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Opinion: Why the US Can’t Get its Mesh Message Out

Still Standing graphic

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, July 26, 2017 – The following is one woman’s opinion on why the US is not having the same outcome in getting out its mesh message to the media.  What she doesn’t mention is that law firms representing the injured have all warned their clients to keep quiet and suffer in silence, unlike the united and vocal voices in Scotland and England.

She also omits that there have been successful rallies organized by MAM Mesh Awareness Movement that have brought together many women to stand present at court and at a J&J Shareholder’s meeting. 

Let’s not forget Johnson & Johnson has a family of products and is also a major mesh manufacturer. Media might be loathe to bite the advertising hand that feeds. 

Here is the Opinion of Still Standing, who is herself a mesh injured woman: 

“I debated whether to respond to this call for one voice.

MAM rally in Charleston, WV in 2015

“I’ve stated my observation about this before, but here goes. One of the reasons American mesh injured women are not getting the attention it deserves is there is not one voice, one message that we could rally around. Take a look at the communication the British, Scottish and Australian women are putting out there. They want pelvic mesh removed from the market until further study. It is consistent and has great merit. It is a clear message that other non mesh people can get behind.

“They are not jumping in and excoriating the justice system, they are not saying that all polypropylene in any device should be removed from the market, they are not drawing scientific conclusions about mesh based on just their opinion, they are not pitted against each other with unkind remarks about who should be in their group and who shouldn’t based on some arbitrary judgement about who has the most pain and suffering. They are not saying the government is conspiring to hurt them because they are women.

“Here is what they are doing.

“They have crafted a message for the future. They do not want other women to suffer the way that they have suffered. This is a group that is fighting to prevent this from happening in the future. I’m sure they all want justice for themselves, but that is not the narrative they are using in this request to ban pelvic mesh. I even saw in one articles that she wanted two women to be prepared for an interview at Parliament.

“They are carefully controlling this message so that physicians and other people in power to make this happen hear that one true message that the press can rally around.

It is working. We could learn a lot about how they have handled this issue.” ###

8 Comments

  1. Advocate says:

    SS, I share your opinion on why this disastrous product is not front and center. I also concede, that advertising dollars are more likely the biggest driver to the silence.
    The statement about attorneys forcing women to suffer in silence is certainly an emotional red herring. To suggest such a preposterous thing is to ignore the commonsense of litigation. The statement to remain quiet is specific to the discussion of a persons direct litigation. The more the public knows about the hazards of mesh, the better chance the jury pool can relate to the plaintiff claims. Showing up for rally’s and waving banners, signs and singing chants does not endanger the litigation until someone starts talking on the record about their individual case. Some attorneys may error on the side of caution and tell the client to not participate, but that’s probably a dangerous client anyway. Know when to speak and about injuries in general, or don’t speak at all.
    That said, advertising dollars drive everything. How many dollars have been pulled by corporations when they don’t like a narrative or individual opinion? I can’t imagine ABC, CBS, NBC or FOX, as examples, standing up to an advertiser like J&J, who has so many products pitched in the 24 hour cycle.
    Like Jane suggests and I concur, it would be doubtful they would be willing to “bite the hand that feeds.” Thus, media is pimped by the money of corporate and special interest America. Wish it wasn’t so.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m so literally sick of all of this I’m just ready to give up. We can’t have our stories told. I would go on without my face showing and without my name given if just one news media Outlet would give me a chance to tell my story. But we can’t do that because someday in a fairy fairy land far away we will get this settlement that will be pennies and then our life can go on. Some people have that option I do not. I have lost everything. My family no longer comes around because I can’t do anything. I sit in pain and other mesh related injuries everyday. I once thought maybe there was a hope for my marriage but now I realize it’s completely over because I cannot have sex. My husband has got addicted to pornography and it is caused unrepairable damage in our marriage. Not to mention he blames me because we have got to the point of being in debt so bad again we don’t know how to pay our bills. The only option I have now is to cut the grocery bill down to nothing. I sit and wait for this miracle to happen it obvious thay God has turned his back on me also. I’m told to just wait because judge goodwin is going to get this all taken care of this year another Fabrication in this fairy fairy land far away. I never asked for what happened to me but now it is destroyed my life and nobody gives a s*** and that’s what pisses me off. I’m told all these things that I’m not to do I’m not to post I’m not to talk to anybody I’m not to write about it I’m not too I’m not too I’m not too when did my civil liberties get taken away. When did I become just a number and not a person. It’s really too bad when the money that Johnson & Johnson, AMS or any of them has can control so many damn lives and Destroy them without any conscience whatsoever. It doesn’t matter that one lady sits here and cries a lot during the day lives in pain and feel so isolated because everybody she’s ever talked to has turned their back on her. They have gone on with their lives while I sit and wait for that fairy tales to come true and it never will. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life but the biggest mistake I ever did was trusting the doctor that put this in me and the judicial system and every body associated with mesh. Nobody cares once they get their check they walk away. I’m glad that can go on with their lives and try to put it behind them I’m happy for all of you ladies that have finally gotten what you need or what you deserve. But don’t forget there’s a lot of people still out here suffering waiting for their fairy tale that will never come true. This whole thing could have been written in a novel and all the lies and the deceit would have been exposed in this novel. It wouldn’t have been a funny book it wouldn’t have been a true book maybe it would have been just extremely sad and almost sadistic book on what’s happened to all these women. I try not to think about mesh anymore these days and I just try to find things to fill my time. Life is no longer fun and there’s no longer anything whatsoever to look forward to. Sooner or later I’ll save the money to get my divorce and I’ll go away like everybody wants me to quietly but I just hope someday God and Karma bites them in the ass and they get what they deserve. And that’s includes the people that won’t do stories because of money. Money really is a root of all evil

  3. Jimmy says:

    Jane i just read on law360 that tje judged reversed the j &j win against miss adkins in the philly mesh trial. Any word or input on what that will do for the mesh cases in philly. An is there any progress in the West Virginia mld cases

    • Jane Akre says:

      The judge is trying to reduce the cases in West Virginia, either by working up waves for trial or encouraging settlements. Thanks for the Adkins update! I appreciate your eyes…

  4. Lordhelpus says:

    We can’t give up this fight. We didn’t ask to be experimented on like this, so we must go on, as hard as it may be, and hope and pray that someday in the near future we can witness these thugs get their just reward and no stone is left unturned…

  5. The U.S. healthcare system is nearly totally corrupt. Expecting harmed women to defend themselves in court against corporate indemnity-funded lawyers and executives with a nearly guaranteed ‘get-out-of-jail-free-card’ is unacceptable. Keep telling your stories and do not accept ‘no’! This scandal will be revealed and there will be accountability. (I was trained in 2010 as an FDA/CDRH Patient Representative and have been an active advocate/activist since then.)

    • Jane Akre says:

      Joleen-

      What do you think people should do… most are waiting for settlements and are told not to talk. It’s maddening.

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