A jury in Western Ireland ruled Friday that Savita Halappanavar, the 31-year-old Indian woman who gained international headlines in October after she was refused an abortion, died due to "medical misadventure" at University Hospital Galway.
The six-man, five-woman jury voted unanimously and endorsed all nine recommendations of coroner Dr. Ciaran MacLoughlin, which included the Irish Medical Council providing a clear definition of when, legally, doctors may perform abortions to save a mother's life in the country.
Other recommendations of the verdict, which were decided after a two week coroner's inquest, included taking mandatory blood samples from the mother to ensure her safety and educating hospital personnel on sepsis management, according to BBC News. more >>
Last month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's groundbreaking yet controversial law to prohibit the sale of super-sized sugar-laden drinks was struck down by a New York judge. The administration intends to appeal, stating that it has the authority to tackle the causes of obesity because upwards of 5,000 New Yorkers per year die as a direct result.
This is the latest public health initiative by the Mayor as he tries to improve the city's resident's well being. Prior efforts included restrictions on smoking, getting restaurants to post calorie counts, barring foods with high trans-fatty acids and encouraging restaurateurs to use less salt. Does the Mayor's most recent move constitute Food Fascism or are they just Really Good Ideas?
Statistically, one out of every three Americans is defined as being obese. more >>
Complex. Complicated. Confusing. Beyond comprehension. Two prominent Democrats used these words this week to describe the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare."
One of those Democrats, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.), was one of the key architects of the law. The other, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, is in charge of implementing the law.
"I believe that the Affordable Care Act is probably the most complex piece of legislation ever passed by the United States Congress. Tax reform obviously has been huge too, but up to this point it is just beyond comprehension," Rockefeller said Tuesday at a Senate Finance confirmation hearing, according to The Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard. more >>
A friend went in for his Medicare free "wellness visit," compliments of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He assumed it was like a doctor's annual check-up. After all, when he took his dog to the vet for a wellness visit, little Sparky was examined and tested for worms. So my friend made the mistake of asking the doctor to listen to his heart and lungs – just because that is what we expect physicians will do. Then he got a bill. Neither my friend nor his physician realized that if the patient was actually touched during the free wellness visit, it ceased to be free.
Medicare's annual free wellness visit includes a review of medical and family history; making a list of current "providers" and prescriptions; measuring height, weight, body mass index, and blood pressure; and giving the patient a schedule and/or referrals for appropriate preventive services. The visit is "free"-the doctor must take "assignment" (be paid by Medicare, not by the patient) and waive the usual 20 percent "copayment." The Medicare Part B deductible does not apply.
Physicians and a host of others, including "health educators," can furnish the visit. Indeed, the California legislature is considering authorizing pharmacists and optometrists to serve as primary care providers. It is likely, since we are struggling with a shortage of physicians, that most offices have nursing assistants furnish the free wellness visit. Or if a physician in a smaller office with fewer personnel chooses to conduct the interview, he is relegated to the role of a scribe. more >>
Dr. Ben Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., maintained his opposition to same-sex marriage this past Friday, but also apologized for previous comments he made on the subject, which Carson argues were misinterpreted by many as comparing same-sex marriage to bestiality or pedophilia.
Carson offered a "sincere and heartfelt" apology for his previous comments in a Friday email reportedly addressed to the Johns Hopkins community.
In the wake of this past weekend's tragic death of Matthew Warren, son of Pastor Rick Warren and wife Kay, Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, stressed the need for the church to address mental illness.
Along with shedding the shame and stigma that often accompanies mental illness, Stetzer recently wrote that he believes Christians need to address the issue of medicine relating to mental illness in the church.