Fw: Fw: Dr. Claudia Jensen..Re: US CA: Column: Doctor Put Her Own Life on the Line for Patients

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—– Original Message —–
From: "Cher Neufer" <cneufer@neo.rr.com>
To: <northohio@norml.net>
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2007 12:37 PM
Subject: NON: Fw: Dr. Claudia Jensen..Re: US CA: Column: Doctor Put Her Own
Life on the Line for Patients

>> Dr. Claudia Jensen was the outstanding doctor who testified at
>> Congressman
>> Souder’s House of Committee of Government Reform hearing on medical
> marijuana
>> where the difficult issues of children was brought up.
>>
>> She also was interviewed on MSNBC by Keith Olberman where she effectively
>> talked about marijuana kids and ADD. A you tube video is found at
>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj72e5q61Fs
>>
>> Our friend Dr. Tom O’Connell’s posted the following on Dr. Jensen at
>> http://www.doctortom.org/archives/2007/09/claudia_jensen.html
>>
>> Also see
>> http://www.medicalmarijuanaprocon.org/BiosInd/Jensen.htm
>>
>> rrr
>>
>> On Sunday 25 November 2007 08:59:58 am Jenni wrote:
>> > Newshawk: Richard Lake
>> >
>> > Pubdate: Sun, 25 Nov 2007
>> > Source: Ventura County Star (CA)
>> > Copyright: 2007 The E.W. Scripps Co.
>> > Contact: letters@venturacountystar.com
>> > Website: http://www.venturacountystar.com/
>> > Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/479
>> > Author: Colleen Cason
>> > Note: The transcript of Claudia Jensen’s testimony before the House
>> > Committee on Government Reform: Subcommittee on Criminal Justice,
>> > Drug Policy and Human Resources is on line at
>> > http://www.mapinc.org/people/Claudia+Jensen
>> > Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmj.htm (Marijuana – Medicinal)
>> >
>> > DOCTOR PUT HER OWN LIFE ON THE LINE FOR PATIENTS
>> >
>> > The easy way is to follow the path of least resistance. But that was
>> > not Dr. Claudia Jensen’s way.
>> >
>> > She trod the harder, rockier route taken by those whose conscience
>> > won’t let them coast.
>> >
>> > The Ventura physician’s good fight ended Sept. 15 when she died of
>> > breast cancer at age 52 in a Mission Viejo hospital.
>> >
>> > She left behind two daughters — ages 17 and 20 — hundreds of
>> > patients and a legacy of doing what her heart told her to do.
>> >
>> > In 1996, Jensen was an early critic of the patient care delivered by
>> > HMOs. Eventually, she lost her job after she questioned the quality
>> > of care offered by the medical group she worked for. Believing she
>> > was let go unfairly, she was the first doctor to test a then-new
>> > state statute forbidding retaliation against physicians who advocate
>> > for their patients.
>> >
>> > She could have settled, but she took it all the way to trial. She
>> > lost, and it cost her dearly financially.
>> >
>> > She then found a new cause, one she believed in even more passionately.
>> >
>> > In the words of political columnist Molly Ivins, another brave soul
>> > who died this year of breast cancer, Jensen chose to "raise more hell."
>> >
>> > Educated at the University of Arkansas College of Medicine and an
>> > instructor at USC Keck School of Medicine, Jensen became a proponent
>> > of the use of medical marijuana — legal in this state since 1996.
>> >
>> > She even dared to advocate the use of pot by teenagers. Specifically
>> > teenagers with attention deficient disorders so severe their lives
>> > were in tatters. Cannabis, she believed, was far more effective and
>> > safe for ADD than the more commonly prescribed Ritalin.
>> >
>> > And on April Fools’ Day 2004, she was asked to testify before a less
>> > than simpatico Congressional subcommittee about her unconventional
>> > approach.
>> >
>> > If the officials expected some aging hippie chick or slacker dudette,
>> > they were in for a surprise. She looked every bit the well-settled
>> > suburban woman.
>> >
>> > "I am the 49-year-old mother of two teenage daughters," she began her
>> > testimony.
>> >
>> > She explained the dosage could be monitored so patients would not be
>> > going through their days stoned.
>> >
>> > When asked how she knew cannabis worked, she replied, "because I
>> > listen to my patients."
>> >
>> > And so she did.
>> >
>> > "She was a caring, compassionate person who took the time to let you
>> > know you mattered," said Harold, a former patient who asked that his
>> > last name not be used.
>> >
>> > Compassionate, yes. A pushover, no.
>> >
>> > The Ventura man sought her out in 2001 when he was undergoing
>> > treatment with Interferon for the Hepatitis C he contracted through
>> > his years of drug abuse. She prescribed medical marijuana to ease his
>> > severe side effects but had his urine checked to make sure he had no
>> > other drugs in his system.
>> >
>> > Today, he said, he is 10 years clean and sober and free of the
>> > Hepatitis C because he was able to complete the rigorous treatment.
>> >
>> > With Jensen, the angel of mercy was in the details, said another
>> > patient, Dar — who also asked that his last name not be used.
>> >
>> > Disabled by severe back problems that prevented him from sleeping
>> > more than a couple of hours a night, he also sought out Dr. Jensen
>> > for a medical marijuana prescription. She prescribed the cannabis but
>> > insisted he change his lifestyle. She coached him to eat a healthier
>> > diet, follow through on his physical therapy and give up soda pop.
>> >
>> > "In this cattle-call world of medicine, I mattered to her. She was
>> > available to patients day and night," he said, adding that she would
>> > call him to check on his progress.
>> >
>> > Jensen never seemed to have time to talk about her own illness, Dar
> noted.
>> >
>> > And on Sept. 1, deep into her battle against cancer, she checked into
>> > the hospital with her briefcase and her laptop, prepared to keep up
>> > her practice from her bed.
>> >
>> > Her fiance, Bob Chade, thought the stay would be short. She just
>> > needed to be rehydrated and to start eating again.
>> >
>> > But she never made it out, said Chade, who has known her five years.
>> >
>> > Surrounded by her daughters Amani and Alia, she said she didn’t want
>> > to leave them.
>> >
>> > Chade encouraged her to go to sleep.
>> >
>> > It’s hard to know why some of us take the unconventional path.
>> >
>> > But if anyone could do it, said Chade, it was Claudia Jensen.
>> >
>> > "People who didn’t really know her thought she was the wacky weed
>> > doctor. But her colleagues trusted her because her knowledge of
>> > medicine was solid."
>> >
>> > I suppose some would say a marijuana proponent took the high road. In
>> > Jensen’s case, she certainly gave that phrase new meaning.
>
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