Man ‘hogtied’ by Mississippi police dies

(Troy Goode with his son. Photograph: Courtesy the Goode family)

The family of a man who died after being “hogtied” by police in Southaven, Mississippi, say they were threatened with arrest after they requested to visit him in hospital before his death.

Troy Goode, a chemical engineer from Memphis, Tennessee, died on Saturday evening after Southaven police were called to a reported disturbance. Goode was arrested after “acting strange” and resisting officers, according to police. Goode and his wife, Kelli, had attended a rock concert in the city and the 30-year-old father had taken LSD, according to police.

Eyewitness video shows Goode was placed face-down on a stretcher with his arms and legs bound during the arrest, before he was placed in the back of an ambulance. He told officers he was having trouble breathing in this position, according to lawyers for the Goode family. He died in hospital about two hours later…

“Paramedics arrived on scene, and I see them put him in a four-point restraint or hogtie, I don’t know how else to describe it,” McLaughlin told the Clarion-Ledger. “His legs were crossed, pulled back, by my vantage point, his hands were pulled back, and I think affixed to at least one of his legs…

Goode’s is the second death in police custody to occur in Mississippi this month, according to The Counted, an ongoing investigation into officer-involved deaths in the United States. Jonathan Sanders, a 39-year-old unarmed black man, died after reportedly being placed in a 20-minute chokehold by a Stonewall police officer. The medical examiner has provisionally ruled Sanders died of asphyxiation, according to attorneys.

Goode was the father to a 15-month-old son and worked as a plant engineer for nexAir, a local industrial supply company. He was also a local charity volunteer, according a statement from the family’s lawyers…

IOM Proposes New Diagnostic Criteria and name for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Between 836,000 and 2.5 million people suffer from what is now known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). The actual number is likely higher since many physicians misunderstand the disease and, as a result, some people suffer from the syndrome for years without being properly diagnosed.

Since only about half of medical school textbooks include information about ME/CFS, and only about one-third of medical schools include any information about the syndrome in their curriculum, doctors themselves often lack the necessary knowledge to diagnose the disease. To compound the problem, there is no objective scientific test, like blood or urine tests, x-rays, MRI or CAT scans, to use as diagnostic tools. Diagnosis is based on a subjective evaluation of the patient’s symptoms.

In response to requests by many health care organizations, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) examined the evidence for the syndrome. The IOM recently released the report of its findings in which, among other things, it recommends a set of diagnostic criteria for physicians to use that will facilitate diagnosis and treatment and foster a better understanding among providers and the public concerning this often debilitating disease. It also proposed changing the name of the syndrome to Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID).

IOM’s Diagnostic Criteria

One goal of the IOM report is to emphasize that whether it is called ME/CFS or SEID, it “is a serious, chronic, complex, systemic disease that can profoundly affect the lives of patients.” Patients report extreme fatigue to a degree that performing daily tasks is difficult or impossible. Even so, they are often met with a “dismissive attitude” by health care professionals who misdiagnose the patient with malingering or a mental health condition.

The IOM proposes a set of diagnostic criteria that it expects will, when the criteria are applied, result in the proper diagnosis for a large population of patients who currently are suffering but left without a diagnosis or treatment. According to the IOM, three core symptoms of the disease are:

1. Impaired day-to-day functioning in all areas that persists for six months and is accompanied by profound fatigue that is not caused by excessive exertion and not relieved by rest.

2. Post-exertional malaise which means the symptoms worsen after cognitive, emotional or physical activity.

3. Unrefreshing sleep.

Additionally, the patient will also suffer from either cognitive impairment or orthostatic intolerance (symptoms worsen upon standing and are alleviated by lying down). The IOM committee outlined a nationwide educational plan to provide the public, including health care providers and patient groups, with the new diagnostic criteria…

Unum denies Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia claims

Claimants have been contacting me to report Unum’s denials of CFS and FMS claims. It’s the same old Unum story of not wanting to pay for “self-reported” impairments by denying claims outright, or limiting benefits to 24 months. I refer claimants to their policies to check out actual “self-reported” language or exclusions policies might have specifically for CFS and FMS.

Ten years ago FMS patients were treated with morphine pumps. At the same time Unum’s “Fibromyalgia White Paper” suggests that if FMS patients would only “get up on a treadmill” all would be well and healed. In the meantime, Unum’s UK physicians are engaging in research to eliminate CFS and ME from Britain’s welfare program where claims also remained unpaid.

In America, the American Psychological Association published the new DSM-5 describing both CFS and FMS as “somatic” mental illnesses that are all “in one’s head.” Clearly, the insurance industry has established a prejudicial view challenging CFS and FMS as credible causes of disability. The industry won’t pay, and that’s not likely to change.

Recently Web MD published several articles referenced on this blog giving credibility to CFS as a physical disease. Nevertheless, Unum and several other insurers are refusing to pay long-term (if at all) for CFS and FMS…

Marijuana use is on the rise for teenagers

The researchers collected data from surveys that were given to high school seniors over a 37-year period, from 1976 to 2013. Over 600,000 students were questioned about their use of alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana. The study used data that was originally collected by the University of Michigan for their own long-term study.

The statistical findings showed that, as of 2013, nearly 19 percent of white teens smoked cigarettes and 22 percent used marijuana. These numbers shift slightly for black teens, where only 10 percent smoke cigarettes but nearly 25 percent used marijuana. The researchers also found that teens were more likely to use marijuana if they smoked or drank excessively, and vice versa.

When compared to alcohol, though, cigarettes and marijuana still lag behind in teen use. Although these numbers have decreased since the 1970s, alcohol consumption is still more widespread amongst white teens than cigarette or marijuana use. But if abuse trends continue in this manner, then marijuana will likely begin to challenge alcohol consumption as the number one substance that teens abuse…

Results:  Past-month marijuana use rates peaked in the 1970s, declined through 1990, then rose again to reach levels of use of more than 20% for both black and white participants. Recent years show increasing disparities across groups such that males, and in particular black youth, are on a trajectory toward higher use. This rise in marijuana use is particularly concerning among black youth, with rates far exceeding those for cigarette use and HED. The association of marijuana use with both cigarette use and HED is particularly high in recent years among black adolescents.

Conclusions:  Substance use recently declined among high school seniors, except for marijuana use, particularly among black youth. The increasing association between marijuana and other substances among black adolescents suggests future amplification in critical health disparities…

(2/6/2015) Tracking Adolescents With Global Positioning System-Enabled Cell Phones to Study Contextual Exposures and Alcohol and Marijuana Use: A Pilot Study

Results:  Adolescent activity spaces intersected 24.3 census tracts and contained nine times more alcohol outlets than that of residential census tracts. Outlet exposure in activity spaces was related to drinking. Low-socioeconomic status exposure was related to marijuana use.

Is this study trying to say that alcohol outlets are only found in middle class neighborhoods?

Every 38 seconds someone attempts to commit suicide. It is also the third-leading cause of death among the ages of 15 to 24 and, in light of the recent suicides due to cyber bullying, many are finally taking notice of this tragedy.

However, there seems to be a racial gap between those who commit suicide and those who don’t. According to the 2006 U.S. Census, the most recent data available, the suicide rate for whites has leveled off since the 1990s, but the rate at which the white population commits suicide is still almost twice as much as most minority groups….

However while African America suicide rates are half that of whites, one minority group stands apart from the rest; the Native American population has taken a different trend…

Sleeping Homeless Man Set On Fire With Fireworks

The attack was captured on surveillance video. Police are looking for the driver and anyone else who was in the purple GMC sport utility vehicle that drove near the sleeping man before he was set ablaze…

Transients often camp near where the attack took place. Another homeless man told KRQE he believes he’s seen the SUV before. A few days earlier, the man said, his belongings were set on fire.

Homeless people in Albuquerque have been subject to at least two other violent attacks. Three teens fatally beat two homeless people with cinder blocks last July, according to authorities. A sleeping homeless woman was run over and killed, and others were injured last June. Witnesses said the hit-and-run driver aimed straight for the group before fleeing.

Anyone who recognizes the SUV or has other information should call 505-256-2050.