Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why Does the Catholic Church Hate/Worship Women/Woman?

I remember when I was getting ready to convert to the Catholic Church being told the following (literally in the same week):
1.) I shouldn't become Catholic because the Catholic Church worships a woman, namely Mary. (this from a "conservative" Protestant).
2.) I shouldn't become Catholic because the Catholic Church hates women because, male priesthood, (this from a "liberal" Protestant).
After 10 years in the Church I've seen first hand that neither is true. Seems to me that both of these readings of the Church's ecclessiology are entirely extrinsic and utterly foreign to the actual sacramental reality of the life of the Catholic Church. Perhaps it is not about sexism and power plays or paganism and goddess worship and we ought to look more deeply into the Catholic understanding of what it means to be man and woman.

As to the specifics of Cardinal O'Malley's comments on 60 Minutes concerning the male priesthood, (pre and post edit), he was attempting to give a thorough, fair and reasoned answer while also anticipating the heart of the question for moderns which might be "why does the Church not trust women as priests?"
Clearly, he is on board with the teachings of the Church. I just can't get the partisanship and the almost gleeful trigger response of getting upset among some folks who seem to prize their status as conservative and faithful. I suppose it's a bit easier to understand if folks outside the Church can't understand the reasons for the male priesthood. However, its not like the Church does not have a well developed theology for this and its not like the Church isn't open about sharing that theology in great detail. It seems to me you have to be trying kind of hard to get upset if this is scandalizing for you. 

Gender equality just is not the primary theme here.
Look closer.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

On Three Parent Embryos

It's also called Mitochondrial Donation.
The donors typically aren't asked so the donation is presumed and the takers just take.
In the US, the FDA said "NO"
Or at least "not yet." The FDA isn't so backwards as to prevent science from doing what science must do on moral grounds. 

The US believes in science good westerners of course we subscribe to that creed.
We're just a bit slower sometimes. These sticky morality discussions take some time to ignore. Sometimes it takes a little bit of work for us to isolate these moral concerns and cram them into the category of "moral" so we can move forward with the separated category of "science" as the unrelated and more pragmatic, (and therefore more real), objective. 
At the FDA, they can only dispassionately weigh all empirical categories of "science."
Science is a public concern. 
Moral is for the religious and is only a private concern.
So what does science say?
Science says that Mitochondrial Donation is still not very safe.
Darn. Not safe for who?

Well, before answering that, can we ask why "safety" is even a problem for science in the first place? I mean, it is beyond me as to why science should care one bit about safety. That sounds too much like something that would fall under the moral category. Science ought to  just be neatly concerned with the category of "results" and not the category of "moral." At least that always seems to be the line given if anyone voices an objection to an effort deemed scientific.
Is safety only good because it pertains to results or is treating people in an unsafe manner also not a morally problematic?

In any case, does Mitochondrial Donation work?
So what does science care if there is a high risk of complication for the people involved.
Care for people is a moral issue.
So to keep up the confusion of issues...some science concerns itself about some health results for some humans and some science does not concern itself with health results for some humans. When the latter happens it is no longer deemed a scientific concern even if the science is right smack dab in the middle of whatever is going on.
Well, at least, the contradiction seems apparent to me.  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Vaginorm - Brought to You by Some Mystified Dudes Who Know How to Turn a Profit

Man, the stuff I run across in my research. It's a few years old, but Phil Smits, some guy who used to head up Bayer's Women's Healthcare was getting pretty excited about the prospects for this drug called...Vaginorm. Vaginorm. That is your go-to-market branding? So is this stuff supposed to make vaginas normal? Or perhaps it helps returns one's vagina to normalcy?

“Vaginorm is an important late stage addition to our Gynecological Therapy R&D pipeline. We are pleased to work with EndoCeutics towards bringing a new treatment alternative for vaginal atrophy and female sexual dysfunction to an area of high unmet medical need,” said Phil Smits, M.D., Head of Women’s Healthcare at Bayer Schering Pharma. “Gynecological Therapies are a new growth area adding to our contraception business. Our research, in-licensing and innovation efforts are all geared towards this strategic goal.” 

Oh. Well...there you go. So its a drug for vagina normalization! Hmm. I think I see. that sort of like Spanish Fly in BIG PHARMA-speak?

OK, I'm not an expert on menopause. Please, don't think I'm saying that it is not a real health concern with potential complications. But this is the same guy who had his Division turning revenues at $16B annually, (of which women's contraception drove 45)%. This same organization by the way, also currently has tallies of over $1B in legal settlements for health complications, (some as serious as death), for the marketing of it contraceptive Yaz. So pardon me for being a little skeptical that he's got women's health in mind.
"You know I don't know what all is happening there for you ma'am but  I'll do my best to get it functionally sexy."

Mr. Smits has now moved on to running Bayer's Business in the Middle East in which he now has the pleasure of turning down requests for affordable pharmaceuticals to women in India. 
Well, who am I to throw stones?
I used to be a minor war-profiteer myself.