Do you see PA as a moral issue?

Posted on: Tue, 07/15/2003 - 12:52am
river's picture
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Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

This topic was raised in another thread by another poster, but I thought that it was that important that it really should have a thread of its own.

Early in my sudden introduction to peanut allergy I was overwhelmed by the moral implications surrounding this issue.

Here's a large group of mostly vulnerable children who at at risk from exposure to a common food. In order to interact in their own community, they require this same community to demonstrate care by adapting to a new normalcy ie. peanut awareness. The more the community is willing to forfeit or change, the safer the children will be. The more the community is unwilling to adapt, the more the children will be put at risk.

Is PA a moral challenge to our society? Will it take the best of our human selves to be able to deal with it effectively? Thinking within your own religious or moral context, if you could imagine a world of ethicly superior people, how would they handle a problem like this?

Posted on: Tue, 07/15/2003 - 1:57am
MommaBear's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by river:
[b]Here's a large group of mostly vulnerable children who at at risk from exposure to a common food. In order to interact in their own community, they require this same community to demonstrate care by adapting to a new normalcy ie. peanut awareness. The more the community is willing to forfeit or change, the safer the children will be. The more the community is unwilling to adapt, the more the children will be put at risk.
Is PA a moral challenge to our society? Will it take the best of our human selves to be able to deal with it effectively? Thinking within your own religious or moral context, if you could imagine a world of ethicly superior people, how would they handle a problem like this?[/b]
(Quoting most of your post since most of it is relevant to my reply.)
River,
[i]*an Ethical-Moral challenge*???[/i]
I posted a some months back, in reply to Gail:
[b]*************************[/b]
Gail W
Thank you for your thoughtful reply.
Actually, I work in ICU, CCU, Trauma, and float to other areas as needed. I find the same principles I mentioned govern those areas as well. Just think......not too long ago CPR was not a "Standard" in the hospital setting. At some point it must have been a theory, no? Now, some fast food chains have persons who are capable of it.
[url="http://www.geocities.com/rickardo_amcs_2001/history.html"]http://www.geocities.com/rickardo_amcs_2001/history.html[/url]
If not for CPR, how could we accomplish open heart surgery? Bypass? Organ transplant???
In addition to CPR, we have PALS and ACLS. Within each pathway, are guidelines by which to "customize" the protocol. But "standard" guidelines.
I cannot help but remember this quote:
"In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards." -- Mark Twain
(Disclaimer: I do not necessarily hold the same opinion, nor do I intend it as an "across the board" statement.)
After dealing with my son's previous school regarding a 504 plan...........I can only say(*Personally Speaking here*): There must be a better way. It is in my nature to find a better way.
I understand you have had great success with your school, Gail, and I commend you on that. It is a great accomplishment. But, you have also been blessed with the grace, composure, knowledge, and resources to handle that mighty task. Again, my congratulations! I might add you have developed "policy" along the way, have you not? Is this a result of your success or due to it? By far, you are one of the persons on this board I hold in high esteem.
Of course, schools have a tendency to deal with issues in certain ways. Maybe individualized ways. Take IEP's for example. Also, there is much "theory" in developmental thought. This I know from dealing with "special needs" for both my children. Yes, I find it frustration. At work, however, I deal much in action, reaction. And sometimes rather quickly. I titrate a drip, I get a specific reaction, and usually quickly. Hopefully! It is paramount to success in such a field (healthcare) that we can count on certain expected outcomes. PA to me represents a healthcare issue. Albeit in a school setting at times. I don't believe it is that unmanageable, considering the healthcare spectrum. I believe that with proper collaberation, "standardized" proceedures, possibly including "proceedure within proceedure" are possible. Granted, healthcare policiy is volumes thick. I don't find it hard to follow though, since much of what is directed in it is the natural course of action, given my education, and the education of others in my field. We are, for the most part, on the same wavelength. Given what I know regarding anatomy and physiology, and pharmocology (for example, but education not limited to) certain policies just naturally follow.
[b]Yes, we do not know all there is to know about PA, but would you grant me that we do have "the big picture" in focus as far as we are able? (similarly with most healthcare issues, one cannot say we know all there is to know) Would policy (regarding the school setting) erring in the favor of the most protective measures be that bad? Of course, if there is but one child in the school history who's "individualized plan" dictates certain measures to begin with, say "no may contains" or a "peanut free" school, would not a child with a "individualized plan" who was allowed "may contains" (although I don't agree with that *personally*) or did not have the requirement for a "peanut free" school, still abide under the rules of the previous "individualized" plan mentioned? Would it be so hard for one PA parent to submit their child to certain conditions that they may find exceed their "comfort zone" requirements(that would err in the safest extreme according to what is known or suspected about PA) considering (as a Parent of a PA child myself) I ask non-PA parents to make accomodations for my child in school?
Would not such policy offer protection to children who did not have as concerned or informed adults "going to bat" for them? I say this with caution, but resolve since daily I see children (in general and not specifically related to PA) without parents who demonstrate protection, love, or nurturing. We cannot assume PA to be elevated above this possibility. Is it not the duty of society to offer some means of protection for such children? Should PA be any different?
Of course, "Standardized Policy" would probably consist of several, or many, sub-policies that together could work in agreement to provide a safe, less stressful (for everyone) appropriate environment in school. Equally. [/b]
MommaBear
Disclaimer: I do not guarantee the accuracy or content of the links or quotes in this post.
[b]***************************[/b]
[i]end quote[/i]
edit to correct italics.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited July 15, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 07/15/2003 - 2:00am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

I agree, PA is a moral issue. A moral issue that gets all caught up (and rightly so) in personal responsibility and (not so rightly so in my opinion) the needs of the many.....
Unfortunately PB is considered a comfort food and we modern people are really caught up in our creature comforts.
Look at all of the threads here about candy, cakes, ice cream, cream fillings.
We on this site are not only trying to find ways to help our children and ourselves stay safe but some of us are trying to find ways to make the perfect twinkie.
(I do not mean this to sound rude, we ARE dealing with a food allergy after all.)
So I think we all buy into the comfort food or fun food ethic that the advertisers are trying to push on us.
We want our kids to have carefree lives in a situation that makes it impossible, and every child should be able to have that one gummy bear rope or twinkie without fear of death.
But because of our situation we are forced to try to fit into a world that does not necessarily understand or care to understand this. They are not going to give up their peanuts.
My one experience on the radio trying to ask them what is so important about a peanut on an airplane? Their answer, my son should never fly and should eat his meals alone in his dorm room. This from a well-educated and respected doctor ON THE RADIO for the world to hear!
Or take a look at the face of the food service manager at DS University. Sitting there in a meeting with 12 members of the University community and the three of us. He NEVER ONCE wavered. He will serve his peanuts whenever he pleases and DS is responsible for making safe choices. PERIOD.
And not ONE person in that room challenged him except me. Not even their lawyers.
Even after explaining contact, airborne, cumulative and accidental reactions no one in that room ever asked him to consider ONE DAY without peanuts in the cafeteria.
Except me of course and he looked right through me as he shook his head NO.
So we did everything we could do to teach DS about keeping safe since day one. The responsibility is his and he is ready to take it on.
I wish it were different.
I will say I have internet friends I have never met who have banned peanuts from their own homes and will not eat any peanut product in public out of respect and loyalty for my son, someone they never met but love.
Ethically superior people? They would find a way to make this world a safe place for everyone. No questions asked.
I always try to remember that in cave man times I would not have survived the birth of my first child thus thinning the herd. My son would have not survived his first contact with peanuts either, again thinning the herd.
We evolved faster than our moral structure. Maybe it will take a few year to catch up but I doubt it will ever happen.
Peg
[This message has been edited by Peg541 (edited July 15, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 07/15/2003 - 3:19am
river's picture
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Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

"I refuse to accept the idea that the "isness" of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the "oughtness" that forever confronts him."
Martin Luther King Jr.
Peg there's always hope, although it is hard to believe when you're sitting there in a room full of seemingly empty hearts.

Posted on: Tue, 07/15/2003 - 3:39am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Good quote river and good topic.
Peg

Posted on: Tue, 07/15/2003 - 4:22am
joeybeth's picture
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Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

love that quote! doesn't it apply to so many things in life? or, should i say "shouldn't" it apply to so many things in life? either way, gives me hope about a lot of things.
joey

Posted on: Tue, 07/15/2003 - 4:27am
ACBaay's picture
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Joined: 03/19/2002 - 09:00

I think that how we and others treat, care for, and accept persons with severe, anaphylactic food allergies is a moral issue (not solely pa). This can also be applied to anybody who has a physical or mental ailment, who needs to alter or make safe their surroundings in order to participate in society.
I feel that much progess has been made over the 6 years since ds was diagnosed, as more people learn and understand the seriousness of food allergies. The increasing prevalence of serious food allergy has also turned it into an issue that is not just "some other kid" but most people now personally know somebody ie a close friend / family member, which gives them as increased vested interest in helping to keep someone safe and include them in activities.
Is there a way to protect the PA individual that also will protect another who has a different but equally severe allergy? Can we find a solution that is not only acceptable to the public, but also acceptable within our community of people with life-threatening allergies?
Andrea

Posted on: Tue, 07/15/2003 - 5:00am
river's picture
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Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

Whenever things are done to help PA kids it's naturally going to have positive results for children with other life threatening allergies and others as well.
When the moral bar is raised, it's raised for everyone---no matter what kind of bigotry you are speaking of. Quality of life improves everywhere.

Posted on: Tue, 07/15/2003 - 5:59am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by ACBaay:
[b] This can also be applied to anybody who has a physical or mental ailment, who needs to alter or make safe their surroundings in order to participate in society. ...........
.............Is there a way to protect the PA individual that also will protect another who has a different but equally severe allergy? Can we find a solution that is not only acceptable to the public, but also acceptable within our community of people with life-threatening allergies?
Andrea[/b]
HAAAAAAAAAAAAALEL-LU-JAH!
HAAAAAAAAAAALEL-LU-JAH!
HA-LEL-LU-JAH!
HA-LEL-LU-JAH!
HA-LEEEEEEE-EEEEEEEL-LUUUUUUUUUUU-JAH!
[url="http://members.aol.com/nonstopny/easter/messiah.htm#hear%20it%20live"]http://members.aol.com/nonstopny/easter/messiah.htm#hear%20it%20live[/url]
Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Merely humming loudly.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
(Thank you, Andrea)
PS Square pegs aside, Circular discussions are like warm fuzzie baby plaid "blankies".... of great utility no matter how old they become.

Posted on: Tue, 07/15/2003 - 7:09am
river's picture
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Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

What the hell was that?
I know better than to ask.

Posted on: Tue, 07/15/2003 - 7:12am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Mommabear, I don't understand either. Please clue me in.
Peg

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