Table of Contents

Health, Food, Medicine & Reproduction

1. Catastrophic Single-Payer; Mandatory Routine Visits

Just like car insurance is for car wrecks, mandatory health insurance should only be for unforeseen health emergencies” and pregnancies for low income individuals (because it is definitely in the public interest to ensure healthy pregnancies), not for regular check-ups or dental visits, vision exams or minor health problems (main idea adopted from Jon Ogden & Bentivegna JF). If an insurance were to cover minor expenses such as these, the market forces acting upon the end consumer (namely co-payments) would be sufficiently diluted so as not to be an effective force protecting against the wasteful utilization of these services. On the other hand, to guard against many people’s natural tendency to delay regular check-ups or dental visits or treatment of minor health problems in order to save money (but risk an increased rate of “unforeseen health emergencies” in the future), the government (preferably state, but could be federal) should mandate that periodic check-ups and dental visits occur, for example, a minimum of about once a year. (Certain minimum required parameters of measurements and testing would obviously need to be defined as to what would constitute a ‘check-up’ to prevent the evolution of ever more minimum standards.)

Therefore, this type of catastrophic single-payer healthcare program would require a high deductible, perhaps $4,000 for each individual. To prevent the flood of demand from individuals who have reached their deductible, this insurance should be designed to cover a progressively higher percentage of these higher marginal costs. For example, covered costs up to $4,000 would be covered at 100%. (Remember, these covered costs only are for ‘catastrophic’ expenses, not for regular doctor visits, etc. Though these would be required services, they would need to be paid out-of-pocket.) For each dollar of expenditure above $4,000, a progressively higher percent would be covered by this insurance. So that at a total annual expenditure level of $8,000, 25% of the last $4,000 of services purchased for that calendar year would be paid by the insurance. At a total annual expenditure level of $12,000, 50% of the last $8,000 of services purchased would be covered. At an expenditure level of $16,000, 75% of the last $12,000 would be covered, while an expenditure level of $20,000 and above 90% would be covered. Expenses beyond $20,000 would be covered at higher rates, maybe even at 100% at some point, like at $100,000. The ultimate percentage rate of coverage rises for each additional dollar amount spent during a year. So if only $4,160 were spent, the insurance would cover only the $160 portion that exceeded the annual deductible. But since coverage at $4,000 is 0% and coverage at $8,000 is 25% (of the amount above the first $4,000 spent), the actual coverage amount for the $160 amount would be 1%, or $1.60.

Pregnancies, although not an ‘unforeseen health emergency’, should be covered by this type of insurance due to the great potential future public benefits and cost savings that result from ensuring adequate prenatal care, monitoring and a healthy birthing environment. The cost of prenatal care, childbirth, etc, could be distributed between the mother’s and newborn child’s insurance accounts (only for expenses accruing before birth). This means that the parents could decided how much of the bill to ascribe to each person’s medical account. This way, they could take advantage of the increasing coverage at an individual’s higher expenditure levels as proposed in this insurance plan. For example, an average birth costs around $16,000, excluding prenatal care costs. Under this proposal, $9,000 would be paid by the insurance, while the family would need to pay $7,000. As the cumulative total costs for that calendar year increases, the family’s share of such costs decrease.

The easiest way, perhaps, for such reimbursements to occur may be at the point of sale. People who pay for their medical care would, at the point of sale, have their medical account accessed in real time, showing the up-to-the-minute billing history. Computers would quickly know where the individual is in relation to total annual spending, and would quickly subtract whatever percentage of costs this health insurance is liable for and determine the amount the patient must pay. Any over billing or discrepancies could be adjusted later. Disputes about whether medical services were needed could also be resolved after the fact. To reduce such confusion or complication, all medical goods and service providers would be pre-approved by the government and would be expected to use good judgement when rendering goods and services. Perhaps over-the-counter goods and services would be exempt from this insurance coverage and only qualified professional referrals for any good or service purchases should be covered. This way, many dubious purchases would not need to be reviewed (or covered) by this government insurance.

The cheapest catastrophic health insurance (on average) any society could get would be one in which everyone pays into and everyone draws from the same pool for all their catastrophic healthcare needs (a single-payer system). The reasons for this are partly due to the massive administrative simplification of the whole process, and largely due to the increased number of people enrolled into the system (namely everyone). But it is also due to the fact that preventive care (when targeted and evidence-based) is cheaper than treating a disease or responding to it later in its development. Catastrophically insuring the currently uninsured or under-insured segments of the population that tend to use the more expensive emergency services (emergency rooms, ambulances, etc.) for relatively minor issues, and mandating that they get regular check-ups would result in more regular doctor visits and the utilization of other services and measures of prevention.

In a multi-payer system, such as our current one, different providers create different policies that cover different needs, resulting in consumers naturally opting out of purchasing coverage that they have a very low likelihood of needing. Thus, at least a portion of the insured universe (generally the healthier individuals) would purchase tailored insurance, resulting in the generation of less revenues from this segment of the population that would otherwise have been used to subsidized the less healthy segments. Thus, these less healthy, higher risk segments would either purchase insurance for themselves at a higher rate or not purchase insurance at all.  These higher premiums and lower purchase rates tend to negatively feed off of each other, significantly reducing the number of people insured.

Adding together the total costs of healthcare per capita for insured individuals (administrative expenses, preventive care, emergency care, insurance premiums, out-of-pocket costs, etc.), the total healthcare costs under a catastrophic single-payer system which require out-of-pocket expenditures for routine medical visits would be lower (assuming similar services for comparison) than the total healthcare costs under our current multi-payer system.

A catastrophic single-payer health insurance system with a high deductible (and into which all healthcare-related expenses for an individual are included) and mandatory routine medical visits would appear to be the best system to ensure adequate medical coverage for all people at the lowest prices, while sufficiently maintaining the positive influence of market forces and the freedom of people to choose their own healthcare providers.

If so desired, individuals could then purchase insurance in the private market to cover the portion of expenses that would not be covered under this proposed catastrophic single-payer health insurance plan.

Vision & Dental Included

Vision and dental insurances should not need to be separately purchased. At least minimum levels of coverage should automatically be included. The eyes and teeth are part of the body, and people purchase health insurance for body problems and maintenance, so it doesn’t make sense to place the eyes and teeth in a separate category.

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2. Healthcare Should Not Be a Federal Function

The federal government, ideally, should not have anything to do with the operation or funding of any national healthcare program. This role should be left up to each individual state. The federal government’s involvement should be limited to only its mandate that a catastrophic single-payer system be implemented in each state and perhaps overseeing the creation of an industry-wide communications infrastructure necessary to facilitate its implementation and the exchange of information between the various state agencies. (The Article 6 and the 10th Amendment’s supremacy clause would not allow this federal mandate to the states). The states should raise their own taxes to fund this program; the federal government should not financially participate.

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3. Comprehensive Health Statistics Database

A great need exists for the creation of one standardized, comprehensive database containing virtually all conceivable types of human population health statistics.  Such a database would lead to a much easier identification of trends over time as well as correlations between different variables. It would also enable the conduct of far more efficient and effective scientific studies.

Instead of surveyors going out to various places or instead of survey mailings being sent out to individuals, perhaps the most logical place in which to gather such statistics would be at healthcare facilities, such as physician offices, community health centers, hospitals, nursing homes, home health care agencies, hospice organizations, elementary and secondary schools and anywhere else healthcare services are imparted or healthcare data is received.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) should be required to develop, with input from healthcare providers, a standardized system by which every healthcare provider in the nation would be able to quickly and accurately (and ideally, automatically and seamlessly–i.e., without much dedication of resources) register every type of human healthcare service delivered as well as every type of healthcare data generated.  Currently, several departments within the DHHS specialize in collecting various statistics.  My proposal is to consolidate all these human health statistics into one standardized database in order to unify that data and make it easier to conduct searches and study. Virtually every conceivable activity (good or service) relating to human physical and mental health (including referrals and discussions) should generate an input into this system. All of this data sent to this statistics database should be stripped of personally identifiable information. Examples of the types of data that should be entered into this system would be vital statistics (births, deaths, etc.), laboratory tests and the results, medical procedures and operations conducted (how and with what kinds of materials) and followup information (quickness of recovery, side-effects, etc.), immunizations given, medications prescribed, illness, insurance coverage, risk factors, health-related behaviors, diagnosed and undiagnosed conditions, growth and development statistics, overweight and obesity statistics, diet and nutrition, environmental exposures, access to and use of health services, prenatal care, birth weights, psychological and behavioral assessments, any kind of physical or mental symptoms or behavior, thought patterns or processes or any other significant data the patient offers, etc.

To ensure that such data is consistently and reliably transmitted to this central database, perhaps it should be a licensing requirement that every healthcare practitioner register with this database and set up a their own approved arrangement for transferring/inputting such statistical data.

In addition to hard numerical data like blood tests and weight and height measurements, one of the main goals of this database should be to collect basic data regarding mental health.  The potential of this rapidly expanding field is enormous, to say the least.  There is a great deal to learn and asking the entire population a series of questions over a long period of time designed to probe the mind would enable us to gather data on long-term patterns of thought and behavior. Gaining basic but comprehensive standardized data now will be invaluable to researcher many decades into the future.  Perhaps the entire population should undergo brain scans periodically and these should be regular bits of information contributed to this database. This way, correlations between brain scan maps and information gained by the questioning would enable researchers to advance the scientific understanding of brain functions far faster than would otherwise be the case.

This data should be formatted in accordance with an open data standard convention so that it is much more accessible for research.

Database With Personally Identifiable Information Included

Personally identifiable information should be linked in with this database so that a patient’s doctor and other authorized personnel would be able to actually service the patient. However, the public database described above should have all of this personally identifiable information stripped from it.

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4. Comprehensive Regulatory Authority

Expanded Regulatory Authority

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should have the authority to regulate anything that is designed to be admitted into or applied onto the human body as well as the containers designed to hold such things. Examples would include, food, medicines, lotions, shampoos, cigarettes, cups, plates, utensils, sandwich bags, food storage containers, etc.

Even Unapproved Stuff Should Be Made Available

All medications and medical procedures that are not approved by the FDA or any other government organization should not be absolutely prohibited as options to the consumer. But consumers who choose to partake of such unapproved drugs or procedures must be made aware of the fact that there may be unknown possible harmful side affects and that, as consumers, they are entitled to all of the available knowledge (from either government records, private company records, or any other source) pertaining to the drugs or procedures, their effectiveness, side effects or any other relevant information. As a condition of accepting these drugs or procedures, consumers must be willing to give up all of their rights to seek any kind of compensation if it turns out that they were harmed by their acceptance of these unapproved drugs or procedures, unless it is shown that relevant information was withheld from the consumers who were harmed. All such drugs, procedures, etc, must be clearly labeled accordingly and users must sign waivers to acknowledge the risks and assume the liability. Authorized medical professionals should naturally be the only people prescribing these drugs so that proper recording of information (administration dates, complications, general progress, etc.) is better assured. People who misrepresent these drugs (by not accurately informing users) should be punished by being disciplined by their medical industry and by the imposition of a fine that factors in the seriousness of the particular offense. This fine should be multiplied by the estimated number of patients affected.

Rating System

The FDA could probably rate each approved and unapproved drug, product, or procedure on a five (or more) step scale indicating that item’s degree of safety relative to all other drugs, products, or procedures in the same category in existence. Levels 2 through 5 drugs (in the classification system below) would all be considered controlled substances, and would not be allowed to be prescribed by unauthorized medical personnel.

Level 1 approval could be classified as among the safest. In this category would be included things like drugs that could be obtained over-the-counter without a doctor’s prescription.

Level 2 approval would be less safe for the average consumer, requiring such drugs to be prescribed to them by some authorized medical professional and require patients to assume some liability for any negative side effects which may result.

Level 3 classifications would include drugs or procedures that are more dangerous or experimental in nature. Patients would be required to assume some liability for any negative side effects which may result.

Level 4 classification could be labeled as experimental and would not have been approved for use and which may present significant potential negative side effects or questionable effectiveness.

Level 5 classifications would exist to specify drugs which have been positively rejected by the FDA because of proven ill effects. These Level 5 (rejected) drugs or procedures could still be used as a last resort by desperate patients who may be willing to try anything. Though significant to major negative side effects may have been associated with their usage, patients should have this option open to them after they assume all liability for the consequences.

Merge the FDA, EPA & OSHA

In addition to the above clearly stated areas of FDA jurisdiction, it may be logically justifiable to extend its jurisdiction so that it would be able to regulate any environmental pollutant that may have a detrimental effect on human beings. Many of these functions would undoubtedly overlap with the EPA. While we’re at it, other agencies related to ensuring human health and safety should be merged into one unified organization.

Thus, the FDA, the EPA and even OSHA should probably be merged into one organization and given a name that would more accurately describe its functions. Within this unified agency, there should exist separate departments that focus on dealing with the health and safety of human food sources (including medicines and topical products like creams, shampoos, etc.), manufactured product safety (toaster ovens, paints, telephones, etc.), the regulation of macro-level environmental pollutants (soot, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, etc.), and workplace safety and ergonomic product designs.

Chemical ‘Clean’ List

All chemicals (old or new) that are incorporated into any anthropogenic product must pass basic environmental health safety tests and be placed on a ‘clean’ list of approved chemicals.

Such a list could be referred to by anyone else who is in the market for a new chemical to use in any other product. The decision of a person to use any chemical on this approved list would ensure that that person would not need to subject the chemical to any fundamental health and safety tests, thus saving them lots of time and expense.

The default government regulatory position should be for all new chemicals to automatically be placed on a ‘prohibited’ list until such chemicals have passed the proper human and environmental safety tests. Chemicals which have passed would then be placed on the ‘clean’ list, eligible for use.

Instead of chemicals being assumed safe until being proven dangerous, they should be assumed dangerous until being proven safe. This would naturally increase the cost of introducing new chemicals into the environment and thus, naturally encourage people to use existing chemicals for whatever products they want to produce.  A beneficial side effect of such a policy would be that a larger body of evidence would accumulate faster and be available to help speed up the declaration of safe or unsafe chemicals already in existence.

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5. Periodic Physical Tests for All People

All inhabitants of the United States should be required to undergo comprehensive physical/medical testing at least once every 5 years (but biennial testing, ideally) to determine their health status, especially in term of communicable diseases they may be carrying. Whether private doctors or public health workers gather this information, all such data should be incorporated into the patients’ medical history, and patients must be treated for their communicable illnesses or face restrictions on their travel and other activities that may place others at significantly greater risk. Testing more frequent than 5 years for any single, non-diagnosed medical issue should not be required under this proposal, although higher frequency testing may be performed as part of normal healthcare practices.

These biennial physical examinations would be comprehensive physical and mental health exams. They would be part of the required baseline level of care proposed in point #1. Catastrophic Single-Payer; Mandatory Routine Visits of these Policy Proposals. New immigrants and citizens returning from high-risk places abroad should be required to undergo such physical tests upon entering the country (either at the airport or within one week of arrival). Immigrants with medical records issued by foreign institutions deemed credible should not be required to be tested again upon entry into this country. They must just meet the 5 year rule.

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6. Nod Instead of Shaking Hands

Instead of shaking hands, the conventional methods of greeting a person in the United States (and worldwide) should consist of a simple bow or nod of the head. This would help result in a healthier society by reducing the spread of bacteria and disease from one person to another.

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7. Exercise Program for the Elderly & the Rest of the Population

Nursing homes, assisted living centers, and other such places where long-term care is provided to individuals should be required, as a condition of maintaining their licenses, that individuals enrolled in such facilities perform a minimum of 2 hours of strenuous physical exercise per week (an average of just over 17 minutes a day). Exercise that qualifies as strenuous would place the individual between the minimum and maximum heart rate appropriate for his/her age for the minimum 120 minutes per week.

Each individual could be allowed to choose whatever exercises they like without restriction, however, they should be advised that it is beneficial to alter their exercise routine periodically. Elder care facilities need not be required to provide exercise equipment to their population, but they must be required to ensure that their patients are fulfilling the minimum exercise requirements. Exercise equipment is not absolutely necessary in order to meet these requirements.

Several ingenious ways could potentially be set up to financially encourage people to do more exercise. The best methods would encourage individuals not only to exercise but to perform other financial benefits for either themselves or others. For example, programs could be set up where people could invest money into their own retirement account, and for each dollar they invest, they would be able to get 90 cents back when they perform the required amount of exercise. Or maybe they could use such a system as a bank, so that when funds are needed, they could just exercise more (with the expended calories being recorded on the exercise machine and automatically sent to the ‘bank’ as proof) to withdraw money from that account. Perhaps health insurance companies could develop some sort of similar arrangement where people could get a portion of their premiums back for every unit of exercise performed. To provide a significant public benefit, people could open accounts with charity organizations, effectively loaning them interest-free money, and then perform exercise to get either a fraction or even 100% of each dollar back upon the performance of each unit of exercise. Either way, the charity comes out ahead because, at the very least, they would have benefited from the use of interest-free money. But chances are that charities would do much better because people tend to not like to exercise, so people will tend to either not deplete their account, or do so very slowly. If accounts are drawn slowly, charities could attach time restrictions that would effectively increase the returns to the charity by decreasing the amount of returns possible to the original depositors as the amount of time increases between the deposit and the removal of funds.

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8. Pets for the Aged or Sick

Many people, especially older people in nursing or retirement homes and people with illnesses or in the process of recovery in hospitals, should be given the opportunity to own, feed for a while, pet, or just play with a pet for at least a few hours a week. This would help alleviate their pain and suffering and may speed up their healing and recovery time and generally lift up their spirits.

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9. Phase out QWERTY Keyboards and Replace with Dvorak Keyboards

QWERTY keyboards should be phased out and replaced by the easier to learn (and safer) Dvorak type. Dvorak keyboards should be introduced into elementary schools and gradual introductions should continue throughout the educational system at a rate not faster than that at which these elementary children progress through the system. As they filter out into the workforce, the new keyboards will begin to saturate society making the change permanent. However, everybody, regardless of age, should be encouraged to learn the Dvorak keyboards as fast as possible.

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11. Adequate Public Bathroom Lighting & Sounds

Lighting

Public bathrooms, especially inside the stalls, should be adequately lighted so that users are able to clearly see all areas of the toilet, making it easier to inspect and take measures to clean or otherwise prepare it for their use. Being able to clearly see all aspects of a well-lit toilet will clearly have beneficial sanitary consequences, reducing the risk of disease transmission. Perhaps a minimum of 250 lux of light should be the minimum standard. Public bathrooms in parks or campsites where it is not practical to install such systems (due to lack of electrical infrastructures, etc.) should probably be exempt from this requirement, however, they must design such spaces to allow for maximum natural lighting.

Sounds

Public bathrooms should have music or some kinds of sounds being played so that it could mask unwanted, uncomfortable normal bodily noises that often cause embarrassment for the users. Park and campsite bathrooms may be exempted from these suggestions due to lack of electrical infrastructures, etc.

Some suggestions would be to play informative/educational sound clips (news broadcasts, TED talks, etc.) so that the time is not not uselessly wasted on music, landscape sounds or other non-productive sounds, although these sounds would be much better than nothing. Another example: churches could have preaching or singing broadcast into the bathrooms, especially during their worship services, so users won’t miss that part of the service.

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12. Bathroom, Kitchen, Appliance, & Cookware Cleaning and Maintenance

Floor Drains

Kitchens and bathrooms need to be made easier and faster to clean. Kitchens, but especially bathrooms, should be constructed with floor drains. The easiest way to make these rooms much more sanitary and far easier to clean would be to design them to be scrubbed and hosed down, much like how a car is washed. Most of the energy and effort exerted in cleaning kitchens and bathrooms should be spent scrubbing and making sure that all the nooks and crannies have been cleaned. The easiest part to cleaning these rooms should be the rinsing phase. A floor drain would allow all this rinse water to drain away. Floors need not always be sloped towards the drain because squeegees could be used to direct the excess water to the drain and, if necessary, a towel could then be passed over the floor to dry it more quickly. Mopping and sponging are cleaning methods which are not nearly as sanitary as scrubbing and then hosing down. In bathrooms, the shower drain could be used for this purpose. It would just be required that shower floors be low enough, or sloped, so that water from all other parts of the bathroom floor could drain into the shower drain. Naturally, fixtures, appliances and other items in such rooms need to be either water resistant or placed inside waterproof cabinets. However, kitchen appliances, especially stoves, should also be designed so that they too could be easily and quickly scrubbed, cleaned, and rinsed with water.

Pots and Pans Simplified Redesign

Kitchen pots and pans should be designed with as few sharp corners or inaccessible surfaces as possible so that their cleaning would be made much easier. For example, toaster oven trays should be made with gently curving corners and without metal folds that make it virtually impossible to clean under/inside them. All kitchen hardware (cookware, utensils, etc.) should be designed for easy cleaning. Easier to clean materials should also be used, but the greatest emphasis should be on the modification of their geometry so that fewer sharp curves, rivets, crevices, nooks and crannies, etc., exist where dirt and grease can collect making things extremely difficult to get perfectly clean and causing much wasted time, effort, and energy, in addition to reducing the sanitary condition of such products.

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13. Human Generation of Electricity During Exercise

Human exercise equipments that actually consume electricity during their normal operation such as electronic stationary bicycles, stair climbers, rowing machines, treadmills, and as many other kinds of exercise machines as possible should be designed with the ability to generate their required electrical needs directly from the human energy exerted on such machines so as to make such machines energy neutral, thus not requiring any external power inputs. At least these machines should have the ability to state how much electrical energy is being produced so that users would gain a better perspective on just how much physical energy they could produce and just how much effort is required to produce 100 watts of electricity, for example.

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14. Natural Foods Ranking System

All plant, animal or manufactured foods or products that are intended to be put in or on human (or even pet) bodies should be ranked on a scale of 1-100 where 1 would represent a totally natural product and 100 would represent a totally unnatural product. For example, an unwashed apple growing on a wild tree out in the middle of a forest would earn a ranking of 1, while a medicinal tablet or pill made completely from artificial, non-naturally occurring ingredients would earn a ranking of 100. Everything else would rank somewhere in between. This system could also be applied to foods and products for pets. A tax structure may also be created based on this scale to encourage people to eat more natural foods.

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15. Serving Size’s Contribution to Total Daily Recommended Intake

For foods that sell more than 1,000 package units per year, it should be highly recommended, perhaps even mandatory, for each unit to be labeled in a way that would indicate that food’s contribution, per serving size, to satisfying an average individual’s needs for nutrients from each of the food groups. For example, a can of soup (1 serving) could probably be rated/labeled as satisfying a certain percentage of the recommended daily intake for each of the food groups. So, for a can of soup, the ratings could be as follows:
Food Groups:
1.Meats = 40%
2.Milks = 20%
3.Breads & Cereals = 25%
4.Fruits & Vegetables 35%
The idea is that an individual would only need to add up all of these percentages from all the foods consumed each day to arrive at, ideally, 100% for each food group. A disclaimer should also be printed that indicates that eating a balanced meal from each of the food groups does not guarantee a balanced diet because a wide variety of foods should also be eaten from within each of the food groups.

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16. Water Fluoridation & Public Water Fountains

Water Fluoridation

The practice of adding fluoride to public water should be prohibited because of the severe lack of evidence that the cost-benefit of the systemic human ingestion of fluoride is beneficial. For purposes of protecting teeth, topical applications, such as through toothpaste, are far more effective.

Public Water Fountains

Water drinking fountains should be placed in heavily walked public areas, such as the corners of busy districts, major bus stops, subway stations, shopping centers, parks, etc. They should also be located right next to public restroom facilities. Among other things, it may encourage exercise because people would no longer need to carry liquids or otherwise make significant provisions for hydration. It would also tend to increase the health of a population by making water more readily available, thus decreasing people’s desire to purchase sodas or other drinks.

Perhaps in areas where such fountains are abused, a small fee (perhaps 1 cent for each minute of available water run time) could be charged to the users of such fountains. After the money has been deposited, a button would still need to be pressed in order for the water to flow. This would save much more water than just having the water begin flowing automatically after the coins have been deposited. All such fountains should have a countdown meter indicating how much purchased time is left. Or some sort of mechanical crank could be installed that would require a user to actually do something other than simply press a button so that water is not needlessly wasted.

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17. Food Storage Information and Expiration Dates

Clearly legible, non-coded expiration dates including the year, month, and, preferably, day of expiration should be printed on the outside of all food product containers, and even on the containers of all non-durable non-food goods. “After opening, use before…(a certain amount of time)” should also be written on the containers of many types of food and other goods.

The “Use by…” or “Best if used by…” dates indicate peak quality, which is not really necessary for the consumer to know. What really needs to be conveyed is the expiration date, i.e., the estimated date at which the product ceases becoming reliably safe to consume. Obviously, the sooner a product is consumed, the better it will taste.

The maximum recommended times for properly refrigerated or frozen foods should be permanently printed on those food packages, especially meats, eggs, and other foods that may be often be inadvertently stored beyond their safe shelf lives.

All this information should be printed in a very clear to understand manner and in a way that will not fade or rub off the surface of the package.

Because of storage and handling variables, as well as the temperature histories of a product, it is very difficult to project a highly accurate expiration date for food. Ideally, what is necessary (but not yet available) is a cheap reliable way to assess the quality/ripeness of foods, fruits, etc., so that the consumer could be given an accurate assessment in real time.

More accurate dates printed on food packages will result in a lower quantity of food being disposed of due to consumer ignorance about the food safety. However, it will be inevitable that at least a slightly higher incidence of sickness will occur as a result of food having later expiration dates printed on their packages. Nevertheless, this trade-off may be worth the cost.

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18. Reducing Market Food Waste

Supermarkets should be required to measure the amount (weight) of food they “discard” per day or week. “Discard” would be defined as food that has been required by management to be removed from the shelves because of its age and which is no longer intended by that store to be sold for consumption. Perhaps these ‘discards’ could be divided into at least two categories: natural foods (fruits, vegetables, etc.) and packaged/processed foods (cheese, meats, TV dinners, canned goods, etc.). This would enable the uniform, comprehensive gathering of statistics on this problem and can be used to provide a way to measure the effectiveness of any efforts aimed at reducing this problem of waste. All this quantitative ‘discards’ information from each significant food vendor in the state (or country) should be uploaded onto one industry-wide and operated website so that there is only one clearinghouse for information of this sort for people in the secondary market to accurately and efficiently search through to find and perhaps even purchase this excess food before it is ultimately thrown away. The goal of this program is to list such products so that they could be more efficiently located and sold (or given away) before they are ultimately thrown away, composted or otherwise used for non-consumptive food purposes.

For whatever weight of products that remain unsold or not given away (for example, to food banks), these stores would then be charged a fee for every pound of product that is thrown away. This fee would naturally incentivize stores to increase their utilization efficiency by optimizing their own practices to reduce waste by either advertising their products to satisfy smaller niche markets (i.e., selling ripe or overripe products for a lower price) or by naturally helping to create financially viable secondary markets for these imperfect, near expired, or otherwise sub-optimal fruits and vegetables and other foods.

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19. Option to Buy Restaurant Leftovers

Restaurants should give people the option to buy leftovers for a reduced price. Leftovers would include residual foods left on pots and pans after whatever necessary servings were already removed. Foods or dishes that either the customer ordered by mistake or dishes that restaurants make by mistake could also be offered to customers at a reduced cost. This practice would both reduce the amount of food wasted and increase the profit margins of restaurants.

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20. Restrictions On Human Consumption

No person should be restricted or prevented from consuming anything except human meat/blood and other body products, except, of course, human breast milk. Also, the consumption of moderate and strong mind- and body-altering substances without permission should be illegal.

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21. All Medical & Scientific Studies Must Be Published

All primary medical studies conducted in humans, with either public and/or private monies, must be published within a maximum of 12 months after their conclusion, unless the study organizers have a compelling reason (determined by the courts) to continue to keep the results secret, such as to secure patents. These studies would include basic research, clinical research and epidemiological studies. Currently, it is all too common for only those studies favorable toward a drug or procedure to be published while other inconclusive studies or negative studies are withheld. This status quo leads to a very significant misleading of both the public and scientific community in regards to the effectiveness of many medicines and medical practices. Naturally, biases in this type of information lead to unnecessary and very significant increases in human sufferings and death and/or lead to significant reductions in the rate of improved human health. Such biases also lead to gigantic wastes of resources due to duplication of studies and misguided studies.

An unbiased third party should be the agency that designs and conducts medical research trials so that inherent conflict of interests of companies testing their own drugs could be avoided. A representative industry congress could be the entity that operates this organization. Perhaps the best thing would be to create an integrated database based on some kind of standard that would be able to more easily allow the necessary information to be captured in a standardized way so as to measure multiple variables. One way would be to institute a comprehensive health statistics database into which all patient data would be loaded.

Secondary research studies mainly involve a study of previous research data, and it would be very beneficial for all such studies of this nature to be mandated to be made public as well.

All trial funding sources must be made publicly available within 12 months of the conclusion of any trial.

Perhaps the government or an industry congress could mandate that the industry decide on one medium/publication (such as a website) devoted to publishing such studies. Such a website should be designed so as to allow researchers and the public to easily find all studies concerning a drug or medical procedure.

In fact, all scientific research, regardless of discipline, conducted, at least in part, with public monies should be published within a maximum of 5 years of completion, unless national security is an issue.  With the exception of medical research which should always be published, all other privately funded research should be encouraged to be published.

Understandably, private research will often generate information that could clearly be kept confidential without any potential of public harm. Examples include company mining data, recipe formulas such as for Coca-Cola or KFC chicken, etc. These are decisions that could be made on a case by case basis and which an industry congress could adjudicate.

The main idea of this proposal is to release to the public, in a timely manner, basic research information about the world, especially in relation to human health, so that everyone would have access to it and build upon it to continue learning about how the world works. To allow such data to be essentially forgotten by not being made readily available to the scientific and public communities, contributes to the delayed and inefficient advance of scientific progress due to the increased duplication of efforts, misdirected resources, a smaller base of established fact and loss of potential due to the compounding time-value quality of scientific discoveries.

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22. Vaccinations

As a general rule, vaccinations should be strongly recommended for the entire population except, obviously, for those for whom it may pose a risk deemed to be too high (either due to possible allergic reactions to the vaccine or some other reason).

However, vaccines should be used as sparingly as possible (to minimize the risk of vaccine-induced diseases), yet liberal enough to ensure a population effectively immunized against a significant outbreak of serious disease. Ideally, the best balance would be to vaccinate the population until the number of people acquiring the disease from the natural environment begins to drop below the number of people acquiring the disease (unintentionally) through the vaccine or acquiring some other significant vaccine-induced complication.

If parents so choose, vaccines could be given separately in individual doses to allow the body to adjust completely before the next dose is administered. However, because there is no evidence to suggest that this is in any way beneficial in comparison with simultaneous vaccinations with multiple vaccines, parents should be informed of the additional costs involved in such a choice, namely additional doctor visits, travel time, etc.

Vaccinations should be voluntary but people refusing to permit vaccinations for themselves or their children should be required to pay a fee that varies according to the percentage of the total population who have refused vaccinations. The higher the percentage of people who are not vaccinated, the higher the fee will be. For example, if 10% of the population is not vaccinated against measles, parents who refuse to have their child vaccinated against this disease should be required to pay a fee of $100 per year for every year in which the child remains unvaccinated beginning with the year the vaccination is first normally scheduled to be administered. In addition, parents and children may face some social restrictions such as not being allowed to attend school if a measles outbreak is occurring. If 20% of the population is not vaccinated, then the fee may rise to $200 per year, thus encouraging more people to choose to get vaccinated. However, the fees for refusing vaccinations should be based on the actual relative risks posed to the population by the specific characteristics of the disease (some diseases are more inconvenient and deadly than others), the ease with which the disease is communicated, the risk of complications, and the average cost of treating such illnesses.

Free Vaccinations

Universal vaccinations prescribed by the governing public health agency should all be free. Because the public benefit is so high from a properly vaccinated population, and because there is no significant risk of any real waste of vaccines (most people wouldn’t needlessly seek out additional doses of the same vaccine), keeping the vaccines free would eliminate the excuse that the poorest people may have for not being properly vaccinated. It would also simplify the whole administrative process.

Immune Shot Scars

Immune shots and other types of shots that leave, or have a likely chance of leaving permanent, significant scars on the body should not be administered on a very visible place of the body, such as on the upper outside portion of the arm (on the deltoid muscle), for example. Another, more hidden portion of the body should be sought so that the recipient does not have to endure unsightly scars in such an obvious location.

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23. Antibiotics & Antibacterial Product Usage

Antibiotics

All antibiotic drugs and products should only be obtained through a doctor’s prescription. Drugs/antibiotics should not be routinely prescribed for people with or without illnesses if they will benefit only minimally and/or if it will result in a significant threat to the general population in the future due to mutations of more resistant forms of bacteria.

Doctor’s should be required to justify, in writing, their prescriptions of antibiotics and should periodically notify the American Medical Association and/or other medically oriented organizations of the number of prescriptions granted for purposes of statistical analysis.

Antibacterial Products

The sale and distribution of antibacterial products should be banned. These should only be available by prescription from a medical professional and only for the purpose of protecting those with demonstrated immune deficiencies or who have been diagnosed with any other valid condition to demand such products.

Antibiotic Usage In Food Animal Production

Antibiotic usage in food animal production should be minimized to the greatest degree practical so as to reduce the future evolution of antibiotic resistant of bacteria in both animals and humans. All non-therapeutic (i.e., not used to treat diseases) uses of antibiotics should be either banned or taxed at extremely high rates, such as $1 per pound of animal treated throughout its lifetime. Such a high tax would reduce the prevalence of usage to a degree which would not pose dramatic negative health consequences in the future. Enforcement and stiff penalties, as is the case with any law, are absolutely essential. All animal uses of antibiotics, for whatever reason, needs to be reported to the proper authority, such as the FDA.

Therapeutic uses should be minimized and the most effective way to do so is to ensure that animals have a healthy, spacious, sanitary environment in which to live and grow during all stages of their lives. The natural immune system of animals should protect them if conditions are proper.  Antibiotics should be used sparingly and only on a case by case basis. The only way to ensure such conditions is by surprise inspection of production facilities and stiff fines for non-compliance. Perhaps operations beyond a certain size should be required to provide periodic public access, perhaps with tour guides provided either by the company itself, government regulators or other knowledgeable people. Even school field trips would be an effective restraint against cruel living conditions.

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24. Hospice Care: Default Beyond a Certain Age

Hospice care should be the default form of care for patients who are effectively bed-ridden, have terminal prognosis and who are older than the current life expectancy at birth plus 5 years. If the family of a patient requests that curative treatments continue, the medical team will assess the prospects for recovery and, in consultation with the family, decide whether such treatments are warranted. If it is determined that additional curative treatments are not warranted, but the family insists that they be continued anyway, then they should be continued with the family picking up the bill for such treatments.

Hospice care should also be imposed on patients younger than the above threshold if they otherwise meet the same criteria and consistently express a wish to die. However, if the family insists on continued curative treatments against the medical team’s recommendations, then the family should only be required to pay half the cost of such treatments until the patient reaches the age of life expectancy at birth plus 5 years, at which point the family would be required to pay all costs associated with continued curative care.

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25. Noisy Hospital Environments

Hospitals are unnecessarily noisy places. Non urgent alarms and normally functioning medical equipment are especially needlessly noisy. All hospitals should strive to keep unnecessary noises completely out of patient recovery rooms.  It is logical to assume, but it has also been shown that a quiet environment aids recovery. Not only that, but alarm fatigue (aka alert fatigue) is a very real precipitating factor in many critical mistakes often made in hospitals and other settings where too many non-essential alarms and data are being presented to personnel that they often become desensitized to them, leading to a delayed awareness of or outright missing of important information.

Hospital machinery placed long-term at a patient’s bedside should not make any noises, except when it detects something to be outside of a normal range. Hospital conversations between staff should take place at nursing stations rather than in hallways, when possible, squeaky wheels and doors should be fixed, establishing and respecting quiet hours in all inpatient areas, and providing earbuds or earplugs for all patients should should be just some of the measures taken to reduce the level of ambient noise in hospitals.

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26. Medical Personnel Training for Early Detection and Given Authority to Quarantine Patients

Doctors, nurses, etc., who work in the medical profession, should be required to take periodic courses and learn how to identify the symptoms of biological or chemical attacks. When these medical personnel notice an unusual number of patients (maybe two standard deviations from normal) exhibiting these symptoms, they should immediately notify the federal government and give them all the statistics.

Hospitals and doctors should have the authority to quarantine patients without first obtaining a court order or any other kind of permission if, in their judgment, this action would be the most appropriate and safest thing to do, especially considering the importance of containing an epidemic or disease as soon as possible.

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27. Websites That Describe All Kinds of Medical Conditions

Websites that describe and discuss, in great detail, the causes, symptoms, treatments, and effects for every possible type of human medical problem ought to be made available for everyone. Ideally, such a website should allow a person to click on any part of the human body (or within an exhaustive list of named body parts) and get information on absolutely every possible type of problem that has ever been known to be associated with that body part. The information should be complete enough that a person should be able to self diagnose their own problems with a fair degree of accuracy.

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28. Medical Malpractice

To determine whether a person should be compensated for medical malpractice, a group/jury of maybe 30 doctors, specialists, or other people qualified to perform the type of procedure that the defending doctor is being accused of doing wrong, should be gathered together in a room and should be given and told all the information that the defendant doctor knew at the time. This jury of 30 doctors, specialists, etc., should vote and decide whether the doctor acted reasonably correctly or incorrectly according to the information available at the time. It may be appropriate to require different voting thresholds (i.e. majority vote, 2/3 majority, 3/5 majority, 4/5 majority, etc.) for different types of charges that many range from minor things to murder. If it is found that the doctor didn’t have all the information required or needed at the time, then any people responsible for that lack of information should be punished.

Human Health Index

People’s physical conditions should be graded on a 100-point scale where a grade of 100 would indicate practically perfect health on all physical aspects of the individual, and where a 0 would indicate a dead individual.

This would be a nice system to have as another measure of human health, but it could also be used to determine what type of punishment should be given to a doctor who committed medical malpractice. For example, a patient who, prior to surgery had a certain score, say 80, and after the surgery in which the doctor allegedly made a mistake, the patient’s score dropped to 30, this would provide a quantitative measure of the doctor’s errors.

Of course, to understand the significance of the doctor’s error, there must first be a history of patients with a similar initial condition and grade and similar operation. If the patient’s grade after the operation is very different from what would have been expected by a statistical analysis of similar cases, and also if a professional panel of experts agree that the results are significantly abnormal, then a proper punishment could begin to be formulated. However, the facts of the particular case would dominate any discussion of penalties against the doctors.

This system could be used to determine at least part of a doctor’s punishment. For example, if a patient with an initial condition of 30 undergoes an operation, then during or after which his condition changes to 0 (patient dies), the doctor or surgeon would not be punished as much as if a patient with an initial condition of 90 dropped down to 10 as a result of a similar operation. In other words, at least one factor in determining medical malpractice penalties would be how much the medical error changed the condition of the patient, and not just whether or not the error resulted in his death.

This same basic system could be used to help reduce hospital and medical facility errors such as misdiagnosis, wrong treatment/surgery, even new infections and injuries, etc., by charging the hospital, doctor, and other responsible entities a significant fine based on the degree of damage to the patient. This would encourage hospitals to take measures to reduce error rates. The actual amount of each fine would depend on the severity of the error as well as on the particular facts of each case, but perhaps a good rule of thumb should be a compensation package which includes the free delivery of all corrective actions necessary plus a punitive multiple equivalent to twice the amount it costs to both perform and correct the error. The minimum punitive multiple for any significant error could be set at $1,000.

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29. Coma, Brain Death & Time Limits

Human death should be defined as that point at which it has been determined that upper brain function is irretrievably lost.

The family and/or friends of people that remain in a coma continuously for more than one year should be given the option of either bearing the full costs of maintaining the person beyond 13 months or allowing that person to die. Insurance companies should not be required to continue funding individuals in comas for more than 13 months unless policyholders specifically ask for and pay for such an insurance policy.

The family and/or friends of patients who have been brain dead for 3 months should be required to either bear the full costs of maintaining the individual in a vegetative state beyond the 3-month limit or allow the person to die completely. Insurance companies should not be required to continue funding individuals in a brain dead state for more than 3 months unless policyholders specifically ask for and pay for such an insurance policy.

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30. Organ and Blood Donations

No prohibition should exist against people donating or being compensated for selling at market rates blood, plasma, organs, or any other body parts that have value (except human eggs or sperm). Proper safeguards, of course, must be put in place to insure that donors donate or sell healthy products and donate or sell voluntarily. Virtually any factor relevant to the quality of the donated or sold body product could be factored into the purchase price listed by the seller. Such factors could include all relevant aspects of the health or behavior of the donor or seller. Purchasers of body products should be entitled to full access to a donor’s or seller’s medical records for purposes of researching the health and behavior of the donor or seller.

One of the functions of government should be to maintain a database or registry of people who have decided to be or not be organ donors and who have communicated this decision to their spouse and family. This way, hospitals and medical organizations can have quick access to such a database of information and promptly, after an accident, determine who is a donor and quickly proceed to salvage their organs.

People are Donors Unless They Opt Out

By default, people should be assumed to be organ donors unless they opt out of the donation program. This question should be asked of every individual once upon reaching the age of majority and every 5 years thereafter by their healthcare provider (most logical) or perhaps upon renewal of driver’s licenses.

Donors Receive Priority Over Non-Donors For Available Organs

Because organ donors have already agreed to make their organs available for donation, they should be rewarded by being given priority over non-donors for organs that become available for donation. This should be true regardless of the severity of the need for an organ by a non-donor. Non-donors may be able to ‘buy their way’ onto the recipient list by paying several times the market rate for the needed organ.

Donors May Influence Who Get Their Organs

Individuals who donate and sell their body parts would be allowed in most circumstances to significantly influence who the final beneficiary of the body part would be, even if they died or are incapacitated, by making such provision known in a will or other final document. Providers could specify that their products first go to help immediate family members listed on a national body parts waiting list or to relatives if they are listed as among the 90% who have waited the longest. In cases where multiple family members or relatives have a similar need for organs and if the donor is unable to make a decision as to which specific family member should receive an organ, the donor’s immediate family members (parents, siblings, children, but not minors) would vote for a prospective family recipient. If there is no need among this group, body part providers would be able to select long-time friends (friends of over 5 years) if the friend is listed among the top 50% of patients who have been on the national waiting list the longest.

However, potential transplant recipient qualifications should include how much additional living time the recipient would likely experience due to the transplant. In addition, age should play a factor. A 30 year-old should get priority over a 60 year-old. Incapacitated or deceased body part providers could also have a say in who could get their body parts by including the names of people in a will or other final document, so long as such named people meet the criteria listed above. Organs could also be donated to a chosen member of the general population if that person is listed among the 50% of people on the national list who have waited the longest for that kind of organ. The donor could even create a list of qualities or physical characteristics that he/she would wish the recipient to possess as prerequisites to receiving the organ donation. If the donor had given permission, his/her family could choose this member of the general population as a recipient. Donors could request that the top recipients in either their city, county, or state be given priority to their organs. Such requests should be honored so long as such a candidate is found to be among the top 50% of those on the national waiting list.

If no potential recipient of a body part provider is identified in any of the preceding special categories of people, then the medical healthcare providers would decide upon the most qualified and desirable recipient who should get the body part based on pure need.

Payment for Donated Body Parts

All donors, even deceased donors, should be paid market rates for the organs they donate.  In the case of deceased donors, payment would be made to the spouse, family, relatives or to a person of the donor’s choice.

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31. Fetal Tissue & Stem Cell Research

Destructive research should only be allowed (with parental consent) on embryos and fetuses that meet the qualifications for abortion as well as those which have been naturally miscarried.

If human stem cells or fetal tissues can be harvested from an embryo without significantly damaging or destroying it, such harvesting should be allowed for virtually any purpose and from virtually any embryo with parental consent.

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32. Umbilical Cord Blood

Parents should be educated about and encouraged to choose to bank their child’s umbilical cord blood, especially if medical conditions exist in the child that make the future use of cord blood likely. Parents could choose to donate the cord blood for free to a public bank for the benefit of the general public, or they may choose a private blood banking service to ensure its availability and use for the child or anyone else authorized by the parents.

Parents who have purchased a private cord blood banking service have already purchased their exclusive use rights. However, parents who have donated to the public cord blood bank would need to pay market prices for any cord blood they may need in the future. Except for children who have been born with a known possibility that they may need their own cord blood in the future, there would be no guarantee that an individual’s cord blood donated at birth would be there for their own use in the future. Nevertheless, as soon as it is known that an individual would need the use of their own cord blood, an immediate search of the national cord blood database would check to make sure that the original cord blood is still available. If it is still available, it would immediately be removed from circulation and reserved for the individual diagnosed as potentially needing to use it.

Universal Cord Blood Banking Fee

There should be a mandatory fee of $500 for every live birth dedicated to funding a national cord blood banking system. Ideally, this system should be set up so that all the revenues generated by the $500 per birth fees and the selling of cord blood to needy individuals/families as well as to research scientists will at least cover all of the expenses associated with running this national umbilical cord blood banking system. Donors to a public bank would not be compensated if their cord blood is sold to another party.

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33. Medical Prescriptions

Medical prescriptions should not be written by hand. Instead, they should be typed or printed by computer to minimize errors and misreadings. (Henri R. Manasse, Jr., 7-23-03, USA Today)

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34. Pharmacists’ Access to Patients’ Information

There should be a statewide or even a nationwide computer databases that can be accessed within seconds by any pharmacy within that jurisdiction, or at least within five minutes at most, so that customers who happen to go to a different pharmacy, but still within the state or country, wouldn’t be required to wait 15-30 minutes so that the pharmacies can transfer the customer’s records before any prescription medicines can be transacted.

Furthermore, pharmacists should be allowed access to a patient’s full medical records and information so that the pharmacist could better serve the patient. Access to such records would allow pharmacists to reduce the likelihood of prescription errors and better inform the patient about possible drug interactions.

“Prescriptions are an extension of a patient’s medical records and [pharmacists should have access to that person’s] critical information, including diagnosis, age, and weight” and perhaps other parameters. All this information should be kept confidential, of course. (Henri R. Manasse, Jr. USA Today 7-23-03)

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35. Circumcision

Children should be given local anesthesia to ease the pain of circumcision. However, circumcisions should be strongly discouraged or even banned, unless medically necessary, because there is no compelling reason to perform them.

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35. Abortion & Euthanasia

All human abortions should be prohibited unless the woman’s health is in danger or the fetus is shown to have severe physical damage (i.e., either lack of or severely malformed important body parts like arms, heart, liver, nose, etc.) or is shown to have severe genetic problems that are very likely to cause at least severe debilitation or death by adulthood (age 20).

Technically, the development of a human being cannot be ended simply at will anytime after fertilization takes place because fertilization is when a human life begins. Rape does not qualify as a valid reason for an abortion.

However, the natural mortality rates of blastocysts and zygotes are impressively high, with less than 50% of pregnancies naturally successfully graduating to the fetus stage of development. Because of the complexity of the process of human biological reproduction, the hard to pin-point moment of conception, the incredibly small amounts of natural hormone and other chemical levels that could potentially alter the success of the pregnancy, the amount of statistical ‘noise’ concerning survival rates at these early stages of development, it is easy to understand that natural processes are far riskier to any conceived child (zygote) than any human policy could be.

Therefore, for any abortion policy to be respectable, it cannot apply the label of ‘human life’ to blastocysts and zygotes which naturally have a higher than 50% chance of being naturally aborted. While actions deliberately taken to induce abortions at this stage (anything from eating the wrong foods to taking abortifacient drugs), including taking drugs that prevent attachment to the uterine wall, could be treated as murder, trying to prove that from the statistical noise at such early developmental stages is a very unwise commitment of resources.

Restrictive abortion policies should be applied when the statistical noise has settled down to a point where far more predictable statistical outcomes are known. This means that there is a significant ‘gray area’ within which predictable outcomes are so low, that government regulation of outcomes would be too arbitrary to be justified.

Given the huge life impact that a new person would bring to the parent(s), and given that sexual intercourse is such a common activity, and given the huge statistical natural variance that normal developments entail, and given the huge demand for abortion services, and given the potentially huge resource demands that successful and effective prosecutions of ‘human life at conception’ violations would entail, and given the high danger posed by risky illegal abortions that are certain to occur, it would be beneficial from a resource conservation standpoint, and from a social stability standpoint, to determine an alternate point on the timeline at which to begin enforcing ‘human life’ protections.

Under this principle, aborting a blastocyst (before its implantation on the uterine wall 5 to 9 days after fertilization) would raise the least controversy.

Since there are no definite markers during the rest of the pregnancy other than the beginning (fertilization and conception) and the end (birth), it appears that the only other alternative would be time limits measured from conception or, most likely, from the last menstrual cycle before conception.

Active Euthanasia – Abortion After Birth

In addition, abortions, or what would better be termed ‘active euthanasia’, permitted under the exemptions stated above should also be allowed at any time after the birth of a child, as well, with no maximum age limit.

Passive Euthanasia

Passive euthanasia should also be legalized. However, death should not be aided or accelerated, but life-extending medications and treatments could be withheld while maximum comfort is supplied until death occurs. This treatment would generally be given only to post-birth people, but most commonly used for the elderly.

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36. Contraception & Religious Opposition

Any method by which fertilization of a human egg is prevented should be acceptable and non-controversial.

The dissemination of non-abortive birth control treatments, activities or information should not be prohibited by any entity receiving any public funding of any sort (grants, tax-exempt status, non-profit status, etc.).

Catholic healthcare organizations, being opposed to any form of contraceptives, are perhaps the largest interest group that would be affected by the implementation of this concept.  Because Catholic charity organizations constitute such a large market share of the healthcare sector, it is imperative that such arcane practices be eliminated.

There are sufficient reasons for Catholics to accept the moral legitimacy of contraceptives. First, many of their objections are based on previous Papal statements, which have been shown many times to have been wrong and/or based on human additions to the Sacred Scriptures (Sacred Tradition and the Sacred Magisterium) which cannot be justified based on regulations contained within those Scriptures themselves. Second, the strongest Scriptural support claimed against the use of birth control is the story of Onan who practiced withdrawal. However, his death by God resulted from his disobedience, not his use of birth control.  Other arguments such as the command to be fruitful, the purpose of marriage, and honoring the body as a temple and vessel to be used by God cannot be used to expressly prohibit contraception.

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37. In Vitro Fertilization

Women attempting to become pregnant by in vitro fertilization should be limited to fertilizing and implanting one single egg at a time. If that egg fails to take hold and grow, then another single egg can be fertilized and implanted. Multiple eggs should never be fertilized, let alone, implanted simultaneously.

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38. Child Support

The biological parents of children should be financially responsible for all the needs of those children until they reach 20 years of age, unless those children have been permanently adopted by another family or unless the children (age 15 or over) are not enrolled in fulltime schooling (in which case the child is expected to fund at least some of his/her own living expenses). Child support (at least a small portion) must be provided to the child even if parents are separated, divorced, or chose to abandon the child, or pregnancy is the result of rape, or the child has been placed into foster care, etc. The current caretakers could sign a legal waiver renouncing the need or desire for child support obligations from the spouse, former spouse, or biological parents, but such renouncements can be revoked at any time during the first 20 years of the child’s life, provided that at least three full month’s warning of child support payments is issued to the parent who will be paying them.

Rapists should Pay Child Support
Whether a rape victim chooses to bear and raise the child or whether she chooses to give it up for adoption, the rapist should be forced to pay child support until the child is 20 years old. The rapist should not be allowed to initiate physical contact with the child until the child is old enough to understand and agrees to meet the father or unless the mother chooses to initiate contact with the father (rapist).

Sperm Donors Pay Child Support

All sperm donors should be required to pay 10% of child support to the recipients of the sperm. The donor has the right to require that only one egg be fertilized at a time to eliminate the chance of multi-fetus pregnancies. If the recipient of the sperm does not want this child support, the donor must still pay the same amount to the government or to some child related charity. These payments must continue until the child reaches 20 years of age.

However, the ideal policy would be to ban the buying and selling of sperm, eggs, etc. Nevertheless, exceptions could be made in extremely rare cases.

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39. Biological Parents May Not Withhold Their Identity from Children Given Up for Adoption

People who donate eggs or sperm or put their children up for adoption or who became a parent under any circumstance should not have the right or ability to withhold their identity from their children at any time in the future.

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40. Periodic Physical Examination for Pregnant Mothers

Pregnant mothers ought to be required by law to undergo physical examination by a pediatrician at least once during each of their trimesters of pregnancy to ensure the well being of the mother and the fetus. If any condition is found which must be monitored or addressed, adequate precautions, including euthanasia, may be taken.

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41. Egg, Sperm, Surrogate Sales

The main components of human life (eggs, sperm, and the use of surrogates) should not be bought, sold (especially for profit) or perhaps even donated.

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42. Gender Selection & Genetic Modification

Gender Selection

People should have a right to choose the gender of their child but the costs should be based on the degree of deviation from the natural population birth ratio due to the use of gender selection methods throughout the population (the higher the deviation from normal the higher the fee would be to select that gender which is favored).

Genetic Modification

The genetic modification of human embryos for purposes of eliminating or reducing negative health  characteristics should be allowed.

Perhaps the modification of other traits which are not particularly relevant for health should be allowed but should also be heavily taxed to reduce the frequency of these options from occurring. Such a tax would not only reduce the speed at which such practices are adopted throughout society and allow for any long-term negative consequences to become visible before wider adoption occurs, but such a tax for something that is clearly a luxury would also be an element that helps make the tax code progressive.

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43. Maternal Names Given to Offspring

Maternal names, not paternal names, should be the names that children bear because the mother is usually the parent that invests the most time, energy, and love into the offspring.

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44. Contraceptive & Insurance Coverage

No health insurance or medical plan should be required to cover contraceptives or any types of birth control devices or procedures unless a valid medical or health reason exists to require the use of contraceptive devices or procedures. Contraception is generally an optional decision.

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45. Arranged Marriages

Arranged marriages should not be legally recognized if either the groom or bride was unwilling to marry their partner at the time of their wedding but did so under cultural pressure.

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46. Divorce Regulations & Public Divorce Records

Only one person (either husband or wife, but not both) should need to agree to a divorce in order for them to qualify for a legal divorce.

The only things that should be made public in divorce records are full names (maiden name for ex-wives) of marriage partners, their ages, nationality or ethnic decent, political jurisdiction(s) in which both marriage and divorce occurred, last county or city of residence prior to divorce, date of marriage, length of marriage, number of marriage (1st, 2nd, etc.), number of children brought into the marriage and the number of children produced during marriage, the number of children (minors) and their ages at the time of the divorce, and a general reason or reasons for the divorce. Religious affiliation, education levels, occupation, and perhaps income levels should also be gathered.

These reasons for the divorce don’t have to be detailed, but they do need to be specific enough in order to fit into perhaps around 10 or 15 categories of the most common reasons for divorce. At a minimum, each person in the marriage needs to choose one or more categories that he/she identifies as causes for the divorce. (If more than one category is chosen, each category should be ranked.)

Among the categories should be one that allows a person the option to indicate that he/she is not a willing participant to the divorce and that he/she is willing to resolve whatever problems exist through counseling or other forms of help or personal effort. Another category should also provide the option to indicate whether he/she was forced to marry against their will.

The gathering of all these bits of information would provide a larger base of raw data which researchers could use to gather more information about and address the causes of divorce in society.

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47. Mandatory Marriage Education

People who plan to get married should be required to read a booklet explaining all its ramifications (rights and responsibilities) and what would happen in case of divorce and several other eventualities. These people should then be required to pass a test on this material, preferably before marriage. Perhaps this should even be a requirement for all secondary school students to meet at some point prior to graduation. (Idea, in part, of Assemblywoman Hannah Beth Jackson, D – Santa Barbara. Los Angeles Times, 9-12-99)

Adults also, either as part of acquiring a marriage license or during the couple’s pregnancy, should be required to take similar classes on how to teach and raise children the correct way and how to prevent them from becoming spoiled and acquiring undesirable characteristics.

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48. Blood Quantum

People should be classified as native belonging to a certain tribe, race, ethnic group, clan, etc., if they meet the requirement that they have at least a 1/4 blood quantum measurement. If there is a tie, such as 1/4 part x and 1/4 part y, then culture and lifestyle adoption, especially while as a young person under the age of 20, should be the deciding factor. However, even if a person is 1/4 part x, 1/4 part y and 1/2 part z, that person would have the right to choose among any of the three possibilities for their identity.

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