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Union uses child’s life as a bargaining chip

By Matt Holdridge

This is an interesting story I came across in the Washington Examiner

The author, Mark Hemingway, writes:

Perhaps the scariest moment of my life was rushing my young daughter to the hospital after giving her peanut butter for the first time. Her face broke out into a rash, and my wife and I were terrified that she might stop breathing.

At the hospital, we learned her peanut allergy was relatively mild, but further tests revealed she was also deathly allergic to tree nuts. Whenever we drop my daughter off with family, her playgroup, or neighbors, we hand over an EpiPen auto-injector syringe. If she’s exposed to walnuts, I have to trust someone else to give her a shot of epinephrine in the thigh, or else, well, I don’t even like thinking about it.

So imagine my outrage when I saw ReasonTV report that unions killed a bill in the California state legislature that would allow teachers and other school personnel to administer the medication Diastat to epileptic children, provided they volunteer for training. Diastat immediately stops prolonged seizures that can mean brain damage or death.

He goes on:

However, the Epilepsy Foundation, the California Medical Association and the Association of California Neurologists all supported the bill. The only real opposition came from teachers unions, which made sure the bill never emerged from committee. Why would they be willing to let the lives of children hang in the balance?

“We think the solution is school districts to hire appropriate staff to care for our children,” Gayle McClean, president of the California School Nurses Association Southern Section, told ReasonTV.

So there you have it. Doctors think the bill will save lives, but union officials think your child’s life is just a bargaining chip for more jobs in California’s bloated public-sector work force and thus more dues-paying union members.

If you’re not aware, Diastat, (the drug in question), as the author points out, comes in a specially packaged syringe designed to be easily administered with little or no medical training. This makes the union’s claim of needing “appropriate staff” ridiculous. 

This act by the unions clearly falls into the make-work rules and featherbedding techniques used by organized labor for decades. Essentially, to feather-bed is to hire more workers than necessary to do a job or series of jobs in order to create more employment. 

Henry Hazlitt outlined this bogus practice in his book Economics in One Lesson, which you can download for free here

The conclusion to the story? 

If unions are withholding Diastat in schools today, it’s not hard for me to imagine them also ransoming my daughter’s lifesaving EpiPen tomorrow. If we don’t fight back when unions are endangering our children, when will we?



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