Vital Health Information For Concerned Citizens

Articles by Zen Garcia

Testimony to Senate on the New Freedom Initiative and Banning Thimerosol

Testimony to the Georgia Senate about the Issue of Forced Starvation/Dehydration

Record Defense Budget, Tax Cuts for the Wealthy = Death for Americans Dependent on Medicaid

Alternatives to the 'Living Will' - The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and The Will To Live

Vaccine Preservative Thimerosal And The Destruction Of An Entire Generation Of Kids

Dangers of Being An Organ Donor

Results of The Long Road Home II

The Long Road Home II June 22 05

The Judicial Murder of Terri Schindler Schiavo

II. Scientology - The Secret Force Behind Terri Schiavo's Murder?

Kill The Crip - Million Dollar Baby

Election 2004 Our Responsibility

Set Our People Free

Freedom And Justice For All

Advocates Celebrate 5th Anniversary Of Olmstead

Access To Recreation

A Different Way Of Being

Y2K4



Terri Schiavo Survives Nightmare Scenario

Quest For Gold

MiCASSA March/Rally

Archived Articles from 1996-2003

Media Education - Roots Of Insanity

Medicaid Appeal: Concering a Cost Share

Truth Behind the Lies

To the Supreme Court Justices Deciding On Euthanasia

Opening Appeal To Appeals Court Deciding My Cost Share

To Them That Can Make The Change

A Guide To Disability Rights Laws

UNLOCK THE WAITING LIST NOW

What About Love

At the U.S. Supreme Court For Olmstead Decision

To Those That Can Make A Difference:

Dear Governor Elect Barnes

Micasa Deliberation-March 12th 1998

ADAPTing Your Neighborhood

Interview With Georgia State Representative Robert Ray

Welcome to the Revolution

Visitability In Modern America

Association For Georgians With Disabilities

California School Shootings

Right To Dignified Life Unwarranted Departure - Case Of Tracy Latimer

Tempering Soul

Independent Living Philosophy

Honoring Your Disability

Prowling Life In Search Of New Meal

A Matter Of Luck

Proposal for the Long Term Care Commission From the ICWP Legislative Commitee

Politics Of Poverty

Restructuring Nationwide Long Term Care

In Support Of Community Care As Oppossed to Nursing Home Death

Increasing Interest

Memphis

Blessed Existence

Let's Work Together

The Georgia Dome

Single Point Of Entry

One Love

Speech To The Governor's Blue Ribbon Task Force

Mary Anne Hicks - Social Prisoner

In Remembrance Of Winifred Jones

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Speech To DMA Budget Commitee

Election 2000 - The Power Of Our Vote

State's Frailest At Risk In Cost Driven System

Important Things When Initially Injured

Protest At Tommy Olmnstead'sHouse

Consumer Self Directed Care

New Millenia = New Direction For Georgia?

Terri Schiavo Fights For Life

New Years 94

Joy In Life

Balance & Harmony

America Stands Still 9-11

Dreams Of Home

Gift Of Love

2k2

Eluding World Peace

Update: Unlock The Waiting Lists

Shepherd Sports Teams

Natural Holy Day

Money Follows Person

Friends Of Disabled Adults And Children

Hiring Attendants

Calle Vinas - The Friendly Provider

Engaging Sport With Disability

Vigil For Terri Schiavo

Kyoto Gathering - Earth Summit 2

MiCASSA On The Streets And At Home

Flying Nightmares

 

Thinker in a Wheelchair

Endeavor Freedom is an accredited 501 c-3 non-profit based near Athens, GA, founded in 2001 to assist people with disabilities in transitioning from nursing homes and institutions back into the community.

This year Endeavor Freedom, Inc. received a grant to create a media organization for people with disabilities run by people with disabilities.

For more information on how to join us in this powerful endeavor:

EF.TV: Myspace

www.EndeavorFreedom.TV - A Chance to Share Your Story

Zen Garcia

How EF.TV Came Into Being

On June 22 of last year during brutal heat and sweltering sun, Georgia advocates celebrated the sixth anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Olmstead v. LC & EW; in which all people with disabilities won the right to lives integrated in community with long term care services delivered at home instead of an institutional setting. In 1995, 47 year old, Elaine Wilson, characterized with a mild mental disability and personality disorder, joined in a lawsuit filed by fellow patient 31 year old, Lois Curtis. Curtis, who having been diagnosed with a mild mental disability and schizophrenia, had been institutionalized for three years at Georgia Regional Hospital, a mental health facility, before Atlanta Legal Aid lawyer Sue Jamieson, filed a brief in federal court in Atlanta on their behalf. The case took on immediate precedence as State’s lined up to oppose the right of people with disabilities to receive government long term care assistance to remain in the community and receive services in our own homes. The Government and then Director of the Department of Human Resources in Atlanta, Tommy Olmstead claimed that the nursing home and institutional facilities that the States have provided for end of life care and long term disability placement were ‘sufficient’ environments to sustain people whom had acquired permanent life impairing disabilities even though most were in no threat of imminent death because of their disabilities.

On June 22, 1999, the spotlight shone on the Supreme Court as disability advocates waited what was to become milestone decision – "To people with disabilities, this case is as significant as Brown v. Board of Education was to people of color," said Mark Johnson, advocacy coordinator for the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. "When the ADA was passed, it was a mandate for integration. Now we've got our state challenging our right to integration." Cheers echoed through the nation as the U.S. Supreme Court sided with advocates, saying that to force persons with disabilities into nursing homes -- or any institution -- without creating alternatives, "constitutes a form of discrimination based on disability prohibited by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act."

In 2004, Kate Gainer, organized the first ever Long Road Home, a 5th Anniversary Celebration of the Olmstead decision to assess the ‘integration mandate’ in Georgia as President Clinton had ordered all state Medicaid programs to draw up plans to comply with the Supreme Court decision. 5 years after the initial ruling Georgia remained in 45th place out of the 50 in providing community-based services to its long term care recipients. Georgia ADAPT has honored this landmark decision every year since by organizing and marching for the annual "Long Road Home" campaign which demands our State comply with the Olmstead decision.

Last year we ended our campaign with a press conference at Kenny’s alley at the Underground in downtown Atlanta. The only problem was - none of the mainstream news channels or media sources showed up to be in attendance to relay the importance of our story and why we were celebrating this event. Lois Clark was even in attendance to address the crowd in support. That was when Valerie Suber, the media director for the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities asked loudly, “Where is the media and why do they continuously ignore our issues?” In that moment I conceived a thought, why continuously struggle to get coverage from the mainstream news outlets when they mostly never show up to profile our issues, would it not be easier to create an independent media site for people with disabilities, empowered by people with disabilities with news stories and media specifically targeted for our community.

It seemed to me that it would be an easier task to create an independent media site than to convince corporate news outlets that our issues are important. We as a group, as a community of people living on the fringes of society, in the shadows of mainstream culture are largely ignored, told that our lives are not worthy of equality, that there is no quality in living with a disability, and that we would be better off dead. We know they are dead wrong and have been banging our heads against the wall just to get some one to notice that we have things to say; we feel, we hurt, we bleed!! We are human and we want our equal rights no matter what your professional opinion thinks about our lives.

As advocates we spend so much time attempting to convince the mainstream media that our issues affect everybody and are relevant to be reported on and yet even when they do cover our stories it is usually done in a way that slants public opinion against us. So instead of spending all that time and effort into persuading corporate media to cover our issues, I wrote a grant to the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities to start an independent media organization for people with disabilities run by people with disabilities to be called EndeavorFreedom.tv.

Having had the grant approved, we are now on the cutting edge of moving into and creating something which can really benefit people with disabilities as a community whole and give us a mode for expression that is not controlled by minds and opinions that do not understand and even belittle our lives. It’s bad enough that we have to struggle to hold onto our individuality and our dignity when hard pressed by a historical legacy of warehousing people with disabilities and segregating us from mainstream society just because we function differently than most.

People with disabilities make-up 20% of the population and yet disability news, stories, and events make up less than 3% of what the corporate media reports on. If you happen to be in a minority with a disability you are represented even less, and if you are poor and a minority with a disability, then truly nothing in mainstream culture reflect your/our everyday experience of life. EndeavorFreedom.tv wants to change all that. We want to capture and relay the everyday stories of everyday struggle by everyday people with disabilities just trying to manage the American dream here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. We want you to be the hero, the star, the story and we want you to share with us the stories that you consider news, issues which are important to you, that are rarely if ever seen on corporate news.

All of us are touched at some point and in some way by disability. Share with us how it is that disability affects you or some one you know. In order for us to make this project a success we are seeking the active participation of the entire disability community abroad. This will be your chance to write, shoot, direct, and edit your story and share it with us so that we can in turn share it with the world. Like the newly launched Current.tv or YouTube.com, we are empowering all people with disabilities to be the producer, editor, film director. Create, capture, and shoot the story that is important to you; share it with us and we’ll share it with the world.

EndeavorFreedom.tv also represents an opportunity for people with disabilities to become involved in media vocations which we as a community have been largely locked out of up until this point. We do have paid staff positions available to website developers, radio hosts, film editors, journalist, and camera personnel. We are also seeking creators of disability unique content and will pay accordingly. We envision expanding EndeavorFreedom.tv into the central hub for the disability community. If you are interested in being part of our project please contact me at the email above. We’ll start where we can and expand into all directions as time and space allows. We need the whole gamut of personnel with technical expertise on media, engineering, editing, filming, reporting, and hosting to make this project work. We are especially interested in bilingual personnel so that we can extend our reach to all communities of minorities with disabilities. We especially are seeking website developers with experience adapting websites to accommodate all accessibility issues as we want to insure the site for people with every kind of disability.

So, if you are or know of anybody that might be a good candidate for any of these positions, please invite them to submit their resume to ZenGarcia@alltel.net. We will be in contact soon and may invite you or them to join our staff. Even with our grant, initially we will focus on keeping paid staff to those areas of dire need, utilizing volunteer staff where we can to get things started. We will employ more paid staff positions as the site grows. As soon as the site is generating enough viewer interaction to solicit paid advertisers to site, we will further increase paid staff positions. Please consider joining us in this endeavor, we need your participation to make this a success.

We are quickly approaching the first anniversary of the judicial murder of Terri Schindler Schiavo. Advocates familiar with the case watched the unfolding scenario horrified that a human being could be devalued to the point that society would watch her being punished to death, tried like a vicious criminal on national and worldwide TV. Who could believe that she would be forced to endure brutal treatment that our constitution protects even the most Thinker in a wheelchair.hardened evil criminals from experiencing. Neither rapist, nor murderer, she was no criminal at all and yet she was victimized by the Courts that should have protected her from the cruel intentions of her monster husband Michael Schiavo, who out of love he says, starved/dehydrated his wife on 3 separate occasions; forcing her to endure the most horrific treatment administered to any human being anywhere. Could this really happen here? Not only can this happen here in America, it does and is happening all the time all over our nation. Whereas the people here think that Terri was and is the only person to have been treated this way in our country, disability advocates know the real truth. Forced starvation, dehydration happens all the time everywhere in all of our hospitals.

A report by the Robert Powell center for Medical Ethics of the National Right to Life Committee, April 15, 2005, released just two weeks after the murder of Terri proves that starvation/dehydration is a regular form of “treatment” for those whose lives are considered not worth living. When asked, WILL YOUR ADVANCE DIRECTIVE BE FOLLOWED? The Report concludes that, "The public overwhelmingly believes patient and family choices for life-preserving measures should be respected, even when health care providers disapprove. However, health care providers are increasingly denying life-preserving measures in contravention of patient and family directives choosing them. Their denial of care as 'futile' is often based on 'quality of life' rather than pMiCASSAhysiological grounds and that most state laws fail to protect patients and families who want food, fluids, or life support when health care providers deny it." Do you see why it is of vital importance that people with disabilities absolutely take a very vocal stand now on this issue while we still can. We are at war with a very powerful enemy and most of you don't even know that your life orsomeone’s you know is at risk. I will tell you about some very important issues which you will need to educate yourself about in order to best protect yourself and your families.

1) Please learn about the dangers of using vaccines as a preventative measure against the Flu or childhood inoculations. These are nothing more than poison cocktails. It is much better to have your immune Photo of a child receiving poisonous vaccine injections.system tested by illness and disease so that of its own accord it can strengthen your immunity. The mercury preservative Thimerosol found in most vaccines is now linked to the drastic rise of Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Children as well as Dementia and Alzheimers in Adults. People who routinely receive inoculations are the greatest at risk for all kinds of cancers and illnesses. Bioethicists are currently trying to establish new precedent for the approved starvation/dehydration of people in this category of need even though they are not dependent on feeding tubes for food and hydration. For parents with kids who have autistic spectrum disorders such as ADD/ADHD, etc; there is a treatment called chelation therapy that can help your children. Generation Rescue a group foundedd by parents of autistic children have successfully implemented the chelation therapy to cause a beneficial affect on their children. The chelation therapy treats your child for heavy metal mercurial poisoning and can be remedied by using a uninvasive skin lotion which draws the poisons out through the skin. Children having received the therapy are seeing singificant improvement. A federal judge has just ruled that Asperger's syndrome is a disability when in truth it is nothing more than mercury poisoning. Please read the following article I wrote for more information.

2) According to a recently released poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.- Three in 10 people, 29 percent, now say they have a living will. That's more than twice the number, 12 percent, who said in 1990 that they had put into writing how they wish to be treated medically if they are incapable of communicating. While there is a rise in the number of people who have living wills, living wills do nothing to protect the wishes of people and in fact was and is a document promoted by euthanasia and right to die groups. A Living Will is generally described as a signed, witnessed declaration instructing a physician to withhold or withdraw medical treatment from its signer if he or she is in a terminal condition and is unable to make decisions about medical treatment. A Living Will takes rights and control from its signer and gives decision-making authority to a physician. It also gives a physician complete immunity from civil or criminal liability for his or her action or inactions. A better option for really preserving your right and authority to choose is a "Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care" or a document called 'The Will to Live.' Either of these documents will protect you where the 'living will' leaves you at risk. In the Durable Power of Attorney, one can delegate to a trusted friend or family member the power to become your agent for any health care decisions you are unable to make. Also as built in protection the PMDD limits your agent's authority in one very specific way - It makes it clear that your agent does not have the authority to approve the direct and intentional ending of your life. Your agent may not authorize in any way shape or form that you be given a lethal injection or an intentional lethal drug overdose. Your agent cannot authorize you be denied food or fluids for the purpose of causing your death by starvation or dehydration. This limitation not only protects you but also protects your agent from being subjected to pressure to authorize such actions or omissions. The Will To Live safeguards your life when you cannot speak for yourself as your "health care agent", names backup agents if your first choice can't serve, describes the treatment you do and do not want to guide your health care agent and physicians, protects your family and health care agent from pressure from health care providers and others by allowing them to prove what you really did want, and best of all relieves agonizing end of life decisions by making your wishes clear. For more info: go here.

Organ harvesting begins before brain death

Photo of an organ being harvested.3) If you are an organ donor like I once had been, you may want to read the article I wrote “On the Dangers of Being an Organ Donor.” Bioethicists and for profit health care have put all people at risk, but none more than people with disabilities. Organ donors in general do not receive quality end-of-life care because hospitals stand to make more off harvesting someone's donated organs than they would from saving organ donor's lives. It is of utmost importance for the American people to learn about what is happening in mainstream hospitals that not only embrace personhood theory but also covet the organs of their patients. Ron Panzer, advocate with the Hospice Patients Alliance wrote, "We sometimes (and increasingly) have newly injured patients being declared "brain dead" at the hospital without the appropriate tests ever being completed. We have hospital transplant teams being flown in ready to "harvest" organs from patients who have never been properly diagnosed, whose families are not always informed of all the treatment options, and we have doctors ready to "spin" the patient's condition into a "hopeless" category so the family agrees to "allow the patient's death to have some meaning" through organ donation, even though in cases where the family refuses to accept the "final determination of the all-knowing docs," the patient recovers! The glaring reality is that when the docs are wrong, dead wrong, the patient is killed by the harvesting of the organs, not because of the injuries sustained."

People with disabilities are increasingly targeted as the perfect pool of people to exploit for organ donation. As of February 2002, UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) had a waiting list for 79,523 major organs, while in the previous year the total number of transplanted organs was 22,953. The disparity between number of transplantable organs and the need for such organs has led transplant programs to seek to expand the sources of transplantable organs. Bioethicists working for profit policy boards are giving advice which is quickly moving American society further and further away from an ethic of universal human equality and the Hippocratic oath of Do No Harm. Motive for profit has lead to theories' which create divisions of us and them in an explicit hierarchy of bioethically determined human value. Wesley J. Smith who has been exposing this movement writes, "History teaches us thatPhoto of a woman holding a cross with the sunset behind her. judging human worth based on subjective criteria -- race, sex, sexual orientation, tribe, religion, nationality or personhood -- invariably results in the oppression, exploitation or even killing of those deemed by the powerful to be less worthy of respect. And considering that many of the people denigrated by bioethics as nonpersons, not coincidentally, also happen to be the most expensive to care for in the age of the HMO when cost-cutting is king, bioethics presents an acute danger to the lives, health and well-being of millions of people who are elderly, disabled, newborn and cognitively or developmentally impaired. Since in the end this could include any one of us, we ignore the threat of bioethics at our own peril."

I leave you with this final quote on organ donation in hopes you investigate the issue more carefully, "There is no more egregious violation of patient rights than to be made dead, without any chance at all to receive care designed to bring about recovery, when recovery is realistically possible. How many inaccurate predictions are made by the doctors who are less eager to provide care and more eager to get healthy organs from the soon-to-be dead, victim of vulture-like organ transplant teams who swoop in and grab whatever they can, selling all the organs and usable body parts for many hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions."- Ron Panzer. To learn more about this issue go here:

4) The issue of the Downing Street Memo and the war against terrorism. Estimates recently released show that the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have topped the 2 Trillion dollar mark. America is spending a million dollars a minute, a billion dollars a week to stay in wars we were lied into supporting. President Bush has borrowed more money than all other president’s combined. With the state of the budget the way it is, the trade deficit at record highs, and our national debt at all time high, America will continue disintegrating domestically. Bush Jr. has borrowed more money than all other President's combined, not to mention that his neo-con hawks are already planning subsequent wars with Syria and Iran. There is a direct correlation between the lack of government support in our country for those that need it the most and the flood of money leaving our country supporting what now is undeniably illegal wars of conquest benefiting corporations awarded multi-billion dollar no-bid contracts at the expense of both the Iraqi and American people. The Downing Street Minutes show clearly that Bush and Blair had decided for war before Colin Powell went to the UN and before Congress authorized a Declaration of War. It also proves that the American and British Intelligence would have to "fix the facts around the policy." For information on what you can do to help take back our country.

5) One other issue surrounding war which has a direct impact on people with disabilities has to do with our nation’s use of Photograph of an Iraqi man holding a small child suffering from Depleted UraiumDepleted Uranium munitions. The use of these highly dangerous munitions places not only Iraqi’s in danger but our soldiers as well. If you know anyone in the military make sure they learn about depleted uranium as those soldiers whom have been exposed to DU are returning from war and having children with massive complications as a result of their exposure. Unless we place pressure on the pentagon to quit using DU munitions, the whole world will be at risk as DU can travel piggyback easily into every part of the world on the tradewinds which go all places. This stuff is so harmful that just 1 particle can lead to cancer in lung, bone, kidney, prostate, gut and brain. There has been a shape rise in birth defects in Iraq even from the use of DU in the first Gulf War. The massive use of DU and white phosphorous munitions in this Gulf War has exploded the rate of cancer and birth defects in Iraq. Wasn't one of the reasons for the US to go into Iraq because Saddam had used chemical weapons against the Kurds which we supplied to him in the first place. Now our country is over there bombarding Iraq with weapons of mass destruction way worse than anything he ever used. Following inhalation of DU it is transferred from the lung to other organs eventually making its way to the kidney where it induces nephritis, a chronic kidney disease. DU has a half-life of 4.5 billion years which means contamination will last until it is placed in a secure environment where it cannot harm living tissue or contaminate soil or groundwater. Many returning soldiers contaminated with DU are giving birth to children with with extreme complications and disabilities. "Sixty-seven percent of babies born to the 400,000 vets who suffer from Gulf War Syndrome have birth defects,” said Joyce Riley, a former nurse who flew in Iraq and the founder and spokesperson of the American Gulf War Veterans Association. But the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs do not want America to know the number of sick, dead and deformed kids that vets are having. It’s another cover-up... “A lot of the babies are being born with organs out of place—kidneys in the wrong place, hearts out of the body,” Riley told AFP. “The most [common birth defect] is failure to thrive, where they could not keep weight on and just didn’t make it.”

6.) Record Defense Budget, Tax Cuts for the Wealthy Could = Death for Many Americans Dependent on Medicaid Medicare

People with disabilities are increasingly being put at risk by the Bush administrations focus on funding the 'war on Budget Phototerror' and the development of a 'police state' in America. "While the Pentagon budget is soaring, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, warns that President Bush is proposing to make cuts in hundreds of domestic programs. This includes education programs, environmental protection programs, numerous programs to assist low-income families, children, and elderly and disabled people, and research related to cancer, heart disease, and other medical conditions. In one case, the Center estimates 420,000 low-income seniors will lose food assistance from the Commodity Supplemental Food Program."

These are just some of the most important issues affecting all Americans but especially people with disabilities. For more information on any of these stories please go to the articles section at endeavorfreedom.org. To contact me concerning any issue email zengarcia@alltel.net

About Us | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2003 Company Name