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Author Archive: Keisha Ray

About Keisha Ray


by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

I take the drug hydroxychloroquine, brand name Plaquenil, for an autoimmune disease. Hydroxychloroquine was once used to treat malaria and is now commonly used to treat a range of inflammatory disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. If this drug sounds familiar it is likely because it has frequently been in the news as a potential therapy for COVID19. During multiple press conferences the president has touted this drug as a potential cure for COVID19. Medical professionals like Dr. Anthony Fauci and state governors like New York governor Andrew Cuomo have discussed and debated the drug’s potential, drawing various conclusions about the limited studies that have been done on the drug.

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by Laura Guidry-Grimes, PhD and Katie Savin, MSW

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to intense conversations about ventilator allocation and reallocation during a crisis standard of care (CSC). The possibility of reallocating ventilators through a triage process is a source of profound concern for people who rely on personal ventilators (PVs) in their everyday life. Alice Wong, a disability activist and PV user, explains this concern: “Were I to contract coronavirus, I imagine a doctor might read my chart, look at me, and think I’m a waste of their efforts and precious resources that never should have been in shortage to begin with.

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D. 

 

On Monday my hometown of San Antonio, Texas declared a local public emergency after a woman who was quarantined for suspected exposure to Covid-19 was released from custody. It was only after the woman’s release that officials discovered her positive test and she returned to quarantine. For the past two weeks San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force Base has been the home of 122 people, including this woman who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess Cruise ship where they spent 2 weeks in quarantine after confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus on the ship. After the evacuee was released she visited various locations in San Antonio including the very popular mall North Star Mall.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Like others in our WebMd culture I often go to the internet to research my symptoms, looking for possible solutions. When a physician gives me a medical diagnosis I will often go to the internet and research the diagnosis. The internet was particularly helpful when I fractured my ankle and when I was going through dermatological therapies. While I was going through therapies for these injuries and disorders what I found was that the internet’s greatest contribution was its communities of people who had some of the same experiences as myself. Their experience and suggestions on how to properly convey your symptoms to a doctor, what therapies worked for them, how they remedied the side-effects of drug therapies were invaluable to me.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

This week Doctors for Camp Closures posted a video of protesters, including physicians, being arrested by police and military personnel after physicians went to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) headquarters in San Diego to offer flu vaccinations to detained migrants. Despite their well intentions the authorities turned them away. In the video protesters can be seen laying on the ground in front of the facility’s driveway and being picked up off the ground by police officers and men in military uniforms and placed in restraints. Doctors for Camp Closures are against the detainment of migrants and refugees but wanted to offer flu vaccinations to the migrants because they believe that health care is a human right.…

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by Amy Reese, PharmD, MA

Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is a neuraminidase inhibitor which decreases the viral spread of Influenza A and B. It was a revolutionary drug when it was approved by the FDA in December 2000 because it was indicated to reduce the duration and severity of both influenza viruses. It was also proven to prevent a patient from being infected with either influenza virus. The only stipulation with the medication was that its efficacy was only shown within the first 48 hours of influenza symptoms. It was not shown to be effective if given after the 48-hour window. Despite this data, urgent care facilities and emergency departments in every location I have practiced as a pharmacist has handed out prescriptions for Tamiflu.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

 

Right now in America there is a growing movement to help Americans die well. Organizations like Life Matters Media and Death Over Dinner aim to help people with end of life decision-making and to help people facilitate conversations about death with their families, friends, and communities. But in this dying well movement there is some controversy about who gets to participate and how they ought to participate. Death doulas or death midwives offer much of the same care at the end of a person’s life as birthing doulas or midwives offer women and babies at the beginning of babies’ lives.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

As a philosopher and bioethicist by professional degree and training it is no more apparent that I have one foot in the world of bioethics and one foot in the world of health humanities than when I attend the annual meeting of American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH). Attending ASBH as I did this past week always makes me confront whether having one foot in each world means that I can do both well or if not fully being in any one world means I’m doing my students and my career a disservice.

As a tenure-track professor and junior scholar there is no shortage of advice from more senior faculty.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

The story of Flint, Michigan’s water crisis, beginning in 2014 is a story that most people are familiar with. After changing how their water is supplied—Going from Detroit supplied water to water supplied from Flint river to the ultimate goal of pipelines bringing in water from Lake Huron—the water became contaminated. The yellow-ish brown, foul odor water brought in from Flint River had high levels of lead causing many people to not drink the water or use it for cooking, brushing teeth, or any other life activity that required water. Celebrities, professional athletes, and every day people all donated bottled water to Flint’s residents to help them with this crisis.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Last week there were two news stories about three individuals who died because they could not afford health care. The first is the story of Josh Wilkerson, age 27 who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Wilkerson could no longer afford his normal brand of insulin after aging out of his step-fathers’ private health insurance. Wilkerson’s salary of $16.50 an hour was not enough to cover the $1,200 price tag and with plans to save for a future wedding, Wilkerson switched to an over-the-counter brand of human insulin that is about $25 at Walmart. The human insulin is significantly less effective than the prescription brand Wilkerson was used to taking but because of costs he made the switch.…

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