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    British Woman Fights for Life & Marxist Librarian | 9.16.23

    enSeptember 16, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Mental Capable Woman Denied Right to Make Medical DecisionsA woman with a rare disease in the UK fights for her right to continue life-prolonging care and explore experimental treatments, while some families in the US face educational inequities.

      A young woman in the UK, identified as ST, who has a rare mitochondrial disease and is mentally capable, is being denied the right to make her own medical decisions by the National Health Service. She wants to continue her life-prolonging care and explore experimental treatments in Canada or the US, but her doctors believe she has no chance of survival and want to end her care. The case highlights the controversy surrounding end-of-life care and the right to make personal medical decisions. Meanwhile, in the US, some families, particularly those in underserved communities, continue to face severe educational inequities. The ongoing debate around school choice and the unequal access to quality education remains a significant issue.

    • UK Judge Overrules Teen's Wish to Continue Life-Saving TreatmentIn a single-payer healthcare system, patient autonomy and doctor-patient disagreements can be challenged, potentially limiting access to experimental treatments and raising privacy concerns.

      The UK's single-payer healthcare system, the NHS, led to a court case where a judge overruled a teenager's decision to continue fighting for her life against her doctors' advice. The judge declared the teenager, Estee, incapable of making her own medical decisions due to her lack of trust in her doctors and their assessments. Despite two psychologists determining Estee's mental faculties were in control, the judge's ruling was based on Estee's disagreement with her doctors. As a result, Estee's medical care is now under the control of the Court of Protection, and she is prohibited from revealing her name, her doctors' names, or her hospital location, making it difficult for her to fundraise for potential experimental treatments. This case highlights the complexities and potential limitations of a single-payer healthcare system when it comes to patient autonomy and decision-making.

    • Limited options for medical treatment despite willingness to payIndividual rights can be limited by legal and healthcare systems, denying access to necessary resources and treatments.

      The legal system and healthcare system can limit a person's options for medical treatment, even when they are willing to pay for it out of their own pocket. This was the case for a young woman named ST, who is currently battling a rare disease and wants to pursue experimental treatment, but is being blocked by the NHS. Her situation recalls the tragic case of Charlie Gard, whose parents were also denied the right to pursue experimental treatment for their child in 2017. Meanwhile, the American Library Association, the oldest and largest public library nonprofit in the world, is facing backlash after its president described herself as Marxist and advocated for libraries to be used as locations for socialist organizing. This has led several states and counties to sever ties with the organization. These cases highlight the importance of individual rights and the potential for systemic barriers to accessing necessary resources and treatments.

    • ALA President's Controversial Comments on Libraries and Socialist ActivismThe ALA's new president, Emily Drabinski, has faced controversy over her past statements about using libraries as a platform for socialist activism, raising concerns about the potential politicization of publicly funded institutions.

      The American Library Association's (ALA) new president, Emily Drabinski, has faced controversy over her past statements about the role of libraries in promoting left-wing ideology and socialist organizing. Drabinski initially denied accusations of indoctrination but later comments surfaced where she expressed a desire for libraries to be used as a platform for socialist activism. These comments have raised concerns among some about the potential politicization of publicly funded libraries. Drabinski, who has held key roles in the ALA since 2017, has been a proponent of making LGBTQ content available to children and ensuring that libraries are inclusive spaces. However, her statements about libraries as a tool for socialist organizing have sparked debate and controversy. It's important to note that the sound quality of some of the recordings is not the best, and some of the comments may have been taken out of context. Regardless, the controversy highlights the ongoing debate about the role of libraries in promoting political ideologies and the potential implications for publicly funded institutions.

    • ALA Faces Backlash from States and Federal GovernmentThe American Library Association is under fire from multiple fronts for its perceived radical leanings, leading some states to end contracts and Republican senators to call for defunding at the federal level.

      The American Library Association (ALA) is facing increasing opposition and scrutiny from various state and federal levels due to its perceived radical leanings. This has led several states, including Montana, Texas, Missouri, and a county in Wyoming, to end their contracts with the ALA. The backlash against the ALA is not limited to state governments, as Republican senators like Marco Rubio are also calling for defunding the organization at the federal level. Additionally, the state freedom caucus network is demanding that their states ensure no taxpayer money goes to the ALA. The controversy surrounding the ALA comes as school choice, a policy opposed by the CTU boss Stacey Davis Gates, is gaining popularity and experiencing significant victories. Ironically, Davis Gates herself has sent her son to a private school despite her public stance against it.

    • Chicago activist's stance on school choice sparks debateChicago activist's opposition to school choice influenced Illinois legislature not to renew voucher program, but school choice continues to expand nationally, with Arizona allowing every K-12 student to receive a taxpayer-funded scholarship to attend private schools, benefiting about 61,000 students.

      The debate over school choice continues to be a contentious issue, particularly in Chicago where a local activist, Davis Gates, has been vocal in her support for public schools and against school choice programs. Gates, who sends her own children to private schools, has criticized school choice as a racist construct designed to segregate schools. Her stance has influenced the Illinois legislature's decision not to renew their school voucher program. However, this goes against the national trend we've seen in the last year, where school choice has made significant strides. For instance, Arizona expanded its school voucher program to allow every K-12 student to receive a taxpayer-funded scholarship to attend private schools. As of May, about 61,000 Arizona students had taken advantage of this voucher. These developments highlight the ongoing tension between those who advocate for more educational opportunities through school choice and those who believe public schools offer the best chance for integration and equal opportunity.

    • Arizona's failed attempt to roll back voucher program amidst school choice trendDespite the pandemic, some Democrats try to limit school choice programs, but GOP-controlled legislatures and parents' frustration with public schools continue to drive expansion in at least eight states.

      The education landscape is undergoing significant changes due to the pandemic, with more parents advocating for school choice programs. Arizona's new Democratic governor, Katie Hobbs, attempted to roll back her state's voucher program, but was unsuccessful due to opposition from the GOP-controlled legislature. This trend is not limited to Arizona, as at least seven other states have also implemented broad education savings account programs. Parents' frustration with public schools over issues such as learning loss, controversial curriculum, and lack of transparency have fueled this wave of school choice victories. This is a developing story, with Illinois recently joining the list of states expanding educational options. Overall, the pandemic has accelerated the push for greater educational freedom and flexibility.

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