Recommended Reading for January 18th

Warning: Offsite links are not safe spaces. Articles and comments in the links may contain ableist, sexist, and other -ist language of varying intensity. Opinions expressed in the articles may not reflect the opinions held by the compiler of the post. I attempt to provide extra warnings for certain material present in articles, but your triggers/issues may vary.

sqbr at poking at thorns (with gloves on): The Na’vi attitude to disability in Avatar

But watching the movie I started wondering about whether or not the Na’vi were actually any better about disability than the military. Sure, Jake is treated a lot better by them, but his avatar is able-bodied. How would they have treated him if he was paraplegic in his Na’vi form too?

Washington Post: Justice suit accuses Johnson & Johnson of paying kickbacks

Medical giant Johnson & Johnson paid tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks to boost sales of its drugs in nursing homes, including an antipsychotic that can be used as a chemical restraint, the Justice Department alleged in a lawsuit Friday.

The payments, sometimes disguised as grants or educational funding, were funneled to Omnicare, a pharmacy company that dispenses drugs in nursing homes and used its influence with doctors to get prescriptions switched, the government said. Johnson & Johnson came to regard Omnicare pharmacists as an extension of its sales force, the government said, citing a company document.

ABC News (USA): Health Overhaul Leaves Gap for Disabled Workers

Disabled by chronic back pain and unable to afford medical insurance, Lea Walker hoped President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul would close a coverage gap that has trapped her and millions of other workers.

It won’t. […]

At any given time, an estimated 1.8 million disabled workers languish in the Medicare coverage gap, a cost saver instituted nearly 40 years ago. Many, like Walker, are uninsured. Lawmakers had hoped to eliminate the gap as part of health care overhaul, but concluded it would be too expensive.

Nilesh Singit at Disability News Worldwide: My ‘Raid de Himalaya’ experience: Deepa Malik

This inspired me, and I set out on a mission called ‘ability beyond disability’ in my own little way. I had no clue what I had to do. But I felt that I had to contribute in some way or the other. Promoting outdoor sports I felt was the best possible way. And then to my horror, I found out, that I was the first paraplegic woman to join the world of sports in the Indian scenario! […]

More than the trophy, what made me happy was the declaration by H.M.A. official, Manjeev Bhalla that henceforth disabled persons will also be eligible to compete in the rally. I was thrilled that my efforts opened doors for people with disabilities to the world of motor sports.

Los Angeles Times: New suicide at California mental hospital is eighth since federal investigation began

A 50-year-old patient at the state mental hospital in San Bernardino has died after hanging himself in his bedroom, officials say, bringing the number of suicides at Patton State Hospital to eight since the U.S. Department of Justice began investigating violations of patients’ civil rights at California’s mental hospitals in 2002.

New York Times: A Woman’s Desire to Work Is Thwarted by a Body That Strains to Keep Up

Ms. Gbalajobi’s predicament highlights the obstacles permanent residents face when seeking social services, obstacles that American citizens do not. Medicaid restricts her to a limited number of doctors’ visits. She does not qualify for residence in any shelter other than Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, one of the seven beneficiary agencies of The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, and the wait for a place there is eight years.

Like many needy American citizens, she goes to the hospital when she is sick instead of seeing a primary care doctor. And she has been run ragged by the social services merry-go-round: Her public assistance is often cut off without warning or explanation, requiring a trip to Downtown Brooklyn weighed down with paperwork attesting to her residency status and lack of income.