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Honolulu Hawaii Sexual Abuse Law Blog

Pope halts U.S. bishops from voting on sex abuse reforms

Hawaii residents monitoring the ongoing scandals about clergy sexually abusing people must continue to wait for the Roman Catholic Church to adopt reforms meant to hold abusers accountable. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had been on the verge of voting on new measures to address abusers and leaders who shielded them from consequences when the Vatican sent a last-minute order to hold off on making decisions.

The archbishop who serves as the Vatican's ambassador to the United States said that Pope Francis delayed the U.S. bishops from making reforms because he wants the Church to address the problem as a whole and not country by country. The bishops who had gathered with the intent of dealing with systemic sexual abuse disliked the pope's intervention. They expressed eagerness to take action. The pope plans to hold an international meeting of bishops in February to discuss the sexual abuse crisis.

Is Roundup causing you to get cancer?

In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded there is a probable link between the widely used weed killer, Roundup, and cancer in humans. However, the maker of Roundup, Monsanto, was likely already aware of these risks and might have actively kept the information from public knowledge.

As a result, a California jury recently ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million dollars in damages to a school groundskeeper for causing his cancer, and he is likely not the only one. There are currently over 8,000 similar lawsuits going on in the United States against Monsanto.

Pediatric brain tumors frequently misdiagnosed

Children in Hawai'i who have been diagnosed with brain cancer may have a reason for additional testing following discoveries made by research scientists. According to researchers, some children with rare pediatric brain tumors have been misdiagnosed with one type of cancer when they actually have another. Scientists found that when these tumors' molecular profiles were examined using newly developed technologies, they were found to be far different than they originally appeared. The type of tumor in question, called a CNS-PNET, was traditionally diagnosed based on where it was found in the brain as well as how it appeared under a microscope.

When these tumors were reexamined using the newer testing methodologies, called DNA methylation profiling, cancerous growths that had appeared the same under a microscope appeared strikingly different. Of 31 pediatric brain cancer patients participating in a clinical trial who were diagnosed with CNS-PNETs prior to the newer tests, 22 were found to have been misdiagnosed. Some of the children actually had supratentorial embryonal tumors, which had a much higher chance of survival with proper treatment. However, 18 of the kids were found to have glioblastomas, a severely aggressive form of cancer with a high fatality rate.

Study reports warning signs associated with child sexual abuse

General practice physicians in Hawaii have an opportunity to identify possible child victims of sexual assault by screening for certain factors. A study conducted in France that analyzed responses from 850 male and 869 female 15-year-old students discovered strong associations between certain behaviors and feelings and child sexual abuse. The researchers suggested that general practitioners could look for warning signs and then question young people more closely if their initial responses indicated the occurrence of sexual assault or attempted assaults.

Early detection of sexual abuse could connect young victims with therapies that might help them cope with the trauma and reduce the likelihood of engaging in self-destructive behaviors. Children attacked or exploited sexually by their caregivers frequently grow up to experience depression, anxiety, anger, sleep difficulties, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue or heart problems. They also might think about suicide, attempt suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol or engage in risky sexual activities.

The importance of identifying the correct form of dementia

When someone in Hawaii shows signs of dementia, it's common to assume it may be Alzheimer's disease. Sometimes what's assumed to be Alzheimer's is another form or dementia known as Lewy body dementia, or LBD. Receiving a correct diagnosis is important because there are key differences in how each of these conditions is treated. With medications, for instance, people with LBD might respond better to certain dementia drugs than individuals with Alzheimer's.

Patients with LBD may also respond poorly to medications meant to control behavior and movement for people with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The resulting side effects, which may be the basis for a medical malpractice claim if there were clear oversights during diagnosis attempts, are sometimes dangerous and permanent. Part of the confusion may be because of the many forms of dementia although symptoms often provide clues that could help with the diagnosis.

Infamous online alt-right figure accused of sexual assault

Well-known alt-right figure Cody Wilson was arrested in September on allegations of sexual assault of a child. Wilson, 30, is known in Hawaii and around the country for his online sales of blueprints for 3D-printed guns as well as the creation of Hatreon, a site that he billed as a means for far-right figures to raise money for their efforts. The crowdfunding service raised over $8,000 each month for one prominent neo-Nazi website.

While his online political participation has driven his fame, it is also the source of the charges against him. According to police, Wilson used an online "sugar daddy" site to contact an underage girl. While her age has not been released, police have described her as "younger than 17." Wilson reportedly used an alias on the site and bragged about his fame or wealth. However, he later identified himself by name when communicating with the teen girl over text messages. He met the girl in person on Aug. 15 according to a police affidavit.

Most common types of medical malpractice

Doctors are trained to spot illness early and treat it efficiently. However, when a medical professional makes a mistake, it can lead to severe injury or death for their patients. There are many ways that one can be affected by medical negligence, which we will look at more in this post. 

Man paralyzed after late diagnosis of West Nile

Anyone in Hawaii who has suffered from West Nile virus is likely familiar with the symptoms of fevers, headaches and body tremors. In serious cases, however, the virus can cause the brain and spinal cord to become inflamed, sending the victim to the hospital. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that there is no specific vaccine or antiviral treatment for West Nile. But those with a mild form can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications or fever reducers.

One man in Nebraska suffered paralysis and damaged hearing as a result of the virus. However, an alleged delayed diagnosis proved to be a major factor in his case. Four years earlier, the man was bitten by a mosquito while mowing his lawn and, knowing that a neighbor was lately diagnosed with West Nile, went to the doctor for a diagnosis. The doctor dismissed the idea that he had West Nile and did not perform a blood test to detect the virus.

Grand jury report: 300+ priests sexually abused thousands

Hawaiians may be shocked to learn about the widespread sexual abuse that happened in Pennsylvania. According to news sources, more than 300 Catholic priests sexually abused more than 1,000 children.

A grand jury report that was released detailed sexual abuse by priests dating back to 1947. The report also detailed how the church worked to cover up the abuse instead of reporting the predators to law enforcement officers. In many cases, priests who were credibly accused were simply moved to new dioceses, and the people in those new churches were never warned about the priests.

Reasons not to visit the doctor in the afternoon

Hawaii residents who are about to schedule a doctor's examination or undergo surgery will want to avoid an afternoon visit, if possible. There are several good reasons for doing so, the first being that doctors and nurses, like other workers, experience what's called the afternoon slump. Fatigue sets in around 2 pm and 3 pm, which means decreased attention and productivity and, with it, an increased risk for medical mistakes.

Anesthesiologists in particular are more prone to mistakes: a Duke University study shows that the probability of a mistake more than quadruples from 9 am to 4 pm. Researchers even point out afternoon circadian lows as the reason behind this trend. Shift changes occur around 3 pm, which means that patients could be operated on by two different surgical teams. Miscommunications between the two teams can have serious consequences.

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