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Critical Condition

What happens when you re sick and uninsured? The unforgettable people in this film discover that it can cost you your job, health, home, savings, and even your life. Critical Condition puts an intimate human face on America's growing health care crisis by chronicling the struggles of a diverse group of uninsured Americans as they battle critical illness over a two-year period. Joe Stornaiuolo, a doorman for fifteen years, loses his finger, then his job, and ultimately his health insurance. Unable to afford the medication or doctor visits he needs to manage his progressing liver disease, Joe is hospitalized four times in one year and dies on November 30, 2006 from a lack of medical coverage, according to his loving wife. Karen Dove loses her insurance because her deteriorating health [...]

Borderline Medicine

With the U.S. struggling to control soaring health care costs and 37 million Americans not covered by health insurance, the Canadian system of national health insurance looks attractive. This documentary takes a close look at how health care is delivered on both sides of the border. The film begins by comparing prenatal care in both countries. A San Diego woman who has insurance through Medicaid called sixty obstetricians and could not find one who would care for her. In Vancouver, a high-risk obstetric patient faces no financial barriers in having a closely monitored pregnancy. While routine medical care is more accessible in Canada, there are often waiting lists for elective surgery. Canadian patients with coronary artery disease often cross the border for surgery in the U.S. The l [...]

Quality of Mercy

Despite all the advances in pharmacology and pain research, many patients still suffer needlessly. The most shocking example is in pediatric surgery, where major procedures are sometimes executed without anaesthesia. The rationale is that newborns do not feel pain and that anaesthetics might harm seriously ill infants. As this film shows, both these assumptions are untrue. The taboo placed on street drugs affects attitudes towards narcotics for pain relief even though patients rarely become addicted. One adolescent relates how unrelieved pain after cancer surgery prevented her from exercising, contributing to a permanent disability. Research in burn treatment conducted by Dr. Samuel Perry of New York Hospital found that nitrous oxide provided the best pain relief and had no addictive [...]

Race and Psychiatry [electronic resource]

The issue of race within psychiatry is most apparent in the psychiatric hospitals and institutions where, as one doctor who appears in this program puts it, "there is an overrepresentation of black people. There is also a problem of misdiagnosis and mistreatment because some medical staff don't understand why people from different cultures behave contrary to their expectations and therefore consider their behavior dysfunctional. This program looks at the issues of racism in mental health care, and at some black self-help groups that offer alternatives to the conventional psychiatric practices that have failed to meet the needs of the black community.
2010; 1995

Inside the Lives of Children Having Children [electronic resource]

As teen pregnancy rates rise in the U.S., this ABC News program follows four families coping with the day-to-day realities of the issue. Case studies come from Massachusetts, where a teen couple tries to raise their six-month-old son together; from Kentucky, where a 14-year-old girl attends a school designed for pregnant teens; from Washington State, where a senior quarterback has impregnated his school's homecoming queen, subsequently ignoring her; and from Texas, where a young mother in labor cries out for her own mom when her contractions intensify. The program also studies two disparate schools of thought on combating teen pregnancy-one highlighting abstinence, the other safe sex.
2010; 2009

The Toxins Return [electronic resource]: How Industrial Poisons Travel the Globe

In an era of high-speed international commerce, safety standards and import inspection procedures are riddled with loopholes. The result? Quantities of dangerous substances found in goods manufactured overseas have risen dramatically. This program investigates the alarming global mobility of synthetic toxins, tracing egregious-yet often repeated-hazardous material violations from supplier to storefront. Textile producers in India, a popular retail outlet in Germany, and ports and ground-shipment depots in between all reveal their roles in transporting industrial residues and waste. Activists, government authorities, and workers all-too-familiar with toxic exposure speak out on the dangers.
2010; 2009

Abortion [electronic resource]: The Choice

While abortion will no doubt polarize our society for the foreseeable future, students can learn a great deal from the circumstances, anxieties, and life goals that surround the decision to end a pregnancy. This program presents a poignant and profoundly honest look at that decision through intimate discussions with young British women. Cheryl imagines other choices she might have made if her ex-boyfriend had remained with her. Carmel shares her college and career plans, insisting that she's not ready to bring a child into the world. Hannah describes undergoing a spiritual crisis, while Margaret's sense of relief contrasts sharply with Varria's feelings of grief and shame. An abortion counselor also shares insights.
2010; 2008

Emergency Management Planning [electronic resource]

Mass casualty emergencies can take many forms, from natural disasters to terrorist attacks. These events affect entire communities and bring about a surge of victims, overwhelming the capacities of first responders (police, fire, and EMS) and hospital first receivers. This program addresses the main components of the JCAHO mandate requiring all hospitals to implement emergency management planning. After viewing the program, learners should be able to outline the major steps of the Joint Commission mandate; describe the principal types of mass casualty events; understand basic procedures of emergency drills; list the areas of a hospital that must have emergency power backup; and more. Designated for 1 contact hour of continuing nursing education.
2010; 2006

Minds on the Edge [electronic resource]: Facing Mental Illness

America's frenzied debate over government health insurance has eclipsed another, no less challenging, national health care crisis-the plight of people with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This Fred Friendly Seminar sheds light on barriers to treatment, ethical and legal dilemmas, and fragmented social policies that are creating a nightmare for families, filling America's jails, and wasting scarce resources. Led by veteran broadcast journalist Frank Sesno, the program features hypothetical scenarios that challenge prominent mental health professionals, policymakers, and legal luminaries to confront the situations and stigma facing Americans with mental illness. Panelists include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Nobel-winning neuroscientist E [...]

Minority Health [electronic resource]

Healthy living presents special challenges for members of minorities living in lower-income neighborhoods-particularly senior citizens. This program examines those challenges, and the health problems that can result, by focusing on African-Americans and Latinos. Host Dr. Kevin Soden speaks with Dr. Terrance Fullham about difficulties faced by older African-Americans, including obesity and limitations on access to health care, highlighted by a case study of the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Then, Dr. Mark Hathaway leads the discussion on health issues facing Latinos, which are further complicated by language barriers. A thought-provoking perspective on minority rights and social inequality in America's urban areas.
2009; 2007

A Different Way to Heal? [electronic resource]

Acupuncture. Herbal remedies. Magnet therapy. Consumers and patients have made alternative and "complementary" medicine a billion-dollar industry. But do these and other alternatives to traditional Western medicine really work? Many claims exist for the efficacy of such treatments, but they are rarely supported with scientific testing and evidence. This classic episode of Scientific American Frontiers follows research projects and clinical trials attempting to test such claims with scientific methods.

Bionic Body [electronic resource]

Could lab-grown organs and body parts one day become a common solution for eliminating disease and rejuvenating the body? This classic episode of Scientific American Frontiers examines methods for re-engineering human anatomy, including not only artificial organ cultivation and retinal implants but also advances in nerve regeneration to treat spinal cord injuries. Host Alan Alda looks at nerve stimulation in paralysis victims using implanted electrodes. He also engages in a moving conversation with Christopher Reeve about the quadriplegic actor's advocacy of research in this field.

Doctors and Nurses [electronic resource]: Can Poor Countries Train and Retain Them?

Brain drain is a core problem in the developing world, and an especially tragic one in the field of health care. For many African countries, training new doctors and nurses is almost a fruitless enterprise-since, upon completion of their schooling, these young professionals typically leave for high-paying positions abroad. This program analyzes the predicament by following a young, Malawi-born gynecologist as he wrestles with a fateful decision. Should he earn a good living in the West or make a crucial difference in the life of his native country, albeit on a meager salary? His journey of discovery (and self-discovery) incorporates interviews with Malawian medical students, educators, nurses, and fellow doctors. Dr. Mubashar Sheikh of the Global Health Workforce Alliance is also featured.

Positive Youth [electronic resource]: The Face of HIV Is the Human Face

Filmed in the U.S. and Canada, this documentary puts a human face on the new reality of living with HIV by introducing viewers to four very open, very dynamic individuals who are either HIV-infected or "HIV-affected": Austin Head, 27, a well-known DJ, entertainer, and musician; Chris Brooks, 24, a YouTube video blogger; Jesse Brown, 25, who is grappling with the decision of when to begin taking antiretroviral medication; and Rakiya Larkin, 18, who, in helping her HIV+ mom, has had to grow up very fast. Over the course of the program, the four discuss the challenges of living and loving with HIV, while medical and psychological experts provide facts and historical context to show that although HIV is still incurable, it can, with effort, be managed. "We need to teach people that this [...]

Health Care on the Critical List [electronic resource]

A survey of the rising cost of health care and the question of who is entitled to treatment.

Wine and Health [electronic resource]

This program focuses on the making of wine, its chemical composition, and its effects on health. It explains the relationships between the process of making wine, the culture of the grapevine, and the taste of wine; illustrates the different steps in the making of champagne, from the vineyards of the French province of Champagne to the underground caves dug in chalk where it is aged; and shows the physiological effects of alcohol on the human body.
2005; 1993

Babyland [electronic resource]: Infant Mortality in Memphis, TN

There are places in America where the infant mortality rate echoes that of a developing world country. This ABC News program travels to Memphis, Tennessee-epicenter of the nation's worst infant death statistics-to investigate the issue and explore possible solutions. Viewers visit a cemetery with the heartrending epithet "Babyland" and witness an unusual pairing between a black, teen mother-to-be and a white, suburban church volunteer trying to prevent another tragic outcome. Studying premature birth, the main factor behind infant mortality, the program also profiles Memphis residents dedicated to raising awareness of, and spurring action on, our healthcare system's most deplorable failing.
2009; 2008

Reinventing Healthcare [electronic resource]

Can the U.S. afford to reform its healthcare system? Can it afford not to, with 46 million Americans lacking health insurance and millions more underinsured? This Fred Friendly Seminar explores the dilemmas and urgently needed policy decisions surrounding what has become, literally, a life-or-death issue. NYU law professor Arthur Miller guides a team of high-profile panelists through a series of hypothetical case studies - focusing on a middle-aged man who must choose between a higher-paying job and adequate health coverage; a woman who avoids seeing a doctor because of high co-pays; and an uninsured woman who, tragically, can't afford to deal with a serious medical problem. Panelists include William Novelli, CEO of the AARP; Dr. Regina Herzlinger, Harvard Business School professor; [...]
2009; 2008