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Transgender No Longer Recognised as ‘Disorder’ by WHO

May 29, 2019

(BBC) – Transgender health issues will no longer be classified as mental and behavioural disorders under big changes to the World Health Organization’s global manual of diagnoses. The newly-approved version instead places issues of gender incongruence under a chapter on sexual health. A World Health Organization expert said it now understands transgender is “not actually a mental health condition”.

San Diego Hospital Reveals World’s Tiniest Surviving Baby

May 29, 2019

(ABC News) – A San Diego hospital on Wednesday revealed the birth of a girl believed to be the world’s tiniest surviving baby, who weighed just 245 grams (about 8.6 ounces) before she was discharged as a healthy infant. The baby named Saybie was born at 23 weeks and three days and was sent home this month weighing 5 pounds (2 kilograms) after nearly five months in the neonatal intensive care unit, Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns said in a statement.

Most Face Transplant Patients Continue to Report Better Quality of Life

May 29, 2019

(Reuters) – Doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston say most of the face transplant patients they have been following for about five years are continuing to show improvement in quality of life.  Their new faces are functioning – in terms of movement control – at about 60 percent of what a normal face would, and the patients are seeing “significant improvement” in the ability to feel hot, cold and pressure on the skin. 

Supreme Court Avoids Abortion Question, Upholds Fetal Burial Measure

May 29, 2019

(Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday sent a mixed message on abortion, refusing to consider reinstating Indiana’s ban on abortions performed because of fetal disability or the sex or race of the fetus while upholding the state’s requirement that fetal remains be buried or cremated after the procedure is done. 

Half of H.I.V Patients Are Women. Most Research Subjects Are Men.

May 29, 2019

(New York Times) – Inspired by reports of a second patient apparently freed of infection with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, scientists are pursuing dozens of ways to cure the disease. But now, researchers must reckon with a longstanding obstacle: the lack of women in clinical trials of potential H.I.V. treatments, cures and vaccines. Women make up just over half of the 35 million people living with H.I.V. worldwide, and the virus is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age. In Africa, parts of South America and even in the southern United States, new infections in young women are helping to sustain the epidemic.

U.S. Dentists Prescribe Opioids Far More Often Than British Counterparts

May 29, 2019

(Reuters) – Dentists in the U.S. prescribe opioids at a rate 70 times higher than dentists in England, a new study finds. Moreover, the types of opioids prescribed by U.S. dentists are more likely to be those “with a high potential for abuse, such as oxycodone,” researchers reported in JAMA Network Open. 

A Shocking Share of the Public Thinks Randomized Trials Are Immoral

May 29, 2019

(Vox) – Randomized trials are one of the best tools scientists have for learning about the effects of new policies. There’s just one problem — the public kinda hates them. At least, that’s the takeaway from a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A significant share of the public finds conducting randomized studies morally objectionable. 

A Final Comfort: ‘Palliative Transport’ Brings Dying Children Home

May 29, 2019

(Kaiser Health News) – Palliative transport lets families move critically ill children from the hospital intensive care unit to their home or hospice, with the expectation they will die within minutes to days after removing life support. It means “having parents go through the hardest thing they’ll ever know — in the way they want to do it,” Nelson said. Boston Children’s has sent 19 children to home or hospice through palliative transport since 2007, she said.

A Final Comfort: ‘Palliative Transport’ Brings Dying Children Home

May 28, 2019

(Kaiser Health News) – Palliative transport lets families move critically ill children from the hospital intensive care unit to their home or hospice, with the expectation they will die within minutes to days after removing life support. It means “having parents go through the hardest thing they’ll ever know — in the way they want to do it,” Nelson said. Boston Children’s has sent 19 children to home or hospice through palliative transport since 2007, she said.

A Shocking Share of the Public Thinks Randomized Trials Are Immoral

May 28, 2019

(Vox) – Randomized trials are one of the best tools scientists have for learning about the effects of new policies. There’s just one problem — the public kinda hates them. At least, that’s the takeaway from a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A significant share of the public finds conducting randomized studies morally objectionable. 

Nursing Facilities Often Discharge Patients When Co-Pay Kicks In

May 28, 2019

(Reuters) – Skilled nursing facilities in the U.S. often discharge Medicare patients before daily co-payments kick in, according to a new U.S. study that suggests some patients may be sent home for financial reasons before they’re medically ready to leave.  Medicare, the U.S. health program for the elderly and disabled, pays the entire bill for post-hospital care provided by skilled nursing facilities for the first 20 days within a benefit period, researchers note in JAMA Internal Medicine. After that, most patients become responsible for a daily co-payment of more than $150. 

U.S. Dentists Prescribe Opioids Far More Often Than British Counterparts

May 28, 2019

(Reuters) – Dentists in the U.S. prescribe opioids at a rate 70 times higher than dentists in England, a new study finds. Moreover, the types of opioids prescribed by U.S. dentists are more likely to be those “with a high potential for abuse, such as oxycodone,” researchers reported in JAMA Network Open. 

Just Over Half of Teen Girls Diagnosed with STIs in ERs Fill Perscriptions

May 28, 2019

(UPI) – Many teen girls who get infected with gonorrhea and chlamydia aren’t taking antibiotics to treat them, even though nearly half of sexually transmitted infection diagnoses come from that age group. Only 54.1 percent of young women who received a diagnosis for a sexually transmitted infection in the emergency department had prescriptions filled for antimicrobial therapy to treat the condition, according to a research letter published Tuesday in JAMA Pediatrics.

‘She’s Wiggling Her Toes’: New Fetal Surgery for Spina Bifida May Be Safer for Both Baby and Mom

May 28, 2019

(STAT News) – About a decade ago, Chmait heard about a pioneering Brazilian scientist and surgeon, Dr. Denise Lapa, who had spent years developing a way to repair spina bifida in the womb without making large incisions in the uterus or the abdomen. (Brazil, where abortion is illegal and malnutrition is more common, has a high rate of spina bifida.) Lapa has done nearly 100 of the surgeries and, according to Chmait, helped with the first one performed in the United States, at New York-Presbyterian Hospital last year; it was not publicized. For years, Chmait has traveled to Brazil to observe and learn the technique, in which the uterus and fetus remain inside the body during the procedure.

Fertility Clinics Around the World Asked ‘CRISPR Babies’ Scientist for How-To Help

May 28, 2019

(STAT News) – The condemnation of the Chinese scientist who created the world’s first genome-edited babies last year was far from universal: A fertility clinic in Dubai emailed He Jiankui on December 5 — just a week after he announced the births — asking if he could teach its clinicians “CRISPR gene editing for Embryology Lab Application.” Although the English is somewhat tortured, the meaning was clear, Dr. William Hurlbut of Stanford University, who has advised He on the bioethics of his work for several years, told STAT: The fertility center was interested in offering CRISPR embryo editing to its patients.

The Bullying That Led This Doctor to Take Her Own Life

May 28, 2019

(BBC) – One doctor has been arrested and two others suspended in India’s Mumbai city amid allegations that their bullying of a young female doctor led her to take her own life. BBC Marathi’s Janhavee Moolee and Pravin Thakre report. “I used to say I am Dr Payal’s mother. But what do I say now?” Abeda Tadvi asks tearfully. Her 26-year-old daughter, Payal, took her own life on 22 May after months of alleged harassment over her caste – she belonged to a Scheduled Tribe, a status given to historically disadvantaged tribes.

Abortion: Islamic and Jewish Views on When a Human Soul Enters the Human Fetus

May 28, 2019

(Eurasia Review) – All the continuing political disputes over abortion in the USA and other countries ignore the fundamental religious issue: when does the fetus in the womb of a woman’s body become a human fetus? At conception it is a living physical body, but when does this soul become a spiritual human being? All mammals begin life as a fetus. What makes the fetus/embryo in the womb of a woman’s body into a human fetus/embryo from a religious point of view is the entrance into the fetus/embryo of a spiritual human soul (ensoulment).

Years After My Son Died in NHS Care, State-Sanctioned Torture Continues

May 27, 2019

(The Guardian) – Torture is the word I used this week to describe the treatment of children and young adults in private and NHS units, following publication of a Care Quality Commission report about the use of restraint and segregation in these places. The report detailed accounts of being locked in rooms without access to the outside, fed through hatches, for weeks, months or even years. One boy had not been washed for six months, while staff had to shout at another young man through a window because there was no equipment to enable communication. They would hold a book up at the window for him to read while he spent most of his time naked under a blanket.

‘Having a Child Doesn’t Fit into These Women’s Schedule’: Is This the Future of Surrogacy?

May 27, 2019

(The Guardian) – And as the range of fertility options open to clients has diversified, so have their requests. Now, a growing number of women are coming to Sahakian for “social” surrogacy: they want to have babies that are biologically their own, but don’t want to carry them. There is no medical reason for them to use a surrogate; they just choose not to be pregnant, so they conceive babies through IVF and then hire another woman to gestate and give birth to their baby. It is the ultimate in outsourced labour.

Do-It-Yourself Insulin: Biohackers Aim to Counteract Skyrocketing Prices

May 27, 2019

(Deutsche Welle) – David Anderson is pipetting a yellowish liquid into conical flasks, anxious not to spill anything. The liquid contains yeast cells, which, thanks to a bit of genetic engineering, are able to produce a precursor of insulin — the hormone that people with Type 1 diabetes need to administer to themselves to survive. “We are doing a test today with an enzyme that’s going to create the insulin from the proinsulin,” David explains. “The enzyme did show activity before, so we are hopeful.”

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