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Author Archive: Keisha Ray

About Keisha Ray


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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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

 

In May a twitter user posted a picture depicting the muscular system of a female that included milk ducts. It quickly went viral as people realized that in their various health science and anatomy and physiology courses they had never seen a picture of a female muscular system, only a picture of a male muscular system. After thinking back to my own health and anatomy and physiology courses I took during high school and college, I myself was taken aback by the realization that I had never seen a picture like this before. Like many other twitter users I initially found the picture difficult to view.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

 

For many LGBTQ people (and many others) June is a month of celebration. June is PRIDE month. PRIDE is celebrated all over the United States during the month of June to commemorate June 28, 1969 when New York police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village. The patrons, however, did not go quietly. They rioted and resisted arrest in response to years of harassment and arrests for the crime of homosexuality that occurred even before the Stonewall raid. This month, New York’s police commissioner apologized for the raid, calling the raid and laws against homosexuality “discriminatory and oppressive.”

Although my social media timelines, newsfeeds, and pages are filled with LGBTQ and straight people alike dancing and cheering at PRIDE parades all over the United States and the gay and transgender flags flying high, I’m also reminded of the ways transgender people’s health is under attack.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Since 2009 Caster Semenya has been the face of hyperandrogenism in women’s sports and today her case is back in the headlines. Hyperandrogenism is when women have high levels of hormones like testosterone. Because of high levels of testosterone, Semenya, a South African, Olympic champion runner has been at war with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) over her ability to participate in some of women’s international races like the Olympic games. To participate in races Semenya was required to undergo hormone treatment to lower her hormone levels. For future cases involving women athletes with hyperandrogenism the IAAF created policies that mandated women athletes must meet new testosterone levels of no greater than 10nmol/L to compete against women.…

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