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Online Gene Test Finds a Dangerous Mutation. It May Well Be Wrong.

July 6, 2018

(San Francisco Gate) – The news was not good. Clayton got back a report with a sinister red box at the top saying he had a mutation linked to Lynch syndrome, a frightening genetic disorder that leads to potentially deadly cancers at an early age. After two weeks of panic and yet another genetic test at a company with expertise in medical diagnostics, he learned the red box result was wrong. He simply didn’t have the mutation.

U.S. Private Citizen Cites Mystery Illness Symptoms After China Visit

July 6, 2018

(Reuters) – A U.S. private citizen who visited China has reported symptoms like those of U.S. diplomats afflicted with a mysterious illness in Havana and Guangzhou, a U.S. State Department official said on Thursday.  The person, who was not named by the department official, is the first non-official American known to have experienced the symptoms following a trip to China. Nineteen private U.S. citizens have reported similar symptoms after traveling to Cuba.

Let Roe Go

July 6, 2018

(The Washington Post) – The decision itself is a poorly reasoned mess. It failed to mount a convincing case that the Constitution contains language that can be read as guaranteeing a woman’s right to abort her pregnancy. Nor have the subsequent courts that amended and extended Roe managed to come up with a constitutional justification; it’s all “emanations and penumbras” and similarly float-y language that did little to convince opponents that Roe v. Wade was a good or necessary ruling.

No Baby, No Fee

July 6, 2018

(Daily Mail) – Couples who have difficulty conceiving are being offered controversial ‘no baby, no fee’ deals by Spanish IVF clinics. Patients who qualify hand over around £26,000 for three cycles of IVF with the guarantee that if they do not end up with a healthy baby they get their money back. The treatment is offered to healthy women under 38 and applies to those needing egg donation or using their own. Critics say the deals are further commercialising the birth process and are, in fact, poor value for money as the couples would pay less for individual rounds of IVF.

The First Four Continuous Glucose Monitors

July 6, 2018

(Managed Care Magazine) – The days of painful fingerpricks to measure blood sugar levels with glucometers finally may be over for many patients with diabetes, especially for the 1.2 million Americans with type 1 diabetes but also for at least 1.75 million patients with type 2 diabetes who control their condition by self-injecting insulin several times a day. Instead, these patients can track their glucose levels with continuous glucose monitors.

Tightly Controllable Cas9 Genome Editor Could Be Useful for Gene Drive Regulation

July 6, 2018

(GenomeWeb) – Researchers from the University of Bath and Cardiff University in the UK have developed a way to tightly control CRISPR-Cas9-based genome editing using a cheap derivative of lysine. They noted that such a system could have broad applications, and that it is a first step towards purposed, spatiotemporal regulation of gene drives over large geographical ranges.

A New Edition of Health and Social Work Is Now Available

July 6, 2018

Health and Social Work (vol. 43, no. 2, 2018) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Ethical Issues in Integrated Health Care: Implications for Social Workers” by Frederic G Reamer

 

A New Edition of Human Reproduction Is Now Available

July 6, 2018

Human Reproduction (vol. 33, no. 5, 2018) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Of Mice and Men: Long-Term Safety of Assisted Reproduction Treatments” by Richard M Sharpe
  • “Is There a Relation between the Time to ICSI and the Reproductive Outcomes?” by A Pujol et al.
  • ” Doctor–Couple Communication During Assisted Reproductive Technology Visits” by D Leone et al.

 

Vulnerable Rural Hospitals Face Tough Decisions on Questionable Billing Schemes

July 5, 2018

(NPR) – The new management had dramatic effects on the hospital’s finances, according to a report from the Missouri state auditor. In six months, Putnam Memorial generated $92 million in revenue. By comparison, the audit reported, the hospital had generated just $7.5 million the year before. But little of that revenue was staying with the hospital, according to Missouri auditor Nicole Galloway’s August 2017 audit report. “It appears that Putnam County Memorial Hospital is being used as a shell company for questionable lab activity that’s occurring across the country,” Galloway said in an interview after releasing the audit.

As Drug Resistance Grows, Combining Antibiotics Could Turn Up New Treatments

July 5, 2018

(STAT News) – Combining certain antibiotics could help them pack a one-two punch against harmful bacteria, according to a new study published Wednesday in Nature. Nassos Typas and his colleagues at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Germany tested 3,000 different combinations of antibiotics with each other or with drugs, food additives, and other compounds on three common types of bacteria that infect humans.

South Africa Paying Too Much for Private Healthcare: Watchdog

July 5, 2018

(Reuters) – South Africans are paying too much for private healthcare, the country’s antitrust watchdog said on Thursday, adding patients are sometimes prescribed treatments they don’t need by an industry with limited competition. Presenting its findings of a four-year investigation into the sector, the Competition Commission said private health providers sometimes recommended pricey treatments unnecessarily.

States Expand Telemedicine to Allow Prescribing of Controlled Substances

July 5, 2018

(Modern Healthcare) – Legislators are beginning to open up new avenues for providers to use telemedicine to prescribe medications, a move that’s indicative of growing acceptance of virtual care as a way to improve access. On Sunday, Connecticut became the latest state to allow providers to prescribe controlled substances through telemedicine for treating psychiatric disabilities and substance use disorder. Seven other states have recently passed similar laws allowing the prescription of controlled substances via telemedicine.

A Vaccine We Don’t Even Use Anymore Is a Reason Polio Keeps Spreading–Yes, Really

July 5, 2018

(Vox) – The global push to immunize children against polio has been an incredible success, reducing polio cases by 99.9 percent.  But there’s a lingering obstacle to a polio-free world: A scant number of people who got one version of the vaccine before it was phased out in 2016 carry a variant of the polio virus that was in that vaccine and has since mutated. The mutated virus can now be passed around in areas where few people have been vaccinated, sickening some along the way. This is precisely what’s playing out right now, in a very small polio outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and with a handful of cases in a few other countries.

He Went in for a Heart Transplant. He Suffered Brain Damage. Now His Family Is Suing St. Luke’s.

July 5, 2018

(ProPublica) – In May, an investigation by ProPublica and the Houston Chronicle revealed that the once-renowned program performed an outsized number of transplants resulting in deaths in recent years and has lost several top physicians. Those issues surfaced after the hospital was purchased in 2013 by Catholic Health Initiatives, a Colorado-based nonprofit hospital chain. Two weeks after the stories were published, the hospital voluntarily suspended the heart transplant program following the deaths of three patients in the first five months of 2018.

Fertility Problems, Reproductive Technology Tied to Slightly More Birth Defects

July 5, 2018

(Reuters) – Women who struggle to get pregnant or use reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be more likely to have preemies and kids with birth defects than their peers who conceive without difficulty, a U.S. study suggests. Infertility has long been linked to an increased risk of premature deliveries, and the current study offered fresh evidence of this. Compared to women without any fertility issues, women who struggled to conceive were 39 percent more likely to have premature babies, while the increased risk associated with using reproductive technologies was 79 percent.

Hospital Says It’s Not Liable for Loss of Eggs, Embryos in Freezer Malfunction

July 5, 2018

(CNN) – University Hospitals in Cleveland denies that it’s liable for the loss of more than 4,000 eggs and embryos in a freezer failure, in response to lawsuits filed by several families. The hospital responded in court documents after the cryopreservation system malfunctioned in early March, affecting embryos and eggs belonging to at least 950 families.

Google’s Artificial Intelligence Ethics Won’t Curb War by Algorithm

July 5, 2018

(Wired) – The Al Mantharis’ lawyers worry their clients may have been killed on the basis of metadata, which are used to select targets. Such data is drawn from a web of intelligence sources, much of it harvested from mobile phones – including text messages, email, web browsing behaviour, location, and patterns of behaviour. While the US army and CIA are secretive about how they select targets – a process known as the kill chain – metadata plays a role. Big data analytics, business intelligence and artificial intelligence systems are then used to spot the correlations that supposedly identify the target.

A New Edition of Ethics, Medicine, and Public Health Is Now Available

July 5, 2018

Ethics, Medicine, and Public Health (vol. 4, no. 1, 2018) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Biomedical Ethics, Public Health Ethics, and Bioethics: Identifying the Interrelationships Between Three Distinct Fields” by J.P. Spike
  • “Praise of a Medical and Public Health Ethics for the 21st Century” by C. Hervé and P. Charlier
  • “Principles for Public Health Ethics” by J.P. Spike
  • “Ethical Competencies for Public Health Personnel” by L. M. Lee
  • “Resolving Disputes among Inter-Professional Codes of Ethics” by S. H. Linder
  • “Health Zones in Oregon: Exploring the Ethical Deliberation Process in County Public Health” by K. M. Dirksen, S. D. Present, P. Mason, and D. Emerick
  • “How Do Nuclear Medicine Physicians Deal with Ethical Aspects of Communicating Results to Patients after PET Performed for Oncological Indications? A French National Survey ” by S. Gonzalez et al.
  • “Court-Ordered Treatment and Toxic Users: Difficulties in Their Implementation” by E. Christin et al.
  • “Bioethics North and South: Creating a Common Ground” by S.H. Miles and A.K. Laar
  • “Blueprint for Scaling Advance Care Planning Conversations to Medical Practices” by G. E. Bondi
  • “An Anthropology of Women’s Body According to the FEMEN Organization” by P. Charlier and S. Deo

 

A New Edition of Social Science & Medicine Is Now Available

July 5, 2018

Social Science & Medicine (vol. 204, 2018) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Valuing Health at the End of Life: A Review of Stated Preference Studies in the Social Sciences Literature” by Koonal K. Shah, Aki Tsuchiya, and Allan J. Wailoo
  • “Men’s Work, Women’s Work, and Mental Health: A Longitudinal Investigation of the Relationship Between the Gender Composition of Occupations and Mental Health” by Allison Milner et al.
  • “Modeling Racial Disparities in Physical Health Via Close Relationship Functioning: A Life Course Approach” by David Matthew Doyle, Pam Factor-Litvak, and Bruce G. Link
  • “Does Health Insurance Coverage or Improved Quality Protect Better Against Out-of-Pocket Payments? Experimental Evidence from the Philippines” by Natascha Wagner, Stella Quimbo, Riti Shimkhada, and John Peabody
  • “Understanding and Alleviating Maternal Postpartum Distress: Perspectives from First-Time Mothers in Australia” by Kwok Hong Law et al.
  • “Developing Religiously-Tailored Health Messages for Behavioral Change: Introducing the Reframe, Reprioritize, and Reform (“3R”) Model” by Aasim I. Padela et al.
  • “Does the Ethno-Religious Diversity of a Neighbourhood Affect the Perceived Health of Its Residents?” by Kenisha Russell Jonsson andNeli Demireva

 

Routine DNA Tests Will Put NHS at the ‘Forefront of Medicine’

July 4, 2018

(The Guardian) – People in England will have access to DNA tests on an unprecedented scale from the autumn when the NHS becomes the first health service in the world to routinely offer genomic medicine. From 1 October, hospitals across England will be connected to specialist centres that read, analyse and interpret patient DNA to help diagnose rare diseases, match patients to the most effective treatments, and reduce adverse drug reactions. The move marks a big step towards “precision medicine”, which offers more efficient therapies that are tailored to individual patients.

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