medicine

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Abortion can be lifesaving

While I realize Joe Walsh lost his election bid, it is still worth emphasizing that his infamous statements about abortion are false, especially considering efforts like those in Ohio to pass a “heartbeat bill”. Abortion is sometimes necessary to save the life of the mother. Via the Irish Times we hear the sad story of…

We’ve already extensively discussed why it costs twice as much for the US to provide healthcare for it’s citizens all the while failing to cover health care for all. Most recently, we discussed the hidden tax of the uninsured and the perverse incentive structure of US healthcare which encourage costlier care, more utilization, and more…

The news was just publicly announced that the University of Maryland is now the 2nd hospital to perform full face transplant in the US. Just a handful of these procedures have been performed around the world, and they are enormously complex ethically, surgically and medically. To begin with, long before the surgery even became a…

In the continual spread of assaults on women’s reproductive freedom in the wake of the 2010 tea party movement, another state, Idaho, is legislating women receive unnecessary and invasive medical procedures prior to obtaining abortion. This is part of an unprecedented effort at the state level to restrict reproductive rights, and in 2011 a record…

Ed Yong demands higher accountability in science journalism and has made me think of how in the last two days I’ve run across two examples of shoddy reporting. These two articles I think encompass a large part of the problem, the first from the NYT, represents the common failure of science reporters to be critical…

We’ve discussed it before, why are costs so much higher in US healthcare compared to other countries? The Washington Post has a pointless article which seems to answer with the tautology costs are high because healthcare in America costs more. How much more? Well, we spend nearly twice as much per capita as the next…

Virginia Ultrasound Bill Back from Dead

Turns out I gave Virginia governor McDonnell too much credit after he rejected the VA ultrasound bill on the grounds the state should insert itself into medical decisions. He’s gone and flip-flopped as a slightly revised version of the bill passes through the VA Senate: The 21 to 19 vote, mostly along party lines, came…

Pennsylvania is poised to enact a ultrasound bill even more stringent than Virginia’s failed bill. Even as the transvaginal ultrasound bill in Virginia was causing national outrage, Pennsylvania conservatives were quietly pushing a even more restrictive abortion bill. The legislation is designed with so many difficult and differing restrictions that long-time abortion policy analyst Elizabeth…

Many bloggers and commentators have expressed outrage over the decision by Virginia to require ultrasound examination, possibly transvaginal ultrasound, prior to women obtaining an abortion. From Bill Maher to Dahlia Lithwick people are outraged and have even suggested that it should be considered rape to force women to undergo vaginal examination by ultrasound prior to…

**Update, the NYT has an editorial in their Sunday edition recommending the passage of two bills in congress requiring advanced notice from drug manufacturers in event of likely shortage. Health affairs discusses the increasingly frequent shortages of critical, life-saving, generic drugs. This is a serious problem that seems mostly limited to the U.S. healthcare system,…