Busted Halo
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Kate Baggott :
7 article(s)

Canadian Kate Baggott is a freelance writer who lives in Germany.
December 24th, 2008
A mother, a son and grieving at Christmas
I didn’t want my children to know. They were waiting for a baby to be placed in a manger. The doll, the placeholder for our Lord, symbolized all that they had learned about love during Advent. My toddler daughter was being coddled by a little Polish girl, only a year or so older who told her, “Jesus was once a little baby just like you.” My son was hanging out around the life-size crèche with the older boys. All of the children were staring with huge lemur-like eyes in that way unique to children on Christmas Eve. My thoughts were more morose. While we were attending Christmas Eve children’s services, several time zones and an ocean away, my siblings were beside our grandmother’s bed…
August 24th, 2006
Who's Helping Whom: The Catholic Church and big pharma
The dignity of life must come before profit, is the official position of The Catholic Church on all matters related to medical care. The Catholic community plays a role in all medical and pharmaceutical-related issues both globally and locally. Global Position Internationally, in 2001 the Holy See presented its position paper on drug costs to The World Trade Organization, Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, the official body that oversaw the patent-infringement objections against the production of generic drugs. In response to the devastation of AIDS, malaria and TB, The Vatican called for the development of methods that would allow the pharmaceutical industry to distribute…
August 23rd, 2006
A Hopeful Alternative: The threat of neglected diseases and the first not-for-profit pharmaceutical company
What would a pharmaceutical company actually look like if it were motivated by conscience rather than profit? While the number of cosmetic procedures in America has increased by 444% over the past five years there has been a lack of focus on how deadly tropical diseases are being treated. Most of these diseases in fact, can be filed under N, for neglected. A spokesperson for De Novo Pharmaceuticals, a drug design company based in the UK told Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), “The risk/benefit analysis, as far as shareholders are concerned, is not in favor of research into tropical diseases.” There just isn’t profit to be made in developing treatments for conditions like Chagas…
August 22nd, 2006
On the Frontlines of the Epidemic: Interview with Father Gérard Tonque Lagleder
There is no cure for AIDS. Antiretroviaral (ARV) treatment, though, can prolong lives in the hopes that people with AIDS will survive until a cure is found, or failing that, at least until their children grow up. This survival that is the result of ongoing treatment is being realized in North America and Western Europe. In SubSahran Africa, however, ARV treatment has been out of reach of most people with AIDS. Five years ago, the situation was becoming desperate. In a 2001 editorial, America magazine said, “the five major international pharmaceutical companies offered to sell the triple-combination therapies to governments in developing nations at reduced prices. Negotiations with individual governments,…
August 21st, 2006
Big Pharma and the Rest of Us
They are legal drugs. These pills, injections, tablets and infusions help determine both the quality of life and the proximity of death. They are the difference between sickness and health. Prescription drugs have become an enormous social issue for our time. No other subject illustrates more profoundly humanity’s greatest triumphs and failures. Triumphant in that scientists and physicians continue to achieve a better understanding of the body and mind. Every day, there is new potential to effectively treat a host of ailments. But human weakness is evident in this pursuit too. Society continues to allow people to die of easily-treated sicknesses for the simple reason that they don’t have…
February 1st, 2006
A New Documentary Shows Shocking Truth of Flesh Trade
Since the fall of the Berlin wall roughly 8 million Eastern European women have gone missing. Most have been trafficked into sexual slavery in North America, Asia and the Middle East. In the former Soviet Bloc, salaries average the equivalent of $2200 a year. Traffickers find many women willing to risk everything for the opportunity to earn a better life and support their families from abroad. Instead of the promised jobs as nurses, caregivers to the elderly and nannies in first world countries, these women find themselves sold, beaten, drugged and raped before being forced into a life of prostitution. After drugs and arms smuggling, human trafficking is the second largest and most lucrative organized crime.…
December 15th, 2005
A Look at Intercultural Relationships
On Christmas Eve, after returning from the Catholic children’s service, my family and I will sit down to a dinner of 7 vegetarian dishes. The main course will be a very modest, but nourishing bean soup called bop, a daily staple across much of the Balkan Peninsula. This plain menu is taken from my husband’s Bulgarian Orthodox tradition. So is the centerpiece on the table, an icon of the Madonna with Child, surrounded by candles representing friends and family who are both near and, in our hearts at least, never very far away. On Christmas Day, we will partake of a turkey or goose dinner more in keeping with the feasts I grew up with. The fridge will be so full of leftovers that we probably won’t cook…
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