Our nonprofit organization blossomed from the hearts of a group of women who were advocating awareness about the dangers of a permanent birth control device called Essure. After spending a few years running a support group and being advocates for women who experienced complications from this procedure, we realized there was a need for proper and complete education and information regarding many types of medical devices. Informed consent just didn't seem to be relayed to patients in many cases that we were seeing. With the formation of the nonprofit which allowed us to the ability to really organize, rally, and lobby, our group became instrumental in bringing to light the dangers associated with that device, which ultimately led to it's removal from the world wide market.
ASHES nonprofit exists to educate and inform women and men regarding the potential dangers of medical devices and the importance of researching, as well as HOW to research, any medical device recommended by their physician. We also provide instruction on how to advocate on behalf of those harmed by medical devices. ASHES also fights to raise awareness about the pitfalls of our FDA’s medical device approval processes and post market surveillance, and to help bring about much needed changes to these practices. ASHES was instrumental in getting three bills introduced in Congress regarding Essure and other medical devices covered by PMA, and Medical Device Safety.
ASHES relies solely on donations to the nonprofit to fund advocacy trips, rallies, events, and lobbying efforts. While we do not allocate funds to any individuals harmed by devices directly, we use funding for educational materials, travel costs, rally supplies, mailings, operational costs, etc. The goal is to PREVENT others from suffering the same devastating harm that each of us has experienced personally from a medical device, and to fight for the rights of those who have been harmed.
Our current focus is on The Medical Device Safety Act of 2017, a bill currently in Congress, which if passed, will restore a patient's right to litigation if harmed by a Class III medical device. ASHES members will also be working with other advocacy groups to get a bill introduced in Congress, which will revise the 510K process of medical device approval.