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December 30, 2011

Abortions to reduce multiple births on the rise

Over the past few years, there has been a sharp rise in the number of women terminating one foetus or more but continuing with a pregnancy and bearing at least one other child. (Telegraph)

Uninsured Turn to Daily Deal Sites for Health Care

The last time Mark Stella went to the dentist he didn’t need an insurance card. Instead, he pulled out a Groupon. (ABC News)

WHO “deeply concerned” by mutated birdflu research

The World Health Organization issued a stern warning on Friday to scientists who have engineered a highly pathogenic form of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, saying their work carries significant risks and must be tightly controlled. (Reuters)

December 29, 2011

Patients strongly support access to clinical notes

When Harvard Medical School researchers came up with the idea to open up clinical notes to patients as an experiment, their first step was finding out how people felt about the idea — and what they expected to happen as a result. (American Medical News)

Mayo Clinic plans to sequence patients’ genomes to personalise care

Doctors have drawn up plans to sequence the full genetic code of thousands of people in a landmark project to personalise their medical care. (Guardian)

The hidden costs of artificial reproductive technology

Thousands of children are conceived across the United States, including in Utah, using donated sperm or eggs. Some people do not know they were conceived through the use of a donor until they reach an age when their parents feel they can better understand the complex nature of their conception. (KSL)

December 28, 2011

Full Face Transplants: A Cutting Edge Closer Look

Surgeons lift the face off one person and transplant it onto another person. Sounds like a scene out of a John Travolta and Nicholas Cage movie. (ABC News)

The High Cost of Failing Artificial Hips

The most widespread medical implant failure in decades — involving thousands of all-metal artificial hips that need to be replaced prematurely — has entered the money phase. (NY Times)

The risks of anti-aging medicine

Hanneke Hops wasn’t afraid of dying. What concerned her was growing old and not being able to run marathons, ride horses, or fly planes. (CNN)

New federal fee on health insurers will help pay for head-to-head tests of medical treatments

Starting in 2012, the government will charge a new fee to your health insurance plan for research to find out which drugs, medical procedures, tests and treatments work best. But what will Americans do with the answers? (Washington Post)

December 27, 2011

Supreme Court hears case involving medical record disclosure

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard oral arguments in a case centering on whether the government is liable for disclosing to another agency the medical history of an HIV-positive patient. (American Medical News)

Families of Ill Children Try Drug Development

After an Israeli biotech company stopped working on a promising medication, two U.S. families took an unusual step: They bought the drug and decided to develop it themselves as a possible treatment for their children’s muscular dystrophy. (Wall Street Journal)

Fiscal Crisis Takes Toll on Health of Greeks

The free clinic here opened about a year ago to serve illegal immigrants. But these days, it is mostly caring for Greeks like Vassiliki Ragamb, who was sitting in the waiting room hoping to get insulin for her young diabetic son. (NY Times)

December 26, 2011

Tough choice looms for people suing over 9/11 health claims: to apply for gov’t aid or not

More than 1,600 people who filed lawsuits claiming that their health was ruined by dust and smoke from the collapsed World Trade Center must decide by Jan. 2 whether to keep fighting in court, or drop the litigation and apply for benefits from a government compensation fund. (Washington Post)

In Treating Disabled, Potent Drugs and Few Rules

Something was happening to Katie Strignano. After she was moved into a state-run group home, the 26-year-old woman, who is severely mentally retarded, started gaining weight, drooling, breaking out in pimples and pulling out her hair, leaving a bald spot the size of a softball on her head. (NY Times)

A Push to Tie New Drugs to Testing

ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals found out the hard way how important it is to have a trustworthy companion. (NY Times)

Vicodin times 10: Abuse experts worried about new, stronger form of a widely abused painkiller

Drug companies are working to develop a pure, more powerful version of the nation’s second most-abused medicine, which has addiction experts worried that it could spur a new wave of abuse. (Gazette Xtra)

France to Pay for Removal of Risky Breast Implants

France took a costly and unprecedented leap Friday in offering to pay for 30,000 women to have their breast implants removed because of mounting fears the products could rupture and leak cheap, industrial-grade silicone into the body. (ABC News)

Stanford Study Finds IPS Cells Match Embryonic Stem Cells In Modeling Human Disease

Stanford University School of Medicine investigators have shown that iPS cells, viewed as a possible alternative to human embryonic stem cells, can mirror the defining defects of a genetic condition – in this instance, Marfan syndrome – as well as embryonic stem cells can. (Medical News Today)

December 21, 2011

Hospitals to Face Penalties for Patient Readmission

James Breedin cannot keep track of how often he has been admitted to Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., for heart problems. “It’s been so many,” said Breedin, a 75-year-old disabled truck driver. (ABC News)

Embryos Spur Legal Fights

Couples who break up often fight over many things, but in vitro fertility treatments have created a new frontier: Who controls the frozen embryos that often result from such procedures? (Wall Street Journal)

 

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