Friday, December 21, 2007

Family of girl to sue CIGNA over her death- Shameful

This is a classic, yet deadly and tragic case of when greed and financial circumstances clash with life.

Associated Press

The family of a 17-year-old girl who died hours after her health insurer reversed its previous decision and said it would pay for a liver transplant planned to sue CIGNA HealthCare, their attorney said Friday.

Attorney Mark Geragos said he also plans to ask the district attorney to press murder or manslaughter charges against CIGNA HealthCare for the death of Nataline Sarkisyan.

The insurer "maliciously killed her" because it did not want to bear the expense of her transplant and aftercare, Geragos said at a news conference outside his downtown Los Angeles office. He did not say when or in what court he would file the suit.

District Attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons declined to comment on the request for murder or manslaughter charges, saying it would be inappropriate to do so until Geragos submits evidence supporting his request.

Nataline died Thursday at about 6 p.m. at the University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center. She had been in a vegetative state for weeks before she was taken off life support at 5:20 p.m. with the family's approval.

Nataline had been battling leukemia and received a bone marrow transplant from her brother. She developed a complication, however, that caused her liver to fail.

Doctors at UCLA determined she needed a transplant and sent a letter to CIGNA on Dec. 11. The Philadelphia-based health insurance company denied payment for the transplant, saying the procedure was experimental and outside the scope of coverage.
"They took my daughter away from me," said Nataline's father, Krikor, who appeared at the news conference with his 21-year-old son, Bedros.

About 150 teenagers and nurses had protested outside CIGNA's office in Glendale on Thursday. As the protesters rallied, the company reversed its decision and said it would approve the transplant.

Despite the reversal, CIGNA said in an e-mail statement before she died that there was a lack of medical evidence showing the procedure would work in Nataline's case.

"Our hearts go out to Nataline and her family as they endure this terrible ordeal," the company said. "CIGNA HealthCare has decided to make an exception in this rare and unusual case and we will provide coverage should she proceed with the requested liver transplant."

Asked to respond to the developments at Friday's news conference, CIGNA issued another statement reiterating its sympathy.

"Their loss is immeasurable, and our thoughts and prayers are with them," the statement said. "We deeply hope that the outpouring of concern, care and love that are being expressed for Nataline's family help them at this time."

In their letter, the UCLA doctors said patients in situations similar to Nataline's who undergo transplants have a six-month survival rate of about 65 percent.

One of the doctors, Robert Venick, declined to comment on Nataline's case when reached at his office Friday.

Mitt Romney Tells Lie: Father Did Not March With Martin Luther King - "Fudging" The Truth

Gloves to cover dirty hands of one who fudges the truth

Well, the long string of mistatements, flip-flops, and now an outright lie continues. It turns out, according to The Detroit Free Press, that former Governor and now Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney lied when he said that his father marched with Martin Luther King. So now, can we -- are we free to assume that -- state that his claim that he cried when he listened to the news that the Mormon Church elected to allow Black priests is false?

Romney fields questions on King
Campaign says claim not literal

December 20, 2007


Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said he watched his father, the late Michigan Gov. George Romney, in a 1960s civil rights march in Michigan with Martin Luther King Jr.
On Wednesday, Romney's campaign said his recollections of watching his father, an ardent civil rights supporter, march with King were meant to be figurative.

"He was speaking figuratively, not literally," Eric Fehrnstrom, spokesman for the Romney campaign, said of the candidate.
The campaign was responding to questions raised by the Free Press and other media after a Boston publication challenged the accuracy of Mitt Romney's account.
In a major speech on faith and politics earlier this month in Texas, Mitt Romney said: "I saw my father march with Martin Luther King."
He made a similar statement Sunday during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press." He said, "You can see what I believed and what my family believed by looking at our lives. My dad marched with Martin Luther King. My mom was a tireless crusader for civil rights."
Romney's campaign cited various historical articles, as well as a 1967 book written by Stephen Hess and Washington Post political columnist David Broder, as confirmation that George Romney marched with King in Grosse Pointe in 1963.
"He has marched with Martin Luther King through the exclusive Grosse Pointe suburb," Hess and Broder wrote in "The Republican Establishment: The Present and Future of the GOP."
Free Press archives, however, showed no record of King marching in Grosse Pointe in 1963 or of then-Gov. Romney taking part in King's historic march down Woodward Avenue in June of that year.
George Romney told the Free Press at the time that he didn't take part because it was on a Sunday and he avoided public appearances on the Sabbath because of his religion.
Romney did participate in a civil rights march protesting housing bias in Grosse Pointe just six days after the King march. According to the Free Press account, however, King was not there.
Broder could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.
The Boston Phoenix reported Wednesday it could find no evidence that Romney and King ever marched together.
Mitt Romney's older brother, Detroit attorney Scott Romney, said he recalls his father telling him the elder Romney marched with King, possibly in 1963, but he could not remember exactly when the event took place.
Fehrnstrom called the Romney brothers' recollection and the historical materials a "pretty convincing case that George Romney did march with Dr. Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders in Michigan."
The governor's record was one of supporting civil rights. He helped create the state's first civil rights commission and marched at the head of a protest parade in Detroit days after violence against civil rights marchers in Selma, Ala., in 1965.
Mitt Romney's campaign planned today to further research George Romney's papers for evidence of his march with King.
Free Press Library Director Alice Pepper contributed to this report.

What's "The Zeitgeist" - An Important Point

Some people ask me what Zeitgeist means. Well, it basically means "The sprit of the age" and that's what I try to capture in this blog.

At times that means the content may piss some people off. Like the whole deal with Laure Manautou and the photos -- which aren't on this site save for one tame one -- or the Debra Le Fevre Teacher / Teenager sex controversy.

But the bottom line is that those issues also tend to dominate Technorati, which is the main source I use to make decisions on what goes here -- except politics of course. In this area I'm a stauch supporter of Senator Obama for President and anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that.

But the bottom line is I'm trying to give you a balance of what's going on in the World but via my eyes. See? Hence, Zennie's Zeitgeist.

I find that people in America, my country, are far too neurotic about generally small issues. It seems that people in other countries have less hangups than we do. Perhaps New Media will cause us to relax a bit over time.