Dr. Harvey Finkelstein : THE RE USE OF SYRINGES

Posted in the Melville Forum

joel schoenfeld

Brooklyn, NY

#1 Feb 3, 2009
Dr. Finkelstein was not the first doctor nor will he be the last doctor in Nassau County to re use syringes. Not all of the blame is his. We have to look at the whole picture. It has been documented that syringes have been re used in New York State since 1934. To alleviate these problems, safer syringes that can be used only one time, that look like, feel like and cost like regular syringes are available but not in Nassau County. A little background: up until the 1960's, all syringes were made of glass. The AMA realized that glass syringes were being re used, causing diseases to needlessly spread. Several American syringe manufacturers began making plastic disposable syringes to replace the glass ones. Even though these products were designed to be disposable and used only one time, they were not. Many people felt it was a waste to discard it after only one use. In the late 1980's, the Surgeon General of the US, Dr. C. Everett Koop, urged the syringe manufacturers to make safer products that would automatically disable after one use. The purpose of this was to relieve the needless speading of diseases, such as Hepatitis C and this new disease that we were just learning about in the 1980's, HIV. Dr. Koop's request fell on virtually deaf ears. I would suspect that the manufacturers were afraid of several issues: If we produce safer syringes does that mean our existing production of syringes weren't safe to begin with and would we be subjecting ourselves to lawsuits. I would also suspect they were concerned with the necessity to re-tool their production lines and third of all, it may sound ridiculous but I would suspect that the syringes that cause diseases to spread may also cause more syringes to be sold. Hundreds of companies, inventors and designers began to respond to Koop's request for safer syringes. Interestingly enough, many of these designs required no new tooling by the existing manufacturers but the changes never took place in this country. The politicians in Nassau County were in denial. The Health Dept. of Nassau County, too, was in denial. It was stated to me by Judy Jacobs that doctors in Nassau County DO
NOT re use syringes. This, after it was published that Dr. Finkelstein had done so. Meetings with Mary Curtis of the Health Dept. were equally frustrating. She voiced no concern about how to protect the patients who see doctors in Nassau County but rather was more concerned about how substance abusers would react to having safer syringes that could only be used one time, causing them, the abuser, an inconvenience. The doctor's creed is to do no harm. The politician's responsibility is to protect all of their constituents and, in this case, it could have been done by using not only safer healthcare practices but safer devices. All children's immunizations in more than 100 countries are now being given with syringes that cannot be re used.
But, in Nassau County, business remains the same and it's much easier to point a finger at a doctor who re used a product because the safer products that should be available have not been mandated and are not available to them. Dr. Finkelstein is a victim of not having the right product that could have avoided this stupid situation from happening. We, the people, are the victims and the potential victims every time we go for an injection in Nassau County. Blame it on our Healthcare Dept and our politicians and blame it on the manufacturers who have refused to make safer products.
Someone

Bay Shore, NY

#2 Jul 6, 2014
Oh my God - did you REALLY just say Finklestein is a VICTIM??? Are you out of your mind???? It is KNOWN that the reuse of syringes causes spread of disease! This son of a bitch knew damn well the risks involved. He is not a victim, he is a monster. My friend is now dying of liver cancer because of this jerk. Yes - Hep C and can often lead to liver cancer. Look it up.

How disgusting to call this man a victim. Get a grip.

Peace.
joel schoenfeld wrote:
Dr. Finkelstein was not the first doctor nor will he be the last doctor in Nassau County to re use syringes. Not all of the blame is his. We have to look at the whole picture. It has been documented that syringes have been re used in New York State since 1934. To alleviate these problems, safer syringes that can be used only one time, that look like, feel like and cost like regular syringes are available but not in Nassau County. A little background: up until the 1960's, all syringes were made of glass. The AMA realized that glass syringes were being re used, causing diseases to needlessly spread. Several American syringe manufacturers began making plastic disposable syringes to replace the glass ones. Even though these products were designed to be disposable and used only one time, they were not. Many people felt it was a waste to discard it after only one use. In the late 1980's, the Surgeon General of the US, Dr. C. Everett Koop, urged the syringe manufacturers to make safer products that would automatically disable after one use. The purpose of this was to relieve the needless speading of diseases, such as Hepatitis C and this new disease that we were just learning about in the 1980's, HIV. Dr. Koop's request fell on virtually deaf ears. I would suspect that the manufacturers were afraid of several issues: If we produce safer syringes does that mean our existing production of syringes weren't safe to begin with and would we be subjecting ourselves to lawsuits. I would also suspect they were concerned with the necessity to re-tool their production lines and third of all, it may sound ridiculous but I would suspect that the syringes that cause diseases to spread may also cause more syringes to be sold. Hundreds of companies, inventors and designers began to respond to Koop's request for safer syringes. Interestingly enough, many of these designs required no new tooling by the existing manufacturers but the changes never took place in this country. The politicians in Nassau County were in denial. The Health Dept. of Nassau County, too, was in denial. It was stated to me by Judy Jacobs that doctors in Nassau County DO
NOT re use syringes. This, after it was published that Dr. Finkelstein had done so. Meetings with Mary Curtis of the Health Dept. were equally frustrating. She voiced no concern about how to protect the patients who see doctors in Nassau County but rather was more concerned about how substance abusers would react to having safer syringes that could only be used one time, causing them, the abuser, an inconvenience. The doctor's creed is to do no harm. The politician's responsibility is to protect all of their constituents and, in this case, it could have been done by using not only safer healthcare practices but safer devices. All children's immunizations in more than 100 countries are now being given with syringes that cannot be re used.
But, in Nassau County, business remains the same and it's much easier to point a finger at a doctor who re used a product because the safer products that should be available have not been mandated and are not available to them. Dr. Finkelstein is a victim of not having the right product that could have avoided this stupid situation from happening. We, the people, are the victims and the potential victims every time we go for an injection in Nassau County. Blame it on our Healthcare Dept and our politicians and blame it on the manufacturers who have refused to make safer products.

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