Wednesday, March 24, 2010

sex ed

I taught a sex ed class at a Catholic church last weekend. In the sanctuary. To a group of adults in a premarital class at the church...all immigrants I think, not sure. And the priest asked us to teach on contraceptives and reproductive health. We passed around condoms, and showed them what different forms of birth control were available. We told them of clinics where they could get affordable reproductive care.

They asked questions about orgasms, periods, hormones and the like...and listened comfortably, all while a statue of Jesus and Mary stood behind us at the altar.

I'm impressed with the progress this church has made. We need a church that views sex as part of life, instead of only as taboo. We need proper education and equality to be promoted in the church, if we expect people across the world to progress, especially when so many around the world still rely on the church for their guidance. We need population control, we are on our way to 10 billion people, a # so large that our Earth will have difficulties sustaining us, and wars over water, food and land are inevitable...we need people to be responsible about having children, especially when they are barely affording to feed themselves. Not to imply at all that people of any socioeconomic status have less rights than others to reproduction. But, we are no longer in the age where you have 10 kids in hopes that 5 survive, at least not in the US. Let's stop acting like we are and start being responsible with the science and medicine available to us.

Friday, March 12, 2010

why health reform matters

Last night I volunteered at the clinic I am a coordinator of in South Philadelphia, one that primarily serves Mexican immigrants. It was a good time. Besides getting to work side by side with bright and interesting students from all over Philly, I got to talk with patients and practice my Spanish.

What struck me most was how great of a relationship the doctors and nurses of this clinic have with the members of this community. The patients are treated for free, and many walk in without appointments and are unsure of how good they will be treated, weary of past experiences at other free clinics. But, they have no choice as they work in restaurants in Philly, without insurance, and barely make ends meet. Greeted with a warm smile, they are welcomed in for a thorough checkup, no strings attached. There is always detailed care given to every patient, with ample time taken and all concerns addressed.

In the regular health care world, doctors have to see patients every 7 minutes or less in order to make enough money to support their practices. Insurance companies pay only a portion of what the initial invoices list, though they make millions off of people to ensure that they are treated properly. Why is this a problem? Because doctors have to worry more about costs and time than they do about their patient's well being. They have to rush through appointments, missing important clues in patient cases, and above all, they have very little time for establishing great relationships. In my opinion, health care is a field where relationships are required for the comprehensive care of a sick person.

Why do I say all of this? Because our country is in need of change. Health insurance companies should not hold the power to the treatment of patients. Health care providers should. The doctors and nurses who I know didn't get into the field to keep insurance companies booming...they got into it to make a difference in peoples lives. Making an easy buck is the last thing the students eagerly learning in this clinic are thinking of.

Consider it: supporting health care reform

Unlearn it: that people only deserve the health care they can afford...what if you didn't have money or a job with insurance?