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Written by: Patricia I. James**

For those of you who do not know who J. K. Rowling is, which might consist of approximately three people in the entire world, she is the author of the hugely popular Harry Potter series and also the author of “The Casual Vacancy.”

When I read the latter (having read all of her books, sometimes twice), I really felt like I could hear her voice, that I could see that she had written this. Having KNOWN that she wrote it, that quite possibly impacted my belief.

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Written by: Patricia I. James**

This post addresses a scene in the second episode of “Monday Mornings” (See Post #25). Again, it involved peer review known as “Morbidity and Mortality” and dealt with consenting a patient.

Neurosurgeon Tina Ridgeway, M.D. was invited to the podium to discuss the file of patient Francine Cash. Ms. Cash had a tumor on the brain and underwent an operation. Dr. Ridgeway said that the “procedure seemingly went well with no incident.” The Chief Surgeon, Dr. Hooten, pounced on the word “seemingly.” He asked Dr. Ridgeway about the risks of surgery. She said that the risks were bleeding, infection, stroke and possible damage to olfactory nerve (pertaining to the sense of smell) which ran proximate to the growth. If the nerve was nicked or cut, Ms. Cash could lose her sense of smell.

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Written by: Patricia I. James**

I watched the first episode of “Monday Mornings,” the new television series on TNT created by David E. Kelley. Mr. Kelley has created or been involved in various series including Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, Boston Public, Chicago Hope, Doogie Howser, M.D., LA Law and Picket Fences. This show involves five surgeons in a hospital and explores their professional and personal lives.

The reason I am writing a post on this episode is based on a scene involving peer review of one doctor’s case. The most common educational setting for this review and discussion is known as Morbidity and Mortality (“M&M”). This is where physicians discuss other doctors’ behavior or analyze an adverse event. The information gleaned during M&M is not discoverable in most states. The reason is to have open communication and enable doctors to learn from their mistakes and try to prevent future ones. Doctors are going to be less forthcoming with regard to errors they have made if what they say can be used in a medical malpractice case.

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Written by: Patricia I. James**

I will start by saying that it would be difficult for me to care less about sports. I did , once upon a time, root for the Denver Broncos but it was basically because I had a crush on John Elway. I also, from time to time, took some interest in the winter Olympics but that is probably because I have a thing for snow. I can’t remember the last football, baseball or basketball game I watched. Same for tennis, golf and bowling, although there is some grumbling out there that the latter two aren’t even a sport.

However, I did pay attention to the career of Lance Armstrong after reading his book, “It’s Not About the Bike.” Supposedly the reasons he was able to excel at his sport were (1) his oversized heart beats extremely fast and thus pumps an extraordinarily large volume of blood and oxygen to his legs; (2) his VO2 max, which measures the maximum amount of oxygen your lungs can take in, is much higher than the average person; and (3) the low lactic production, since Lance’s muscles produce about half as much acid as the average person’s muscles do when they get fatigued, it allows him to recover much faster than other people. Made sense to me. Yep, I swallowed it hook, line and sinker. I know. How naive could I be?

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Written by Patricia I. James**

Yesterday, I attended a Case Management Conference (“CMC”) (See Post # 3) in Riverside. I drove there. I know I should have made a telephonic appearance as did the two opposing counsel. However, it is so invigorating to get up at 5:00 a.m., hit stop and go traffic on the I-215, breathe in the exhaust fumes and just barely make it to court at 8:30 a.m. Nothing like that adrenaline rush.

Two things occurred at the hearing which were interesting, at least, to me. First, there was actually a court reporter at the hearing in Riverside. Although I have only attended two or three hearings in San Diego County since the cessation of court reporters, each time it has seemed strange to not see them. Now it seemed odd to see one. I guess the ax has not come down yet in Riverside County.

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Written by: Patricia I. James**

The City of Los Angeles has banned the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits by pet stores. (http://www.examiner.com/article/los-angeles-bans-the-sale-pet-stores-of-puppy-mill-pets). The ban starts around May of this year and will expire on June 30, 2016 unless it is extended by ordinance. “The purpose of the three-year program is to ascertain how effective the ordinance is in increasing adoptions and reducing the number of animals euthanized per year.”

Although the law will allow individuals to buy directly from breeders, pet stores will only be allowed to sell rescued animals obtained from shelters, humane societies and registered rescue groups. A penalty of $250 will be incurred for the first violation, $500 for the second and $1000 for the third.

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Discretion: The only thing the following three articles have in common is that I read all of them on the same day.  The first two you will probably find sickening and the third should hopefully make you feel better.

Article 1: Lawyer for Newtown Shooting Survivor Seeks to File $100 Million Lawsuit, Published By Mary Ellen Godin, Reuters

Irv Pinsky, a New Haven-based attorney, has filed a claim with the Connecticut Claims Commission requesting permissionto file a lawsuit on behalf of an unidentified client, referred to as Jill Doe. (It appears that Connecticut, along with California and probably every other state, requires that a claim be filed to request permission to file a lawsuit against the government).

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Let’s go back in time to the shooting at the theater in Aurora, Colorado. There was an article in the Washington Post on July 29, 2012 that addressed this and the impact it might have on cinema companies. (See Post #12). Following that, Ted Nugent opined that, “if a moviegoer had been carrying a “good gun,” the tragedy might have played out differently.” Please view the “Ted Nugent Slams Response to Aurora Shooting, Suggests Armed Moviegoers Could Have Prevented It” article published by Mollie Reilly with the Huffington Post.


My thoughts at the time were as follows:

“First, what is a “good gun?” An AR-15 rifle which Ted Nugent describes as a “universally proven sporting & self defense firearm?” (It’s actually an assault weapon). So now we are going to let movie goers stroll into a theater with rifles?

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Written by: Patricia I. James**

Okay, instead of relying on Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw for information regarding the healthcare debate, I decided to turn to the Los Angeles Times to broaden my education which, happily, ran two articles on the subject. They both ran under the banner, “Both sides face challenge.”

Obamacare: