The Difficulties of Adopting When LGBT+

Posted by on Sep 16, 2019 in Adoption | 0 comments

In recent years, the LGBT community has seen major growth in terms of its inclusion in mainstream society. This growth has lead to changes in the way certain insurance policies work with same-sex marriage. While same-sex adoption is becoming more and more possible each day, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Why it’s more difficult for same-sex couples to adopt

There are a lot of reasons why same-sex couples struggle to adopt a child together. One of the ways a parent can adopt a child is if their partner is the child’s biological parent. This makes it easier because the other parent can seek a second-parent adoption, a process that’s much different than if both parents were looking to adopt the child.

When one of the people in the marriage is already the child’s parent, it means that their relationship is secured. For the other parent, not so much. There’s a lot of paperwork involved when only one parent is adopting, and it can be a huge problem if the person looking to adopt is unsure of how to go about these filings.

The legalization of same-sex adoption

While same-sex adoption has been legal in all fifty states since the beginning of 2017, this doesn’t mean that LGBT people don’t face unique struggles. In the case of an open adoption, where the biological parents are looking to have a relationship with their child after they are adopted, a homophobic couple may not want a gay couple to adopt the child. While the LGBT couple has the right to adopt a child, they can still face discrimination when looking for a child.

The law that made same-sex adoption legal in all fifty states also only applies to adoption agencies that are federally-funded, meaning private adoption agencies have the right to refuse a couple based on their sexuality. This creates a problem for any couple who is looking to go the private route when starting their family.

In Texas, unmarried same-sex couples are allowed to go through a joint, same-sex adoption. This is the form of adoption in which neither parent has any biological relation to the child in question. However, only the lower courts in Texas have gone through allowing single-parent adoptions to occur.

What can I do to help the adoption process go smoother?

One of the best ways to ensure your chances of a simple, smooth adoption is to get in regular contact with a lawyer. BB Law Group, PLLC is a Texas law firm based in The Woodlands with years of expertise in same-sex adoption. As such, they’re more than comfortable navigating you through the adoption process.

If you feel like you need some help making sure your child’s adoption goes off without a hitch, I cannot stress the importance of a competent lawyer enough. Their combined years of knowledge and practice in this area will make sure that you have all the tools you need to start your new family off on a strong note.

Read More

Dog Bites: What to Do

Posted by on Apr 21, 2019 in Dog Bites | 0 comments

I was at a park this weekend to enjoy the sun and play frisbee with my girlfriend. Natural for a sunny day, there were hundreds of dogs at the park enjoying the weather and playing catch with their owners. The dogs varied in size, breed, and tenacity! I love all dogs but it would be silly to say that all dogs are friendly to humans. At the very least, even the most friendly dog in the world can turn nasty under specific circumstances.

I was lucky to not experience or see any accidents involving a dog bite, nor have I ever been bitten by a dog any other time in my life, but I know that it is something that happens occasionally. What I didn’t know, however, was just how serious dog bites can get.

I turned to research this issue when I couldn’t stop thinking about the ferocity of some of the dogs at the park. The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee offer some really great insight into what can happen after a dog bites you in addition to some statistics on dog bite prevalence among different dog breeds.

The injuries associated with dog bites are pretty generally associated with the location or part of the body that a dog bites. For example, eye injuries would really only occur if the dog bites your face and the same goes for neck injuries. However, some injuries are pretty universal such as nerve damage, puncture wounds, and disfigurement.

The most concerning injury listed on The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee website, to me, was amputation. I can’t imagine how my view of puppies and dogs would change if I were to lose a foot, hand, leg, or arm to a dog bite.

Now, for sure, there are instances where my actions could potentially influence the dog bite. An example would be if I were to make the dog feel unsafe with my body language or rubbing on the dog in a way it didn’t like.

For me, however, the scariest part is that sometimes dogs can just flip a switch and go from completely friendly to connecting with their primitive canine instincts. Not knowing when it is safe or not is pretty terrifying to worrywart like myself.

From The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee website, it appears that pit bulls and Rottweilers are the most common type of dog to become involved in dog bite incidents. However, there are tons of dog breeds that bite humans and can cause injuries, so don’t become irrationally afraid of one type over another.

Instead, you should follow some of the advice I found online about how to prevent dog bites and dog bite injuries. First and foremost, exercise common sense and keep a distance from dogs that seem afraid or dangerous. Always ask your friends what you should know before petting their dogs. And especially be careful with the amount of interaction you allow between dogs and small children or babies. The intensity of injuries caused by a dog bite is far higher for populations as vulnerable as young kids.

Read More

I have a condition

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in Gastroenterology | 0 comments

It can be very weird to start saying something like “I have a condition.” But, I’m going to say it here. I have a condition.

I’ve actually had a condition for a long time, I just always assumed everyone had it. You hear about people having an upset stomach or heartburn, and you just assume what they’re experiencing is the awful pain and upset of a stomach with way too acid, like mine.

For years, I don’t know, perhaps always, I’ve had stomach problems, and I just assumed they were at most slightly worse than the average person. I was embarrassed by them, and I thought it was wrong to complain. I never really even mentioned it to my parents, other than maybe a rare moan when I was particularly tired or it was particularly flared up.

I might never have known it was an issue if I hadn’t spoken to my roommate. I’m at college right now, and in typical new roommate fashion, we got a little drunk and started talking about everything. And at some point, I mentioned my stomach.

“How bad is it?” she asked me. “Because I know someone who had something just like that.”

It turns out, as I said at the beginning, I have a condition. I finally went and saw my family doctor, who told me I need to see a gastroenterologist, which is the fancy word for a stomach doctor. She didn’t want to come down on one side of a diagnosis or another, but she did think it was something that could be fixed, assuming not too much damage had been done.

That last point was a little scary, but I am hopeful I’m young enough anything can be fixed at this point.

So, I have a condition. I don’t know exactly what it is yet, but I know it needs treatment. I’ve decided I want to start a blog discussing this because I want other people who maybe haven’t realized that their issues are actual issues to see how much better life can get when you go and actually have things look at.

I’m hoping over the course of these blogs to chart my own progress, from diagnosis to treatment to, I hope, cure, or at least some way to leave more comfortably long term.

I don’t really know anything yet, but I want to be bold and forward and honest about this because I think too many people are suffering quietly, whether it be from psychological issues, or addiction, or embarrassing conditions like mine.

So, check in here regularly, and I hope you’ll find something worth reading that will encourage you to come forward with your issues and get treatment or to encourage those who have issues to come forward. If we make it a priority to get checked up no matter what the complaint is, I think we could really improve a lot of people’s lives.

So say it with me: I have a condition, and that’s okay.

Read More

Why Nursing Home Abuse is Worse Than You Think

Posted by on Jun 17, 2017 in Nursing Home Abuse | 0 comments

The elderly may experience abuse in the nursing home. There are many reasons why that is just tragic. First, why would a nursing home encourage or tolerate a hostile environment? Second, why would a nursing staff, patient, visitor, or anybody else in the nursing home abuse an elderly? Third, why target a person who is likely unable to defend himself or herself, or tell his or her situation to an authority?

Nursing home abuse is just outright immoral. But it is good to know that, according to the website of Evans Moore, those who have been victims of nursing home abuse may take legal action against the responsible party.

But if the elder cannot tell his or her situation to another, how can one know that he or she has been experiencing abuse? It is important to know the different kinds of abuse that can be experienced in a nursing home, together with their signs, so you yourself can determine if your loved one is in a vile situation.

  • Physical Abuse – Receiving incidental force from another. Signs include abrasions, bruises, cuts, and other unexplained wounds
  • Sexual Abuse – Receiving unwanted sexual contact from another. Signs include anal or genital problems such as bleeding, infections, soreness, and sexually transmitted diseases
    • Emotional/Psychological Abuse – Receiving intimidating actions from another, usually with the intention to threaten or reduce self-worth. Signs include depression, lack of appetite, social withdrawal, and other sudden changes in attitude and mood

What makes these abusive behaviors even worse is that they can create ripple effects. The abuse doesn’t just end with physical wounds, because they are almost always accompanied by emotional and psychological reactions, such as post-traumatic stress disorders. These responses can be detrimental to their health, resulting into weight loss, worsening of medical conditions, and rising of new conditions.

These derogatory actions against the elderly are not going to stop soon. The website of the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, LTD. has mentioned that 36% of American nursing homes have violated elderly abuse laws, and that percentage may even be significantly higher because of the lack of reporting.

It is sad to think that a nursing home, a place where the elderly will get the treatment he or she deserves, is actually the place where he or she will experience mistreatment, resulting into unwarranted physical and mental harm.

Read More

Prenuptial Agreement: Ensuring Individual Spouses Financial Security In or Out of Marriage

Posted by on Feb 24, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

One very important and useful agreement marrying couples enter into nowadays is the prenuptial or premarital agreement, a contract which clearly suggests how a couples’ properties and assets will have to be distributed in the event of divorce, legal separation, dissolution or annulment of marriage or death. Though not intended to take away the romance in a marriage, a premarital agreement is, in fact, a very wise financial move as it will shield the divorcing couple’s financial future and not leave them suing one another for what one believes ought to be his or hers.

Though not originally an American practice, the need to enter into the agreement was introduced in 1848 through the Married Women’s Property Act. Before this Act was made a law, women who were married were recognized only as their respective husband’s extension; thus, at the moment of marriage, she would lose all her rights to possess, sell or transfer any property, earn income or receive educational training (unless permitted by her husband). If she would be allowed by her husband to work, then she will have to surrender whatever she will earn to her husband. All these were due to the legal rule called “coverture,” the law that required women, who enter into marriage to surrender her identity and rights to her husband. Due to this policy, any woman, even those who were wealthy, faced the chance of losing everything she owns to her husband.

The introduction of the prenuptial agreement allowed divorcing couples to justly take back what was rightfully theirs from the very start and divide whatever profit they earned within the marriage faster. Other great benefits the agreement offer couples include:

  • Protection of family inheritance;
  • Protection of their child’s/children’s financial security;
  • Security over business or personal assets made before entering into marriage;
  • Shorter and less expensive court settlements in case the marriage does not work

Prenuptial agreements will have to be discussed openly, honestly and candidly, though, so as not to create any feeling of mistrust. Both parties should understand its real aim too to make them appreciate it more.

Law firms explain much more clearly the importance and benefits of a premarital agreement, as well as the things to watch out for and avoid when drafting one. A premarital agreement is defined in the state of Texas as ‘an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective on marriage.’ The agreement must pertain to property held before or gained after marriage, including income and earnings.

Premarital agreements are binding legal documents. They are typically enforceable without consideration, meaning the court will enforce the agreement even if there is nothing of value exchanged for one party. There are a few instances in which a premarital agreement can be nullified. Many of these cases involve the circumstances around the signing of the agreement. Some of the most common reasons for nullification include:

  • A party did not sign the agreement voluntarily
  • A party was not provided fair and reasonable disclosure before signing
  • A spouse did not have, or reasonably could not have, adequate knowledge of the property
  • A party did not voluntarily and expressly waive any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations”

Due to all these, “It is imperative to have the strongest legal team conducting your premarital agreements to protect your best interests.”

Read More

Amputation Due to Improper Treatment

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Medical Malpractice | 0 comments

Sometime in 2012, a patient went to see her doctor due to a numb leg. She thought that the numbness in her leg was a side effect of the medication (known to cause clotting) that she was then taking. Despite the difficulty to find a pulse in her foot as her doctor noted, the latter decided that no treatment was needed. Due to the clot, however, the tissues in woman’s leg began to die, eventually resulting to her leg needing to be amputated.

Amputation is a surgical procedure wherein the whole or a part of an extremity (limb) such as an arm, hand, finger, leg, foot, or toe is removed. The most common reason for amputation is poor blood circulation which may be due to peripheral arterial disease (the narrowing of the arteries or damage to the arteries). Poor blood circulation causes the cells in the affected body part not get their needed oxygen and nutrients, resulting to tissue death and possible infection.

Though there is loss of a limb (or part of it), amputation can rather save a life, such as by preventing an infection or cancer to spread or by preventing foot ulcers to lead to serious infections, such as in the case of a diabetic. However, due to the complications or risks of amputation, besides the list of inconvenience and disadvantages in the life of a patient, amputating a limb will only need to be performed if really necessary, meaning, it is the correct treatment needed by a patient.

That there have been cases wherein patients’ limbs have been amputated due to mistakes committed by doctors is no secret. This, and many other mistakes committed by medical professionals occur due to improper treatment, one of the many types of medical malpractice (which is an act of negligence by a medical professional, resulting to provision of sub-standard medical care which, in turn, causes injury or death to a patient).

In an improper treatment case, a doctor has correctly diagnosed a patient’s health condition, thus, he/she knows exactly what the patient’s health problem is; however, for whatever reason, he/she gives the patient with the wrong treatment.

Some of the ways through which improper treatment may be committed, include:

  • Giving a patient the wrong dose of a drug;
  • Prescribing a drug to a patient despite such patient’s known allergy to such drug;
  • Delaying, rushing, or performing an unnecessary or a dangerous treatment;
  • Inadequate monitoring of a patient; and,
  • Failing to take the necessary measures which will prevent a disease.

Medical malpractice lawyers, such as those from the Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® law firm know and believe that doctors and other healthcare professionals are held to high standards, as even seemingly minor errors can have dramatic consequences on patients’ health and well-being. Unfortunately, not all doctors act as carefully and responsibly as they should, exposing their patients to the threat of serious illnesses or injuries. Thus, because of the devastating repercussions that medical malpractice can have on a patient’s life, it is often possible for victims of negligence to receive compensation for their damages.

Patients who suppose that they are victims of improper treatment should not delay seeking assistance from a highly-competent medical malpractice lawyer, who may be able to help determine if they have a case to pursue as well as decide the best legal pursuit to seek.

Read More

Occupational Lung Diseases

Posted by on Jun 28, 2016 in Workers Compensation | 0 comments

In the United States, lung diseases are documented as the most common workplace-associated illnesses.  The inhalation of hazardous chemicals and particles present in dust can become potentially life-threatening.  Repeated exposure to irritants in the air can cause serious damage to an individual’s lungs, and some work environments expose employees to airborne particles at disproportionally higher rates. Lung diseases are preventable if employers provide proper safety equipment and training.

The type of lung disease and the resulting symptoms are dependent upon the type of inhalant, the rate of exposure, and whether the inhalant is organic or inorganic. Inorganic inhalants are those which do not contain carbon, such as carbon dioxide, and organic inhalants are those which do, such as mineral dusts.

  • Asbestosis is an inorganic dust disease caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. Given that asbestos is present in many older buildings, construction workers are especially vulnerable to exposure.
  • Silicosis can occur when workers are exposed to crystalline silica, found in dust in mines, stone, glass, and clay manufacturing operations. Victims experience lung scarring and may be more susceptible to diseases like tuberculosis.
  • Asthma is the most common occupational lung disease, and is reversible if treatment is sought early on. Individuals who work in occupations that expose them to gases, vapors, and fumes are especially susceptible. This includes individuals in the manufacturing, refining, or processing industries, farming, or textile/cotton industries.
  • Beryllium disease results from the inhalation to Beryllium: a light, non-magnetic metal widely used in manufacturing operations. Beryllium is present in cars, computers, and electrical equipment.
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is an organic lung disease caused by the inhalation of fungus spores. Workers in farming and livestock industries may inhale organic dusts such as moldy hay or bird dropping particles which contain fungus spores. Victims will breathe abnormally and experience inflamed air sacks in the lungs.
Read More

Spinal Cord Injuries

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in Spinal Cord Injuries | 0 comments

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based regenerative medicine company Bioquark, Inc. – which specializes in the development of novel biologics for complex regeneration and disease reversion – is partnering with Noida, India-based Revita Life Sciences – which is a pioneer in therapeutic applications of adult stem cell therapy that makes use of the patient’s own cells – to brainstorm on alternative treatments and breakthroughs that could possibly help spinal cord injury patients.

According to the website of the Abel Law Firm, the amount of direct medical costs, disability support, and the loss of earning capacity of patients with spinal cord injuries in the United States is a staggering $20 billion annually.

Revita Life Sciences managing director Dr. HImanshu Bansal says the possibility of combining both cellular and biologic approaches to combating this illness represents “the next step evolutionary step in achieving complete regeneration and return of full functionality in this devastating disease”.

This recent development in the field of medical breakthroughs for spinal cord patients is by no means the first of their kind. By April 2014, four spinal cord injury patients received the gift of electrical stimulator units implanted on them over the lower part of the spinal cord to activate lumbar circuitry. Such electrical stimulator units allow the patients to make use of their limbs when the apparatuses are turned on, so that the patients have the ability to “walk”, that is, move their legs on command.

Aside from this improvement, the patients were reported to have gained autonomic recovery – functions such as bowel, bladder, sexual, and temperature control are more operational than before the use of electronic stimulator units. It was scheduled by around September 2015 that around 36 patients would have been given use of such devices.

Another medical breakthrough in the works for spinal cord injury therapy is that of the chondroitinase and gene therapy being researched on by King’s College London’s Dr. Elizabeth Bradbury, University of Cambridge’s Dr. Elizabeth Muir, Royal Holloway, University of London’s Dr. Rafael Yañez-Muñoz, and Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience’s Professor Joost Verhagen. This therapy involves a bacterial enzyme called chondroitinase, which helps degrade the scar caused by the spinal cord injury and in so doing allows recovery via the growth of the axon away from the lesion area.

Read More

Implant-based or Autologous Breast Reconstruction

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in Surgeries | 0 comments

While the removal of a breast due to the treatment of cancer and other disease can be daunting experience for many women, according to the website of the breast reconstruction experts at Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery, new medical techniques and devices have made it possible for a breast to come close in both form and appearance to a woman’s natural breast.

Two common reconstruction processes include implant-based and autologous breast reconstruction techniques.

Implant-based reconstruction involves placing an implant that recreates the breast form. One is known as a one-stage reconstruction, while the other is known as a two-stage reconstruction. In a one-stage reconstruction, a silicone or saline implant is inserted directly without expanding the breast pocket. In a two-stage implant, a tissue expander is first placed in the breast pocket. This allows surgeons to insert a salt-water solution into the expander until the desired size and form is reached. Once the skin and muscle over the breast has expanded to a desired size, the expander is removed and a long-term implant like that of a one-stage process is inserted.

Advantages associated with implant-based reconstruction include no donor site complications, shorter surgery, quick recovery, and no movement of abdominal or back muscles.

Autologous breast reconstruction is process by which existing muscle, fat and skin tissue is used to form a new breast. Four common areas from which tissue is used to create the breast are the stomach (with or without additional muscle from the abdomen), upper back and shoulder, and buttock. It is important to note that not everyone is eligible for autologous reconstruction.

Advantages associated with autologous breast reconstruction include a more natural look and feel, no implant related complications, and a more natural functioning breast that fluctuates in size with weight gain or loss.

Read More

Misconceptions Regarding Out-of-state Arrests

Posted by on Aug 9, 2015 in Arrests | 0 comments

Whether on business, visiting family, or on vacation, out-of-state arrests can often be a complicated process due to the logistical problems of having to appear in court several times over the course of a case. In addition, misconceptions regarding out-of-state arrests can also lead to further fines and charges for both misdemeanors and felonies.

One common misconception is that many people believe charges brought about them in one state will not affect them in their home state. Unfortunately, charges such as those involving a DUI can have consequences in both the prosecuting and home state. For example, if you find yourself arrested while on vacation in Florida for a DUI, if convicted you may be forced to pay for penalties in Florida and lose driving privileges in your home state as well. In addition, charges one is convicted of can often make into the public record which can be seen by potential employers in any state.

Another misconception is that once bail is posted, one can simply return to their home state. Though bail often means a person can await trial from the comfort of their home, for out-of-state arrests involving felonies, many states require the defendant first obtain permission from a judge regardless of having made bail. Failure to do so may result in further charges, an arrest warrant, and extradition.

Due to the complications of having to appear in court multiple times, many states allow for an attorney to represent a defendant in several of the criminal proceedings. This allows a defendant to return to their home state and take care of a charge without acquiring any further expenses as a result of missing work or traveling back and forth between states.

Read More