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ASAN Symposium on Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Autism Research

2 Dec

If I were local, I’d take the day off and go to this: ASAN Symposium on Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Autism Research. The event is December 10th, and there is more seating available now. But you have to register (it is free):

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, in conjunction with the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics, the Harvard Law Project on Disability and the UNESCO Bioethics Chair American Unit, is proud to invite you, to join us on December 10th for a Symposium on Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Autism Research at Harvard Law School. The free event will run from 9 AM to 3 PM at the Harvard Law School campus, Hauser Hall, Room 105.

Additional seating has become available. Please keep in mind that seating is still limited. Once these seats are taken, there will be no more available. If you are unable to get a seat or cannot make it to Massachusetts, the symposium will also be webcast live. Details to follow next week.

Topics covered will include prenatal testing, community participation in research methodologies, appropriate and inappropriate intervention goals and much more.

This symposium will serve a unique role in shedding light on ethics and values issues within the autism research community. By bringing together self-advocate and researcher participants, we hope this will serve as a starting point for meaningful dialogue between those conducting research on autism and the community of Autistic adults and youth. Confirmed participants include Administration on Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Sharon Lewis, ASAN President and IACC Public Member Ari Ne’eman, National Institute on Child Health and Human Developmental Director Alan Guttmacher, Harvard Law Professor Michael Stein, Paula Durbin-Westby, Emily Titon, Liz Pellicano, David Rose and many more.

This event is open to the general public without charge and is made possible by a grant from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities.
Get more information
Register Now!
I can’t make it
Please join us as we begin this exciting conversation. Space is limited, so please RSVP soon.

Sincerely,

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network

95 Disability Rights Groups Call on CMS to Issue HCBS Regulations

1 Dec

The announcement of this letter came to me through the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN).

“Dear Administrator Berwick:

On behalf of the National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA) and a wide variety of allied organizations supporting the mission and goals of the disability rights movement, we write to urge you to issue a Final Rule clarifying that Home and Community Based Services must not be delivered on the grounds of an institution, in a housing complex designed expressly around an individual’s diagnosis or disability, or in a setting that has the characteristics of an institution. The National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA) is a coalition of 14 leading national disability organizations led by individuals living with disabilities themselves and supported by grassroots constituencies living with disabilities in all states and the District of Columbia. The Alliance prides itself on serving as a leading voice for those with disabilities and actively supporting the expansion and quality of the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) program. It is in this spirit that we and our allies contact you to urge you to move swiftly to issue a Final Rule in line with CMS’ stated policy positions and the clear intent of the Medicaid HCBS program.

In April of this year, CMS published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (CMS-2296-P) clarifying the types of settings for which Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver funding could be utilized. The proposed regulation would have clarified that a HCBS setting “must be integrated in the community; must not be located in a building that is also a publicly or privately operated facility that provides institutional treatment or custodial care; must not be located in a building on the grounds of, or immediately adjacent to, a public institution; or, must not be a housing complex designed expressly around an individual’s diagnosis or disability, as determined by the Secretary…[and] must not have qualities of an institution, as determined by the Secretary. Such qualities may include regimented meal and sleep times, limitations on visitors, lack of privacy and other attributes that limit individual’s ability to engage freely in the community.”

We are writing to reiterate our support for CMS’s proposed definition of Home and Community Based Services outlined in CMS-2296-P, and to urge you to issue a Final Rule consistent with the principles laid out in your April NPRM. The integrity of the HCBS program is essential to protecting the rights of hundreds of thousands of Americans with disabilities who receive HCBS. Twenty-one years after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and twelve years after the Supreme Court’s Olmstead v. L.C. decision, it is imperative that CMS define what can and cannot be funded utilizing HCBS waiver dollars in specific and measurable terminology. Failure to do so would undercut efforts now being undertaken by both federal and state governments as well as advocates across the country to transition people with disabilities out of institutions and into the community in accordance with current law. Without a clear and sufficiently narrow definition of HCBS that delineates it from institutional settings, the effectiveness of deinstitutionalization efforts could be seriously hindered, leaving the door open to subjective interpretations by policymakers and the likelihood of wide-ranging and inconsistent applications of the rules. As such, we urge you to move swiftly to issue a Final Rule consistent with your April NPRM, defining appropriate and inappropriate usage of HCBS waiver dollars…”

Click below to read the full text of the letter and the names of the 95 signatory organizations.

Full NDLA Letter

NDLA Steering Committee Organizations

ADAPT
American Association of People with Disabilities
American Council of the Blind
Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Little People of America
National Association of the Deaf
National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery
National Council on Independent Living
National Federation of the Blind
Self Advocates Becoming Empowered
Not Dead Yet
United Spinal Association

Happy Birthday ASAN

16 Nov

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is celebrating it’s 5 year anniversary today. While it is too late to register for the event, below is the announcement they put out.

Please Join Us for
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network’s
5 Year Anniversary Celebration

Join us for a special celebration and fundraising event
The National Press Club in Washington, DC
Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011
6:30 – 9:00 pm
—-
1st Annual Award for
Exceptional Services to the Autistic Community

Kathryn Bjornstad and Corina Becker
Creators of Autistics Speaking Day

Award given to those who have helped to build the Autistic community through exceptional advocacy, ingenuity or service.

with Special Guest Commissioner Sharon Lewis, ADD
Honoree: Ms. Nancy Thaler, Executive Director, NASDDDS
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Alexa Posny, Assistant Secretary, SERS
Special Announcement: Ms. Subha V. Barry, Senior VP, Freddie Mac

Cocktails, hor d’oeuvres and dessert will be served.
Proceeds will support our advocacy work and programs for the coming year and allow us to continue working to empower disabled people across the country.

ASAN is a 501(c)(3) organization – Ticket amount above $50 and additional donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

http://www.autisticadvocacy.org

ASAN Symposium on Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Autism Research

16 Nov

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) is co-hosting a symposium on Ethical Legal and Social Implications of autism research. I wish I was local and could go see this. You can register to attend here.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, in conjunction with the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics, the Harvard Law Project on Disability and the UNESCO Bioethics Chair American Unit, is proud to invite you, to join us on December 10th for a Symposium on Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Autism Research at Harvard Law School. The free event will run from 9 AM to 3 PM at the Harvard Law School campus, Hauser Hall, Room 105. Topics covered will include prenatal testing, community participation in research methodologies, appropriate and inappropriate intervention goals and much more.

This symposium will serve a unique role in shedding light on ethics and values issues within the autism research community. By bringing together self-advocate and researcher participants, we hope this will serve as a starting point for meaningful dialogue between those conducting research on autism and the community of Autistic adults and youth. Confirmed participants include Administration on Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Sharon Lewis, ASAN President and IACC Public Member Ari Ne’eman, National Institute on Child Health and Human Developmental Director Alan Guttmacher, Harvard Law Professor Michael Stein, Paula Durbin-Westby, Emily Titon, Liz Pellicano, David Rose and many more.

This event is open to the general public without charge and is made possible by a grant from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities.
Get more information
Register Now!
I can’t make it
Please join us as we begin this exciting conversation. Space is limited, so please RSVP soon.

Sincerely,

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Judge Rotenberg Center banned from shocking new admissions

14 Nov

The Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) has is a special needs school in Massachusetts which employs electric shocks as part of its program on a subset of its students. This practice is controversial, to put it mildly.

With thanks to Kate Gladstone for bringing this to my attention, the JRC has been banned from including these aversives on future students.

The letter below is from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) Disability Rights International which goes into more detail.

JRC Banned from Shocking New Admissions

Dear Supporters,

This week we can celebrate a major victory against torture of people with disabilities in the United States. The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) adopted new regulations last week that greatly restrict the intentional use of pain as a form of treatment – including the use of electric shock, seclusion, and restraints on young children and adults with disabilities. As documented by a recent report by Disability Rights International (DRI), Torture Not Treatment, The Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC), based in Canton, Massachusetts, has used these practices, called “aversive treatment” for decades.

Facilities licensed by the DDS in Massachusetts can no longer subject new admissions to severe behavioral interventions including electric shock, long-term restraint, or aversives that pose risk for psychological harm — in other words, mainstays of JRC’s “treatment” program.US Report Cover

No other institution in the country – or the world, as far as we can tell – uses such barbaric practices. DRI’s investigation found that the pain caused by this is so severe and outside accepted professional norms, that these practices constitute nothing less than torture. By permitting such treatment, the United States violates its obligations under international law, as defined by the UN Convention Against Torture. DRI filed our report, Torture Not Treatment, in 2010 as an urgent appeal to the United Nations. The top official on torture at the United Nations agreed with DRI, and when asked by ABC Nightline if the practices were torture, he declared, “Yes…I have no doubts about it. It is inflicted in a situation where a victim is powerless…a child in the restraint chair, being then subjected to electric shocks, how more powerless can you be?”

We applaud Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on taking a courageous stand by issuing an executive order for the Massachusetts DDS to review their policies regarding electric shock and other severe aversives.

The resulting new policy puts an end to the use of JRC’s electric shocks on new admissions. But we can’t declare success yet. While hundreds of children will be spared from JRC’s behavioral experiments in the future, the new policies do not stop JRC from shocking and causing psychological damage to children already placed in the center. These children and young adults remain prisoners in a very dangerous environment. The center has been repeatedly investigated for suspicious deaths and physical abuse. JRC has been fined for identifying some clinicians hired by the school as psychologists, when in fact, they were not licensed psychologists. And as a result of an investigation into a case of abuse at the facility, JRC’s director was forced to resign earlier this year after being charged with misleading a grand jury about the investigation.

DRI is encouraged by the bold statement by the US National Council on Disabilities, a federal advisory body, which cited DRI’s report, as well as the international definition of torture, to call for the use of painful shock aversives to be brought to an end.

DRI urges the Department of Justice and the Obama Administration to fullfil its obgligations under the UN Convention Against Torture. DRI calls for a blanket ban on the use of electric shock as aversive treatment for children or adults with disabilities across the nation. There is nothing stopping JRC from shocking kids already in their center — or moving their facility to a different state to avoid the new Massachusetts regulations. The Department of Justice has an open investigation into the treatment of children at JRC. We ask you to write a personal appeal to the investigators to help ensure that this torture is put to an end once and for all, and is never allowed to be duplicated anywhere else in the United States.

We are one large step closer.

Thank you for your continued support,

Laurie Signature

Laurie Ahern,
President

Eric R Sig

Eric Rosenthal,
Executive Director

Navigating College: A Handbook on Self Advocacy Written for Autistic Students from Autistic Adults

27 Oct

ASAN have launched a project on navigating college. This includes a website, NavigatingCollege.org and a book “Navigating College: A Handbook on Self Advocacy Written for Autistic Students from Autistic Adults” (available for download from the website, and in print from the New Hampshire University Institute on Disability bookstore.

Leaving high school and going to college is complicated for everyone. But if you’re a student on the autism spectrum who is about to enter higher education for the first time, it might be a little bit more complicated for you.

Maybe you’re worried about getting accommodations, getting places on time, or dealing with sensory issues in a new environment. Maybe you could use some advice on how to stay healthy at school, handle dating and relationships, or talk to your friends and classmates about your disability. Maybe you want to talk to someone who’s already dealt with these issues. That’s where we come in.

Navigating College is an introduction to the college experience from those of us who’ve been there. The writers and contributors are Autistic adults, and we’re giving you the advice that we wish someone could have given us when we headed off to college. We wish we could sit down and have a chat with each of you, to share our experiences and answer your questions. But since we can’t teleport, and some of us have trouble meeting new people, this book is the next best thing.

ASAN was able to get you this book with the help of some other organizations. The Navigating College Handbook was developed in collaboration with Autism NOW, and with funding from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. The University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability is helping us with distribution. We’re really grateful for all of their help in getting this book out.

Good luck, and happy reading! We hope it helps.

ASAN have a Facebook page, Navigating College. They are looking for feedback. From the ASAN Facebook page:

ASAN is looking for high school and college students on the spectrum to give feedback on our new Navigating College handbook, now available for free download. If you’re interested, write us at info@autisticadvocacy.org or comment on this post. If we use your feedback as part of our NavigatingCollege.org website, we’ll mail you a free hard copy of the handbook for you to enjoy!

Save the Date! ASAN 5-Year Anniversary Celebration

14 Sep

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is turning five. Unlike most five-year-olds, they are throwing their own party. At the National Press Club, no less:

Save the Date!

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network’s
5 Year Anniversary Celebration

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
6:30 – 9:00 pm

Join us for a special celebration and fundraising event at
The National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and dessert will be served.

Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Alexa Posny,
Assistant Secretary for
Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

Honoree:

Ms. Nancy Thaler,
Executive Director,
National Association of State Directors
of Developmental Disability Services

Proceeds will support our advocacy work and programs for the coming year and allow us to continue working to empower disabled people across the country.

www.autisticadvocacy.org

Letter to Massachusetts DDS Commissioner Urging Elimination of Electric Shock, Other Aversives

19 Jul

The National Council on Disability (NCD) has sent a letter to the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services Commissioner on electric shocks and other aversives. Massachusetts is the home of the Judge Rotenberg Center which uses electric shocks as a main part of their program.

July 18, 2011

Elin Howe, Commissioner
Department of Developmental Services
500 Harrison Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02118

COMMENTS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DISABILITY IN SUPPORT OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO REGULATIONS ON BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION AT 115 CMR 5.14[i]

The National Council on Disability (NCD) is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other Federal agencies regarding laws, policies, practices, and procedures affecting people with disabilities. NCD strongly opposes the use of aversive treatments and accordingly submits these comments.

NCD has a longstanding history of opposing aversive treatments.[ii] As stated in NCD’s 1995 Report Improving the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Making Schools Work for All of America’s Children,

While it is possible to understand the desperation of these parents, to share their exasperation with ineffective programs and treatments, and to sympathize with them in their frustration to locate appropriate programs, there are limits to what society can permit in the name of treatment. There are those in our society who would advocate for severe physical punishment or even the mutilation of prisoners convicted of what everyone would agree are heinous crimes. Yet these prisoners are afforded protection under the law from this treatment, even though there are those who would claim that such treatment would “teach them a lesson.” Students with severe behavioral disabilities are not criminals, and yet present law allows them to be subjected to procedures which cannot be used on the most hardened criminals, or, in some cases, even on animals.[iii]

NCD applauds the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) for taking steps toward drastically restricting use of aversive punishment, and we urge complete elimination of such methods. The use of electric shock is not a legitimate method of treatment for any person. Such measures – whose use against non-disabled individuals is already recognized as illegal and immoral – are contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. We urge the Department of Developmental Services to protect both future students and current ones from the use of contingent electric shock and all other such aversive techniques.

In light of the effect on children and youth and with disabilities nationwide, NCD is gravely concerned by the use of aversive treatments at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC), in Canton, Massachusetts — the only known school in the United States to provide such treatment. We are aware that students from an estimated 17 other states and the District of Columbia attend JRC and are therefore potential recipients of such aversive treatments.[iv] As such, NCD views this as a significant issue of national importance.

The treatment being provided at JRC is contrary to federal policy and the findings of mental health research. The 2003 President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health stated that restraint will be used only as safety interventions of last resort, not as treatment interventions.[v] Similarly, the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse (HHS) and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) has found that seclusion and restraints are detrimental to the recovery of persons with mental illnesses.[vi]

The practices of JRC are equally contrary to the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) which states in part:

“…The Federal Government and the States both have an obligation to ensure that public funds are provided only to institutional programs, residential programs, and other community programs, including educational programs in which individuals with developmental disabilities participate, that… meet minimum standards relating to- provision of care that is free of abuse, neglect, sexual and financial exploitation, and violations of legal and human rights and that subjects individuals with developmental disabilities to no greater risk of harm than others in the general population… and prohibition of the use of such restraint and seclusion as a punishment or as a substitute for a habilitation program…” (emphasis added).[vii]

The objectionable practices at JRC have not only attracted national attention but have also been scrutinized internationally. According to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, “. . . the term torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted . . . for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.”[viii]

In April 2010, Disability Rights International (formerly Mental Disability Rights International) issued an urgent appeal to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture concerning the practices at JRC.[ix] Subsequently, in June 2010, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture stated that the practices of the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts equate to torture and urged the US government to appeal.[x] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is now investigating these, and other, allegations.[xi]

The regulations proposed by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) send a strong message that aversive treatment should not be readily provided, but they must go further. It is critical that the DDS address the concerns identified here and supplement its regulations accordingly.

Thank you for considering our comments and recommendations. NCD stands ready to assist you in ways that our collaboration can best benefit students with disabilities and their families while promoting safe learning environments for all students across America. We are available to discuss these matters at your earliest convenience. Please contact me through NCD’s offices at (202) 272-2004.

Respectfully,

Ari Ne’eman
Policy and Program Evaluation Committee Chair
National Council on Disability

[i] With thanks to NCD Council Member Marylyn Howe and NCD Staff Robyn Powell for their invaluable support and assistance in research and drafting.

[ii] National Council on Disability, From Privileges to Rights: People Labeled with Psychiatric Disabilities Speak for Themselves (2002), available at http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2000/Jan202000; National Council on Disability, Improving the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Making Schools Work for All of America’s Children (1995), available at http://www.ncd.gov/publications/1995/09051995.

[iii] Id.

[iv] CNN, New York Education Officials Ban Shock Therapy (2006), available at http://articles.cnn.com/2006-06-21/politics/shock.therapy.school_1_shock-therapy-electric-shock-geds?_s=PM:EDUCATION.

[v] Mental Disability Rights International, Torture Not Treatment: Electric Shock and Long-Term Restraint in the United States on Children and Adults with Disabilities at the Judge Rotenberg Center (2010), 12, available at http://www.disabilityrightsintl.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/USReportandUrgentAppeal.pdf.

[vi] Id.

[vii] 42 U.S.C. § 15009(a)(3)(B)(i-iii) (2000).

[viii] UN General Assembly, Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Article 1(1), 10 December 1984, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1465, p. 85, available at http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3ae6b3a94.html.

[ix] Mental Disability Rights International, Torture Not Treatment: Electric Shock and Long-Term Restraint in the United States on Children and Adults with Disabilities at the Judge Rotenberg Center (2010), 12, available at http://www.disabilityrightsintl.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/USReportandUrgentAppeal.pdf.

[x] ABC News/Nightline, UN Calls Treatment at Mass. School ‘Torture’ (2010), available at http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/shock-therapy-massachussetts-school/story?id=11047334.

[xi] US Department of Justice, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez Speaks at the National Council on Independent Living Annual Conference (2010), available at http://www.justice.gov/crt/opa/pr/speeches/2010/crt-speech-100719.html.

ACTION ALERT: What Does Community Mean To You? Let Medicaid Know!

11 Jun

Here is an action alert from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)

What does community mean to you? For some people, this question doesn’t mean much but for the hundreds of thousands of Americans receiving Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), the meaning of community has huge implications. Last year, the State of Missouri attempted to use Medicaid dollars allocated to serving individuals with disabilities in the community for the construction of group homes on the grounds of an institution. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) quite rightly refused to allow Missouri to use Medicaid HCBS funding for this plan, as the purpose of the HCBS program is to help people avoid institutionalization, not to support settings that further segregate people from their communities.

Now our friends at CMS are trying to put in place strong minimum standards for HCBS settings, to prevent what almost happened in Missouri from occurring in the future. CMS has proposed regulations which would prevent HCBS dollars going to institutional facilities, settings which are on the grounds of an institution, settings which are segregated on the basis of disability and settings which have the characteristics of an institution, such as lack of privacy or rules about when people can eat and sleep. This is an unprecedented opportunity for the disability community to support a real minimum standard for community living.

We need your help to make these standards a reality. CMS’ proposed rulemaking (available here) is only open for comments for four more days (it closes this Tuesday, June 14th at 5 PM) and we know that the usual suspects in the institution and nursing home industry have already written in opposing any standards for how HCBS dollars are used. We need people to write in to tell CMS that community living does not occur on the grounds of an institution and doesn’t include arbitrary restrictions on the rights of people with disabilities.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Write in to CMS and tell them that you SUPPORT the proposed rulemaking by going to: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=CMS-2009-0071-0302

2. Don’t hesitate to add in your thoughts about what Community should mean and make suggestions about things that CMS could add to their proposed rulemaking. If you’re looking for ideas, don’t hesitate to use ASAN’s comments as an example. You can feel free to use our language if it makes it easier. Our comments are available here: http://www.autisticadvocacy.org/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=153

3. Send a copy of this advocacy alert to your friends and colleagues encouraging them to write in too – the more people who write in – be they people with disabilities, parents, professionals or just supportive allies – the stronger our position will be. Help us get the word out!

Remember to write in by THIS TUESDAY June 14th at 5 PM. This is a critical opportunity to have our voices heard and we shouldn’t let it pass us by. Remember, Nothing About Us, Without Us!

Regards,
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Why are some autism groups silent on the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act?

29 May

Last week, the Combating Autism Reathorization Act was introduced into the U.S. legislature last week. Many organizations were ready with quick responses: the Autism Science Foundation, ASAN, and Autism Speaks to name a few.

How about the organizations which promote the idea that autism is a vaccine injury? Organizations like Generation Rescue, the National Autism Association and SafeMinds, and Talk About Curing Autism?

A quick survey of their websites shows nothing. Nothing on the front pages that I can see. Nothing on their news pages. If I’ve missed it, let me know.

Sure, you can find great information on their sites. Like “Vaccine Injury/Autism Study, A Federal Cover-Up?” or how to buy compounded drugs or sunglasses. Or “Jenny McCarthy” in big letters. But on a key piece of legislation comes through and there’s essentially silence.

Just an observation.