Different Takes: Is Personalized Medicine The Future?; Tackling American Maternal Health Issues
Editorial pages weigh in on these public health issues.
Personalized Medicine Goes Far Beyond Genetics
Since the Human Genome Project was completed in 2003, most public considerations of personalized medicine have focused on genetically targeted treatments. As The New York Times recently reported, genetic testing and targeted therapies have, for example, introduced a “totally different world” that replaces one-size-fits-all chemotherapy with tailored treatment options for individuals with certain genetically defined breast and lung cancers. (Christopher J. Wells, 11/16)
The New York Times:
Why Is It So Dangerous To Be Pregnant In America?
The United States has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world. To understand why, look at the states. One out of every five women of reproductive age in Southern states live in counties with a high risk of death and other poor maternal health outcomes, such as post-partum hemorrhage, pre-eclampsia and preterm birth, according to new data from Surgo Ventures. (Sema Sgaier and Jordan Downey, 11/17)
Kansas City Star:
Missouri Women Would Be In Danger With Texas Abortion Law
“There were a number of women who would come in periodically to the emergency room after failed or botched abortions, either self-induced or by some back-alley provider. These women would come in with major sepsis (an infection in the abdominal cavity). In the absence of antibiotics, we had to place four quadrant drains, which would drain pus out of the abdominal cavity, and hopefully save them for the ability to have children later on. Some would end up sterile simply because of infections which affected their fallopian tubes. Some we were able to save but it was hard work … it was intensive care. There was an abortion ban, but it was a matter of access. If you were white and had financial resources, there was never any problem getting an abortion if you needed one. If you were not white and did not have money, you had to go to the back alley to get it done.” (Stacey Newman, 11/17)
The CT Mirror:
Keep The Windham And Sharon Hospital Maternity Wards Open
When did our expectations that hospitals exist to serve the public good drop so low? Was it around the time we normalized millions in compensation to CEOs? Or is it now, when we accept the fact that hospitals are denying the women they serve the most basic human healthcare need — the right to deliver a baby in safety? At least two Connecticut hospitals — both with long histories of caring for patients, including expectant mothers — now claim they can’t afford to continue this service. (State Reps. Anne Hughes and Susan Johnson, 11/17)