A judge has ruled that an expectant mother can be forced to have an emergency caesarean.
The 36-year-old woman, a paranoid schizophrenic, has been resisting the possible treatment claiming that voices in her head are telling her not co-operate.
But on Wednesday, her local health authority secured permission from a high court judge for the procedure to go ahead, should her doctors believe it is necessary. He ruled that she did not have the mental capacity to make the decision.
The case has echoes of the treatment of Allesandra Pacchieri, an Italian woman forced to have her baby delivered by c-section and then removed from her by Essex social services, and comes at a time when the operations of the Court of Protection, which deals with such issues, is under renewed scrutiny.
In the United States we are raised to appreciate the accomplishments of inventors and thinkers—creative people whose ideas have transformed our world. We celebrate the famously imaginative, the greatest artists and innovators from Van Gogh to Steve Jobs. Viewing the world creatively is supposed to be an asset, even a virtue. Online job boards burst with ads recruiting “idea people” and “out of the box” thinkers. We are taught that our own creativity will be celebrated as well, and that if we have good ideas, we will succeed.
It’s all a lie. This is the thing about creativity that is rarely acknowledged: Most people don’t actually like it. Studies confirm what many creative people have suspected all along: People are biased against creative thinking, despite all of their insistence otherwise.
“We think of creative people in a heroic manner, and we celebrate them, but the thing we celebrate is the after-effect,” says Barry Staw, a researcher at the University of California–Berkeley business school who specializes in creativity.
Staw says most people are risk-averse. He refers to them as satisfiers. “As much as we celebrate independence in Western cultures, there is an awful lot of pressure to conform,” he says. Satisfiers avoid stirring things up, even if it means forsaking the truth or rejecting a good idea.
Even people who say they are looking for creativity react negatively to creative ideas, as demonstrated in a 2011 study from the University of Pennsylvania. Uncertainty is an inherent part of new ideas, and it’s also something that most people would do almost anything to avoid. People’s partiality toward certainty biases them against creative ideas and can interfere with their ability to even recognize creative ideas.
Thirty-six student protesters were arrested in London last night, with many more kettled, during a ‘Cops off Campus’ demonstration over police presence on university campuses.
Between 200 and 300 students gathered outside the University of London Union to protest over alleged police brutality on Wednesday, which included video footage appearing to show a policeman punching a student.
Two of those arrested were held on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and 34 people for suspected breach of the peace and affray, all of whom were taken to stations across south London.
Many protesters split up or went home due to bad weather. Others were diverted towards Euston Square station where they were kettled by officers from more than 20 police vans.
Three officers suffered minor injuries during the demonstration which saw protesters travelling from as far as Coventry.
The case of a woman whose baby daughter was forcibly removed from her womb by social services was described by human-rights groups on Sunday night as “the stuff of nightmares”. The Italian woman was sedated and her baby delivered against her will, after Essex social services obtained a court order in August 2012 for the birth “to be enforced by way of caesarean section”.
The case, described by the woman’s lawyers as “unprecedented”, has further highlighted the controversial decisions made by the Court of Protection, which authorised the forced removal of the baby, as well as the powers afforded to social workers.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was visiting Britain in July last year to attend a Ryanair training course at Stansted airport in Essex when she suffered a panic attack after failing to take medication for her bipolar disorder.
Despite the woman’s mother explaining her daughter’s condition to police over the telephone from Italy, she was taken to a psychiatric hospital and sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Five weeks later, her daughter was removed from her womb without her consent.
Many children cannot run as fast as their parents could when they were young, a study of global fitness says.
Experts say the work – being presented at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting – suggests children’s fitness levels may be declining.
Researchers analysed data spanning 46 years and involving more than 25 million children in 28 countries.
On average, children today run a mile 90 seconds slower than did their counterparts 30 years ago, they said.
A mom who thought she was properly parenting by sending her two young kids to school with a homemade, whole-food lunch was shocked to find a penalty note from school officials informing her that the lunch of roast beef, potatoes, carrots, oranges and milk she provided was “unbalanced” and therefore had to be supplemented with Ritz crackers.
She was also fined $10.
Just as parents are grappling with how to keep their kids safe on social media, schools are increasingly confronting a controversial question: Should they do more to monitor students’ online interactions off-campus to protect them from dangers such as bullying, drug use, violence and suicide?
This summer, the Glendale school district in suburban Los Angeles captured headlines with its decision to pay a tech firm $40,500 to monitor what middle and high school students post publicly on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
The school district went with the firm Geo Listening after a pilot program with the company last spring helped a student who was talking on social media about “ending his life,” company CEO Chris Frydrych told CNN’s Michael Martinez in September.
“We were able to save a life,” said Richard Sheehan, the Glendale superintendent, adding that two students in the school district had committed suicide the past two years.
“It’s just another avenue to open up a dialogue with parents about safety,” he said.
Technocracy is slowly replacing Democracy in the West. In debt crippled countries, such as Italy, Greece and Spain, no politician dares press the default reset button, so the Anaconda debt is delivering slow inexorable death.
Because our political representatives lack the spine to bite that bullet, elections have become a charade. Financial markets, the shadowy Gnomes of Zurich, have begun choosing our political leaders.
But these Goldman Sachs friendly, loan shark, technocrats are only one arm of an octopus that is emerging as the real power in the Western world. Lesser known are the companies that own valuable patents and, like conjurers, roll out dazzling new scientific gadgets. This is the technology which, in public hands, should now be liberating us all from drudgery and freeing up our leisure time, but in private hands it is doing precisely the opposite.
When our MPs, journalists and lawyers store their phone contact book data using a ‘Synch’ service, or back up documents in ‘The Cloud’ they have no idea where their precious work will end up. They share that data unthinkingly with businesses that can quietly copy it, sell it on, or even corrupt it before they let them have it back.
These technocrats of the ‘digital revolution’ are planning decades ahead. They steal a march on elected governments using ‘commercial confidentiality’ to keep press, politicians and the public in the dark. In the age of mass surveillance and communication trawling, they can buy intelligence on what elected politicians are about to do, or even thinking of doing, and pour vast resources into counter-moves.
[Malala] Yousafzai said she was honored to meet Obama and that she raised concerns with him about the administration’s use of drones, saying they are “fueling terrorism.”
“I thanked President Obama for the United States’ work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees,” Yousafzai said in a statement published by the Associated Press. “I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact.”
IT’S LONG been known that America’s school kids haven’t measured well compared with international peers. Now, there’s a new twist: Adults don’t either.
In math, reading and problem-solving using technology – all skills considered critical for global competitiveness and economic strength – American adults scored below the international average on a global test, according to results released Tuesday.
Adults in Japan, Canada, Australia, Finland and multiple other countries scored significantly higher than the United States in all three areas on the test. Beyond basic reading and math, respondents were tested on activities such as calculating mileage reimbursement due to a salesman, sorting email and comparing food expiration dates on grocery store tags.
[...] Last week, official statistics revealed an alarming rise in children who self-harm. These figures show that in the past year, NHS hospitals treated more than 18,000 girls and 4,600 boys between 10 and 19 after they had deliberately harmed themselves – a rise of 11 per cent. During the same period, cases involving children between 10 and 14 rose from 4,008 to 5,192 – a rise of 30 per cent.
According to Sarah Brennan, chief executive of YoungMinds, “An equally striking finding, which reflects Jo’s experience, was the lack of confidence among parents and professionals about how to deal with it.”
So what’s going on? Why are so many young people – children, for goodness sake – self-harming? And where did the phenomenon, one that many people hadn’t even heard of until recently, come from anyway?
Rachel Welch, project manager at selfharm.co.uk, isn’t convinced self-harming is on the rise. It’s just we are more aware of it, says the 35-year-old. Indeed, even the Bible includes stories about self-harming and the World Health Organisation has long recognised it as a problem, not just in the West but in developing countries.
The Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (CPSA) is meant to bar the United States from providing military assistance to countries who have “governmental armed forces or government- supported armed groups, including paramilitaries, militias, or civil defense forces, that recruit and use child soldiers.” As per the Optional Protocol on the Convention of the Rights of the Child, “child soldiers” include children under 18 who have been forced into service, those under 15 who have volunteered to fight, and and those under 18 who have joined up with any force aside from an army. It also includes those who serve in a “support role such as a cook, porter, messenger, medic, guard, or sex slave.”
A national security interest waiver was built into the law, however, giving the President the authority to override the law should he deem it necessary to do so. That’s precisely what the Obama administration did on Monday, issuing blanket waivers to three countries known to use child soldiers: Yemen, Chad, and South Sudan. Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo received partial waivers as well; this means that they’ll be granted lethal aid only in support of the peacekeeping missions currently ongoing in the country.
This year, the State Department issued a list of ten countries that had been found to be using child soldiers: Burma (Myanmar), the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Of those, seven were due to receive military aid from the United States, an action which the CPSA barred — for the most part.
Parents send their children to school with the best of intentions, believing that’s what they need to become productive and happy adults. Many have qualms about how well schools are performing, but the conventional wisdom is that these issues can be resolved with more money, better teachers, more challenging curricula and/or more rigorous tests.
But what if the real problem is school itself? The unfortunate fact is that one of our most cherished institutions is, by its very nature, failing our children and our society.
School is a place where children are compelled to be, and where their freedom is greatly restricted — far more restricted than most adults would tolerate in their workplaces. In recent decades, we have been compelling our children to spend ever more time in this kind of setting, and there is strong evidence (summarized in my recent book) that this is causing serious psychological damage to many of them. Moreover, the more scientists have learned about how children naturally learn, the more we have come to realize that children learn most deeply and fully, and with greatest enthusiasm, in conditions that are almost opposite to those of school.
Compulsory schooling has been a fixture of our culture now for several generations. It’s hard today for most people to even imagine how children would learn what they must for success in our culture without it. President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are so enamored with schooling that they want even longer school days and school years. Most people assume that the basic design of schools, as we know them today, emerged from scientific evidence about how children learn best. But, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
- Children should not start school until age six or seven, say education experts (Daily Mail)
- Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms (RSA)
- Ken Robinson: How schools kill creativity (TED)
- Ken Robinson: How to escape education’s death valley (TED)
- Peter Gray’s Blog: Freedom to Learn (Psychology Today)
- Will Smith’s Son Jaden Smith’s Twitter Rant Calls for Everybody to Drop Out of School (ABC)
12-Year-Old Student Chased Through the Woods and Called the N-Word as Part of “Educational” Slavery Reenactment
A Connecticut couple is filing a human rights complaint against the Hartford school system after their 12-year-old daughter came back from a four-day school field trip to Nature’s Classroom in Charlton, Mass., and alleged that her teachers chased her through the woods and called her racial slurs as part of a slavery reenactment during a field trip.
According to WFSB-TV, James and Sandra Baker’s daughter described students being led into a dark room, where they were lined up and asked to imagine what it would be like to watch their fathers be killed by slave masters before they were all loaded onto slave ships. The instructor then reportedly ordered the students to sit closely together, where they would be forced to relieve themselves on one another and likely get sick. Afterwards, the students were taken to the woods, where they were yelled at and called animals as they pretended to pick cotton. Some where told to dance for the instructors as entertainment; others were told that they would have their a Achilles tendon cut or find themselves hanged if they attempted to run away.
According to the girl’s mother, several of the teachers referred to the students by the N-word for what was described as ‘historical accuracy.”
[...] They average a 48-hour week over a year – and that is taking into account the long holidays.
More than 80% fear the “hidden hours” they spend planning lessons are damaging their health, and 55% worry about the impact on their personal life.
The poll by teaching website tesconnect.com found 55% of teachers regularly spend more than 56 hours a week grafting during term time.
With holidays, they average 48.3 hours, just below managers in mining and energy industries, who average 49.6 hours.
The poll found that 48% of teachers spend more time preparing lessons than they spend teaching, with 78% saying they spent time on Sundays planning work.
[...] Child psychologists are being given a new directive which is that the age range they work with is increasing from 0-18 to 0-25.
“We are becoming much more aware and appreciating development beyond [the age of 18] and I think it’s a really good initiative,” says Antrobus, who believes we often rush through childhood, wanting our youngsters to achieve key milestones very quickly.
The new guidance is to help ensure that when young people reach the age of 18 they do not fall through the gaps in the health and education system. The change follows developments in our understanding of emotional maturity, hormonal development and particularly brain activity.
Content-industry giants and internet service providers are teaming up to produce multi-grade elementary school curriculum which will denounce copyright infringement.
The likes of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), AT&T, Verizon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Comcast are behind the pilot project which will be tested in California elementary schools later this year.
The curriculum, called “Be a Creator,” is not quite complete, producers say, though Wired was able to obtain the various levels of content – from kindergarten to sixth grade – which aim to communicate that copying is theft.
“This thinly disguised corporate propaganda is inaccurate and inappropriate,” said Mitch Stoltz, an intellectual property attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation who reviewed the material.
“It suggests, falsely, that ideas are property and that building on others’ ideas always requires permission,”Stoltz says. “The overriding message of this curriculum is that students’ time should be consumed not in creating but in worrying about their impact on corporate profits.”
The content was made by the California School Library Association and the Internet Keep Safe Coalition. The Center for Copyright Infringement commissioned the material. The center’s board is made up of executives from MPAA, RIAA, Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T.
More than a million British kids get their first mobile phone by the time they’re five years old, according to new research from uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service. The average age for children to get their first mobile is 11 years and 8 months – soon after starting secondary school.
When shopping for handsets, parents will spend £246 on themselves, while they’ll only fork out an average £125 on their kids’ phones – enough to cover the cost of an entry-level smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Ace or BlackBerry Curve 9320. However, 15% of kids under 16 have mobiles worth more than their parents’. SIM-free handsets above the £245 mark include bestselling smartphones like the Nokia Lumia 900 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini.
The World Health Organisation is set to recommend a cut in the amount of sugar in our diets in the coming months, following reviews of the scientific evidence of the link with obesity – but any proposed lower limit for sugar will have to overcome scepticism among scientific advisers to the British government.
Next year, the government’s scientific advisory committee on nutrition (SACN) will report on carbohydrates, including sugar, in people’s diet. Its members, some of whom receive funding from industry, are thought to be sceptical that the sugar is a cause of obesity.
The chairman of the SACN working group on carbohydrates, Professor Ian Macdonald, from Nottingham University, has been on the Mars and Coca-Cola European advisory boards, although he has stepped down from both for the duration of the inquiry.
The professor is the academic lead for his university’s “strategic relationship” with Unilever, which owns ice-cream brands as well as margarine and weight-loss products. Unilever’s Dr David Mela sits with him on the SACN carbohydrate group and the two are also on the government’s calorie reduction expert group, which advises food companies and health groups involved in the Department of Health’s Responsibility Deal, aimed at improving public health in England.
Macdonald does not believe his links to Mars and Coca-Cola are a problem. “I have explained my associations with industry to the Department of Health and they are quite happy with the relationships,” he said. “I think it’s a more balanced view than some of the views of my nutritional colleagues and also than some of the industrial views. Some of the industrial people can’t see what they’re doing wrong. That’s not right – they do need to start helping people to consume sensible amounts of food and be less sedentary than they are at the moment.”
OTHER SUGAR RELATED NEWS:
[...]It would be beyond grouchy for me to ruin the day with frightening or doomsday predictions about what lies ahead for today’s A-level generation. The hard work of thousands of students and teachers will be reflected in results that will rightly be a source of pride and vindication. Those who go to university will meet lifelong friends, possibly even their life partners; they will learn things – both as academic and social beings – that will transform them for ever. Others will find jobs that are fulfilling and allow them in time to support a family.
But blimey, there’s no point pretending: things will be considerably harder than they were for me or my peers. A government that justifies its austerity programme with chilling warnings about saddling the next generation with debt will leave today’s university leavers paying off £60,000, in many cases for the rest of their lives. The number of students – generally from poorer backgrounds – having to work during term time to cover costs is much higher than it was, despite research suggesting it lowers grades. And neither are those who amass these excruciating debts guaranteed work: one in 10 graduates are now jobless six months after leaving university.
Overall, there are twice as many young people languishing in unemployment as there were when Stockport’s state schools had finished with me. And there’s no point glorifying the situation of many of those who actually find work. A third of university graduates are now doing jobs that don’t require degrees, up from a quarter a decade ago. A million people – many of them young – are stuck on zero-hour contracts, a disturbing echo of a supposedly bygone era when mostly young men would trundle to a yard in the early hours to find out if they had any work that day. Others are among the record numbers of workers forced to do part-time work in a country where 6.5 million are looking for jobs with more hours. There’s the booming poverty wage jobs, too: TUC research shows that nearly four in five of the jobs created since June 2010 pay less than £7.95 an hour. Whether they go to university or not, many of today’s A-level students will be fodder for Britain’s increasingly low-paid and precarious workforce.
Against Their Will: The Secret History of Medical Experimentation on Children in Cold War America (Book Review)
It’s been 15 years since author Allen Hornblum’s landmark book on unethical human experimentation in U.S. prisons, Acres of Skin, was published. His new book, written with co-authors Judith L. Newman and Gregory J. Dober, is a worthy follow-up to the earlier book. Against Their Will: The Secret History of Medical Experimentation on Children in Cold War America should become a standard work in the fields of medical ethics and history of science. It has received favorable reviews by the Associated Press, the Boston Globe, the Spectator,” and other publications.
Against Their Will is an extraordinary work, a plea for humanist ethics in science and medicine as against political and economic expediency. It takes us into even darker places than Hornblum’s earlier book as it examines the long history of unethical experiments done on children in America. Hornblum and his co-authors trace the hideous practice of using children, even infants and pregnant women, as guinea pigs, back to the ideology of the eugenicists in the early 20th century.
Ostensibly practicing science in the heroic mold — science was to cure all of mankind’s ills — doctors and scientists turned to the youth warehoused in orphanages, children’s homes and hospitals as apt subjects for medical and other experiments. The children, who could not make any informed consent, were often labelled “feeble-minded,” or were children with Downs Syndrome or cerebral palsy, or were just too poor and illiterate to make any fuss. Their parents often were not notified of the experiments, or they were overtly or subtly coerced to give consent.
The result was a series of experiments in hospitals and children’s homes — like Vineland, Willowbrook, or Wrentham — seeking cures or treatments for pellagra, ringworm, hepatitis, diphtheria, and any number of ills. But the experiments wreaked untold and possibly still unreported havoc on the young children involved. One child subject the authors interviewed years later in adulthood insisted that some victims at Fernald State School in Massachusetts were “buried out there in paupers’ graves… They killed them” (p. 146). Some of the experiments involved treatments for birth control, including use of forced sterilization and castration.
The children used as experimental subjects were often deliberately infected with diseases, and then given experimental treatments (many quite dangerous), or even no treatment at all, the better to observe the natural course of the disease for science’s sake. Dr. Albert Kligman, a key figure in Hornblum’sAcres of Skin, reappears in this new book, deliberately introducing ringworm fungus into experimentally induced wounds on retarded children, and withholding treatment to observe the course of the disease.
Between the early negative eugenics inspired experiments and the later use of children as experimental subjects, the monstrous example of Nazi science and bizarre and deadly medical experiments cast a shadow across the subsequent decades. Hornblum et al. describe the rise and rapid fall of the Nuremberg protocols, which were generally ignored by U.S. doctors and scientists. These professionals eviscerated the ethical commands around informed consent. One doctor, associated with the Army Epidemiological Board, is quoted as criticizing “the Nuremberg specter”, which drives out “rational approaches” to using children as human subjects in medical research (p. 66).
But as the title of the book suggests, it was Cold War exigencies that gave medical and scientific researchers seeming carte blanche to conduct experiments on children (and prisoners, and elderly patients, and even prostitutes’ clients), and all in the name of national security and protection from communism. Hornblum and his co-authors do an excellent job in explaining this complex history, and showing how the Department of Defense, the Atomic Energy Committee and the CIA funded experiments, including use of electric shock and LSD.
[...] The irony is that it’s the very people (yes Fox and Friends, I’m talking about you) who go around waxing lyrical about the virtues of motherhood and conception that are also the most likely to be pushing policies that make it next to impossible for many women to even conceive of being a mother. No one ever mentions the selflessness of women who choose not to have a baby, not because they wouldn’t love one, but because they don’t feel they are in a position to provide that baby with the kind of life it deserves.
Anyone who is genuinely concerned with falling birthrates should be supporting policies such as paid maternity leave, subsidized day care, flexible work schedules, affordable health care and so on that would make it feasible for more women who want babies to have them. As for the women who don’t, we should be grateful in the knowledge that they are intelligent enough to make the choice that is best for them and then back off with the judgement.