We The People – A Meaningful Tool For Disease Advocacy?

A fair number of petitions on the We The People site focus on individual matters.  This could be a petition about a bestowing an honor on a particular person, seeking some kind of criminal proceeding (or the ending of same), or resolving some injustice.  Individual matters can also include specific species or diseases.

A petition on sickle cell disease (one type of which is sickle cell anemia) was started last September and gathered enough signatures to receive a response from the Administration.  While the petition mentions support for a particular piece of legislation (which did not advance in the last Congress) the Administration’s response focused, as is its custom, on executive branch actions.

The response describes how the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control are doing to improve understanding and awareness of Sickle Cell Disease.

Now, from an uninformed outsider, this seems to be a case where the Administration response implies a message of ‘don’t worry about it, we’re giving it the level of attention that (the petitioners) want.’  Presumably the disease organizations that spearheaded the petition drive have been doing other things to make sure Sickle Cell Disease gets the attention they think a national health priority warrants.  But I wouldn’t blame anyone who considers the response little more than lip service.


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