Treat or Flee? Ebola challenges the Hippocratic Oath

Smith demonstrates putting on personal protective equipment during an Ebola educational session for healthcare workers at the Jacob Javits Convention center in New York

A registered nurse demonstrates putting on personal protective equipment during an Ebola educational session for healthcare workers. Credit Reuter’s Media.

CHICAGO/NEW YORK Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:16pm EDT

(Reuters) – The Ebola crisis is forcing the American healthcare system to consider the previously unthinkable: withholding some medical interventions because they are too dangerous to doctors and nurses and unlikely to help a patient.

U.S. hospitals have over the years come under criticism for undertaking measures that prolong dying rather than improve patients’ quality of life.

But the care of the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States, who received dialysis and intubation and infected two nurses caring for him, is spurring hospitals and medical associations to develop the first guidelines for what can reasonably be done and what should be withheld.

Officials from at least three hospital systems interviewed by Reuters said they were considering whether to withhold individual procedures or leave it up to individual doctors to determine whether an intervention would be performed.

Ethics experts say they are also fielding more calls from doctors asking what their professional obligations are to patients if healthcare workers could be at risk. …

Throughout the history of medicine some doctors have declined to treat infectious patients or fled epidemics, said Michigan’s Markel.  Greek physician and philosopher Galen fled Rome during the bubonic plague 1,800 years ago, doctors deserted European cities stricken by the Black Death of the Middle Ages, and some health workers refused to treat HIV/AIDS patients in the 1980s.

“The idea that a doctor would stick to his post to the last during an epidemic, that’s not part of the Hippocratic Oath,” Markel said. “If you feel your life is at risk you don’t have to stay and provide care.”

Read more.

The passage that comes to mind reminds me that there is one Shepherd who will never flee:

John 10:11-14 (NASB) “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 “He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 “He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14 “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father and I lay My life down for the sheep.

Ebola may be the modern-day wolf; but Christ is our good shepherd, and He will never leave us!

Jesus come quickly.

Jack

 

Alex Henning beheaded. Peter Kassig awaits his turn for Islamists to glorify Allah

Victim #4, Edward Henning

Victim #4, Alex Henning

Alex Henning, a British man who volunteered for an aid-convoy to Syria, has been beheaded by the Islamic State. Henning is the fourth western hostage to be beheaded by the group, following the filmed beheadings of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and Scottish aid worker David Haines. At the conclusion of the Henning video, a masked militant states, “Obama, you have started your aerial bombardment of Sham, which keeps on striking our people, so it is only right that we continue to strike the neck of your people.” The next planned beheading is then revealed, Peter Edward Kassig, captured in October 2013.

A statement by Kassig’s parents, Ed and Paula Kassig of Indianapolis, confirmed that he was a hostage. They said he was captured in October last year, while undertaking humanitarian work in Syria. …

“We ask everyone around the world to pray for the Henning family [the family of the 4th victim], for our son [Peter Kassig], and for the release of all innocent people being held hostage in the Middle East and around the globe,” the Kassig family said. The statement referred to him by the name of Abdul-Rahman Kassig, saying he had converted to Islam in captivity.

Read more.

In another article, the parents state:

Ed and Paula Kassig

Ed and Paula Kassig

“As Muslims around the world, including our son Abdul-Rahman Kassig, celebrate Eid al-Adha, the faith and sacrifice of Ibrahim, and the mercy of Allah, we appeal to those holding our son to show the same mercy and set him free,” the Kassig parents said in a written statement. … Ed Kassig, who works as a school teacher, said in his part of the video message that his son could not control US policy. “There is so much that is beyond our control,” Ed Kassig said. “We asked our government to change its actions, but like our son, we have no more control over the US government than you have over the breaking of dawn.”

My heart goes out to the parents of Peter Kassig. In news reports today the two of them are seen visiting a mosque for prayers. The mother is wearing the traditional Muslim head covering as she pleads with ISIS to release her son.

I thought non-Muslims were given two options: convert to Islam or die. Qur’an 9:5 states,

When the [four] forbidden months are over, wherever you encounter them, kill them, seize them, besiege them, wait for them at every lookout post; but if they turn [to God], maintain the prayer, and pay the prescribed alms, let them go on their way, for God is most forgiving and merciful. 6If any one of the idolaters should seek your protection [Prophet], grant it to him so that he may hear the word of God, then take him to a place safe for him, for they are people with no knowledge [of it]. Haleem translation. (See Islam the Cloak of Antichrist, p 50 and sources cited thereunder)

Kassig was non-Muslim when he was captured. Having now converted to Islam why is he not afforded “a place safe for him” as provided by Qur’an 9:6?

“People of the Book,” i.e., Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians (Yazidis were Zoroastrian) were given a third option: pay the “jizya,” the annual humiliation tax, and agree to submit to all Muslims. Qur’an 9:29 states,

Fight those of the People of the Book who do not [truly] believe in God and the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, who do not obey the rule of justices, until they pay the tax and agree to submit. Haleem translation.

Peter Kassig has converted to Islam so why does the threat of the “smite to the neck” remain? Qur’an 47:4 states,

When you meet the disbelievers in battle, strike them in the neck, and once they are defeated, bind any captives firmly —later you can release them by grace or by ransom —until the toils of war have ended.

I am not surprised that the pleas for mercy of a mother and father are unheard. But does not the Qur’an bespeak of “mercy of Allah”? Is it possible that Islam is not the religion of peace it is made out to be? When the “Dhu al-Faqar “or “Cleaver of Vertebrae” of the Islamic State falls upon the neck of another, will the world wake up to the reality of Islam?

Jesus come quickly.

Jack

 

 

 

 

Texas Nurse with Ebola is a strong believer in Christ

The family  of Eric Duncan, the first fatality in America of Ebola, were believers. So is the Texas nurse who contracted the virus from Duncan.

(Reuters) – The woman who is the first person known to have contracted the Ebola virus in the United States graduated from college about four years ago knowing she wanted to be a nurse. Now she is in an isolation unit at the Dallas hospital where she worked.

The nurse, whose name has not been released by officials, has been identified by friends and family and in media reports as Nina Pham, 26. Reuters independently verified her identity with a Sunday school teacher at the church where her family worships and through a public records check of her address.

Pham, a 2010 graduate of Texas Christian University, comes from a deeply religious Vietnamese-American family in Fort Worth, according to people who know them and are familiar with her social media posts. She was called on by neighbors to babysit their children. Her social media posts show she is a fan of actor Ryan Gosling and passionate about nursing.

The family was in shock when it learned that she had contracted Ebola, said their friend Tom Ha who is also a Bible studies teacher at the Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Fort Worth. …

She owns a 1-year-old King Charles Spaniel that has been taken from her apartment to an undisclosed location where its health will be checked, according to the office of Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, the county’s chief political official.

Read more.

Please pray for the Lord to completely heal Ms. Pham.

Jesus come quickly.

Jack

 

 

1st U S health care worker tests positive – CDC protocol followed

A Dallas health care worker assigned to treat Eric Duncan has tested positive for Ebola. Health care officials are in a quandary to explain her infection. According to Texas health care officials, the nurse followed CDC protocol; according to CDC officials, she couldn’t have because she is infected. The videos below reveal the difficulty facing health care experts in containing the virus.

  • Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director CDC: “We don’t know what occurred in the care of the index patient, the original patient in Dallas, but at some point there was a breach in protocol and that breach in protocol resulted in this infection. The care of Ebola can be done safely but it is hard to do it safely. It requires meticulous and scrupulous attention to infection control. And even a single inadvertent innocent slip can result in infection. …” Video here.
  • Dr Thomas Freiden, Director CDC: “… I think the fact that we don’t know of a breach in protocol is concerning because clearly there was a breach in protocol. We have the ability to  prevent the spread of Ebola by caring safely for patients.” Video here.
  • Dr. Dallas Varga, Texas Health Resources: “… she was following full CDC precautions which are droplet precautions, including gown, glove, mask, and shield. From the time that self-monitoring indicated the need for contact to the time that the patient entered full isolation in the emergency department was less than 90 minutes.” Video here.

The logic of Frieden, the CDC director, is “circular” and illogical.

  • Our protocol is fail-safe.
  • She is infected.
  • She could not have followed protocol because she is infected.
  • If she is infected, it demonstrates our protocol is fail-safe because she violated it and so she is infected.

Suppose Ebola has mutated. The fail-safe protocol was designed for the virus in its unmutated stage. Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota,, explains Ebola’s possible mutation (from a direct contact with body fluids, e.g., vomit, to an airborne virus such as a sneeze):

“I can’t imagine anything in my career — and this includes HIV — that would be more devastating to the world than a respiratory transmissible Ebola virus.”

As of October 1, there have been more than 7,100 cases of Ebola, with 3,330 deaths, according to the World Health Organization, which has said the virus is spreading at a much faster rate than it was earlier in the outbreak.

Ebola is an RNA virus, which means every time it copies itself, it makes one or two mutations. Many of those mutations mean nothing, but some of them might be able to change the way the virus behaves inside the human body. .. However, the World Health Organization says its scientists are unaware of any virus that has dramatically changed its mode of transmission.

Fail-safe protocols or mutated virus? Which is it?

It is almost as if Ebola has a mind and will of its own; and, it has been granted authority to kill.

Jesus come quickly.

Jack

 

Is EBOLA in Bible prophecy?

baby birds protected by mother birdIs Eola in Bible prophecy? Here are some key passages to answer our question:

  • Luke 21:10-12 (NASB) Then He continued by saying to them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, 11 and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake.

The Lucan passage is significant. Jesus has just told the disciples about the coming destruction of the Temple (Luke 21:5-6) followed by their question as to when this will be. Jesus’ response includes warnings “to not be misled” by the many who will come in “My name” (Luke 21:8-9); and then, “to not be terrified” when they hear of wars and disturbances for these things “must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately.” (Luke 21:9 NASB). Jesus then repeats in Luke 21:10 what He has just told them in Luke 21:9.  The full course of the discussion encompasses far more time than the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans in 70 a.d. or the first 250 years of persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire. Verse 9 even tells us that the end does not come immediately which leads us to conclude that there is a clear “parenthesis of time” subsequent to verse 8 similar to what many interpret to be present in Daniel 9:25-27 NASB. That is, the Temple will be destroyed by the Romans in 70 a.d. (Luke 21:5-6) in the first Jewish War. Wars and rumor of wars will continue until the end of days along with the coming of false Christs.

From my view, Luke 21:20-22 is likely not referring to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 a.d. (already stated by Jesus in Luke 21:5-6) but the fall of Jerusalem in the end-of-days. To me it is a fulfillment of Revelation 11:2 as well as Ezekiel 38 and 39 (that is, Ezekiel 38 prophesies of an initial falling of Jerusalem prior to its eventual redemption when “Gog” and his armies are destroyed by “pestilence and blood.” Ezekiel 38:22-23 NASB).

In the words of Scripture, Ebola is a plague, an epidemic, a pestilence. The Greek word used in Luke 21:11 NASB and translated “plague” is the same word used in Matthew 24:7 NASB and there translated “famine.” It is the Greek word  “loimos,” meaning “pestilence, plague, (disease) epidemic.” (See Friberg Greek Lexicon.). Luke is very likely prophesying of precisely what we are beginning to experience in the modern-day Ebola virus Yes, there have been many prior “pestilences” since the time of Christ. What makes Ebola fit Christ’s prophecy? Lets look at one more passage.

Upon the breaking of the 4th seal of Revelation 6, an ashen horse is summoned. The rider is named “Death,” and Hades follows the ashen beast. The reader is led to visualize a dreaded sight as “Hades,” the place of torment for unbelieving humanity (Luke 16:23), follows the ashen beast much like vultures encircling the near-death of a flesh and blood creature. The divine judgment is chilling: “Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.” The Greek word “limos” which was present in Matthew 24:7 and Luke 21:11 is also present in Revelation 6:8 but there translated “famine” by NASB. Another Greek word is translated “pestilence.” It is the Greek for “death” (thanatos). It is the same word that names the rider of the ashen beast. Unique to the breaking of the 4th seal is that divine authority is given “to them,” i.e., both ashen horse and its rider.  It is almost as if the reader is led to see the magnitude of the authority before the extent is defined – “to them” authority extends to 1/4 of the world’s population; to kill, not only by pestilence, but also by sword and by wild beasts of the earth. Revelation 6:8 NASB.

The last identifier of the judgment is significant: “to kill … by the wild beasts of the earth.” I have always had difficulty understanding why “wild beasts of the earth” will figure into this end-of-days prophecy. After all, it is not as if lions, tigers, and bears really pose a threat to humanity in the modern age. Recently, I remembered reading something scientists theorized about Ebola — it was first contracted in West Africa through animals. Did you think it was strange when the Spanish authorities euthanized the nurse’s aid’s dog? They saw it as a potential carrier of the virus. In all my years, I do not remember being warned that my pet was a carrier of any virus potentially dangerous to humans. Have you ever stayed away from your dog because he had the sniffles?  Of course, I am aware that the writer’s of the Scriptures used terms such as “wild beasts of the earth” to describe the full effect of tribulation; and, in their day, wild beasts were a part of that description. Nevertheless, to me it seemed that I had one of those “aha” moments when I connected the dots. I remembered this identifier from Revelation 6 and I wondered, “Is it possible that the “wild beasts of the earth” will not devour us with their teeth but as carriers of the pestilence, the virus?

One final point. Interpreting prophecy is not so simple as to “match” the word “pestilence” in Scriptures with Ebola virus as a “pestilence.” It is the concurrence of Ebola along with other identifiers in the passage that allows us to conclude a fulfillment is occuring. The other identifiers are war, beasts of the earth, and armies surrounding Israel. All identifiers are present, right now. Militant Islam in the Middle East, Africa and around the world. The nations of the world standing against Israel and perhaps in the path of eventually surrounding Jerusalem as prophesied in Luke 21:22 (plus this occurs after she has been regathered as a nation from the ends of the earth). And, lastly, Ebola in Africa and now spreading throughout the world so much so that we are told to consider the animal kingdom as a potential threat to our safety. All of these identifiers are occurring concurrently. They all together point to modern-day fulfillment.

Panic and fear are going global. In the U.S., five major airports have begun screening all international flights from infected areas of Africa. U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Thursday that “he would like to expand screenings for the Ebola virus to airports outside the United States.” And no wonder. If Ebola, war, and the nations surrounding Israel are concurrent identifiers of Revelation 6:7-8, then 1/4 of the world’s population will perish in fulfillment of the breaking of this seal. That will be a time of death the world has never known – for this death will truly be global. Matthew 24:21.

You may be thinking of the rapture right now; that Christians will not be subject to the 4th seal. I beg to differ. Even to the pretribbers, the only requirement of Scripture is that the rapture occur prior to the time of the wrath of God, not during it. Notice when the wrath of God begins based on Revelation 6. It is not until the breaking of the 6th seal. Revelation 6:12-14 NASB.

Revelation 6:16-17 (NASB) and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

The wrath of God does not occur until the breaking of the 6th seal and the ashen horse and Death bring in the perishing of 1/4 of the world’s population in the 4th seal. My view is that believers  are still here during the 4th seal judgment.

What do we do? A picture is worth a thousand words. Look at the picture. You don’t think it goes with the title of the post? Perhaps we need read Psalm 91 to see how it goes precisely.

Psalm 91:1-8 (NASB) He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” 3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. 5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day; 6 Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. 7 A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not approach you. 8 You will only look on with your eyes And see the recompense of the wicked.

Will America find its refuge in God or in our medical profession, our military, our economy? I listened to President Obama the other night as he pridefully spoke of America being the first nation in the world to help other less able nations around the world in whatever their crisis might be. I had a twinge of dread as I was reminded of Proverbs 16:13 NASB. I honestly don’t think America will take its refuge under the wings of the Almighty but in its own strength as a nation. What might it mean for a nation like America to take refuge in God? Refuge is a condition of the heart, of having surrendered under His strength – a surrendering that perhaps returns us to this place where “In God we Trust”is more than a phrase on our currency.

What about believers? Will Christians be renewed in their relationship with the Almighty? Will we find our strength in His strength?  It is my prayer that God will use the tribulation of these days to bring Christians back to God; that we might find our refuge in the shelter of the Most High, and under the shadow of His wings. It is only under the shadow of the wings of the Almighty that we will find refuge from the “terror of the night” or the “pestilence that stalks in darkness.” Brothers and sisters – it is time to come to God.

Jesus come quickly. Matthew 24:22.

Jack

Nurse Contracts Ebola in Spain even though strict protocal in place to protect health workers

From Reuter’s we read:

By Emma Pinedo and Sarah Morris, MADRID. October 6, 2014

(Reuters) – A Spanish nurse has become the first person to contract Ebola outside of Africa, casting doubt over measures taken in Spain to control the potential spread of the deadly disease.  The nurse had helped to treat two priests who contracted Ebola in Africa and were repatriated to Spain. Some 30 other health workers and those who came in contact with her are now being monitored for symptoms. … The nurse was one of a specialist team who treated elderly priest Manuel Garcia Viejo at the Madrid hospital Carlos III when he was repatriated from Sierra Leone with Ebola on Sept 21. He died four days later. Garcia Viejo was kept in isolation during his treatment last month and officials said they followed a strict protocol designed to protect health workers and patients at the hospital. The nurse who has since fallen ill only entered Garcia Viejo’s room twice, once after his death, Alemany said. Read more.

What does it tell us about Ebola’s contagion when a nurse specifically trained to treat Ebola and believed to have followed a protocol designed for Ebola treatment, nevertheless contracts the virus? And, the nurse becomes infected after entering the patient’s room only twice, and one of those times after the victim’s death? Do you think the medical profession is concerned about the “mode of transmission” that outwitted their plan to prevent precisely what occurred? Its not like the nurse was on an airplane and just happened to be sitting next to an “Eric Duncan” whose body fluids somehow transmitted the virus. The Reuter’s article is clear about the circumstances present when the nurse contracted the virus. She was on a team of specialists trained in a protocol designed to ensure the personal safety of health care workers attending Ebola patients. Yet, she is now the first person contracting the illness outside of Africa, and in an environment specifically designed to destroy the virus and return the victim to health. It seems that the virus had a life of its own; and when endangered somehow managed to claim another before it took its own turn of death!

If you read the full article, you will learn that immediately after her hospital assignment, she went on “holiday” and while on holiday began to show symptoms of the virus. The official spokesperson did not state where she went on holiday. Do you wonder why?

It seems that after every one of these articles I post, I come to the end of the post and all I can see is a virus spreading the world over. Yet, many people are still oblivious to the looming danger in spite of its regularity on the news. Perhaps it is because we listen to our leaders tell us that Ebola is a low risk. I came across this editorial in the Washington Times (,  Sunday, October 5, 2014):

Dishonest or discombobulated? With Obama, take your pick

Is President Obama a pathological liar, or just incredibly stupid?

Those are the only two choices. Either Mr. Obama repeatedly says things he knows are false, or he is completely unable to comprehend information to discern the truth. There is no third option. Read more.

Does it seem strange that the Reuter’s article omitts the “where” of the nurse’s holiday trip? Did she fly by commercial or private airline? Who might she have come in contact with? That seems to be important information to me. So why is the information missing? Perhaps the reason is to keep the public from panicking, particularly in the locations she visited, and the possible hundreds she came in contact with while on holiday?

I am not so sure that a certain amount of panic would be a bad thing. The world is gone “shopping.” We are “away.”  And our “away” is opposite to where God is. I cannot help but wonder if a good dose of panic might be a good thing? If it brings some of us back to God before the real onslaught occurs, it will be a good thing. In the process it might well enable us to better survive the coming tribulation when it does occur. The one thing I know is the more God in the human heart the more peace in the midst of the storm– particularly when the storm is only the first breath of a coming hurricane.

Jesus come quickly.

Jack

Close Contacts Qurantined in Dallas; Journalist Tests Positive

ebolaReuter’s reports two additional developments in the Ebola outbreak in America. The family of Dallas contaminant, Eric Duncan, has been quarantined for the 21-day confinement period in their own home. None have shown signs of infection at present. Duncan remains in serious condition as he struggles against the virus.

Dallas officials report that possibly scores of people were exposed to Duncan, including 18 -20 who had direct contact, and untold scores who had contact with the 18-20. Read more.

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