Gitmo is having a hunger strike problem:

As of Tuesday morning, 100 of the 166 prisoners at Guantánamo were officially deemed by the military to be participating in the hunger strike, with 21 “approved” to be fed the nutritional supplement Ensure through tubes inserted through their noses.

“We will not allow a detainee to starve themselves to death, and we will continue to treat each person humanely,” said Lt. Col. Samuel House, the prison spokesman.

The military’s response to the hunger strike has revived complaints by medical ethics groups that contend that doctors — and nurses under their direction — should not force-feed prisoners who are mentally competent to decide not to eat.

Last week, the president of the American Medical Association, Dr. Jeremy A. Lazarus, wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel saying that any doctor who participated in forcing a prisoner to eat against his will was violating “core ethical values of the medical profession.”

“Every competent patient has the right to refuse medical intervention, including life-sustaining interventions,” Dr. Lazarus wrote.

He also noted that the A.M.A. endorses the World Medical Association’s Tokyo Declaration, a 1975 statement forbidding doctors to use their medical knowledge to facilitate torture. It says that if a prisoner makes “an unimpaired and rational judgment” to refuse nourishment, “he or she shall not be fed artificially.”

Every dollar spent at a locally owned business generates two-to-four times the economic development impacts as a dollar spent on an equivalent non-local business.

Forbes piece on the amazing power of spending locally.  (via poptech)

It’s not only healthy for you to eat fresh and local food, it’s healthy for your neighborhood’s economy. 

And speaking of a healthy community, I’m speaking tonight at an event in Williamsburg that’s raising awareness about asbestos removal at the Domino Sugar Factory. It looks like there are some very shady removal tactics happening at the site putting the community at risk of breathing more asbestos fibers than we should be. The local issues in your immediate neighborhood where you work and play are by far the most important issues to get involved in.  

“Ok for Al Jazeera to come tomorrow to the office?”

Cheryl, the co-founder of Sherpaa, just hit me up on Skype to ask me this question. I’ll chalk this up to “things I never thought would ever happen when I finished my residency nearly 6 years ago.”


Meet Dr. Ezra Feinberg. Ezra is our clinical psychologist. We’ve come to re-think the standard $250, 50-minute weekly therapy session. Sometimes you only need a 15 minute chat to feel safe and comforted. Sometimes you may need visits over the next month with a therapist to help you get through a breakup, or you may need intensive therapy with a psychiatrist for longer to help you overcome a serious issue. All our clients are different, so we’re envisioning ways to make mental healthcare work best and most affordably for you. Ezra will guide you to exactly who and what you need.

What’s your favorite thing about being a psychologist?

Working one-on-one with patients is definitely my favorite thing about being a psychologist. The therapeutic process is intense and challenging, but helping people to improve their lives is the reason I got into it in the first place.

What makes NYC special to you?

It’s the energy. There’s no other city with this kind of energy, and it brings out the character in everyone. It’s also a pain in the ass, but I’ll never leave New York.

Besides being a psychologist, how do you spend your time?

Time with friends and family of course, and lots of time reading, seeing films, listening to music, playing music, exercise, and eating delicious meals prepared by the various culinary geniuses in my life.

Tell us about your decision to become a psychologist.

It hit me shortly after I graduated from college. I thought “that is something I could do” which was immediately followed by the thought “but not right now.” It would be another five years before I entered my doctoral program. I knew it was a big decision and I wanted to be ready.

We all know healthcare is broken. What is it about Sherpaa that makes
you feel like you’re part of the solution?

The “care” part of our current healthcare system has gone unaccounted for. By providing access to doctors and specialists right away Sherpaa makes people feel cared for, and feeling cared for is a crucial step in becoming healthy, no matter what the ailment.


After ‘Music for Airports,’ Brian Eno turns to hospital soundscapes

Brian Eno, the former member of Roxy Music widely credited with inventing ambient music, is working on light and sound installations designed to provide a “healing environment” inside hospitals. It’s a fitting setting; Eno’s ambient work, as exemplified by albums such as Ambient I: Music for Airports, is said to have been inspired by his own experience of spending an extended period in hospital following a car crash.