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Re: [IP] 20/20 show

On 12 Oct 99 at 13:25, email @ redacted wrote:

> Although I agree that we need more federal money spent on diabetes, I found
> your comments on AIDS to be bitter and mean.  Would it be right of someone
> without diabetes to say, "If a diabetic is having complications, it's their
> own fault and I have no pity for them!

But that's exactly what the current funding structure and medical 
(mal-)practice is doing.  The problem is that more than $2000/patient is being 
spent on a disease that is largely characterized by known cause, known risk,
high mortality and extremely radical and vocal avocacy groups (r.e. ActUp and 
others).   Probably less than $20/patient is being spent for a disease that is 
characterized by unknown risks, some unknown causes, high mortality and 
complacent and quiet advocacy groups (ADA, JDF).  One AIDS activist that read 
some materials from explained this by saying that "diabetes is a disease that 
largely affects poor elderly straight quiet people, while most AIDS cases hit 
active vocal homosexuals who are ecomically 'upper class'... "  In other words, 
AIDS is seen as "worse" because many of the advocates are apparently healthy 
active young men who are "fighting for their rights" while diabetes is seen as 
a disease that affects elderly people who "aren't taking care of themselves"... 
and if you talk to some of our congresscritters that is the message that they 
are hearing...

> Although we do need more money for
> diabetes research, we need to realize that everyone else needs a little help
> too, no matter what the illness.

In an ideal world that would be true.  Unfortunately we live in a society where 
the loudest shouting and most outrageous action seems to get the research 
money.   If you watch the demonstrations by the AIDS activists when they are 
demanding more money you'll quickly see what I'm talking about - they surround 
some of the policymakers and politicians and do things like throwing blood on 
them while yelling "more money for AIDS or our blood is on your hands" - and 
then they can rally thousands of people to shut down a street for a 
demonstration while getting all kinds of celebrities to pontificate on how AIDS 
research is being "underfunded and ignored" even though it is getting more per 
person than breast cancer, diabetes or other conditions...  

For some reason we don't seem to have the ability to get thousands of people to 
march screaming down the streed demanding more money for diabetes research...  
and even if we did I bet most of it would go to type II...  The problem is that 
we need more vocal advocacy, and possibly even more radical advocacy... but 
radical advocacy would require labelling (and continuing to label at every 
possible moment)  every policymaker and policitian who won't join in our demand 
for more resources as a "child hater" and "elder abuser" because of all the 
children and elderly people who suffer diabetes and its effects....
Randall P. Winchester
* The views expressed here are mine and do not necessarily *
* reflect the official position of anyone in particular.            *
* There's no guarantee on anything said here...
* If I say I understand something completely the only thing
* we can both be assured of is that I must have completely
* misunderstood something. 
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