Monday, April 03, 2006

Podcast with Virginia Postrel on Kidney Donation

Talk about true altruism--today, we are talking with Virginia Postrel about her recent kidney donation to friend and author, Sally Satel. Virginia talks about the shortage of organ donations and discusses some remedies. Be sure and check out books by Virginia such as The Substance of Style and The Future and Its Enemies. I also highly recommend psychiatrist Sally Satel's book with Christina Hoff Sommers, One Nation Under Therapy : How the Helping Culture is Eroding Self-Reliance.

Click here to listen directly (no iPod needed!) or you can get it here via iTunes.

There's an archive of previous podcasts here, and a collection of low-fi versions for dialup here.

As always, please leave any comments or suggestions below. Thanks!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The podcast is still not working in non-iTunes podcatchers. It is because you have the photo inside enclosure tags, and that comes before the MP3 enclosure, so that is what the podcatcher downloads.

Please fix it so I can download your podcasts with my choice of software!

10:11 PM, April 03, 2006  
Blogger Glenn said...

Anonymous: That's a function of the Movable Type RSS plugin that generates the feed, and I don't think it can be fixed, other than by not having photos. Sorry.

10:49 PM, April 03, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Helen, when my first wife passed away in '96 my daughter and I easily agreed to donate her usable organs and both of us are listed as doners.

At the memorial service, one of our church members asked if that was "necessary" [the organ donation] and my wonderful kid said "Mom wouldn't have it any other way." I hope more folk sign up as a result of your podcast. Keep telling them how important it is.

6:57 AM, April 04, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its been 16 years since I donated a kidney to my then 8 year old son. There have been a few bumps in the road, and, in a way, with an organ transplant you trade one set of problems for a different set. Its a challenge that not all individuals, or families, can handle.

But, all in all, its been great. I just wish my 23 year old wasnt walking around with a 55 year old kidney.


3:48 PM, April 04, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Fixing" the podcast plugin is as easy as a visit to the author's web site:

Scroll down to the FAQs for the edit to exclude image files from being put in enclosures in the RSS feed.

Unless you'd like to get me an iPod so I can use iTunes ;-) (Wink, joke, haha)

6:28 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger Mercurior said...

not a lot of true altruistic actions these days, its always have to be look at me i am so good, the true altruistic people we dont know as they dont lord it over everyone

3:32 PM, April 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Second Thoughts about Dr. Sally Satel’s Personal Kidney Transplant:

On November 22, 2005, Dr. Sally Satel, M.D., issued a deeply personal account of her need of a kidney transplant because of the “no-fault” failure of her own kidneys. She wanted a normal life rather than dialysis due to convenience and she was not critical of any potential donor. Her writing was very moving. All can empathize with her and wish her a speedy recovery now that she has a new kidney. See: .

But this Dr. Satel is the same anti-veteran physician on the payroll of the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) who openly criticized military veterans making claims for disabling PTSD after they were assigned to duties in Iraq, Afghanistan and past wars. Satel accused veterans of using “an underground network [that] advises veterans where to go for the best chance of being declared disabled.” See: . Once veterans are declared disabled, they retain that status indefinitely, Satel said in the Washington Post on December 27, 2005. Recently, the VA announced that certain PTSD claims already granted would be reduced by 50%. See: .

Dr. Satel believes that PTSD is not a medical diagnosis of any social consequence. Those who seek VA benefits for PTSD were recently labeled by Dr. Satel in a New York Times op-ed of March 1, 2006 as, “[b]ut it's also very likely that some of the veteran baby boomers who have filed claims in recent years did so not out of medical need but out of a desire for financial security in their retirement years.”

In the same op-ed, Dr. Satel stated, “it is often hard to know which applicants can be helped with short-term psychiatric care, which are seeking a free ride and which are truly deserving of the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder and thus long-term care and payments of up to $2,300 a month for life.

Dr. Satel appears to view many disabled veterans as “welfare queens” seeking a “free ride” and unjustified “financial security”.

There is more disturbing information about Dr. Satel to consider.

Dr. Satel works for the AEI, and appears to be the Bush administration's "go-to" physician for denial and reduction of rightful health care and veteran benefits.

Satel is also a "go-to" physician for the tobacco industry. See: where Satel stated that second hand smoke is not as harmful as most medical experts think.

Likewise, Satel is also the "go-to" physician for the silicone gel-filled breast implants industry. See: in which Satel assures women that breast implants are quite safe. Interestingly, breast implants are linked to kidney failure. See: .
Her credibility as an expert was once demolished in a reported court case. In the case of Farmer v. Ramsay, 159 F.Supp.2d 873, D.Md. [2001] (the case is a reverse racial discrimination case seeking to allow white applicant into medical school over minority student applicants with lesser MCAT scores. Satel was expert for the white applicant), the court found:
"The Defendants have filed a motion to strike Dr. Satel's report on the grounds that it lacks the necessary indicia of reliability required under FRE 702. The Court agrees and will, by separate order, grant the motion. Satel offers little more than her personal opinion of Farmer's application and the weight that UMSM should have placed on his MCAT scores. Satel has no familiarity with UMSM; she lacks an extensive background in medical school admissions; she reviewed a total of only five applications; her work has not been subjected to any peer review; and her opinions are not based on a methodology that can be tested. Accordingly, her views lack the indicia of reliability required under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 113 S.Ct. 2786, 125 L.Ed.2d 469 (1993). See Samuel v. Ford Motor Co., 96 F.Supp.2d 491, 493 (D.Md.2000).
Even if Dr. Satel's report were admissible, the Court could not accord it much, if any, weight. As stated, the report consists entirely of Satel's personal evaluation of the applications. A plaintiff's (or his expert's) personal evaluation of his own qualifications is, however, irrelevant. Courts have repeatedly held that such subjective personal judgments do not raise a genuine issue of material fact. See Smith v. Flax, 618 F.2d 1062, 1067 (4th Cir.1980); Bradley v. Harcourt, Brace and Co., 104 F.3d 267, 270 (9th Cir.1996); Williams v. Cerberonics, Inc., 871 F.2d 452, 456 (4th Cir.1989). Applications of Minorities Not Interviewed".
The Court found that Dr. Satel’s credibility and so called expertise was so unreliable that her findings had to be stricken by law without waiting for opposing evidence or cross-examination. Dr. Satel appears to be a “mouthpiece” for sale to any neoconservative cause.

In her New York Times op-ed dated March 1, 2006, Satel stated, “[Veterans] have made use of a system that has coalesced around the idea that combat is the root of all anguish. [Veterans] deserve treatment to the extent that it can help, but rarely long-term disability payments.” See: .

Based on Dr. Satel’s current lobbying and speculation, the VA now places great emphasis on “combat” exposure supported by almost non-existent documents because VA officials know that it is a convenient method to deny or lower PTSD benefits. If there is no confirmed documentary combat stressor – the veteran is denied the claim for PTSD. As a civilian, Dr. Satel apparently believes that military clerks are taking detailed notes on wi-fi computers right there on the battlefield during a firefight or IED explosion.

Dr. Satel advanced that “civilian” theory in her March 1, 2006 op-ed: “As the department tries to distinguish among these groups, verification of exposure to trauma is vital. The inspector general's office found that for one-quarter of Vietnam veterans claiming post-traumatic stress, the department could not confirm any incidents of traumatic stress. A study in a leading psychiatric journal last year could not verify such history in 59 percent. True, military personnel records are not perfect — a cook who endured a terrifying rocket attack on an airbase at which he was stationed may be unable to produce documentation of it. However, such records could indeed disprove the fabrications of a cook who claimed he was traumatized by a firefight on infantry patrol.”

Now Dr. Satel believes that if there is no confirmed documentary combat stressor – the veteran should be denied benefits. The infantry battalion cook who holds a dying fellow soldier killed by a suicide bomber in a Baghdad mess hall and then must put the body in a body bag receives no “sympathy” from Dr. Satel.

The latest of Dr. Satel’s malice against disabled veterans on March 1, 2006 in the New York Times occurred since she received her kidney. See: .

Perhaps it is time for Dr. Satel to walk in a veteran’s boots. Had Dr. Satel been subjected to the kind of hostile inquiry she believes ought to be used in the VA claims process, she might never have received a kidney transplant. Her own positions could subject her to the following insulting and outrageous questions from the VA suggested by her own anti-veteran positions:

“Dr. Satel, why do you say your kidneys ‘retired early’ and ‘mysteriously’? Have you ever used controlled substances or abused alcohol or had breast implants? Do you have a tattoo? Why should we give you a ‘free’ kidney if you abuse your body? We need documentary proof that you did not engage in reckless behavior causing your kidney failure.”

“Let me understand your position, Dr. Satel, do you want us to give you a free kidney for your convenience, I repeat, convenience? There are thousands of people in the U.S. waiting for kidney transplants. Why should you break in line in front of them? Your kidney ‘problem’ did not seem to halt your prolific writing and speaking engagements, did it? Tell me again, where is the financial ‘inconvenience’?”

“Dr. Satel, did anyone on your behalf use any form of ‘influence’ to obtain your kidney match so soon? Did you use an underground network to advise you on the best chance of finding a kidney?”

“Dr. Satel, Haven’t you made use of a system that has coalesced around the idea that deprivation of convenience is the root of all devastation and victimization. Certainly, you deserve continuing dialysis treatment to the extent that it can help, but rarely should long-term or expensive payments or gratuities be justified. Don’t you agree?”

* * * * *

Fortunately, this kind of “Satel-suggested” outcome determinative interrogation will never take place for Dr. Satel and all can wish her a speedy recovery.

There are many kinds of support for our enemies in the war or terror. Most are obvious. One of the most insidious attacks on our military troops and our combat veterans is from Dr. Satel, M.D. who apparently believes that combat trauma must be proven with almost non-existent documentary evidence at the expense of battlefield common sense and traditional medicine. Unlike many other non-profit, well-financed corporate propaganda machine “experts”, Dr. Satel is leading the AEI into an alarming anti-military and anti-veteran culture. The concept that combat PTSD is of little consequence or is quickly and easily cured by quick medical intervention, by return to combat, or by a good hard day’s work at Wal-Mart borders on treason. That potential treason is evident every day at our military recruiting offices when potential recruits reject military service when they sense that neoconservatives might exploit and abandon brave warriors and patriotic veterans using Dr. Satel’s “credibility”. Our brave troops in Iraq and Afghanistan deserve the protections of a solemn and sacred contract that our nation will care for “him who shall have borne the battle and his widow, and his orphan.”

Submitted by:

Hugh D. Cox
Greenville, North Carolina

11:08 PM, April 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well put, Hugh. It never fails to amaze me how the priviliged, who coincidentally are both the least likely to see combat experience and the most likely to be able to afford expensive medical procedures and treatments, are the quickest to attempt to profit by publishing extreme opinions that justify saving money at the expense of veterans and poorer people.

I don't have time, or I'd look within her works for the declaration of belief in Christianity this sort of person always seems obliged to include, even as their actions speak of Mammon as their true faith.

1:49 PM, June 20, 2006  
Blogger Mary Brace said...

I'm assuming you've seen her new column, on her successful transplant operation.

When I saw her, repeatedly, make mention of how much she dreaded feeling or having to express gratitude to a potential donor, all kinds of alert bells went off.

The sense of entitlement was astounding, so I thought it interesting that she's part of a political movement that wants to reduce government aid to citizens and privatize everything. ie, it's okay for the little people to go begging with their hats in hand, but not Miss Sally, oh no. Can't say I'm surprised.

10:29 AM, December 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:46 PM, June 07, 2009  

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