If you’re looking for fair and balanced news commentary, stop reading. I am an opinionated nurse with a lot to say about the news. I will try to keep my comments about current events brief and to the point. I will also be respectful of others, and I ask that if you want to comment, you do the same. So now, on with the show.

Magic Carpet Therapy

News flash! Researchers at Johns Hopkins University just discovered that ingesting certain types of mushrooms produces feelings of euphoria. Well, duh! I thought everyone knew that. The scientists at Hopkins must be too young to remember Timothy Leary.

The research suggests that “magic mushrooms” containing psilocybin, a plant alkaloid that affects the brain’s serotonin system, could be an effective treatment for depression, anxiety, and drug dependence. According to Hopkins researchers, the feeling of wellbeing produced by psilocybin lasts for at least two months.

If the research pans out and the drug companies cash in, I predict these little botanical morsels, also known as Boomers, God’s Flesh, and Hippieflip, will change how we live. Drug companies will mount huge ad campaigns, promoting the use of new drugs such as Nirvana-zide, Shroomzac, and Haldo-high. We might even see full page ads in USA Today, featuring elated house wives ingesting their daily dose of chocolate covered shroom pills.

The nursing profession will feel the impact of any further research involving the use of elicit drugs. Maybe someday medication carts will include drawers for bongs, pipes, and roach clips. Nurses may also have to update their patient education materials to include information on ways to roll a joint before smoking medical marijuana, and how to determine when it’s time to replace a worn out water pipe.

DuPont always said there’s better living through chemistry.

Blaming the Victims:
A physician and two nurses were arrested this week in Louisiana on suspicion of second-degree murder. Louisiana Attorney General Charles C. Foti Jr. said the healthcare workers were playing God when the allegedly killed four patients in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Monday morning quarterbacks are gearing up. Were the deaths a result of murder or mercy killing? Who knows, but I think that unless you were there and lived through the horror of watching your patients suffer in triple digit temperatures with little food or water for six days, you don’t have the right to judge those you lived through the experience.

I find it laughable that the attorney general is filing charges against the hospital staff while letting local, state, and federal officials off the hook. Why aren’t they being charged with murder. I will never forget hearing the words “good job Brownie” while watching televised images of people suffering in the floodwaters.

I guess it’s easier to scapegoat a doctor and two nurses than it is to go after the rich and powerful.