Different Takes: Disability Services Are In Crisis; Examining The Opioid Epidemic
Editorial writers weigh in on these public health issues.
The Star Tribune:
A Call For Help In Service To The Disabled
Like many industries right now, the health care and support sector that provides services to people with disabilities is facing a workforce crisis unlike any we have ever seen. For years, we've been sounding the alarm about the need to invest in the skilled workers who support people with disabilities throughout the state. Direct support professionals, or DSPs, are workers whom people with disabilities cannot live without. They handle everything from administering medication to cooking meals to providing employment coaching so people with disabilities can thrive in their communities. (Sue Schettle, 12/5)
The New York Times:
Opioids Feel Like Love. That’s Why They’re Deadly In Tough Times.
I had told myself that I’d never try heroin because it sounded too perfect. It’s like “warm, buttery love,” a friend told me. When I did yield to temptation — in a fit of rage over a boyfriend’s infidelity in the mid-1980s — that’s what I experienced. It wasn’t euphoria that hooked me. It was relief from my dread and anxiety, and a soothing sense that I was safe, nurtured and unconditionally loved. (Maia Szalavitz, 12/6)
The Boston Globe:
Why Isn’t The US Treating The Overdose Epidemic Like The Public Health Emergency It Is?
For the past 20 months, the drug overdose epidemic has been overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has also fueled it. An estimated 100,306 Americans died of drug overdoses in the 12-month period ending April 2021, according to figures released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This was an increase of 28.5 percent from the year before, making it the highest drug death toll ever, and surpassing the toll of gun deaths and car crashes combined. The vast majority of these cases involved polysubstance use, including alcohol. (John E. Rosenthal, 12/6)
Los Angeles Times:
IVF Mixups Should Not Discourage Expanding Reproductive Care
The story is a harrowing one: A family brings home their newborn but immediately doubts the child is genetically theirs. DNA testing reveals the truth: A fertility center in the Los Angeles area had switched embryos between two families and transferred the wrong embryo to each couple during in vitro fertilization. Their children were born a week apart. After learning of the mistake, the families decided to swap the children, so the parents ended up with their genetic daughters, though they have since kept in touch. In November one of the couples filed a lawsuit against the clinic involved. (Louise P. King, 12/4)
Hospitals Are At The Center Of A Health Data Revolution
The evolving COVID-19 pandemic is forcing healthcare systems to find new ways to meet the needs of affected patients with greater speed, agility and efficiency than ever before. While advanced cutting-edge data analytics are available with the potential to provide the tools healthcare professionals need for quick answers to pressing medical questions, they are dependent on large-scale access to real-world data. Hospitals and healthcare systems are instrumental in contributing to the body of data needed to realize their full potential of this health data revolution. (Dr. Neil J. Weissman, 12/3)
Dobbs Abortion Case: Mississippi Always Tries To Control Black Women
At last week's oral argument in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state of Mississippi pressed the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Roe held that women’s right to terminate pregnancy prior to fetal viability is a component of liberty protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Echoing a line of questioning from Justice Samuel Alito, Mississippi’s Solicitor General ended his argument by comparing the abrogation of Roe with the overturning of the “separate but equal” doctrine in Brown v. Board of Education. (Tiffany R. Wright, 12/5)