"Anyone who nonconsensually violates your brain/mind/mentation using Mengele-like methods is a Nazi pig. You do not care what a Nazi pig thinks. You do not care about a Nazi pig's opinions. You do not respond to a Nazi pig ridiculing you, threatening you, trying to distract you, or otherwise trying to manipulate you. You work to get a Nazi pig hanged." - Allen Barker, NPT Theorem

Friday, December 30, 2011

Heath Ledger

simple and peaceful life - "...I had no real desire to play a junkie," he says. "But love is very important in my life and it's something I am always interested to find within a story. But I like it to be smuggled or disguised in other backdrops." And, not surprisingly for the star of "Brokeback Mountain," dubbed the gay cowboy movie, he adds with a laugh: "I don't really like conventional love stories. Can you tell?" Ledger is currently working on the Todd Hayne biopic on Bob Dylan, "I'm Not There," in Montreal. Ledger plays Dylan during one period of his life; Williams also has a part in the film. It's the second movie he's made in Canada, and Ledger couldn't be happier to be back filming here after his "Brokeback" experience in Alberta. "I absolutely love it. I love the people, I love everything about it here. I don't know what it is about Australians and Canadians getting along so well but they do," he says. "It seems like there's the same sense of humour, very dry, and just a very modest society." Nonetheless, Ledger says he's anxious to get back to his simple and peaceful life in Brooklyn, raising his daughter - and don't look to him to be pulling all-nighters on the film festival's famous non-stop party circuit..." (No late-night partying for Heath Ledger)

bizarre behaviour after taking the drug - "...One night he took a sleeping pill, Ambien, to little effect. He took a second, slept for an hour, but then woke, his mind racing. "Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night," Ledger told The New York Times. "I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going," he said, while admitting he also "stressed out a little too much" about his role in the Bob Dylan film I'm Not There. Yesterday, the 28-year-old Australian film star was found dead, face-down and naked at the foot of his bed in his rented SoHo apartment in Manhattan. There were prescription drugs, including sleeping pills, by his bed. Only hours earlier, his Australian co-star in I'm Not There, Cate Blanchett, was nominated for two Academy Awards. Despite wide speculation about suicide, nobody yet knows what killed Ledger, or what part drugs played. In Perth, his family insisted the death was accidental. It is understood they will arrange for his body to be flown home where he will be laid to rest. Ambien is marketed in Australia as Stilnox, and has been linked with dangerous side effects. More than 500 people responded to a national drug reactions hotline last year, reporting bizarre behaviour after taking the drug. Two months ago, Australia's medicines regulator ordered that packs of Stilnox carry warnings that the drug can cause people to walk, eat, drive or have sexual intercourse in their sleep. They now also warn Stilnox can cause rage reactions, confusion, agitation and hallucinations..." (The sleepless stress of a troubled star)

under attack from social conservatives and Christian fundamentalists - "...In Brokeback Mountain however he delivered one of the best performances of his career, quietly projecting the internal drama and tensions of his character without need of histrionics. He and Jake Gyllenhaal play two Wyoming cowboys, or rather shepherds, who are forced to spend long, boring days in each others’ company looking after sheep on the cold and lonely mountainside.  Many previous westerns had had a homoerotic undercurrent. Brokeback Mountain brought it to the surface, prompting protests in many parts of the US, where audiences preferred to keep such themes beneath the surface. The film came under attack from social conservatives and Christian fundamentalists. The furore was further fuelled when Ledger was quoted in an Australian paper as saying that the film faced a ban in West Virginia and that he was not surprised because lynchings had continued in the state right up until the 1980s. Ultimately the relationship and the story were not entirely convincing — against all expectations they failed to convince Oscar voters, who opted for Crash instead as their choice for best picture, but any failings were not the fault of the actors. Ledger was nominated for the Oscar for best actor but lost to Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote. Reviewing the film for Rolling Stone magazine, Peter Travers said: “Ledger’s magnificent performance is an acting miracle. He seems to tear it from his insides. Ledger doesn’t just know how Ennis moves, speaks and listens; he knows how he breathes. To see him inhale the scent of a shirt hanging in Jack’s closet is to take measure of the pain of love lost...” (Heath Ledger: The Times obituary)

Heath Andrew Ledger (4 April 1979 – 22 January 2008) was an Australian television and film actor. After performing roles in Australian television and film during the 1990s, Ledger moved to the United States in 1998 to develop his film career. His work encompassed nineteen films, including 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), The Patriot (2000), Monster's Ball (2001), A Knight's Tale (2001), Brokeback Mountain (2005), and The Dark Knight (2008). In addition to his acting, he produced and directed music videos and aspired to be a film director. For his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain, Ledger won the 2005 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and the 2006 "Best Actor" award from the Australian Film Institute and was nominated for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Actor as well as the 2006 BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Posthumously he shared the 2007 Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award with the rest of the ensemble cast, the director, and the casting director for the film I'm Not There, which was inspired by the life and songs of American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. In the film, Ledger portrayed a fictional actor named Robbie Clark, one of six characters embodying aspects of Dylan's life and persona. Ledger was nominated and won awards for his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, a Best Actor International Award at the 2008 Australian Film Institute Awards, for which he became the first actor to win an award posthumously, the 2008 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, the 2009 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and the 2009 BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor. Ledger died in January 2008, from an accidental "toxic combination of prescription drugs". A few months before his death, Ledger had finished filming his penultimate performance, as the Joker in The Dark Knight, his death coming during editing of the film and casting a shadow over the subsequent promotion of the $180 million production. At the time of his death, on 22 January 2008, he had completed about half of his work performing the role of Tony in Terry Gilliam's film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (Wikepedia).


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Randy Quaid

a spectacle as bizarre as the movie "...For the most part, the crowd greeted the series of bemusing imagery with derisive laughter. But this good spirit disappeared during a scene of breathtaking tedium where, in an unending close-up, Quaid delivered the entire ‘To be not to be' soliloquy two and a half times. By the time the Randy character greeted his inevitable star whacking with Hamlet's "I am dead", his words were met with cheers. The assault on the eyes over, Randy swaggered on stage after the film's completion to assault our ears with his band, The Fugitives. They performed three songs, including the autobiographical ‘Mr DA Man' and ‘Star Whackers'. There was a look of confusion on Quaid's face when the cries for encore rang out after the latter. The solution? Play it again; this time with a bunch of burlesque dancers joining him and the band (who all happen to be lawyers by day) in a spectacle as bizarre as the movie that preceded it. By the time Randy and Evi Quaid sat down for the long-awaited Q&A session, Friday was turning into Saturday. Fans and conspiracy theorists lauded the couple, while awkward questions were deflected by The Rio Theatre's MCs and the Quaid's drummer/lawyer. When one filmgoer, Natalie Von Rotsburg, pointed out that an alleged documentary was nothing of the sort, Evi barked that she should get her money back. Is Star Whackers the worst film ever? Probably not. It is, as Evi insisted on telling us, a work in progress. And although it is undeniably an irredeemable work of self-delusion, paranoia and pretension, there's enough unintentional comedy and genitalia to make up for the many moments of mind-melting tedium..." (Randy Quaid bares all in Vancouver)

star whackers - "...Vancouver Sun film critic Peter Bernie on Saturday declared Star Whackers, and Randy Quaid's star turn in the indie pic, were “drugged-out dreck.” “Spouting Shakespeare as he stands in a full-length fur coat with penis hanging out, Quaid must compete with a howling wind. Falstaff he ain’t, especially when the coat comes off and we’re left to watch naked nuttiness signifying nothing,” Birnie wrote. The press materials accompanying the Star Whackers bow portray a film about Randy Quaid being hounded by assassins looking to murder celebrities and who “plot his demise and hunt him so to appropriate for themselves his value as a movie star.” Turns out the Quaids are not alone among celebrities targeted by Hollywood hitmen and prosecutors. "There is a plague upon the Hollywood star system since 1995: movie stars are worth more dead than alive due to lucrative ad revenue on the internet,” the film’s media materials explain. The Quaids' movie, inspired by how they evaded apparent Hollywood assassins to get to Canada, screened as part of a double-bill at the Rio Theatre alongside another Randy Quaid movie, Real Time. The Quaids arrived in Vancouver last October, and were arrested on outstanding warrants for misdemeanours in California..." (Critic Calls Randy Quaid's Star Whackers Film 'Drugged-Out Dreck')

striking similarities "...Quaid says he discovered evidence of the alleged fraud this June. He claims he went to City National Bank in Beverly Hills to request information about two mystery loans that were made in his name, but says bank staff refused to give him any information. He says they instead called the police when he demanded to see the loan statements. Quaid says he discovered that the paperwork for a $1 million life insurance policy was missing from his City National safe deposit box. Quaid claims someone used it, along with his forged signature, to secure more loans in his name. Quaid says Gavin Perdue, former head of City National Bank's Roxbury branch entertainment division, had "full knowledge" of the theft of his life insurance policy. The 220-page lawsuit, which mixes attachments with notes scrawled over the pages in black marker alternating with the pages of the lawsuit, also suggests that someone had a plot to kill Quaid and his wife. After City National Bank's estate planner allegedly told Evi Quaid that the bank preferred to manage the assets of "dead actors," she heard a man's voice on her cell phone in Texas saying, "'If you kill her, there's a lot of money in it for you.'" "Evi wasn't sure if this was an actual threat on her life or meant to intimidate her as a witness, but this together with the stolen life insurance policy and the estate planner's insensitive remark, and now Alan Watenmaker, the estate planner acting very evasive when we request trust ID numbers and the fact that Watenmaker's firm did Michael Jackson's will and life insurance policy trust, has us very suspicious of their motives," the lawsuit states. Quaid says his case has a few "striking similarities" to the situation Michael Jackson was in before his death..." (Randy Quaid Accuses Advisers of 22-Year Plot to Steal Assets)

to discredit innocent targets - "...Media discrediting of both the target and the targeting phenomenon plus forced hospitalizations, set-ups and framings, false imprisonments, blacklisting, and organized manipulation of personal assets to reduce the target to financial ruin are among criminal tactics experienced and cited by Targeted Individuals in online support groups and calls for advocacy help to the writer and an array of human rights organizations. U.S. counter-intelligence has a long history of using media to discredit innocent targets. In the short Good Morning America interview of Randy Quaid (below), the two words the reporter emphasized in describing the Quaids' plight were their "erratic path." The very short report ends with the words "mentally ill" and "drugs," typical psychological assaults on targets. Other perpetrators blatantly call targets "mentally ill," negative branding that targets and even victims suffering from poisoning in the Gulf experience if they explain the truth. Such repeated name-calling is designed to ultimately protect perpetrators. When government officials playing the sadistic targeting game use this tactic, it can, and too often does, land an innocent, mentally stable target with a history of integrity, into forced hospitalization. The reader might want to spot these assaults left as comments under articles about the Quaids, possibly made by paid shills complicit in the widespread targeting crime..." (Randy Quaid flooded with oppressed Targeted Individuals' blessings)

Randall Rudy "Randy" Quaid (born October 1, 1950) is an American actor perhaps best known for his role as Cousin Eddie in the National Lampoon's Vacation movies, as well as his numerous supporting roles in films such as The Last Detail, Independence Day, Kingpin and Brokeback Mountain. He has won a Golden Globe Award, and has been nominated for an Academy Award, an Emmy Award and a BAFTA Award. On October 22, 2010, Randy and Evi Quaid sought protection under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, after being arrested at the US-Canadian border in Vancouver B.C. They have since applied for refugee status on the grounds that they fear for their lives in the United States as numerous actors have died under mysterious circumstances committed by the "Hollywood star whackers". They were granted bail on the condition of $10,000 bond pending further Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada hearings. However, due to their inability to deposit the required bond with the court for several days, they remained in custody of the Canada Border Services Agency. They were released on October 27 after the discovery that Evi Quaid is a "prima facie Canadian citizen" (Wikepedia).


Monday, December 26, 2011

Stephen Shellen

manufactured lie "...I've been stolen from, gas lit, blacklisted, surveillanced and death threatened since 1995 (Oh did I mention ridiculed...also very popular with these creepy scumbags). My ex wife Florence had bruises on her face and my son told me of a man hitting mommy. My son told me the man would hurt him more if he talked to me. My acting career was finished virtually overnight and rumor has it...I was nuts! I'm not nuts, but being harassed does have it's down side, however creatively it has given birth to a fire of inspiration and enlightenment and if I do say so myself...some pretty cool art. I'm sorry to anyone who doubted me or my story. I'm sorry to Kiyoshi Morgan and Lily, my children. I wish this never happened but, trust me when I say that this world we are told we live in is not as it appears. There is a nefarious group of people who do NOT have your best interests in mind. The main stream of bogus media, news reporting etc. is b.s. It is propaganda. We are living in a lie. Their manufactured lie. Don't let it fool you, I did. I'm sorry. After more than 14 years of trying in vain to unravel what happened to my children and my life and after travelling around both the U.S. and Canada seeking out different wise individuals who, thank God, were inclined to both listen to the kinds of harassment I had experienced and offer advice, well...here we go. If anyone out there desires clues or is simply interested enough to pull back the sheets of hypocrisy and have a closer look inside Pandora's Box, check out all you can on Ritual Abuse, mind programming ,surveillance harassment, child kidnapping and organized child prostitution..." (Stephen Shellen)

string of impressive roles - "...First he moved to England and became an extremely successful model. Like many male models, Shellen thought he could parlay his good looks and ease in front of an audience into an acting career. From London he moved to Los Angeles where he studied with Peggy Feury, and it wasn't long after that casting agents were signing him to his first feature film contracts, making his feature debut in the 1982 film Spring Fever. In the next five years he appeared in a number of made-for-television movies. He also had a strong role in the miniseries Hollywood Wives in 1985, where he was able to rub shoulders with Anthony Hopkins, Candice Bergen and Robert Stack. Two years later he was a regular on the series Cameo by Night. But the big screen was never far from Shellen's mind, and the late 1980s brought a string of impressive roles in movies like Modern Girls in 1986, The Stepfather in 1987 and Casual Sex with Lea Thompson and Victoria Jackson. His career path was growing in all he right directions. He was not only working a better and better projects, but his talent as an actor was being stretched to handle better and better roles. He appeared in the made-for-television movie that was the pilot for the series Murder One. Although Shellen didn't end up in that series, he returned to Canada in the early 1990s to take a lead role on the Nikita-esque USA Networks series Counterstrike with Christopher Plummer and Simon MacCorkindale, in which he played Luke Brenner, part of a team of three operatives who fought terrorism around the globe. Back in the U.S., Shellen starred in April One, a film about a hostage crisis for which he won critical raves. He also made an appearance as the cocky actor brother of Craig Sheffer's love interest in the Academy Award-winning A River Runs through It. His scenes with Susan Trawley were referred to by Newsweek magazine as the funniest sequence in the movie. His career continued to blend big-budget, box-office winners like The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, and small but critically acclaimed independent films such as Rude, which was named the Best Canadian Feature Film at the 1995 Toronto International Film Festival, as well as receiving eight Genie nominations. In 1997, he was invited to Toronto to shoot what he thought would be a one-time appearance on La Femme Nikita, playing a dedicated police detective who stumbles into more than he bargained for in pursuit of a serial killer. However, he was a hit with the show's fans, and so LFN made the decision to bring him back in a recurring role for the series' fifth and final season. Moving comfortably between small screen and big screen, Shellen was also cast to be in the hit Nicholas Cage/Angelina Jolie film Gone in 60 Seconds..." (Stephen Shellen )

Stephen Shellen (Born: 17 June 1957) grew up in Victoria, British Columbia where he was his high school's star hockey player before heading north to work as a lumberjack. After catching the attention of a talent scout in Vancouver, he decided to try his hand at acting, spurred on in part by the memory of a less-than-appreciative audience during his first stage performance in junior high. Moving to Los Angeles, he studied with Peggy Feury and soon became a familiar face in feature films including "Casual Sex" with Lea Thompson and Victoria Jackson, festival favourite "The Stepfather" with Terry O'Quinn and Shelley Hack, the star-studded miniseries "Hollywood Wives", with Anthony Hopkins, Candice Bergen and Robert Stack, and the TV movie and basis of the series "Murder One". Returning to Canada in the early 90s, Stephen had a lead role on the Nikita-esque USA Networks series "Counterstrike", with Simon MacCorkindale and Christopher Plummer, in which he played Luke Brenner, part of a team of three operatives who fought terrorism around the globe. Back in the U.S., Stephen starred in "April One", a film about a hostage crisis for which he won critical raves. He also made an appearance as the cocky actor brother of Craig Sheffer's love interest in the Academy-Award-winning "A River Runs Through It"; his scenes with Susan Trawley were referred to by Newsweek as the funniest sequence in the movie. His career continued to blend big-budget, box office winners like "The Bodyguard" with Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, and small but critically acclaimed independent films like "Rude" which was named the Best Canadian Feature Film at the 1995 Toronto International Film Festival, as well as receiving eight Genie nominations. Stephen can also be seen in guest appearances on popular TV shows like "Law & Order" and "Due South". In 1997, he was invited to Toronto to shoot what he thought would be a one-time appearance on "La Femme Nikita", playing a dedicated police detective who stumbles into more than he bargained for in pursuit of a serial killer. However, he was a hit with the show's fans, and so LFN made the decision to bring him back in a recurring role for the series' fifth and final season. The episodes began airing in the U.S. in January 2001. Stephen has also been seen in the hit Nicholas Cage/Angelina Jolie film "Gone in 60 Seconds" (IMDb).


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Nuremberg Code

  • The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonable to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment.
  • The duty and responsibility for ascertaining the quality of the consent rests upon each individual who initiates, directs or engages in the experiment. It is a personal duty and responsibility which may not be delegated to another with impunity.
  • The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature.
  • The experiment should be so designed and based on the results of animal experimentation and a knowledge of the natural history of the disease or other problem under study that the anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment.
  • The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury.
  • No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects.
  • The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.
  • Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death.
  • The experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons. The highest degree of skill and care should be required through all stages of the experiment of those who conduct or engage in the experiment.
  • During the course of the experiment the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible.
  • During the course of the experiment the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill and careful judgment required of him that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject (Directives for Human Experimentation)
informed consent - "...The Nuremberg Code has not been officially adopted in its entirety as law by any nation or as ethics by any major medical association. Nonetheless, its influence on global human-rights law and medical ethics has been profound. Its basic requirement of informed consent, for example, has been universally accepted and is articulated in international law in Article 7 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966). Informed consent, with specific reliance on the Nuremberg Code, is also the basis of the International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects, the most recent guidelines promulgated by the World Health Organization and the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (1993). The World Medical Association, established during World War II, has been accused of purposely trying to undermine Nuremberg in order to distance physicians from Nazi medical crimes. The election of a former Nazi physician and SS member, Hans-Joachim Sewering, to the presidency of that organization in 1992 added credibility to that accusation (Because of public criticism, Sewering later withdrew). Nonetheless, the various versions of the Declaration of Helsinki promulgated by the World Medical Association since 1964, although attempting to have peer review supplement informed consent and even supplant it as their central principle in the context of “therapeutic research,” all implicitly acknowledge Nuremberg's authority. Both the Nuremberg Code and the Declaration of Helsinki served as models for the current U.S. federal research regulations, which require not only the informed consent of the research subject (with proxy consent sometimes acceptable, as for young children), but also prior peer review of research protocols by a committee (the institutional review board of the hospital or research institution) that includes a representative of the community. The Nuremberg Code focuses on the human rights of research subjects, the Declaration of Helsinki focuses on the obligations of physician-investigators to research subjects, and the federal regulations emphasize the obligations of research institutions that receive federal funds. Nonetheless, by insisting that medical investigators alone cannot set the rules for the ethical conduct of research, even when guided by beneficence and Hippocratic ethics, and by adopting a human-rights perspective that acknowledges the centrality of informed consent and the right of the subject to withdraw, the Nuremberg Code has changed forever the way both physicians and the public view the proper conduct of medical research on human subjects. Fifty years after Nuremberg, we recognize the human-rights legacy of the Nuremberg Code and are better able to face the critical challenge of applying the Code in its entirety and enforcing its human-rights provisions..." (Fifty Years Later: The Significance of the Nuremberg Code)

without the public's consent - "...The Bush administration has quietly channeled tens of billions of dollars into chemical and biological weapons. Bush's 2007 budget, for example, earmarked almost $2 billion for biodefense research and development via the National Institutes of Health alone. Research aims are often dubious. In October 2005, for example, US scientists resurrected the 1918 Spanish flu, a virus which had killed almost 50 million people. And a virologist in St. Louis has been working on a more lethal form of mousepox (related to smallpox) just to try stopping the virus once it has been created. Since the R&D is top secret and oversight limited, the public is rarely aware of escalating dangers. As of August 2007, for example, biological weapons laboratories across the country had reported 36 lost shipments and accidents for that year, almost double the number for all of 2004. In addition to challenging international non-proliferation agreements and risking a global arms race, the Bush administration's surge in chemical and biological weapons spending raises questions over what deadly weapons may have been tested on populations abroad. And what may be tested domestically, with or without the public's consent..." (Breaking the Nuremberg Code: The US Military's Human-Testing Program Returns)

The Declaration of Helsinki was developed by the World Medical Association (WMA), as a set of ethical principles for the medical community regarding human experimentation, and is widely regarded as the cornerstone document of human research ethics. (WMA 2000, Bošnjak 2001, Tyebkhan 2003). It is not a legally binding instrument in international law, but instead draws its authority from the degree to which it has been codified in, or influenced, national or regional legislation and regulations (Human and Fluss 2001). Its role was described by a Brazilian forum in 2000 in these words "Even though the Declaration of Helsinki is the responsibility of the World Medical Association, the document should be considered the property of all humanity" (Human and Fluss 2001). The controversies and national divisions over the text have continued. The US FDA rejected the 2000 and subsequent revisions, only recognizing the third (1989) revision (Wolinsky 2006), and in 2006 announced it would eliminate all reference to the Declaration. After consultation, which included expressions of concern, a final rule was issued on April 28, 2008 replacing the Declaration of Helsinki with Good Clinical Practice effective October 2008. This has raised a number of concerns regarding the apparent weakening of protections for research subjects outside the United States. The NIH training in human subject research participant protection no longer refers to the Declaration of Helsinki. The European Commission refers to the fourth (1996) revision. While the Declaration has been a central document guiding research practice, its future has been called into question. Challenges include the apparent conflict between guides, such as the CIOMS and Nuffield Council documents. Another is whether it should concentrate on basic principles as opposed to being more prescriptive, and hence controversial. It has continually grown and faced more frequent revisions (Carlson 2004). The recent controversies undermine the authority of the document, as does the apparent desertion by major bodies, and any rewording must embrace deeply and widely held values, since continual shifts in the text do not imply authority. the actual claims to authority particularly on a global level, by the insertion of the word "international" in article 10 has been challenged. Carlson raises the question as to whether the document's utility should be more formally evaluated, rather than just relying on tradition..." (Wikepedia)

The Nuremberg Code is a set of research ethics principles for human experimentation set as a result of the Subsequent Nuremberg Trials at the end of the Second World War. (Wikepedia).


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Informed consent

What questions should I ask during informed consent? - "...You will, of course, have your own questions, especially once the doctor starts sharing information. But some basic questions you might ask include:
  • What is my diagnosis (the medical name for the illness I have) and what does that mean?
  • How serious is my diagnosis?
  • What treatments are recommended?
  • Are there other treatment options? What are they?
  • What benefits would you expect from the recommended treatments and other options?
  • What are the risks or complications of the recommended treatment and the other treatment options?
  • Are there problems or side effects that may be caused by the treatments?
  • What methods will be used to prevent or relieve these problems or side effects?
  • What are the side effects of the treatment -- immediate, short-term, and long-term?
  • How will having treatment affect my normal functions and everyday activities?
  • How would not having treatment affect my normal functions and everyday activities?
  • How long will treatment last?
  • How long will it be before I can go back to my normal activities?
  • How much does the treatment cost?
  • Will my insurance cover it?
It's a good idea to write down your questions and bring the list to your appointments, take notes on the responses, or bring a tape recorder to record the discussion. (You will want to check with the doctor before you record him or her.) Good health providers usually appreciate a patient's efforts to understand the challenges they face and to make informed decisions..." (Informed Consent)

the right to stop treatment or withdraw - "...You can change your mind at any time, even if you've already started the treatment. Most consent forms mention that you also have the right to stop treatment or withdraw from a study even after you have signed a consent form. Even if the form does not mention it, you still have this right. You would need to contact the doctor in charge of your treatment or of the clinical trial to make your wishes known. You may be asked to sign a form refusing further treatment so that the doctor or facility will have a legal record (see the next section, "What if I don't want the treatment that is being offered?")..." (Informed Consent)

competent patients have the right to refuse treatment - "...In most cases, it is clear whether or not patients are competent to make their own decisions. Occasionally, it is not so clear. Patients are under an unusual amount of stress during illness and can experience anxiety, fear, and depression. The stress associated with illness should not necessarily preclude one from participating in one's own care. However, precautions should be taken to ensure the patient does have the capacity to make good decisions. There are several different standards of decision making capacity. Generally you should assess the patient's ability to: understand his or her situation, understand the risks associated with the decision at hand, and communicate a decision based on that understanding. When this is unclear, a psychiatric consultation can be helpful. Of course, just because a patient refuses a treatment does not in itself mean the patient is incompetent. Competent patients have the right to refuse treatment, even those treatments that may be life-saving. Treatment refusal may, however, be a flag to pursue further the patient's beliefs and understanding about the decision, as well as your own..." (Informed Consent)

ask questions - The patient should then have an opportunity to ask questions to elicit a better understanding of the treatment or procedure, so that he/she can make an informed decision to proceed or to refuse a particular medical intervention. This process is both an ethical obligation and a legal requirement in all 50 states. Problems with Traditional Informed Consent: (1) Written consent is often technical and incompletely understood by the patient; (2) Verbal explanations are dependent on the time, experience and communication skills of the explainer; (3) In-office explanations do not allow the patient sufficient time to review and ask questions about their procedure; (4) There is no clear way to ensure that the patient truly understands that to which they are consenting. The Ideal Consent Solution - Ideal Consent is a novel, computer-based informed consent process that combines informative videos and the written consent form for optimal patient understanding prior to a medical procedure..." (Informed consent)

communications process - "...The first case defining informed consent appeared in the late 1950's. Earlier consent cases were based in the tort of battery, under which liability is imposed for unpermitted touching. Though battery claims occasionally occur when treatment is provided without consent, most consent cases generally center around whether the consent was "informed", i.e., whether the patient was given sufficient information to make a decision regarding his or her body and health care. Because informed consent claims, unlike battery claims, are based in negligence, they generally are covered by liability insurance. To protect yourself in litigation, in addition to carrying adequate liability insurance, it is important that the communications process itself be documented. Good documentation can serve as evidence in a court of the law that the process indeed took place. A timely and thorough documentation in the patient's chart by the physician providing the treatment and/or performing the procedure can be a strong piece of evidence that the physician engaged the patient in an appropriate discussion. A well-designed, signed informed consent form may also be useful, but an overly broad or highly detailed form actually can work against you. Forms that serve mainly to satisfy all legal requirements (stating for example that "all material risks have been explained to me") may not preclude a patient from asserting that the actual disclosure did not include risks that the patient unfortunately discovered after treatment. At the other extreme, listing all of the risks may not be wise either. A comprehensive listing will be difficult for the patient to understand and any omission from the list will likely be presumed undisclosed. If you are using a form that contains a list, consider, with your attorney, inserting language indicating that the list is not exclusive (such as "included, but not limited to") before the list begins. Medicare participating physicians must also be cognizant of CMS's requirements for informed consent..." (Patient Physician Relationship Topics)

Myth and Reality - "...Before you start exploring this section of the site, you may find it helpful to confront some of the most common misperceptions about informed consent and clinical trials. Even if these do not represent your thinking about informed consent, they can serve as a helpful reminder of what the process is really about before you go through it.
  • Myth: Informed consent is designed primarily to protect the legal interests of the research team.
  • Reality: The purpose of the process is to protect you and other participants by providing access to information that can help you make an informed choice. It also is designed to make you aware of your rights as a participant.
  • Myth: The most important part of this process is signing the informed consent document.
  • Reality: Actually, the heart of this process is your ongoing interaction and discussions with the research team and other medical personnel–before, during, and after the trial. The document is designed to get this conversation started.
  • Myth: My doctor knows best; he or she can tell me whether or not I should consent to participate.
  • Reality: Your doctor is likely to be a valuable source of advice and information, but only you can make this decision. No one–not even medical experts–can predict whether a treatment, screening, prevention, or supportive care method under evaluation in a trial will prove successful. The informed consent process is designed to help you weigh all of the information and make the right choice for you or your child.
  • Myth: Once I sign the consent form, I have to enroll and stay enrolled in the trial.
  • Reality: That's not true. Even after you sign the form, you are free to change your mind and decide not to participate. You also have the right to leave a clinical trial at any time for any reason, without forfeiting access to other treatment.
  • Myth: Medical personnel are busy, so I can't really expect them to keep me informed as the trial progresses or listen to my questions.
  • Reality: The research team has a duty to keep you informed, make sure that you understand the information they provide, and answer your questions. If you ever feel that you are not getting what you need, do not hesitate to speak up. You will be given the name and phone number of a key contact person who can answer your questions throughout the course of the trial. Keep in mind that people like you are making this research possible through their willingness to participate (Conducting Clinical Trials).
Informed consent is a phrase often used in law to indicate that the consent a person gives meets certain minimum standards. As a literal matter, in the absence of fraud, it is redundant. An informed consent can be said to have been given based upon a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications, and future consequences of an action. In order to give informed consent, the individual concerned must have adequate reasoning faculties and be in possession of all relevant facts at the time consent is given. Impairments to reasoning and judgment which may make it impossible for someone to give informed consent include such factors as basic intellectual or emotional immaturity, high levels of stress such as PTSD or as severe mental retardation, severe mental illness, intoxication, severe sleep deprivation, Alzheimer's disease, or being in a coma. This term was first used in a 1957 medical malpractice case by Paul G. Gebhard. Some acts cannot legally take place because of a lack of informed consent. In cases where an individual is considered unable to give informed consent, another person is generally authorized to give consent on his behalf, e.g., parents or legal guardians of a child and caregivers for the mentally ill. However, if a severely injured person is brought to a hospital in an unconscious state and no-one is available to give informed consent, doctors will give whatever treatment is necessary to save their life (according to the Hippocratic oath), which might involve major surgery, e.g., amputation. In cases where an individual is provided insufficient information to form a reasoned decision, serious ethical issues arise. Such cases in a clinical trial in medical research are anticipated and prevented by an ethics committee or Institutional Review Board. ...Informed consent is also important in social research. For example in survey research, people need to give informed consent before they participate in the survey. In medical research the Nuremberg Code set a base international standard in 1947, and research proposals involving human subjects have developed since then. Most modern research is overseen by an ethics committee that also oversees the informed consent process (Wikepedia).


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Psychological Warfare

brain-altering drugs and digital "indoctrination" - "...Speaking of long-term impacts on the brain, we're also heading toward a world where humans are directly linked with computers that profoundly influence their perceptions and ideas. Despite many potential benefits, there is danger here as well. Rather than simply augmenting our memories by providing neutral information, the brain-computer connection may lead people into separate realities based on their assumptions and politics. Brain-altering drugs and digital "indoctrination" – a potent combination. Together, they pose a potential threat not only to the stability of many individuals but of society itself. Seduced by the promise that our brains can be managed and enhanced without serious side-effects, we may be creating a future where psychological dysfunction becomes a post-modern plague and powerful forces use cyberspace to reshape "reality" in their private interest. Do prescription drugs create new mental problems? And if so, how could it be happening? For Whitaker the answer lies in the effects of drugs on neurotransmitters, a process he calls negative feedback. When a drug blocks neurotransmitters or increases the level of serotonin, for instance, neurons initially attempt to counteract the effects. When the drug is used over a long period, however, it can produce "substantial and long-lasting alterations in neural function," says Steven Hyman, former director of the National Institutes of Mental Health. The brain begins to function differently. Its ability to compensate starts to fail and side effects created by the drug emerge. What comes next? More drugs and, along with them, new side effects, an evolving chemical mixture often accompanied by a revised diagnosis. According to Marcia Angell, former editor of "The New England Journal of Medicine", it can go this way: use of an antidepressant leads to mania, which leads to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, which leads to the prescription of mood stabilizers. Through such a process people can end up taking several drugs daily for many years..." (Mind Games: Cyberspace and Psychiatric Drugs)
mixture of ideology, propaganda, and half-truths - "...If terrorism is a form of psychological warfare, we should be focusing as much if not more on countering the propaganda as we focus on preventing and controlling terrorist violence. Ultimately, the fight against terrorism can only be won if we manage to prevent young people from joining such organizations, if we manage to induce members of terrorist groups to leave their organizations and if we can make it clear to their leaders that their strategy is not leading to the intended results. Terrorists and their sympathizers issue communiqués and copious writings to explain and “justify” their deeds and win new adherents. This mixture of ideology, propaganda, and half-truths goes all too often unanswered and is dismissed out of hand. That is a mistake. We should consider countering every terrorist propaganda statement with wellargued counter-statements, directed not necessarily at the terrorists themselves but at their constituency and, above all, at those who are vulnerable to the terrorist temptation. The language of hate and violence needs to be answered by the language of reason and humanity—and deeds that match our words..." (Terrorism as Psychological Warfare)

to get the youth to become addicts - "...The primary goal of drug trafficking in the Soviet Union at the start was not money. Nor is it such today. Money is only a beneficial side effect to the goal of undermining the financial strength of capitalist countries. The real primary goal was, through drug trafficking, to undermine the moral, mental, and physical gifts of our youth, which would under mine our military strength within a few years (drugs impair the cardiovascular system) and, as our youth mature in the future, the strength of our future leaders is also weakened through corruption and their inability to think well. Because these drugs were mainly tools of sabotage operations, drug trafficking was run out of the GRU. In contrast, the organized crime was directed at the power elite, to corrupt them and open doors for direct policy influence, and espionage at the highest level. Because the dominant role here was political, the organized crime element was run by the KGB. Terrorism had two different goals, one was to destabilize countries and make them vulnerable to insurrections and take-overs, and the other was to help isolate the United States from the rest of the world. Because of its nature, it, too, was run by the GRU. While these all began as independent covert operations, by the mid-1960s their boundaries were getting fuzzy because each would benefit from some contributions of the others. Additionally, there were some capabilities that were shared among all of the three because they were critical to each one, for example, the movement of monies, that is, money laundering and associated financial support. Also as pointed out by Kitman, we need to consider the large range of drugs and their different effects, and, hence, their very different usages. For example against the youth, which is indicated above in the targeting of the youth, are the so-called recreational drugs. These were drugs for the masses, mainly the youth. And, the main idea was to get the youth to become addicts and drug users before the age of 25, which was when the youth were most vulnerable. The second largest category of use is specific mind-altering drugs whose object is not a trip that puts people into la-la land, but drugs that are used, mostly, on individuals who are the target of special psychological operations designed to change the target’s way of thinking or acting to the Soviet benefit. There are many different types, as Kitman explains. Only a few such drugs were developed to extract information or “truth.” The largest range of drugs are for very different usages, such as to cause the targeted individual to become very paranoid, aggressive, frightened, unable to make decisions, sleep inducing, chaos or “craziness” inducing, hate inducing drugs, and some that just made people happy and accepting or able to support different policies and people. These were used on leaders and individuals of power and influence in a very different fashion – that is, the target has no idea he or she have been given a special drug covertly. There is also a third very different category which is for military use, drugs for use against group targets, up to battalion-sized targets, drugs for use against commanders or control centers, and drugs that affect the mind in such a way that facilitates recruiting individual officers and turning them into unwitting Soviet agents..." (Symposium: Sex, Drugs and Psychological Warfare)

planned use of propaganda and other psychological actions - "...A favorite COINTELPRO tactic uncovered by Senate investigators was to advertise a non-existent political event, or to misinform people of the time and place of an actual one. They reported a variety of disruptive FBI “dirty tricks” designed to cast blame on the organizers of movement events. In one “disinformation” case, the [FBI's] Chicago Field Office duplicated blank forms prepared by the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (“NMC”) soliciting housing for demonstrators at the Democratic National Convention. Chicago filled out 217 of these forms with fictitious names and addresses and sent them to the NMC, which provided them to demonstrators who made “long and useless journeys to locate these addresses.” The NMC then decided to discard all replies received on the housing forms rather than have out-of-town demonstrators try to locate nonexistent addresses. (The same program was carried out when the Washington Mobilization Committee distributed housing forms for demonstrators coming to Washington for the 1969 Presidential inaugural ceremonies.) In another case, during the demonstrations accompanying inauguration ceremonies, the Washington Field Office discovered that NMC marshals were using walkie-talkies to coordinate their movements and activities. WFO used the same citizen band to supply the marshals with misinformation and, pretending to be an NMC unit, countermanded NMC orders. In a third case, a [Bureau] midwest field office disrupted arrangements for state university students to attend the 1969 inaugural demonstrations by making a series of anonymous telephone calls to the transportation company. The calls were designed to confuse both the transportation company and the SDS leaders as to the cost of transportation and the time and place for leaving and returning. This office also placed confusing leaflets around the campus to show different times and places for demonstration-planning meetings, as well as conflicting times and dates for traveling to Washington..." (US Domestic Covert Operations: Psychological Warfare)

Psychological warfare (PSYWAR), or the basic aspects of modern psychological operations (PSYOP), have been known by many other names or terms, including Psy Ops, Political Warfare, “Hearts and Minds,” and Propaganda.[1] Various techniques are used, by any set of groups, and aimed to influence a target audience's value systems, belief systems, emotions, motives, reasoning, or behavior. It is used to induce confessions or reinforce attitudes and behaviors favorable to the originator's objectives, and are sometimes combined with black operations or false flag tactics. Target audiences can be governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The U.S. Department of Defense defines psychological warfare as: "The planned use of propaganda and other psychological actions having the primary purpose of influencing the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behavior of hostile foreign groups in such a way as to support the achievement of national objectives." During World War II the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff defined psychological warfare more broadly stating "Psychological warfare employs any weapon to influence the mind of the enemy. The weapons are psychological only in the effect they produce and not because of the weapons themselves." (Wikepedia)

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