Thursday, July 26, 2012



If you choose to put your hand on a hot stove your get burned.  There is an immediate reinforcer not to do this.  If you use drugs the immediate reinforcer is generally positive.  You feel a sense of peace, euphoria, well being or just numb from the world.  Once your hooked then the negative consequences set in but your too hooked to care.  In fact, you start to believe that the negative consequences are not so bad and until a bottom is hit (sometimes it takes hitting the bottom over and over) change will not occur.

There are many daily decisions that can fit into this category.  Pornography, food, sex, alcohol, language, attitude, attire... the list could go on.  If there were immediate negative consequences to these behaviors then people would not do them.

When an adult contracts AIDS for the most part and informed choice was made.  A risk was taken and consequences resulted.  The spread of AIDS is sad and those who have HIV deserve treatment.  However, how do we measure how much attention and money is given to a particular disease?  When the government gives $254 million to AIDS research from a finite budget that is getting smaller and only gives $26 to ALL pediatric cancers, what message is that sending?  I believe it is sending the message that children are not our priority.  Children and their disease are not worth looking into.  Did any child ever make an informed choice to get cancer?  Did risky behavior result in a child being diagnosed with cancer?  Did a child's risky behavior or lifestyle cause him/her to be diagnosed with cancer.

Every day 46 people die from AIDS and everyday 4 kids die from cancer in the United States.  I guess that is how the National Cancer Institute (NCI) makes there funding decisions.  

A few comments and questions:  AIDS is not a cancer but money is taken from a budget designated just for cancer research.  No new drugs have been developed for pediatric cancers for around 20 years.  Funding for pediatric cancers have gone down every year since 2003.  Is an innocent child's life less important than an adults who made and informed decision?

I say instead of relying on statistics to decide funding for diseases lets rely more on our heart.  This may upset people, but I believe those who have made informed choices and get diseases deserve less funding than those who are innocent victims.  As we look to fund research for disease part of the equation needs to be related to lifestyle and choices.  There are natural consequences to things and this would be a natural consequence to making wrong choices.  What do you think?      

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