Does the Flu Shot Cause Guillain-Barre Syndrome?

It is very common to enter a hospital or skilled nursing facility during flu season and see employees with surgical masks on. Most facilities require employees to wear these masks during flu season if they did not receive the flu vaccination. When asked why they chose not to receive the vaccination, a large number of people will reply that they did not want to risk getting Guillain-Barre Syndrome. If so many people are willing to wear a mask everyday at work, could this theory actually be true?

What is Guillain-Barre Syndrome?

Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a rare disease that causes a person’s immune system to attack their own nerves causing weakness and eventually paralysis throughout their entire body including some automatic functions such as breathing. This weakness usually starts in the hands and feet and works its way up. GBS effects people in all age groups but is most common in older adults. GBS can cause severe disability and even death but more often than not, partial or full recovery is possible. The recovery stage of this disease is a very long process, often taking over a year to fully regain all strength and coordination. Below is a video of one survivor’s story of recovery. 

Association between the flu shot and Guillain-Barre Syndrome

The common belief that there is a link between the flu shot and GBS dates back to the year 1976 when there was an increased rate of GBS in people who had received the swine flu vaccination. Since then, there have been many clinical studies completed to determine if there is a link between the seasonal flu vaccination and GBS. The overall results determine that there is no elevation in the number of GBS cases following the seasonal flu vaccination or the swine flu vaccination. 

What is the real cause of GBS?

If the flu shot isn’t to blame, what is? According to research, 40-70% of all cases of GBS began shortly after a brief infectious illness such as an upper respiratory infection or gastrointestinal infection. One common bacteria that causes these infections is Campylobacter jejuni which has a strong link to many cases of GBS. Out of 2,502 cases analyzed, 32% included a recent infection of CampylobacterOne example of how someone may develop a Campylobacter infection is from eating raw or undercooked food. In some cases, a person may even develop GBS after having the flu itself rather than the vaccination. When putting it into perspective, the flu vaccination is a much smaller amount of bacteria being put into your system than the flu itself so it makes sense that getting the flu itself has a higher rate of GBS cases preceding. It is hard to determine if Campylobacter has a link to all cases of GBS due to the fact that infected people often let the bacteria run its course and are not tested for which type of bacteria is in their system. By the time the symptoms of GBS begin, the bacteria is completely out of the persons body. 


 Burwen, Dale R., et al. “Surveillance for Guillain–Barré Syndrome After Influenza Vaccination Among the Medicare Population, 2009–2010.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 102, no. 10, 2012, pp. 1921–1927., doi:10.2105/ajph.2011.300510.

Dash, Sambit, et al. “Pathophysiology and Diagnosis of Guillain–Barré Syndrome – Challenges and Needs.” International Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 125, no. 4, 2014, pp. 235–240., doi:10.3109/00207454.2014.913588.

Poropatich, Kate O, et al. “Quantifying the Association between Campylobacter Infection and Guillain-Barré Syndrome: A Systematic Review.” Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, vol. 28, no. 6, 2010, doi:10.3329/jhpn.v28i6.6602.

“YouTube.” YouTube, YouTube, 13 May 2016,




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Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Photo by IamMidnight on Flickr

What is CPR:

Cardio pulmonary resuscitation is a lifesaving technique that can be performed during a medical emergency when another person’s heart stops or the individual stops breathing. There are two different types of CPR according to American Heart Association. The first one is conventional CPR which utilizes the standard chest compression and breaths. The ratio is 30 compressions of 5 cm depths (5cm for adults) and 2 breaths (mouth to mouth). This form of CPR is provided by individuals who are trained in CPR. The second type is compressions only, without the breaths. This type of CPR is provided by an individual who isn’t trained or a healthcare provider. First step is to call 911 and provide compressions at the center of the chest.

Photo by American Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming on Flickr

Importance of CPR:

Cardio pulmonary resuscitation can save a life! When an individual’s heart or breathing stops, they are in extreme danger. By performing CPR you are buying the person much needed time by continuing blood circulation and breathing. In medical emergencies seconds are extremely important. Having the ability to do CPR and knowing what to do is essential. In an emergency someone might freeze and there might be external factors causing panic and confusion. Having CPR training can be the difference between life and death. CPR provides people with a fighting chance.

Photo by Las-initially on Flickr

CPR Process (Do’s):

  • Before providing CPR check your surrounding, make sure you and the person are out of any danger.
  • Check for responsiveness, tap the persons shoulders and ask if they are okay to make sure they are in need of assistance.
  • Call 9-1-1 (preferably a bystander call if possible)
  • Make sure the person is on a flat surface and open up the airway (tilt head back and lift chin slightly)
  • Check for breathing (look at chest, place ear to mouth to ensure person requires help)
  • Begin CPR
  • Place hands in middle of chest one over the other interlocked, lock arms and use body weight to provide compressions 5 cm of depth. Allow for full recoil of chest between compressions.
  • Provide 2 breaths with persons head tilted back, chin lifted. Pinch the nose and place mouth over mouth to give the breaths.
  • Ratio: 30×2 (compressions x breaths)
  • Continue CPR cycle until person shows signs of life or medical emergency services arrive.

CPR Don’ts:

  • Don’t bend arm while providing compressions. Keep arms in a locked position and allow your body to do the work of the compressions. You will become fatigued if you attempt to provide compressions with just your arms.
  • Provide compressions too deep or not deep enough. The correct depth of a compression should be 2 inches or 5 centimeters for an adult.
  • Don’t stop CPR unless person shows signs of life, an AED is provided, you are too tired to continue or medical emergency services arrive to assist.

Photo by U.S Pacific Fleet on Flickr

Where to receive training:

In todays day and age is quite simple to become CPR certified. You can take an online course or attend an in person course that are provided in the United Stated of America and internationally. The American Heart Association provides a section where you can find a course anywhere in the world.


“What Is CPR.”,

“CPR Steps: Perform CPR.” Red Cross,

“Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): First Aid.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 Feb. 2018,

Fact or Myth: Dementia

Facts and Myths: Dealing with Dementia

By: eflon

More often than not we see either in public or firsthand how an individual caring for someone with Dementia can seem harsh or short toward the person. Their demeanor is cold, they seem demanding and they appear frustrated; how does the person with Dementia respond? Well, not-surprisingly, they respond in a similar manner. Here is a list of facts and myths associated with facts about Dementia, managing Dementia behaviors and treatment for Dementia.

Remain Calm. FACT. According to the media, and verified by research sources, patient’s with Dementia are often like children who can pick up on bad vibes. When a caregiver creates an environment that feels hectic or is too overstimulating (ex: noisy, bright), the individual will respond negatively. Outbursts are a common way that individuals with Dementia show they are overwhelmed.

By: starmanseries

Pick and Choose Arguments. FACT. There are helpful ways in which a caretaker can help to prevent outbursts and frustration. One way in which this can be done is first by looking at how you approach the person with Dementia. If you show that you are upset or you’re being forceful they immediately pick up on it and react. According to Andrew Voss, from Today’s Caregiver Magazine, approaching someone with Dementia with a calm, reassuring voice and positive body language can be of great benefit. It is important to remember this during all interactions with your loved one. When an argument is beginning to arise, it is important to not argue with them; but instead to accommodate them.

Morning Routines Become Difficult. FACT. As your family member begins to forget the simple things like putting a shirt on correctly or how to open the toothpaste, it is common that you both may become frustrated. A way in which frustration can be reduced is by providing environmental cues to help promote a routine. For example, if you were trying to get your mother to brush her teeth and comb her hair, you may choose to place sticky notes on the mirror to jog her memory about what to do or where to begin. According to Andrew Voss, establishing a routine is primary to reducing confusion and promoting independence.

By: Ann

Treatment Can Reduce Dementia. MYTH! Most forms of Dementia cannot be cured however, the symptoms may be managed and the progression may be slowed. Dementia cannot be reversed. The best treatment for Dementia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is early treatment of symptoms, a healthy diet, increasing activity and medicinal treatment. If early intervention is not established, your loved one may decline at a more rapid rate. Early intervention can reduce risk of institutionalizing, according to the CDC.

Memory Loss is a Normal Part of Aging. MYTH! Forgetting small things such as your waitresses name at the diner you ate at two mornings ago is completely normal. However, forgetting family members, forgetting to turn the stove off, or forgetting to eat are not considered normal or harmless. Memory loss that affects everyday function should be addressed by a doctor immediately.

Dealing with behaviors related to Dementia can be overwhelming and frustrating; but it doesn’t have to be. Some simple tips on how to deal with behaviors and how to change the environment can make a huge difference in the response received.


Alzheimer’s Association. (2019). Myths. Retrieved from

Chapman, D.P., Williams, S., Strine, T., Anda, R., & Moore, M. (2006). Dementia and its implications for public health. Preventing Chronic Disease, Vol. 3(2), 1-13. Retrieved from

Voss, A. (2017). Caregiver tips for dementia management. Retrieved from


Diabetes- the difference.

“So I’ll wait ’til kingdom come, All the highs and lows are gone, a little bit longer and I’ll be fine, I’ll be fine”
– A Little Bit Longer, Jonas Brothers- 

This song was written by Nick Jonas. He was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2005. This was actually the same year I was diagnosed as well. I myself have come to terms with being a diabetic and having to take insulin almost every time I eat. The one thing about it that gets really old really quick is the statement ” You don’t look like a Diabetic!” So in this blog I am going to do a little background on Type 1 diabetes and the difference between type 1 and type 2.


To start I am going to talk about the differences. Type 1 is when your pancreas produces little to no insulin. This makes all type 1 diabetics insulin dependent.  Type 2 is when your pancreas still produces normal levels of insulin, your body is just not able to absorb it. Type 2 diabetics can start on pill forms to help control their diabetes but then may needed insulin to help down the road.

As you can see there is a major difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Another major difference is that Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease whereas type 2 is a multifactorial one. This means that for type one the immune system has attacked the cells in the pancreas that make the insulin. So basically, there is a war going on in the body and the immune system thinks that it is doing the right thing but made it so the body can no longer produce the right amount of insulin. With type 2., there is still the production of insulin the body just decides that it no long knows what to do with it and becomes very resistant to it, like a child who doesn’t want to wear a coat even though their parent said they would need it.

Type 2 has many causes like obesity and the disease runs in the family. Type 2 is usually diagnosed after the age of 40. Type 1 however the cause if it is unknown and is usually diagnosed in childhood, which to me makes sense seeing as I am 1 of 5 kids and there is no family history of it that I know of. I know type 2 runs on my papas’ side of the family but he is in no blood relation to me and as you can tell type 1 and type 2 are a very different thing.

There are reasons on why everyone automatically assumes that all diabetics have type 2. That is because it is more widely talked about. This could also be that 95% of diabetics are type 2 and that means that only 5% of diabetics have type 1. Knowing this information makes me understand more where the statement “you don’t look like a diabetic” comes from and it also makes me want to educate more people about the difference more.

Iliades, C., Salomon, S. H., Upham, B., & Roan, S. (n.d.). What’s the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes? Retrieved from

Medical Providers. (n.d.). Retrieved from

T1D Basics. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Parkinson’s Disease: What is it and how is it managed?

“Parkinson’s Disease only effects my movement- I will know if I shake.” “You don’t look like you have parkinson’s, so you must feel fine!” “Only older men can get Parkinson’s Disease.” “My life is over because I have Parkinson’s Disease.”

These are just some of the many myths that exist about Parkinson’s Disease. Luckily, there are many videos, pictures, and articles that help to educate about the FACTS surrounding Parkinson’s Disease-starting here! 

So, what is Parkinson’s Disease?

The Clinical Pharmacist Journal, defines Parkinson’s Disease (PD) as a “chronic, progressive, neurodegnerative disease resulting from the loss of dopamine-containing cells.”

Who gets Parkinson’s Disease?

Anyone can be diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease regardless of age, gender, or background. The Clinical Pharmacist Journal reported that although less likely, individuals aged 30-39 can be diagnosed with PD, as well as those aged 80-84, both male and female. This includes all of the ages between 30 and 84 as well. 

The video below provides further education regarding causes, symptoms, and treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, explained by a neurologist. 

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease: 

By the time the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease require you to go to the doctor, there is a high chance that the non-motor symptoms have been present for much longer, but have gone unnoticed. 

Symptoms can vary from person-to-person, and can also be side effects of the type of medication one is taking to manage Parkinson’s Disease. 

Non-motor Symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Trouble with scent
  • Dysphagia (trouble swallowing)
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Drooling
  • Dementia

Motor Symptoms:

  • Tremors
  • Postural Instability
  • Shuffling walking pattern
  • Bent over posture
  • Diminished facial expression
  • Drooping eyes

Above is a video, where the experience of Parkinson’s of a nurse diagnosed with the disease is described. 

How is it diagnosed?

The Hindawi Journal of Parkinson’s Disease reports that doctors will look at a combination of motor and non-motor symptoms that a patient is experiencing, as well as the presence of Lewy Bodies in the brain. In many cases these can be found through CT scans or MRIs. Your doctor will also look at both subjective (what you say), and objective (what you do) information. 

How can you manage your symptoms?

  • Pharmaceutical Medications
    • Levodopa: Gold standard of medication for PD
    • Dopamine Agonists: activates Dopamine Receptors
    • Ergo-derived Dopamine Agonists: additional medicine for individuals with PD who continue to have dyskinesia and motor impairments despite already taking Levodopa 
    • Non-oral Medication: Patch Therapy
  • Physical Exercise
  • Deep Brain Stimulation: surgical procedure involving the placement of a medical device referred to as a “brain pacemaker”

Please consult your doctor before adding or modifying medication

Type of Exercise that is Beneficial:

The video above provides some visuals of examples of exercise that are appropriate for an individual diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. 

The Hindawi Jounral of Parkinson’s Disease reported that in many studies, it has been shown that exercise has a positive effect on individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. 

In a small study, “regular exercise (>150 minutes/week), is associated with less progression of PD symptoms over one year, compared to those who exercise less or not at all (Heron, Mayol, Miller, Moore, Nicholos, Ragano 2019).”

In many cases, exercise is considered just as beneficial, if not more so than pharmaceutical treatment. It assists with maintaining the quality of life of an individual living with PD. Types of exercise that is beneficial to individuals with Parkinson’s Disease includes, but is not limited to:

      • Aerobic exercise-swimming, jogging, walking, etc.
      • Balance exercises-side stepping, single leg stand, etc.
      • Resistance training-TRX ropes, weights, machines
      • Flexibility training-stretching
      • BIG movements-An exercise program specifically designed for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease (see example below)

It is incredibly overwhelming to research about a topic such as Parkinson’s Disease. This is why it is so important to know what type of information is factual, and what is a myth. Consult with your doctor and loved ones before making any decisions regarding this diagnoses, to understand what will work for your body. 


Aube, B., & Cote, M., & Morin, N., & Di Paolo, T., & Poirier, A. A., & Soulet, D. (2016). Gastrointestinal Dysfunctions in Parkinson’s Disease: Symptoms and Treatments. Hindawi Jounral of Parkinson’s Disease, 2016. 1-23

Barnes, Janine. (2018). Parkinson’s Disease Management and guidance. Clinical Pharmacist, 10. (8). 237-242

Heron, A., & Mayol, M., & Miller S. A., & Moore, E. S., & Nicholos, V., & Ragano, B. (2019). Rate of Progression in Activity and Participation Outcomes in Exercisers with Parkinson’s Disease: A Five-Year Prospective Longitudinal Study. Hindawi Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, 2019. 1-9.


CBD The New Anti-inflammatory Go To!

By: Stephanie Riddell

There has been a clear shift towards seeking alternative more natural methods to manage chronic diseases, this has opened the door for products such as CDB to become more widely researched and utilized from managing various medical diagnosis. Although it is still fairly new and some consider it taboo, CBD continues to display benefits from many patients. In the united states chronic pain and autoimmune diseases have increased in prevalence leading to an increase in medication usage. CBD has shown to have positive effects on suppressing and eliminating inflammation in the body, making it effective in managing chronic pain, arthritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Anxiety, Insomnia, wounds, skin inflammatory diseases such as acne and psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, seizures and neuropathy. Using western medications for long periods of time to manage these conditions have provided to have detrimental side effects on your body, effecting your kidney, bowel functioning, cognition, energy and increasing addiction rates due to the use of opioids and none- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSADs). CBD unlike marijuana has no psychoactive properties, therefore you do not experience a “high” from ingesting it. It is 100% legal in the United States, and is sourced from the hemp strain of cannabis.

What CBD can be used for
• Anxiety
• Seizures
• Wounds
• Arthritis
• Chronic pain
• Insomnia
• Psoriasis & acne

Benefits of using CBD
• Not addictive
• Reduces inflammation
• Pain management agent
• No negative physical side effects on other organs
• Safe for use with animals

Methods of taking CBD
• Drops – oil
• Topical creams
• Edibles such as gummies
• Vapes
• Sprays
• Inhalers

• Finding a reputable source to buy CBD
• Federal Employees are unable to use it due to legalities
• Not as heavily regulated as medications and other products on the market which can lead to false advertising and lower quality products

CBD has achieved a lot of spotlight with the use for seizure management and have allowed states to profit from the legalization of it and marijuana. Please consult with your health care Doctor and team if you choose to explore CBD for your alignments, and find a reputable source to purchase your products from.

By: Winston Peki



Teitelbaum, J. A Hemp oil, CBD, and Marijuana Primer: Powerful Pain, Insomnia, and Anxiety-relieving Tools! Alternative Therapies, 25. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/anast/Documents/MSOT%20classes/English/artcile.pdf

Piermarini, C., & Viswanath, O. (2019, July 3). CBD as the New Medicine in the Pain Provider’s Armamentarium. Springer Link, 8, 157-158. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/anast/Documents/MSOT%20classes/English/cbd%20article.pdf

Inflammation and CBD Oil: Benefits, Effectiveness, and Dosage



Dangers Of Vaping

By: Vaping360

Every smokers and new smokers seems to be picking up the habit of vaping because of the claim that vaping is safe compared to smoking an actual cigarette. According to (Friedenberg, L, MA and Smith, A. G 2019) “Since e-cigarettes, vape pens, and other similar devices hit the U.S. market several years ago, their popularity has skyrocketed. (p.1)

What Are The Risk Factors Of Vaping?

New medical problems linked to vaping has been circulating the media recently. Due to those new medical problems, it is no longer considered safe to vape. According to Raloff (2015) Many teens who vaped started feeling dryness and itching in their throat. “Some said that vaping made them cough or choke and that their mouths bled.” (p.3)

There have also been several deaths of young teens who were known to vape on a regular basis. According to the U.S. health officials and the media, those deaths were caused by lung illnesses which were linked to vaping. There were more than 450 lung illnesses that were reported thought out several states in the U.S. in recent months (Cunningham, A 2019).

By: _nyem_

During a study that was conducted by Irina Petrache of the Indiana University in 2014, lab animals were intentionally given nicotine and e-cigarette liquids in order to research the end results of the exposure. The results caused increased oxidative stress and buildup inflammatory cells in the lungs of the animals. The inflammatory later affected the lungs. The study also suggested that once nicotine or acrolein liquids in e-cigarette are inhaled through vaping, they cause the cells of the lung to malfunction which makes the user sick. In The end, it was concluded that vaping is no less dangerous than smoking and that it is just as bad as smoking. (Raloff, J, 2015) (p.2).


CUNNINGHAM, A. (2019). Vaping suspected in six U.S. deaths. Science News196(6), 10. Retrieved from

Friedenberg, L., & Smith, G. A. (2017). Dangers of E-cigarettes and Liquid Nicotine Among Children. Pediatrics for Parents, 31, 22. Retrieved from

E-cigarettes: Hazardous or helpful? Their efficacy as a tool for quitting regular cigarettes and their long-term safety remain concerning. (2019). Harvard Heart Letter, 29(12), 5. Retrieved from

Raloff, J. (2015). The Dangers of Vaping: Teens are falling for flavored e‐cigs, but the vapors they inhale may be toxic. Science News, 188(1), 18–21. Retrieved from


Is It Our Right Or Is It Murder?

Each and every individual has the right to autonomy. Autonomy is defined as the right to self-govern or in other words, to make your own decisions. We have the right to choose where we work, who we marry, which medical procedures we undergo, and in the end, we have the right to choose whether or not we are resuscitated if something were to happen to us. So why do we not have the right to choose when and how we die?

Death and dying have been the topic of discussion for years however only recently has that discussion shifted focus to how people are dying. Towards the end of life, people often find themselves facing the decision of continuing on with aggressive treatments to prolong what little life they have left, or opting for palliative care and simply waiting for the day where they pass. People are now looking towards physician assisted death as a means to end their pain and suffering and as a way to die with dignity. Physician assisted death is when a physician provides or administers a lethal medication to a requesting individual with the sole purpose of ending that individual’s life. Many people view physician assisted death as wrong however, it is our right.

Image result for physician assisted death ncbi

There are currently many treatment options available when it comes to end-of-life care. The first option is treatment based on the disease. For example, cancer patients have the option of chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. When patients forgo these options, for one reason or another, they are forgoing one end-of-life treatment option available to them. Another option available is palliative care which can begin at the time of diagnosis and may occur at the same time as treatment. However, after treatment of the disease is stopped and it is unclear if the patient will survive, the patient must forgo palliative care and enter hospice care. During hospice care, opioids can manage pain, but cannot eliminate it all together. When opioids are insufficient and the suffering becomes unbearable, the patient is offered sedatives or other psychoactive medications in order to achieve complete unconsciousness until the patient dies, otherwise known as terminal sedation. If patients forgo all available options, depending on which state the patient lives in, a patient may opt for a fourth treatment option known as physician assisted suicide.

 As stated above, each and every individual has the right to autonomy and that autonomy should be respected up until the end of life. If an individual has deemed their suffering to be intolerable, and they are ready to say goodbye to their loved ones, they should be able to do so without having someone else force them to continue living in agony. Individuals often times choose physician assisted suicide as a way to prevent or escape further suffering or pain. We do not get to decide when an individual is done suffering and we certainly do not have the right to force individuals to continue suffering. 

Image result for physician assisted death ncbi

Individuals choose physician assisted suicide for many different reasons depending on the situation they are in.  A study conducted in 2017 showed that ninety-two percent of individuals choose physician assisted suicide because of the loss of autonomy while ninety percent stated they could no longer enjoy activities that made life worth living and seventy-eight percent perceived a loss of dignity. A book published in 2017 discusses palliative care options for terminal ill patients but also argues that palliative care may not be sufficient in alleviating one-hundred percent of patients’ pain and discomfort. When palliative care is no longer sufficient, individuals often chose to end the pain and suffering and lessen the burden on family members by opting for physician assisted suicide. A physician’s duty is to help relieve the suffering of individuals. By assisting in physician assisted suicide, physicians are committing an act of compassion and fulfilling their obligation of non abandonment. In other words, physicians are fulfilling their obligation to their patients by caring for them and respecting their wishes up until death. 

As physician assisted suicide becomes increasingly more popular as a treatment option for terminally ill patients, safeguards and policies must be put into practice to ensure individuals are not simply using is as a means to commit suicide due to depression. For example, the Oregon Death with Dignity Act has certain requirements that patients must meet before committing physician assisted suicide. This bill requires that patients must have a terminal illness with less than six months to live. In addition, they must receive a second opinion from another physician. The patient must also be informed of other options available such as hospice, palliative care, aggressive treatment, or deep sedation. Patients are required to make a written request along with a verbal request for physician assisted suicide and the physician must wait fifteen days after the request before providing the patient with the prescription. Lastly, the patient must be able to swallow the medication themselves or inject themselves with the medication. The physician or nurse may not administer the medication in order for it to be considered a physician assisted death.

The main reasons why people consider physician assisted suicide to be wrong include religious or moral beliefs. However, due to the many different religions in the world with varying beliefs, religion should play no part in medical decisions. There are many different reasons why individuals choose to end their pain and suffering but the important concept to remember is no matter the reason why, the intention is always the same: End the agony. People should respect others’ autonomy and their decision regarding end of life care. Physician assisted suicide should be implemented as a final treatment option for individuals with terminal illnesses.


Blanke, C., LeBlanc, M., Hershman, D., Ellis, L., & Meyskens, F. (2017). Characterizing 18 years of the Death With Dignity Act in Oregon. ​JAMA oncology, 3(10), 1403–1406. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2017.0243

Orentlicher, D., Pope, T. M., & Rich, B. A. (2016). Clinical criteria for physician aid in dying. Journal of palliative medicine ​ , ​19 ​ (3), 259–262. doi:10.1089/jpm.2015.0092

Simmons K. M. (2018). Suicide and death with dignity. ​Journal of law and the biosciences ​ , ​5 ​ (2), 436–439. doi:10.1093/jlb/lsy008

Sulmasy, L. S., & Mueller, P. S. (2017). Ethics and the legalization of physician-assisted suicide: An American College of Physicians position paper. ​Annals of internal medicine, ​ ​167 ​ (8), 576. doi:10.7326/m17-0938

Sumner, L. W. (2017). ​Physician-assisted death: What everyone needs to know ​ . New York, NY: Oxford University Press.


CB – Do’s and Dont’s


By: Trending Topics 2019


What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, aka CBD is the second most abundant cannabinoid in the marijuana plant, but let’s take a step back and start with the basics. Marijuana, hemp, ganja, grass, bud, weed, good old Mary Jane; the stuff that your grandparents hate and everyone at The Grateful Dead concert loves. As more and more states decriminalize and recreationally legalize marijuana, the more it becomes apart of our every day lives. Growing up being force fed lies about the “devils lettuce” and all its gateway drug horrors, it’s hard to flip the switch and accept it as God’s gift to the world; but if we take a second and look at marijuana with some logic, you can really open your third eye. Looking at marijuana from a chemical standpoint looks like something out of a Syfy movie, but all you really need to know is that the plant has two main chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids get their fancy name due to the fact that they react with our bodies’ Cannabinoid receptors found in our brains and immune systems. The two main cannabinoids affecting the body when using marijuana are tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, also known as the stuff that gets you high; the other is our good old friend CBD. Its in the news, its in the papers, its all over the internet, CBD is the world’s latest and greatest miracle drug. But before you wipe out that sketchy gas station around the corner of all it’s “CBD gummy bears”, lets dig a little deeper to the roots of this psychoactive plant.

By: Winston Peki

Myths about CBD

“CBD will get me high” myth

CBD does interact with the cannabinoid receptors of the brain, but not in the same psychoactive manner that THC does.

“CBD will make me fail a drug test” myth

CBD isn’t what drug tests test for, drug tests test for THC because that’s the part that gets you high. If it isn’t getting you stoned, why bother testing for it?

“CBD is illegal” myth

CBD is federally legal, as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. Some states have stricter laws than others when it comes to marijuana, for example in Virginia CBD requires a medical prescription. But at the end of the day CBD is legal for the same reasons it won’t make you fail a drug test.

“CBD is addictive” myth

As controversial as it is, its generally accepted that marijuana in itself is nonaddictive. I mean, if the part of weed that gets you stoned isn’t addictive, the rest of it most certainly isn’t.

“CBD cures all” myth

Every day the laundry list of medical benefits of CBD gets longer and longer, but one article will tell you CBD is the perfect cure for insomnia, while the next will tell you it’s the perfect subconscious stimulator to keep you up at night to, say I don’t know, stay up and write a blog about CBD. Let’s take a look at the real benefits of CBD.

By: Winston Peki

Benefits of CBD

Across the globe CBD is becoming more and more evident as a medical marvel, for example the United Kingdom just upped CBD from its list of nutritional supplements to a medicine. But don’t let this make you stop at every CBD mall kiosk for their caramel pomegranate hemp hand lotion. Here’s what will actually change if you use CBD

  • Relives chronic pain or joint/muscle inflammation
  • Stress relief
  • Reduces nausea
  • Improves sleep
  • Treats epilepsy and seizures
  • Calms anxiety, depression and other acute mental disorders
  • Aids the body in fighting several drug resistant bacteria
  • Topical use aids in treating of skin ailments, rashes and acne

What to watch for

Essentially, don’t buy into everything you read on the internet. CBD won’t cure your transient idiopathic arrythmia or your moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis, but that doesn’t mean it won’t help! Just because you saw on the 6 o’clock news that a mom from the next state over stops her son’s seizures with CBD oil, doesn’t mean you should use CBD on its own to cure that rash you’ve had for a few months. CBD has lots of medical benefits, and countless more that are undiscovered, but leave the discovering to the scientists running the clinicals.

On a daily basis CBD and marijuana in general is found to have more and more benefits. But just like any other good thing, for every person doing the right thing, there’s ten other guys undercutting the real deal for a rip off, to only gain profit. CBD when used in the right dosages, and for a long enough period of time can really show a lot of medical benefits. But that doesn’t mean you should trust everything you see in the window of the smoke shop. When you shop cheap online, or buy CBD from the corner store, you probably aren’t going to see any results. More often than not, what you’re getting isn’t even real CBD, usually it’s vegetable oil with a little bit of artificial flavoring. Proceed with caution when buying that CBD Juul pod from the gas station because 9 times out of 10 these CBD gimmicks aren’t FDA regulated, or regulated at all. When it comes to the stuff your putting in your body, you want it to be as safe as possible, especially when trying to combat another ailment. Using these imported knock offs probably won’t help your cause, and can open another medicinal can of worms that you really don’t want to, so if CBD really is the cure for you go see a doctor or professional that can point you in the right direction.

As much as we want it to be, CBD isn’t the cure all miracle drug, but it has the potential to be life changing for a lot of people, so commit to a trail, let the CBD run its course. And if all else fails, smoke a bone.


Goldenberg, (2019). Introduction to CBD. Journal of Continuing Education Topics & Topics, 21 (3), 58-62.

Teitelbaum, (2019). A Hemp Oil, CBD, and Marijuana Primer: Powerful Pain, Insomnia, and Anxiety-relieving Tools! Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 25(S2), 21-23.

Welty, Luebke & Gidal, (2014). Cannabidiol: Promise and Pitfalls. Epilepsy Currents, 14(5), 250-252.



Fact: There Is Hope

Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe causing different degrees of sadness, lack of energy, feelings of worthlessness, isolation and lack of desire to enjoy everyday life. Depression is a major concern and projected to be the number one cause of global burden by the year 2030 (Greeson, Smoski, Suarez, Brantley, Lynch & Wolever, 2016). Conventional medicine uses a combinations of treatment that include antidepressant medication and psychotherapy however a less conventional way of dealing with depression has become more and more common in recent time. Meditation, has proven to be effective in helping with symptoms of depression study after study. Not only has it helped with the symptoms, but people have reported increased feelings of connection and spiritual experience. Spiritual experiences are experiences of connection with the transcendent in daily life (Koenig, Pearce, Nelson & Erkanli, 2016) leading to an improved more fulfilling life. So, what is meditation? Meditation is a mental training capable of producing connections between the mind, body and spirit. Research shows meditation helps people achieve balance, relaxation and self-control, in addition to the development of consciousness (Sampaio, Lima, Ladeia, 2016). Once you have experienced the amazing feeling of connection, you will want to connect more and more.

In the video below you will find Dr. Lisa Miller, who has a background in psychology and neuroscience explaining her own story with depression and spiritual experience which she describes as two sides of one door.


Greeson, J. M., Smoski, M. J., Suarez, E. C., Brantley, J. G., Ekblad, A. G., Lynch, T. R., & Wolever, R. Q. (2015). Decreased Symptoms of Depression After Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: Potential Moderating Effects of Religiosity, Spirituality, Trait Mindfulness, Sex, and Age. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 21(3), 166–174.

Koenig, H., Pearce, M., Nelson, B., & Erkanli, A. (2016). Effects on Daily Spiritual Experiences of Religious Versus Conventional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression. Journal of Religion & Health, 55(5), 1763–1777.

Sanchez Sampaio, C. V., Garcia Lima, M., & Ladeia, L. A. (2016). Meditation, Health and Scientific Investigations: Review of the Literature. Journal of Religion & Health, 411-427. doi:10.1007/s10943-016-0211-1