(The Guardian) – A woman who smothered a dying fellow churchgoer with a pillow despite her victim’s opposition to euthanasia has been jailed for life with a minimum term of nine years for his murder. Cancer patient David Paterson, 81, was close to a natural death when he was suffocated by Heather Davidson, 54, in the bedroom of his care home in North Yorkshire on 11 February.
(Reuters) – The California Senate approved a physician-assisted suicide bill on Thursday that would allow some terminally ill patients to obtain medication to end their lives, even as opponents criticized the bill as dangerous. California lawmakers unveiled the bill in January in an effort tearfully welcomed by a woman whose 29-year-old daughter, Brittany Maynard, moved from California to Oregon last year to end her life after she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
(NPR) – Think of how often you stop by Walgreens or CVS. You run in and grab some Band-Aids or restock your ibuprofen supply. Maybe you even get a flu shot on your way to work. Soon, it will be that easy for women in California to get birth control, too. Under a new state law, women will be able to go to a pharmacy, get a prescription for contraceptive pills, the ring, or the patch, get it filled and walk out 15 minutes later.
(The Guardian) – Women contribute around $3tn to global healthcare but nearly half of it is unpaid and unrecognised, according to a new study. The report, published in the Lancet, found that women’s involvement in healthcare is undervalued economically, socially, politically and culturally. Researchers attempted to estimate the financial value of women’s contribution to health systems in 2010 by analysing data from 32 countries, accounting for 52% of the world’s population.
(UPI) – Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Reproductive Rights and abortion providers filed a federal lawsuit Thursday to block a new state law that requires doctors to tell patients medically induced abortions can be reversed. The law, scheduled to take effect July 3, requires doctors to tell patients that high doses of hormones may counter the effects of abortion pills, a provision hotly debated during the legislative review of the law.
(Japan Times) – As the population declines, the number of domestic businesses involved in fertility is growing, giving birth to a slew of additional problems. Government statistics show the country’s population dropped by 215,000 last year, as people are waiting longer to get married and have children. The situation is causing so much alarm among government officials that one city is now offering subsidies to women who want to freeze their eggs and try in vitro fertilization at a later date.
(MD Magazine) – End of life care preferences should be treated and observed while caring for patients with pneumonia as a complication or cause of their death, according to a research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers from various clinics and hospitals in Massachusetts examined Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ criteria to find all patients who died from pneumonia between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2012 across three Massachusetts hospitals.
(Medical Daily) – Centenarians say positivity is the key to longevity (one woman said it was Dr. Pepper) – but new research suggests a long life comes down to an individual’s sex hormone, especially for supercentenarians. Of the 53 living supercentenarians, or men and women who’ve lived past their 110th birthday, 51 are female.
(Medical Xpress) – Europe’s rights court on Friday backed the decision of a French court to allow a man in a vegetative state be taken off life support, in a ruling that could become a benchmark on the continent. The fate of Vincent Lambert, 38, who was left a quadriplegic with severe brain damage after a 2008 road accident, has torn apart his family in a judicial tug-of-war over his right to die.
(The Washington Post) – Nursing is bracing for what’s being called a “silver tsunami” — a graying Baby Boomer workforce entering retirement. On top of that, many other nurses are leaving the field out of frustration. Why? They don’t feel they’re making enough of a difference for their patients. A 2011 study found that more than 20 percent of nurses who provide direct patient care expressed job dissatisfaction, compared to 13 percent of nurses in non-institutional settings.
(The Telegraph) – Genetic faults caused by trauma, poor lifestyle or environmental stress can be passed down to future generations, scientists at the University of Cambridge have discovered. Previously large studies have shown that devastating events such as famine can scar future generations, making them more prone to obesity and diabetes. However it is the first time that the biological mechanism for the effect has been seen.
(CNN) – A drug aimed at helping women who’ve lost their sex drive cleared a key hurdle Thursday, winning backing from an FDA panel. An FDA advisory committee voted 18-6 to recommend that the FDA approve the drug flibanserin for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder in premenopausal women.
(The Conversation) – Australia’s organ donation levels are low by international standards. At least twenty countries achieve better donation rates than Australia’s 16.1 donors per million population (DPMP), including Belgium (29.9 DPMP), the United States (25.9), France (25.5) and the United Kingdom (20.8). The review of Australia’s tissue and organ transplantation systems, announced last week, aims to increase organ donation rates by focusing on the role of the national Organ and Tissue Authority, which helps coordinate donation services. However, many of the key policy settings are in the hands of state and territory governments.
(Fox News) – North Carolina lawmakers passed a bill on Wednesday that would make the state one of several with 72-hour waiting periods for an abortion, sending the bill to the Republican governor who plans to sign it. Hours after the bill passed, Gov. Pat McCrory said he was pleased with progress made on the bill in recent days and planned to sign it. The House and Senate chambers in the GOP-controlled legislature approved the measure by margins above the threshold for overcoming a veto.
(Eurekalert) – A special issue of Cell Stem Cell published on June 4 includes a collection of reviews and perspectives on the biology of aging. Highlights include: The secret to a longer life? Be a female. Human supercentenarians share at least one thing in common–over 95 percent are women. Scientists have long observed differences between the sexes when it comes to aging, but there is no clear explanation for why females live longer.
(Forbes) – As insurance companies expand coverage of telehealth to patients via smartphone, laptop or Skype, the American Medical Association wants to be sure doctors have the proper ethical guidance on this fast-growing form of care. The AMA’s annual policy-making House of Delegates later this week will debate telemedicine, voting on new policy created by the group’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs that will advise doctors on everything from patient privacy and diagnosis to follow-up care for virtual visits between doctors and patients.
(The Washington Post) – A few years ago, a team at the National Institutes of Health set out to study healthy people’s DNA. They recruited 1,000 volunteers who appeared to be free of disease based on blood tests, echocardiograms, self-reported symptoms and other things your personal doctor would normally check. Then the scientists looked at their genomes.
(The Washington Post) – Curious how many viruses have invaded your body over the course of your life? Now you can know. Researchers have developed a DNA-based blood test that can determine a person’s viral history, a development they hope could lead to early detection of conditions, such as hepatitis C, and eventually help explain what triggers certain autoimmune diseases and cancers.
(UPI) – A 55-year-old software developer is the recipient of the first ever skull and scalp transplant, which was completed while the patient also received kidney and pancreas transplants. James Boysen received the transplants following the successful treatment of leiomyosarcoma, a rare cancer of the smooth muscle, with chemotherapy and radiation that left him with a deep wound on his head that went through his skull all the way to his brain.
(The Washington Post) – The National Institutes of Health has suspended operations of a pharmaceutical unit that makes drugs for some clinical research studies after two vials of protein in blood had fungal contamination, officials said Thursday. Vials made from the same batch were given to six patients. The six patients have been notified and are being monitored, officials said. None has developed signs of infection or illness.