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Techniques I Used As a Weight Loss Counselor and Cindy’s Story

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As a weight loss counselor I called on several techniques often. I found these steps especially valuable in dealing with woman clients and young girls that I counseled as they battled their weight problems.

Basic Relaxation/Visualization Steps

1. Sit in a comfortable chair.
2. Wiggle your toes and adjust your feet, arms, and back so you are completely comfortable.
3. Take deep breaths to release all the tension.
4. Tighten your left hand into a fist; then let go until limp.
5. Tighten your right hand into a fist: then let go until limp.
6. Tense your leg muscles; then let go until limp.
7. Force a grin on your face; then let go until your face feel relaxed and limp.
8. Enjoy the feeling of limp throughout your entire body. Feel the relaxed heaviness as it takes over your entire body. Remain relaxed and quiet. Hear and see only the breathing.
9. With every breath you take allow yourself to go deeper and deeper into a state of looseness, agelessness and limpness.
10. Let all thoughts escape your mind.
11. After the mind is cleared being to visualize you enjoying your meals (pain-free).
12. See your plate filled with fresh green salads, raw fruits, fish, poultry, and lean beef. Feel the crisp taste of the flavors. Picture yourself as healthy and happy full of zest and vibrant energy.
13. See yourself as you go into an even deeper state of relaxation. Tell yourself that on the count of three you will emerge from this quiet state feeling wonderful and full of energy.
14. Count aloud one, two, and three.
15. You are awake and refreshed.

And while daily affirmations, self-talk and visualization techniques are essential it is vital that you learn how to make goals and to see them through. The following section provides this information. To illustrate the value of goal setting I will call upon a former client. To protect her identity we will call her Cindy.

Cindy’s physical and emotional desperation hit her smack in the face the evening her husband rejected her sexually. It brought her to tears. The next morning her children crushed her. She wanted to give them a ride to school. They told her they were embarrassed to be seen with her in public.

Their brutal honesty sent her to the family doctor and then to my door. The fact is their brutal honesty pushed Cindy to take her first step towards getting help. Upon entering my office her demeanor shouted, “I am broken, can you help me?” As she shed tears and confessed her feeling of ugliness and shamefulness it was clear she was broken hearted. She was desperate. She needed help.

Cindy’s acknowledgment of her problem was huge. She had decided to change and wanted to create a change. She needed help. She needed to be surrounded by people that could offer encouragement and tough love when necessary. She needed to create a healthier and happier life for herself.

Her next step was even bigger. It was to step on the scale in my presence. Experience has taught me that this is extremely difficult for people that have weight problems. Stepping on that scale in front of me meant her lies would be exposed. They were coming out of the closet and we were going to see them together. It meant facing her dirty weighty secret. It meant no more denial.

Confronting the fact that she needed to lose over 150 pounds was overwhelming. After determining her ideal weight it became necessary to put this in attainable goals without ever losing sight of the ultimate goal. “Take baby steps,” I’d say. “One day at a time, one pound at a time. We are in this together.”

Like many overweight individuals, Cindy had not been overweight in youth. As a matter of fact as a girl she frequented the beaches of California in her tiny, winy bikini. It was after moving to Oregon, she began putting on weight.

Clouds and rainy days are common in Oregon and often times people that move from sunshine states spiral into depression. Feeling the doom and gloom from the Oregon weather she began finding herself trying to eat her way out of depression. She missed the sunshine, she missed California and the food became an escape, an excuse and helped to fill the void. Her children’s fondness for Toll House cookies helped to feed her void. Her husband being a meat and potato man provided her the opportunities to make big meals. It also provided her the abilities to use the three people she loved more than anything to become her excuses. Baking, cooking, licking, and nibbling became a way of life.

The truth is she was eating a dozen cookies before the kids would arrive home from school. After school she would sit with them and eat two or three more. Before the kids would get home she’d hide cookies so they would be available when she craved them or felt lonely or sad. Soon she found herself hiding other food and eating late at night. Instead of drinking water she drank soda and juice. Instead of eating three meals a day she would eat all day long. Her weight was out of control. She didn’t like looking at herself in the mirror. She found herself repulsive and would use negative self-talk when talking to herself. She convinced herself that being overweight was an unsolvable problem. She convinced herself that losing weight was impossible. She convinced herself that being obese was her destiny. She believed that food provided her with confront and love. She believed it was an essential ingredient that helped to get her through the ups and downs in her life. She felt hopeless and unworthy of being thin. She thought herself as a fat person with no hope of a thin person immersing. She was in desperate need of help. She felt shame and was overwhelmed.

After weeks, months and years of abusing her self it was time to take action. This meant: facing truths about herself, wanting to lose weight for herself, getting into the office six days a week, stepping on the scale, having sessions with her weight loss counselor, using reprogramming techniques/strategies and setting goals.

Below are some mental reprogramming statements used to help Cindy towards reaching her ultimate weight loss goal of 121 pounds. Her accomplishments were recognized. Prior to me leaving Oregon she became my secretary/receptionist. She became a true inspiration. In the spring of 1983, her husband received a transfer with United States Postal Service. With her new image came confidence. Being an inspiration to others the corporate office and I made it our mission to help her create a new career by looking for opportunities with the company. Our employment searches paid off and she was offered a position with the company in Arizona. Cindy has created her change. She lost her weight, changed her hair color and moved to another state, a sunny state.

Mental Reprogramming Statements for Successful Weight Loss

I am willing to believe that being overweight is a solvable problem.

I believe I can lose weight.

I believe I can maintain my ideal weight even when life throws me a curve ball.

I believe I can maintain my ideal weight when life gets me down.

I am a beautiful person inside and cannot wait to reflect that image outwardly.

I acknowledge myself for being willing to what it takes to achieve my ideal weight loss and maintain it.

I will only eat under optimum conditions.

I will eat only when I am hungry.

I will eat slowly.

I will not hide food.

I will eat while sitting down in a calm environment.

I affirm my ability to stay on course so that I can manifest on the outside the perfection I am on the inside.

Change requires goal setting. Below you will find the basic format towards setting your goals and taking action.

Goal Setting
ULTIMATE GOAL (S):

While thinking is always good, in my mind it is never enough that is why I must ask you to put the pen to paper. There’s just something magical that happens when you write it out and see it in black and white. Write it down, make it happen. Date your piece of paper, and then write your goal(s) down in a general form. Reread what you just wrote. Looks good, but wait there’s more.

Now, the hard work begins the act of being specific this is more effort, because it involves making a commitment and writing a plan. What I mean here is think it out, get what it is you want to accomplish clear in your head and plan it on paper.

Okay, we’ll use your goal weight to illustrate the process. Let’s say you weigh 153 pounds, are a female of medium stature and desire to be at your ideal weight, which is around 118 pounds according to the American Medical Association’s Standard Weight for women. Let’s be real, you know you haven’t weighed 118 pounds since your wedding day. So, let’s be truthful and dig deep to figure out what exactly it is that you want.

Try starting out by asking yourself the following question. Do I want to be healthy and happy or do I want to be trying to get healthy while being miserable? I think the first. Okay, we’ve established that a 118 pounds for you right now in your life is unrealistic and isn’t going to happen. What we now have to determine is, what is your ideal weight, in your mind. The first part of setting any goal is to realize what it is that you wish to accomplish and then confronting yourself with realism. Let’s begin this process logically. So, the first thing you need to do is ask yourself what can I live with?

Okay, let’s say 130 pounds, because you weighed that up until two springs ago. Then one day in May you got a glimpse of your behind in a mirror and was forced to confront the fact that doughnuts and pizza have taken over your rear. Wow, major reality check! You strip yourself naked and look at yourself in front of the mirror for the first time in a very long time and wonder where you went. You are appalled and utterly disgusted with yourself. As a matter of fact, you are so upset you decide to lose weight. You don’t know what to do. You pout a little, maybe even cry a little, beat yourself up, and complain a lot. You get mad at your significant other, because he or she failed to mention the fact that you were carrying a wide load. You lash out at your kids becausethey insist on Toll House Chocolate Chip cookies, and you chew your best friend out for not saying anything. Okay, enough is enough! It’s time to take action! That’s exactly what we’re about to do. Let’s get started, grab a pen, tablet, journal, or just a plain piece of paper and start getting with it.

Something to Think About:

The great end of life is not knowledge but action. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
Getting Started

Write as follows: I, ___________________ weigh _________ and desire to weigh _________. I shall accomplish this by:
1) I shall admit that I need help and make an appointment with some one that can help me and force me to be accountable.
2) I shall go into the kitchen and clean out the junk food in my cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer, call the food bank and donate it.
3) I shall accomplish my goal by taking the advice of my counselor, nutritionist, or weight loss coach and buy the foods on the grocery list.
4) I shall not assume perfection from myself and I shall realize that losing this weight is going to take diligence, patience and time.
5) I shall lose my weight by drinking my water, eating on schedule and eating what is on my program.
6) I shall practice better eating habits and welcome meal times as events and opportunities for conversation and socialization.
7) I shall eat only to fuel my body and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
8) I shall find an exercise buddy and establish an exercise routine.
9) I shall do my relaxation and positive oral self talk exercises daily.
10) I shall make a conscious effort to do a random act of kindness daily for a friend or stranger.
11) I shall avoid negative situations and negative people.
12) I shall celebrate my accomplishments at the end of the day by doing something positive for myself, like reading, watching a movie, getting my nails done, etc.
13) I shall practice breathing exercises three (3) times a day. I think you get the point, however, because this goal will take a lot of time and hard work you need to break it down into baby steps, so you can have some immediate gratifications. Here’s what I’d like you to do, turn the page and read about mini goals.

Something to Think About:

Everything big starts little. ~ Brian Tracy

Mini Goals

Mini goals are easily obtainable, because they are done within short periods of time and do not create stress. They are goals, which allow us to stay focused and driven, because we can see some colors of the rainbow at the end of each day.
Here’s how to set your mini goals up. Ask yourself, what is it that you need to accomplish today to ensure you have a successful day. This can be one thing or as many as ten as long as they are realistic and easily obtainable. Make sure to prioritize, so you don’t get upset with yourself if you don’t complete everything on your list. These goals do not have to be related to your weight in any way. They can be simple tasks that gnaw at you just because they need to be tended to. After you accomplish one goal on the list, cross it out and move to the next. By the end of the day, you’ll more than likely notice some things weren’t completed. No worry, remember you prioritized so, and study the list and marvel in your accomplishments. Remember you have tomorrow, just simply move those that you didn’t get to, to the top of the to-do list or goal sheet and get over it.

Now, reward yourself with something pleasant that does not involve food like: a facial, a bath, a movie, or quiet time. Just take time out for you. See your feeling better already! Even though you have accomplished some mini goals, I must stress that you must never lose sight of your ultimate goal. As a matter of fact, I suggest you write your goal weight daily, and busy yourself by focusing on the mini goals. Before you know it you’ll have accomplished your ideal weight for you and be ready to stabilize and move on with another big goal in your life. Remember always be real, be honest, and celebrate your accomplishments.

Something to Think About:

Nothing has any power over me other than that which I give it through my conscious thoughts. ~ Anthony Robbins

One More Thing About Goals
When setting goals, do not forget to make physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual goals. I find by doing this it keeps me more grounded and aware of the world around me. It also provides me with the opportunities to think about other aspects in my life, so I do not become obsessed with one area. It allows me to be more real with myself and helps to provide me with more clarity and balance. So, think about the things that hold you back, that frighten you, your saboteurs, the obstacles and figure out how to walk through them, get by them, and get rid of them. For example, if you’re afraid of heights, go to a gym, do some rock climbing and rejoice after you ring the bell. If you’re afraid of water, start swimming lessons. Now, that you’ve begun to take action, it is time to start bringing in those other aspects with more diligence.

Something to Think About:

When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates. ~ Thomas S. Monson

Here are some suggestions that can be applied to living a P.I.E.S. life. You will see some of these ideas more than once. I just want you to remember how important it is to take care of all of you.

I will eat on schedule.
I will sit down to eat.
I will focus on what it is I am eating.
I will eat colorful and healthy carbohydrates.
I will enjoy the food.
I will exercise daily. (At least ½ hour)
I will be kind to myself and keep a peace of mind.
I will use relaxation and visualization techniques daily.
I will be grateful for the many miracles and blessing in my life.
I will see light in darkness.
I will read books that help empower me.
I will learn something new every day.

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Plasma Donations Put a Price on Human Life

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Reminiscent of a medical facility, this plasma center, built only a year before is brimming with white lab coats, face shields and medical gloves. The sound of Velcro and beeps from blood pressure machines and the whirring of hematostats as they separate blood and plasma fill the air.

The appearance is all so sterile and clinical, but the workers here are not medically certified, they are only required to have a high school diploma and all are trained by each other. Of the almost 70 workers in this building, besides the LPN nurses and the one RN, certified phlebotomists (medically trained personnel that collect blood, plasma and tissue samples from patients) are 10 % of the workforce here which is a crapshoot for professionalism in the taking of blood and plasma.

As the donors (people who give a voluntary gift of plasma) are processed through, their vitals are taken and their appearance assessed as per the companies standard operating procedures (SOP). 38% of those interviewed come because they need the money to help pay for food, rent or bills, 60 % donate because the money supplemented their vacations or spending money, the other 2 % came because they believed that they were “Saving Lives.” Most are not your typical college students, but instead housewives, part-time workers or the working poor.

Plasmapherisis (the removal, treatment, and return of blood plasma from blood circulation) began back in the 1940’s in order to harvest clotting agents by the pharmaceutical companies – now there are more than 500 donation centers in the United States and more being built every day.

The buying and selling of Blood and Plasma is a multi-billion dollar per year business. Plasma is more commercial than Blood and can not be synthetically replicated. In 1988, more than 21 years ago, the industry made over 2 billion dollars per year alone making the current numbers staggering, but incredibly secret.

US Federal regulation is more liberal than anywhere else in the world allowing up to 60 liters (127 pints) a year. The next highest producing country is Canada allowing only 15 liters per year, which is the recommendation from the World Health Organization. More than half of the plasma used in medicines worldwide is from the US.

While US donors are the source of 60% of the world’s plasma, foreign companies like huge mosquitoes, are the ones that control the product from Japan, West Germany, Austria and Canada, flying in to the US to puncture the blood and plasma supply and then fly the profits home to feed on them. Not only do foreign companies own the majority of plasma collection centers, the majority of plasma medications are also sold abroad as well.

There are two different types of plasma donations…the first is non-profit. The largest would be The American Red Cross. According to FDA regulations, truly donated plasma and blood, without any funds exchanging hands between the donor and the organization, is the only blood or plasma that can be transfused into humans. If an individual is paid any money at all, for their time or for their plasma, it can not be used to “Save Lives” per se. Because for-profit donation centers feed on the need or the greed of the economic world temperature, non-profit donation centers are suffering. When non-profit donation centers suffer, then those who need plasma: burn, shock or trauma victims go without. Those looking to make a humanitarian donations should be donating blood and plasma at non-profit donation centers like the American Red Cross.

Donations that are “paid” for are sold to drug and research companies and with the economic downturn of 2007-2009, plasma donation centers are on the rise with one of the largest Austrian Pharmaceutical backed donation centers achieving a 19% rise in stock prices within a quarter while other markets were plummeting.

The ethical question of Plasma Donation comes at a cost. Organ donation is not an unusual thing, but bodily “donation” that is suppose to help and not hinder human survival is questionable when big business gets involved, and for-profit donation of blood and plasma is very big business.

Plasma that is donated to drug and research companies is refined down and made into medicines that “Save Lives”. What is the cost of those medicines to those that would die without them? $50,000.00 to $80,000.00 per year, which can really change the slogan, “We Save Lives” to “We Cant Afford to Live”. Those without insurance or government funded backing can not afford the medications or treatments and without those “donated” treatments, die. Most are government funded solutions, which means tax payers, donors or non-donors, are paying to treat those that would die without the treatments that are suppose to be a voluntary gift…so the saying, “Give until it hurts” may be more applicable.

For-profit donation centers started targeting college students in the 1970’s to improve the quality of the plasma supply. Companies speculated that college students should be healthier than the average population. In 1999 a study was conducted by Ohio University which found that university plasma donors were not as healthy as once thought. Paid donors are three times more likely than non-donors and four times more likely then Red Cross donors to drink alcohol five or more times a week. One eighth of non-donors, one quarter of Red Cross Donors to one third of paid donors smoke tobacco. Consumption of toxins or unhealthy lifestyle is not the only issue at hand today, body piercings, tattoos and branding are other issues that pose unhealthy donation bases as well. Body art is not always visible and unless confessed to, can not always be subject to scrutiny by the donation center.

For profit donation centers will pay $8.00 -$20.00 dollars for the first donation and then to encourage the donor to come back, will pay a higher price for the second donation within the seven day period.

Depending on the weight of the individual, the donation center will take 690mL to 880mL per donation. The 880mL bottles bring a price of anywhere from $300.00 to $1,700.00 when sold to the Pharmaceutical companies. If there is anything wrong with the plasma, if it’s hemolysised (infused with red blood cells) or if the plasma is lipemic (excess fat within the plasma) the plasma is sold to veterinarian companies and bring a lesser price for the donation center.

Plasma donation was worth approximately 4.5 billion dollars in 2007. Today there are approximately 1.5 to 2 million donors worldwide and is expected to grow significantly in the struggling economy of 2009.

Because of the rapid growth within the industry, corporations train their workforce to take the donations, paying an average of $10.00 per hour. The workforce usually does not have medical certification or medical training unless they are one of the 8 LPN’s or RN’s that are hired. A licensed medical doctor covers the center with his license, but he is rarely seen on the floor of the center. He comes in maybe once a week to sign charts and watch vitals being taken once on those being trained and then he is off again, taking only his cut of the centers profits. The corporate training is not done by the LPN’s or RN or even by the doctor, it is done by regular employees that do not have medical certification or license.

Corporate training consists of reading of Standard Operating Procedures in a conference room for several hours, sometimes days, then you are put out on the floor with a trainer to watch him/her go through the motions. If you have an efficient trainer, then you can process with professionalism, but if you do not, then most Medical Historians (Someone who takes vitals, transcribed medical information and does basic phlebotomy) struggle and their bedside manner, technique and record keeping will leave much to be desired and the donors do not get the care that they may need.

In this center, processing time is a task master. This center processed 570 donors in one day with an average of 390 customers a day. From the time donors check in with the receptionist until they scan out they are timed. Time is money in this industry. When doing vitals, the Medical Historians are given a maximum of 1 minute 21 seconds to complete the processing of the donor and sending them out to the phlebotomy floor for the donation which is not much time to practice accuracy. There is no time to check your gloves for contamination issues such as plasma, mucus or blood, so donors are subject to cross-contamination every time they come into the center. Company policy states that gloves should only be changed when they are contaminated with blood, torn, cut or every two and one-half hours.

That is to save time between donors and the crack of the whip comes from the managers as they wait with stop-watches and pink slips over their white coated slave labor force. The Medical Historians are moving so fast in order to keep from getting fired that there were 2 contaminations of workers within 2 months…both from filled but broken capillary tubes that were shoved into the workers skin through their gloves or through their lab coats and scrubs and into their skin. One contamination happened when a Medical Historian tried to pull a hair out of her mouth and realized that she had just consumed the previous donors blood. Donors have to ask specifically to have the Medical Historians “change your gloves” before they are allowed to do it.

Phlebotomists on the floor are moving just as fast. They have one minute to clean, find the vein and stick the donor. They can stick 3 times, twice per arm unless there is a loss of red blood cells or the donor is in danger and needing saline, then they can stick the third time for emergencies. This causes the likelihood of Hematomas (Blood that collects under the skin or in an organ) for the donors, large bruises over 3 inches and tender areas on the arm. Sometimes, because a donor has to be stuck twice, both arms result in hematomas. Donors have to heal up for several weeks before they can return to donate, which makes the donation process an unreliable source of income for anyone.

When this center is running at full gear, processing 570 donors per day, most who work an 8 hour shift are not allowed to take lunches and sometimes not allow to take bathroom breaks. The pace is fast and furious and as soon as the donors are processed and the plasma is back in the lab, they tear down the used sets and get ready for the next donor. Used sets can be dangerous, they are suppose to be heat sealed but sometimes if there is equipment failure, the tubing doesn’t get sealed completely and when the phlebotomist pulls the tubes off the machines, plasma can splash up and out into the face, unprotected arms and saturate clothing. The Personal Protective Equipment required by OSHA doesn’t always cover everything it needs to cover, especially since Personal Protective Equipment is not fitted or trained on, so the workers are in constant hazard of contamination, which happened at least once within a 3 month period of time in this center. There are not only hazards to the Employees, but to the donors as well in this atmosphere. Because the center is trying to fill beds as soon as possible, sometimes beds are not cleaned before the donors sit down and donors can find themselves sitting in the blood of the last donor.

There are 22 Right-to-Work states in the US, which means that in order to receive lunch and bathroom breaks, they have to be contractual or within Union Guidelines, if they are not, the Department of Labor can not enforce bathroom breaks or Lunches for the workers. Of the 22 Right-to-Work states, plasma centers flood at least 13 of those states, and build fewer plasma centers in non-right to work states.

Employees have a hard 8 to 10 hour shift in front of them, not only working long hours without breaks, but working in a precise and fast paced environment as well and without the certified medical training that is desired.

Because they do not have the training and because the bottom line pushes ethics, sometimes shortcuts are taken. When the plasma is delivered to the lab, the lab tech has only 30 minutes to process all those bottles. If the bottle is leaking, that bottle has to be thrown out because it is air contaminated, if the bottles take longer then 30 minutes to process before being put in the storage freezer, they are thrown out, a loss of a lot of money. What has happened in the past is that the lab tech will push the bottles back over into more time to process, or the lab tech will process an air contaminated bottle and just wipe it down, or instead of taking samples from each of the plasma bottles as required by FDA, they will open one bottle and take all the samples from that one bottle…because it saves time. These infractions can close a center, but only if it is caught and reported to the FDA, which questions the purity and usability of the plasma in the system and poses the question of contamination of medications as well.

Workers who stay in this business have after 3 months suffer from foot problems, back problems, hip problems, headaches, varicose veins and neck problems that are not covered by Workman’s Comp and the conditions are not covered by OSHA. This doesn’t include the possibility of contamination that may render them with HIV, Hepatitis or other communicable diseases. These are long lasting ailments and conditions with long lasting effects. Although there are only a few that stay in this field longer than 6 months, Supervisory positions are no better.

Supervisors have demanding jobs as well. They oversee the operations to maintain not only FDA standards but also the Company’s SOP (Standard Operating Procedures). Supervisors not only man the course of Medical Historians, but also phlebotomists on the floor and incoming data entry. A supervisor must be trained and tested on all aspects of phlebotomy and medical history as well as incoming data. If the Medical Historians and Phlebotomy work 8 to 10 hour shifts without lunch or bathroom breaks, then the supervisor works 12 hour shifts with the same conditions and with the added responsibility of catching all non-conforming events that may give the center a Quality Incident Report that, depending on the severity, may be reported to the FDA if it effects the health of the public.

When new donors come through the door, they are required to read a “New Donor” booklet, which has in it all the side effects, what to expect and some of the documentation that they will be required to sign. From the time they check in until they are done reading the book, even the donors are timed, up to 10 minutes to read their packet of legal documents. After they are done reading, they are asked for two forms of identification, usually a current driver’s license and social security card will be sufficient. If the driver’s license is not current or an address is not current, then a piece of mail that is dated less than 60 days can be used to verify the address. Social Security must be verified by Social Security Card, current Tax Information or Pay stub.

Plasma donors are usually not aware of side effects and most likely told that plasma donations are safe in the long term…the reality is that 7% of the human population has an anaphylactic reaction to sodium citrate or saline of which they will need intravenous medications immediately. If they do not receive treatment within minutes, the reaction is fatal.

In this center, we have at least 5 to 6 lesser reactions a day, sometimes more. Immediate side effects can be fainting, bleeding, edema at the venipuncture site, nausea, vomiting, drop in blood pressure, faintness, dizziness, blurred vision, coldness, sweating or abdominal cramps.

If allowed to progress the side effects can be tingling around the mouth or in the limbs, muscle cramps, metallic taste in the mouth and further reactions can lead to irregular heartbeat or seizures.

After prolonged donations, 12% of donors will have a lowered level of antibodies, causing an inadequate immune system response and the probability of increased infection or disease for the rest of their lives.

Plasma donations can save lives, especially when given freely and as a humanitarian gesture…drug and research companies would like the public to believe that they are the good guys in order to increase the bottom line in this Multi-billion dollar business, profiting on the generosity of some and the desperation and greed of others, treating donors like Cash Cows grazing on the bottom line.

For-profit donations feed a fire-storm of ethical questions such as, “if selling human organs is immoral, unethical and illegal, then what makes selling Plasma any different?” “If harvesting a human organ and holding it ransom to those that can pay the price to live, if selling it to the highest bidder is wrong, then isn’t harvesting plasma and selling it to those that would die without it the same thing?” What is the cost of a human life? With 15 million donations a year, the plasma industry looks the donor gift horse in the mouth everyday and laughs all the way to the bank. For-Profit plasma companies have a win-win situation…donors give their plasma or practically give their plasma to the industry and the blood sucking, plasma hoarding corporations can turn around and charge $50,000.00 to $80,000.00 a year to allow a person to live, long term cost projections are at $3.7 million to $5.9 million for medications that allow one person to live a normal life…and now we can put a price on what a human life is worth to the plasma industry.

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Finance

How to Pick the Right Auto Body Repair Shops

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Some of the biggest questions people run into deal with the repairing their vehicles. Many times people are confused and don’t know how to go about picking the right auto body shop. What process should I run through in picking the right vehicle repair shop? What questions should I consider?

What value am I getting for my Auto Body Repair?

The most important question in determining what auto body repair shops is: What value am I getting in repairing my vehicle here? Many body shops out there are looking for unsuspecting customers and ways to pad their bottom dollar. A lot of times body shops will offer the lowest price because they know this will attract customers. Unfortunately, from a customer standpoint choosing the lowest price is not always the way to go.

Daniel T., Vice President of National Auto Parts, in Dallas, Texas, concurs that doing this will only create more car issues in the future. “Repairing your vehicle is always about what you get in return. These days, body shops continue to push the limits of their customers to see how much more they can get away with. At this point the body shop knows exactly what they’re doing. Is the customer to know the better?”

What can I do to protect myself?

A solution that’s been picking up a lot of traction recently is hiring a third party to assist you in this area. There are a few good car crash consultants out there that will help you figure out what’s being put on your vehicle and how the vehicle’s being repaired. When looking for a good car crash consultant selecting one that gives you a lot of insight on the repair and product being used is imperative. Using these specialists provides visibility in an area with many questions.

Another way is looking for a detailed report of the work being put into the vehicle and reviewing the warranty the shops offers. When you get into an accident, every insurance gives you an assessment of the damages, take a look at the sheets and read over to see what product they’ve listed for use. Auto Body Shops sporadically will attempt to use cheaper parts to make more money. Requesting the use of what’s listed on your insurance assessment is not unusual and will help protect against this. In regards to warranties, most legitimate body shops will have an extensive warranty and stand by their work.

Where should I look for the body shop?

Driving to the nice plush auto body repair shops off the highway might be convenient, but doing this often drives up the price of the job. “All businesses have costs and are in it to make money. With this assumption, you have to believe any cost a business incurs will be passed onto their consumer,” Daniel says. Hanging off the highway, and looking more in-city gives any prospective client a better chance to keep labor costs low. Prices per hour for labor can vary wildly from $30-$100 for the same type of work. Don’t misunderstand the shop may not look the best, but you can be guaranteed going this route will provide good value.

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Finance

Proximate Cause – Mitigation

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The insured should mitigate the loss insured, where possible. A failure to do so might enable the insurer to say that the loss was not proximately caused by an insured peril but rather by the fault of the insured. However, in doing so he might increase the loss, or cause a loss which is not covered by the policy. He will be able to recover if he acted reasonably and the loss can still be directly linked to the insured risk, so that he has not taken any steps which constitute a navus actus interueniens.

– A storm blows down the gabled wall of a timber building. The falling wall breaks the electrical wiring which short circuits and sparks, causing a fire in the timber building. The fire brigade use water hoses to put out the fire and cool neighbouring buildings. However, the water causes damage to the unburnt contents of the timber building and the neighbouring buildings. There is a direct line of causation between the storm and the water damage (Stanley v. Western Insurance Co. (1868) LR 3 Ex 71).

– A fire starts in a building and the insured throws furniture out of a window in an attempt to save it. The furniture is damaged on impact with the ground.

Positive action by the insured to avoid or mitigate a loss does not generally break the chain of causation, as long as he acts reasonably. Thus the proximate cause of the loss is fire. Even where the policy excludes cover for property removed from the premises, the exclusion will not apply where the insured property is removed for its own safety (Marsdenw. City & County Assurance Co. [1866] LR 1 CP 232). Similarly, if the property is stolen shordy afterwards, the loss is covered by the fire insurance (Levy v. Baillie (1831) 7 Bing 349) unless the insurer could demonstrate that the insured acted unreasonably in not taking steps to prevent theft, or to minimise other damage, e.g. from the weather, as the theft or weather damage would be a new act which breaks the chain.

– A fire causes a fire alarm to go off. Employees leave the building but the production process in operation cannot be delayed or stopped without damaging the goods. The proximate cause of any damage to the goods resulting from a stoppage in the production process would be fire. If, however, the fire alarm was rung falsely, or there was no reason for the employees to leave the building, the proximate cause of the damage to the goods being processed would not be fire, as the risk itself has not commenced (Watson & Sons Ltd. v. Firemen’s Fund Insurance Co. of San Francisco [1922] 2 KB 355). The proximate cause of damage caused by departure after a false fire alarm is the negligence of the person setting it off. This will always be a question of fact.

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