ANA Overlooks Dallas Buyer’s Club in Honoring Latest Oscar Movies

Several friends belong to the American Nurses Association (ANA) and one forwards their emails to me in hopes I would change my mind and join. Well the latest posting from the Government Affairs Team caught my eye with a cute little play on words using the recently honored Oscar-nominated movies. They found a cute connection to nurses for all but one….

Then they totally dissed The Dallas Buyers Club stating, “P.S. Dallas Buyers Club. That one simply didn’t fit in.” Perhaps no one would have noticed if they simply ended without this post scrip. But the fact that they had to say it simply didn’t fit in leaves one to wonder why and how?

HIV and AIDS have been a huge part of the health care world for decades now. How can you not find a way to include this title? With better options and medication cocktails it’s definitely not the death sentence it once was. Many nurses today fear contracting MRSA more than seemingly ever feared HIV or AIDS. Safe sex and needle precautions have almost become a thing of the past and this non-challant attitude can really come back to bite us all if we are not careful. Yes, precautionary measures exist today to protect us, but if we forget why for example, we have sharps precautions and needleless systems we become complacent and dangerous!

The fact that desperate people had to turn to such underground means as a “buyer’s club” to obtain the education, information and medications to help them live even a few more days or weeks is not something we should shut our eyes and ears to. This need for subculture continues to a smaller extent today as patients seek care and treatment that isn’t approved and available for multiple rare diseases.

For a simple example: there is evidence that IV vitamin C can help prevent the side effects and promote the effectiveness of many chemo therapies. There simply isn’t the money to support the research because it’s not an expensive new drug to discover and patent. Big pharmacy denies these benefits to cancer sufferers all over the world.

How can the ANA diss such an important movie? Because it’s about the subculture of health care in the 1980’s?  Is it because the story also encompassed LGBT ( lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) lifestyles as well? The very possibility that they are in violation of their own ethics code is mind blowing. What direction is the ANA trying to take the nursing profession now?  There are so many valuable lessons to remember and learn from this era to help us continue to move forward in providing quality care without judgment and discrimination. Are we moving backwards here?

The title of this news reporting “When Nurses Talk, Washington Listens” sends shivers down my spine to think that bias and discrimination appear to be being given a voice by the ANA. We are here to provide care to every living soul that crosses into our care pathway and not to pass judgement and discriminate. We fought hard to make sure HIV and AIDS patients had access to the same care and nurses who were scared and biased had the education to help them understand how to give care safely or find other avenues to pursue.

There are so many possible “fits” for a relevant play on words in infection control, hematology nursing, forensic nursing,  informatics, just for starters. How did they not find a way to honor this movie in their salute? Instead they choose to make a point of leaving it out.