Is Hollywood a Good Influence on People?

Whenever I hear the film industry being blamed for creating negativity in life my mind goes back to the Arnold Schwarzenegger film “Last Action Hero”. For those who may not have seen it, Arnie plays a screen character who is accidentally transported into real life, only to find that getting shot, punched, kicked and generally thrown around actually hurts. His character interacts with a young boy, and the moral of the story is that what you see on the silver screen is acting not real life.

Then I think about “Yes Man” with Jim Carrey, a film that broadly looked at the issues of positive thinking and saying “yes” to life. There were a great many interesting points wrapped up in a superbly funny storyline.

What about “The Matrix”, the first film in the series really resonated with a lot of people on the Spiritual path and you couldn’t help feeling as you watched it that Hollywood is tuned into more than big bucks and fame. Behind this and many other films you have the feeling of a number of thoughtful minds using the vehicle of film to explore popular life issues and offer a few conclusions.

That’s the positive side, let’s now look at the negative. Whenever I come to the negative the Charlie Sheen sequel “Hot Shots Part Deux” leaps immediately to mind. In that film there is a wonderful scene where he is shooting a machine gun and in one corner of the screen you have a written running commentary saying “more bullets than (name any famous action film) fired”, and the numbers keep going up. It’s a beautiful tongue-in-cheek poke at an industry that fires off more rounds of dummy ammunition in a year than teenagers have zits.

There is a great deal of casual violence in films, and no doubt there are minds out there only too willing to absorb the violence like a sponge and emulate it. Yet realistically how many times does that happen?

If you’re living in any violence besieged city in the world you will tell me “a lot”, but the truth is that if an individual doesn’t have the anger and sense of dislocation required they will not emulate anything they see in a film. At the very most violent films can provide the general public with ideas in the same way that prisons take a young person who’s made a mistake and provide exactly the training you don’t want any child to receive, thereby turning out a degree level criminal when they leave.

Everything in life is about personal choice and most well balanced people will view extremely violent films as disgusting at worst and a bit of a giggle at best. At no point will an ordinary human being feel tempted to risk their freedom and future by trying to be an Arnie, a Sly Stallone, or even a Charlie Sheen. To name a very few people who’ve been in violent films.

You’re probably more likely to find …

Review: The Nutrisearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements

The Nutrisearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements 2011-12 Consumer Edition by Lyle MacWilliam is a helpful resource for learning how to evaluate nutritional supplements and how they may enhance optimal health, disease prevention, and anti-aging defense. The book is an abridged edition of the 4th Professional Edition of the Comparative Guide, which is more useful for the reader who does not have a background in nutritional science or the biological sciences.

Lyle MacWilliam, MSc, FP is President of the Nutrisearch Corp., a Canadian company that serves the natural products industry. He is a former member of Parliament and Member of Legislative Assembly for British Columbia. Mr. MacWilliam has served as an advisor to a number of Canadian government health agencies.

In this edition, over 1600 US and Canadian supplements were scientifically rated and compared, using 18 critical health supportive criteria to evaluate each product.

I found the Comparative Guide to be an excellent source of information when considering the various scientific ratings conducted of nutritional supplements for this book. The Guide includes comparative ratings of many popular brands of supplements, including those sold in drug and health stores with other less well known brands which are not available through such venues.

What I liked the most in this edition are the two chapters on the Short History of Vitamin D and New Discoveries, the latest scientific findings on Vitamin D. There is an excellent summary of the overwhelming research confirming the beneficial effects of vitamin D in disease prevention, boosting immunity and strengthening bones. Some of the topics addressed by Mr. MacWilliam include: Vitamin D and cancer, Vitamin D and heart disease, Vitamin D and immune support, and how much is enough?

Mr. MacWilliam makes a compelling case that Vitamin D deficiencies contribute to many chronic and degenerative health conditions. He wrote, “Despite the rapid advancement in our knowledge about Vitamin D, chronic insufficiency of this important nutrient remains the most unrecognized and misdiagnosed nutritional deficiency in the world. Marginal improvements in the daily intakes, issued recently by the United States and Canada, appear insufficient to address the problem.”

Although the recommended daily intake of vitamin D has been raised to 600 International Units per day, there are many experts who believe it should be higher yet. While the best way to get vitamin D is still from the sun, everyone living outside the tropics or a predominantly indoor lifestyle must supplement for the sake of health, according to Mr. Macwilliam.

I recommend this guidebook as an excellent resource for anyone who is interested in the science of nutritional supplementation.…

HIPAA Law Protects Against Improper Disclosure of Health Information by Health Care Providers

In June 2009, a 22-year-old Honolulu mother of three young children was sentenced to a year in prison for illegally accessing another woman’s medical records and posting on a MySpace page that she had HIV.

The State of Hawaii brought charges against the woman under a state statute criminalizing the unauthorized access to a computer; and which categorized the conduct of the defendant as a class B felony.

According to accounts of the incidents that led to the woman’s conviction, there was a feud between the victim and the victim’s sister-in-law, a friend of the defendant. The defendant, who worked as a patient service representative at the hospital where the victim was a patient, accessed the computer for the victim’s sister-in-law.

Over the course of approximately ten months, the defendant accessed the patient’s medical records three times through a computer. After she learned of the victim’s medical condition, the defendant posted on her MySpace page that the victim had HIV. In a second posting, she said the victim was dying of AIDS.

The victim complained to hospital officials of the unauthorized access. After an internal investigation the hospital terminated the defendant’s employment.

The defendant’s conduct, of course, was egregious and inexcusable. The one-year jail term handed down by the Court exceeded the term recommended by the prosecutor. Nevertheless, beyond the issue of holding the defendant accountable for her actions some may question to what extent the hospital should bear responsibility for the breaches of confidentiality that occurred.

Federal law imposes statutory burdens on health care providers to protect against the improper use or disclosure of private health information and to reasonably limit uses and disclosures to the minimum necessary to accomplish their intended purpose.

Specifically, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996’s (“HIPAA”) privacy regulations became effective on April 14, 2003. HIPAA is intended to protect consumers’ health information, allow consumers greater access and control to such information, enhance health care, and finally to create a national framework for health privacy protection. HIPAA covers health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain financial and administrative transactions electronically.

In addition to the privacy regulations, HIPAA’s security rules became effective on April 21, 2005. Together the privacy and security regulations are the only national set of regulations that governs the use and disclosure of private, confidential and sensitive information.

Under HIPAA’s Security Rule, the standards for the protection of electronic information covered by HIPAA are divided into three groups: Administrative safeguards, Physical safeguards and Technical safeguards.

A couple of the most significant required safeguards under HIPAA are the Administrative “Sanction Policy” and “Security Awareness Training” safeguards.

The sanction policy standard requires a communication to all employees regarding the disciplinary action that will be taken by the covered entity for violations of HIPAA. The sanction policy should have a notice of civil or criminal penalties for misuses or misappropriation of health information and make employees aware that violations may result in notification to law enforcement officials …