KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Longer Looks: LSD For Psychotherapy; Opioids And Pregnant Women; Fighting Cancer

Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.

The Atlantic: Reclaiming LSD For Psychotherapy
In 1943, Albert Hofmann, a chemist at the Sandoz pharmaceutical laboratory in Basel, Switzerland, was trying to develop drugs to constrict blood vessels when he accidentally ingested a small quantity of lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD. The effects shook him. (Sam Wong, 1/12)

PBS NewsHour: The Opioid Epidemic’s Toll On Pregnant Women And Their Babies
The risk for overdose from opioid painkillers and heroin among women, including pregnant women, has skyrocketed, which means a growing number of babies are born dependent on opioids. NewsHour Weekend Special correspondent Alison Stewart reports on the challenges for pregnant women struggling with addiction. Video. (1/9)

Vox: Michael Pollan On How America Got So Screwed Up About Food
Americans have what journalist and food advocate Michael Pollan has called a "national eating disorder." In books like The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food, Pollan has exposed the knotty intersection of food, science, culture, and politics, while gently advising Americans on how to eat better. (Julia Belluz, 1/7)

The New Yorker: My Last Day As A Surgeon
It was already 6 P.M. I had to go see patients, organize tomorrow’s O.R. schedule, review films, dictate my clinic notes, check on my post-ops, and so on. Around 8 P.M., I sat down in the neurosurgery office, next to a radiology viewing station. I turned it on, looked at my patients’ scans for the next day—two simple spine cases—and, finally, typed in my own name. I zipped through the images as if they were a kid’s flip-book, comparing the new scan to the last. Everything looked the same, the old tumors remained exactly the same … except, wait. (Paul Kalanithi, 1/11)

The Atlantic: Yoga, But Affordable
Yoga, whose name is derived from a Sanskrit word for “unite,” has done quite a bit of dividing in the U.S. A typical class can cost anywhere from $5 to $20, or more, and monthly studio memberships regularly run between $100 and $200—roughly the cost of the average American’s food spending for a week. In the U.S., these costs have made yoga largely the province of women who can afford expensive yoga pants and designer accessories. (Jordan Rosenfeld, 1/12)

STAT: Turning Your Cancer Against Itself
Precision medicine has been sold as customizing treatments for patients, matching drugs to disease-causing genes that just a few thousand or even hundreds of patients carry. Its boosters may have been underselling the concept: If a cutting-edge cancer treatment succeeds, it can be matched precisely to a single patient. (Sharon Begely, 1/12)

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