME as described in the medical literature, classified by the WHO and defined by the ICC. Research affirms that unlike the ICC, the four required subjective symptoms of the IOM criteria are commonly found in many chronic diseases and are not unique to any identifiable disease. In addition, the IOM/SEID criteria lack exclusions for conditions with similar symptoms that are typically found in disease definitions. As a result, the IOM/SEID criteria select a broad, diverse group of people without a common underlying pathology. Research by the DePaul group has found that the IOM criteria increase the prevalence of Fukuda CFS almost three times from 0.42% to 1.2% – or about 4 million people in the US alone. Only a small fraction of that group will be people with ME – an estimated 10 to 20 percent. Many in that broad group will be misdiagnosed with IOM/SEID while they actually suffer from different conditions with some similar symptoms.  The confusion caused by the co-mingling of ME and non-ME patients will result in harm to people with ME (#PwME) through the recommendation of inappropriate treatment – as well as to all of those who don’t have ME but are misdiagnosed. Moreover, the use of the IOM/SEID criteria in research (which is already happening) will impede meaningful scientific progress by selecting patients for ME research who do not have the disease ME. We, therefore, reject the IOM recommendations and object to their implementation; SEID does not accurately name, and the IOM/SEID criteria do not explicitly define the distinct disease ME.  We further object to the reference by HHS and its agencies in their educational material or otherwise, to the IOM/SEID criteria concerning ME. The government’s malfeasance has already caused too much suffering and premature deaths in over three decades.  We will not stand by in silence while more of this whitewashing and harm take place. The time to act is now! We demand HHS adopt myalgic encephalomyelitis as classified by WHO and defined by the ICC for diagnostic and research purposes and all education materials created by or for HHS and its agencies now!  References: IOM- Report Guide for Physicians ME-ICC diagnostic and research criteria    Note: This includes atypical ME which requires fewer symptoms. IC Primer for Medical Practitioners Chart comparing IOM/SEID and ICC criteria ICC Questionnaire “What is it? Do I fit the Criteria?” Jason et al. June 2015 "Unintended Consequences of not Specifying Exclusionary Illnesses for Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease." Jason et al. July 2015 "Reflections on the Institute of Medicine’s systemic exertion intolerance disease.” Jason L.A. September 2015 “Patients battle for justice.” Frank N.M.Twisk April 2015 “A critical analysis of the proposal of the Institute of Medicine to replace Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by a new diagnostic entity called Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease.” Frank N.M. Twisk February 2016 “Replacing Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with Systemic Exercise Intolerance Disease Is Not the Way forward.” Asprusten et al. March 2018 “Systemic exertion intolerance disease diagnostic criteria applied on an adolescent chronic fatigue syndrome cohort: evaluation of subgroup differences and prognostic utility.”

Gabby Klein
8,469 supporters