May 1st, 2019

by Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD

 

Preview:

  • May is Mental Health Month and it should inspire us to think about family, community relationships, and our growing disconnectedness. It is not an invitation for Congress and other troublemakers to lose their collective minds.
  • Instead of looking for reasons to tear us apart, our congresspersons should be focusing on proposals trying to move us in a positive direction. Who cares what side of the aisle originated the ideas? Communities and their legislators must find solutions for hypodermic needles and human feces on the streets, the homeless, and drug addiction to name a few. There are 130 people a day dying from opiate overdoses with no easy answer as to the root cause. The Department of Health and Human Services formed a Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force including physicians and other professionals involved in caring for patients with pain and addiction issues. The task force concluded what most physicians already know: patient care must be individualized.
  • Save for a few rotten apples, physicians are doing their best to care for patients with complex problems. Mental Health Month offers physicians the opportunity to reaffirm that we are not automatons and patients are individuals, not data points. Congresspersons should take this month to stop squabbling and jockeying for power and explore legislation that allows physicians and patients freedom to choose their own path to a healthy life.

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May is Mental Health Month and it should inspire us to think about family, community relationships, and our growing disconnectedness. It is not an invitation for Congress and other troublemakers to lose their collective minds.

While folks of all colors and lifestyles are quietly living and working together and building relationships, the professional malcontents are looking for offense around every corner. Take the sports teams shunning Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Kate Smith for having performed some songs with racially offensive lyrics in the 1930s. One of the songs, thought to be satirical, was also sung by black actor and well-known civil rights activist, Paul Robeson. Apparently, no one looked into Smith’s motives or other aspects of her life before shrouding her statue in black. How ironic that the very teams that excluded black players are “virtue signaling” at someone else’s expense.

Will the memorials to the progressive icons Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt suffer the same fate? Historians note that Mrs. Roosevelt called black folks “darkies” and “pickaninnies.” Yet she was instrumental in having black opera singer Marian Anderson perform in an integrated setting and flew in an aircraft piloted by a Tuskegee Airman, among other things. More