Daily Archives: March 6, 2012

Romney Wins Idaho

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts,...

Mitt Romney has won the Idaho Republican caucuses.

Mr. Romney’s victory in Idaho adds to his projected wins in Virginia, Vermont, and Massachusetts on Super Tuesday.

All thirty-two Idaho delegates are tied to the Super Tuesday contest, and the state will award those delegates proportionally.

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Santorum Wins North Dakota

Rick Santorum has won the North Dakota Republican caucuses.

All twenty-eight North Dakota delegates are tied to the Super Tuesday contest, and the state will award those delegates proportionally.

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Santorum Wins Oklahoma

Rick Santorum has won the Oklahoma Republican primary.

Forty of the forty-three Oklahoma delegates are tied to the Super Tuesday contest, and the state will award those delegates proportionally.

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Santorum Wins Tennessee

, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

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Rick Santorum will win the Tennessee Republican primary, CNN projects.

Fifty-five of the fifty-eight Tennessee delegates are tied to the Super Tuesday contest, and the state will award those delegates proportionally.

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Romney Wins Massachusetts

English: Presidential candidate Mitt Romney ta...

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Mitt Romney has won the Massachusetts Republican primary.

Mr. Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, is also projected to win today’s primaries in Virginia and Vermont.

Thirty-eight of the forty-one Massachusetts delegates are tied to the Super Tuesday contest, and the state will award those delegates proportionally.

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Romney Wins Vermont

Mitt Romney has won the Vermont Republican primary, CNN projects.

All seventeen Vermont delegates are tied to the Super Tuesday contest, and the state will award those delegates proportionally.

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Romney Wins Virginia

English: Governor Mitt Romney of MA

Mitt Romney has won the Virginia Republican primary, CNN projects.

Forty-six of the forty-nine Virginia delegates are tied to the contest, and the state will award those delegates proportionally.

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Gingrich Wins Georgia

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

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Newt Gingrich has won Georgia’s Republican primary.

The victory in Georgia, his home state, will be Mr. Gingrich’s first since his victory in the South Carolina primary in January.

All seventy-six Georgia delegates are tied to the Super Tuesday contest, and the state will award those delegates proportionally. A total of 1,144 delegates are needed to clinch the Republican nomination.

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Cambodian Statue Looted During Bombing and Genocide in Limbo at Sotheby’s

Cambodia has asked the United States for help in recovering a thousand-year-old statue of a warrior that at Sotheby’s in New York and that experts believe was looted amid the bombing of the Vietnam War and the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge.

The statue, which has a catalog estimate of $2 million to $3 million, was pulled from auction at the last minute last March after the Cambodian government complained it had been “illegally removed” from the country.

The Department of Homeland Security has opened an investigation. Cambodian officials have held off asking for the piece to be seized while they negotiate with Sotheby’s.

The auction house says that the seller is a “noble European lady” who acquired it in 1975, the year the Khmer Rouge took power following widespread bombing. Although it was severed from its feet and pedestal, which were left at a Cambodian archaeological site, Sotheby’s says there is no proof that it was taken illegally.

Archaeologists and Cambodian officials say the case of the footless statue is all the more poignant because researchers have found the pedestal and feet belonging to the artwork. The discovery was made in Koh Ker, sixty miles northeast of Angkor Wat. Koh Ker, another city in the Khmer empire, was at one time a rival capital to Angkor, which was once the largest city in the preindustrial world, more than three times the area of New York City today.

The sculpture, which is five feet tall and weighs 250 pounds, is one of two athlete-combatants from the mid 900s who come from one of Koh Ker’s temples; it is about 200 years older than the famous sculptures at Angkor Wat.

In 2007, archaeologists matched the other statue, on display since 1980 at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California, to its similarly detached pedestal.

All clues suggest the work at Sotheby’s was plundered in the 1970s amid the chaos, when looters hacked their way into temples, pillaged antiquities, and sold them to Thai and Western collectors.

“Every red flag on the planet should have gone off when this was offered for sale,” said Herbert V. Larson Jr., a New Orleans lawyer and antiquities expert who teaches legal issues involving smuggled artifacts. “It screams ‘loot.’ ”

To write the catalog entry for the statue, Sotheby’s hired Emma C. Bunker, a co-author of the book “Adoration and Glory: The Golden Age of Khmer Art.” She called it an unrivaled example of Khmer sculpture, and the lot was on the catalog’s cover. It was withdrawn on the day it was to be sold, March 24, 2011, after a Cambodian official working with the United Nations, Tan Theany, complained in a letter “that this statue was illegally removed from the site” and asked Sotheby’s to “facilitate its return.”

Via The New York Times.

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It’s Not about Birth Control: How “Moral Conscience” Objections Endanger Women’s Lives

Ectopic pregnancy by R. de Graaf in the monogr...

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There has been a lot of discussion about the contraception coverage mandate. Much of the talk has focused on women’s sex lives and the types of birth control that doctors prescribe for women, as well as on the separation of church and state and the mandate’s infringement on religious freedom. There has been less talk about women’s health, women’s rights, and the use of birth control pills to treat medical conditions, including polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis. Both of these conditions can cause severe pain and lead to other health problems. The Institute of Medicine, a non-profit advisory panel, recommended the contraception coverage because “those services are basic to individual health.”

Many Americans think that contraceptive coverage arebasic.  Catholic bishops, however, believe that contraceptive coverage and some hospital services are in conflict with the church’s “moral conscience.” The bishops contend that the church has the right to deny certain types of health insurance coverage for women who work for Catholic institutions. The church’s position is that all female employees of Catholic institutions should be denied access to all forms of contraceptives and not be provided medical insurance that would cover the cost of certain medical procedures. The bishops also believe that certain types of treatment and procedures should not be provided to women at Catholic hospitals.

In January 2011, the National Women’s Law Center issued a report about women’s lives being at risk at some hospitals because of religious restrictions. The NWLC report includes an analysis of its study, which focused on Catholic-affiliated hospitals’ treatment of women with pregnancy complications.

From the National Women’s Law Center:

The Center’s report, Below the Radar: Ibis Study Shows that Health Care Providers’ Religious Refusals Can Endanger Pregnant Women’s Lives and Health, demonstrates that certain hospitals, because of their religious beliefs, deny emergency care, the standard of care and adequate information to make treatment decisions to patients experiencing miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies. The study and report focused on cases where no medical intervention was possible that would allow the patient to continue her pregnancy and where delaying treatment would endanger the woman’s health or even life. These hospital treatment practices violate federal laws and regulations that are intended to protect patients and ensure the delivery of quality health care services at hospitals receiving Medicare funds…

“Most women assume that when they go to a hospital they will be offered the best medical treatment options for their diagnosis,” said NWLC Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger. “But this report paints a chilling picture of women with ectopic pregnancies or suffering miscarriages who are not offered the full spectrum of medically appropriate treatment options because they have gone to a hospital whose religious affiliation conflicts with the provision of those options. To make matters worse, women denied certain medical options may never even be told that these options could, for example, improve their chances of having a healthy pregnancy in the future. Women who fail to receive appropriate treatment or to be informed that preferable options would be provided in another hospital can suffer serious harm with long-term adverse consequences to their lives and health.”

The reports highlight stark cases where doctors noted a discrepancy between the medically-accepted standard of care for miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy and the treatment provided by hospitals due to their religious affiliation. For example, while the standard of care for certain ectopic pregnancies requires patients to receive the medication methotrexate, doctors in the study reported that their hospitals forbade the use of the drug. Instead, patients were either transferred to another hospital or required to undergo unnecessary and invasive surgery to resolve their condition, thereby being denied the standard of care.

One doctor in the study reported several instances of potentially fatal tubal ruptures in patients with ectopic pregnancies at her Catholic-affiliated hospital. She said that her hospital subjected patients with ectopic pregnancies to unnecessary delays in treatment, despite patients’ exhibiting serious symptoms indicating that a tubal rupture was possible. These patients, therefore, were denied emergency care to which they were legally entitled.

In some of the miscarriage cases described in the Ibis Study, the standard of care also required immediate treatment. Yet doctors practicing at Catholic-affiliated hospitals were forced to delay treatment while performing medically unnecessary tests. Even though these miscarriages were inevitable, and no medical treatment was available to save the fetus, some patients were transferred because doctors were required to wait until there was no longer a fetal heartbeat to provide the needed medical care. This delay subjected these patients to further risks of hemorrhage and infection and could have violated their right to receive emergency medical treatment under federal law.

Early last year, the NWLC filed a complaint with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in which it identified violations of health care provider obligations “under the Medicare Conditions of Participation (CoPs) resulting from these practices.” The complaint urged “HHS to issue a notification reminding hospitals that they are bound by all CoPs; to require hospitals to institute policies and procedures to protect patients’ legally enforceable rights; to investigate the failure of hospitals to provide standard of care and informed consent, and to take corrective action to prevent further violations.”

Jill Morrison, Senior Counsel for NWLC, said that religious dictates should not “trump bedrock legal protections that entitle patients to the standard of care and informed consent in the American medical system.” She claimed that hospitals have disregarded their obligation “to prioritize women’s health and lives” for too long.

It is of great import for women to read the study. According to the National Catholic Reporter, “Catholic health care facilities form the largest not-for-profit health service sector in the United States, caring for nearly one-sixth of all U.S. hospital patients each year.”

In his article in the March/April 2011 issue of The Humanist, Rob Boston wrote about Catholic Hospitals’ usurpation of patients’ rights:

Healthcare has been in the news a lot lately, but much of the discussion has centered on the bill backed by President Barack Obama that Republicans in Congress are trying to repeal. Americans obviously have different opinions about that legislation. We can hope, however, that most Americans don’t support medical decisions being made subservient to religious dogma.

Yet about a fifth of all U.S. hospitals abide by a series of directives promulgated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The directives ban abortions for any reason, forbid distribution of birth control (often including “morning after” pills for rape victims), deny sterilization operations such as vasectomies and tubal ligations, and nullify advanced directives and “living wills” that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Catholic hospitals impose these narrow doctrinal views—which are so strict that even most American Catholics don’t support them—while receiving a windfall of public support through direct government subsidies and participation in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Americans are increasingly finding that medical services they took for granted have evaporated as a spate of hospital mergers across the country has subjected many people to the bishops’ directives. Why is this? Because when Catholic hospitals merge with non-Catholic institutions, the latter are required to accept the directives as part of the deal.

Women’s rights groups and advocates of reproductive freedom have been speaking out, but too often their complaints fall on deaf ears. In Montgomery County, Maryland—an affluent suburb of Washington, DC, with a well educated population that leans toward progressive politics—state regulators recently ruled that a Catholic hospital group could build the county’s first new hospital in thirty years. In making this decision, the board bypassed a rival proposal from a group run by the Seventh-day Adventists. Although both groups are religious, the Adventists had promised to provide the full range of reproductive services.

Asked about the lack of reproductive healthcare at the new facility, one hospital regulator blithely said that people who needed those services could go elsewhere.

Excerpted from Jonathan Turley’s wonderful blog.

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