First Comes The Grief Of Losing An Infant Unexpectedly. Then Come The Questions From The Detectives.
When a baby dies from sudden infant death syndrome, parents don't have long to recover before they're faced with questions and paperwork from detectives. The policies are in place to protect from abuse or neglect, but can often bleed over to accusatory for parents in the worst moments of their lives. In other public health news, the mysteries of aging, exercise, schizophrenia, smoking and marijuana extract.
After Their Baby Died, Medical Bureaucrats Deepened Their Anguish
When an infant unexpectedly stops breathing during sleep, the usual bureaucracy of death is multiplied, the paperwork thickened with accusation. Investigations are triggered with the local police, the state police, the agency that checks for child abuse. In some jurisdictions, officials appear soon afterward, asking parents to re-enact what happened, a doll standing in for their baby. The medical examiner or coroner takes the body, to determine a cause of death, looking for hints of “foul play.” These protocols are designed to protect. Often they do. But how an officer or medical examiner carries them out can sharpen the suspicion inherent in any investigation, heightening parents’ self-blame even when there’s no evidence of wrongdoing. (Boodman, 3/27)
The Wall Street Journal:
This Old Mouse: ‘Golden Girls’ Unlock The Mysteries Of Aging
Grace and Blanche, two old mice who were second cousins, reached relative fame before dying within months of each other at their home in Bar Harbor, Maine. Known fondly as the Golden Girls at Jackson Laboratory, a nonprofit that specializes in research and mouse production, the two were believed to be the oldest living mice in the world just before their passing in 2016. (Ansberry, 3/26)
The New York Times:
What Your Exercise Habits Might Say About How Long You’ll Live
A new study offers both hope and a subtle nudge to anyone who has slacked off on exercise in recent years. It finds that if people start to exercise in midlife, even if they have not worked out for years, they can rapidly gain most of the longevity benefits of working out. But the reverse is also true, the study finds. Stop exercising and those longevity benefits shrink or evaporate. (Reynolds, 3/27)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
African Americans More Likely To Be Misdiagnosed With Schizophrenia, Rutgers Study Finds
African Americans with severe depression are more likely to be misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia than white patients, a new study from Rutgers University found. The finding builds on years of evidence that clinicians’ racial biases — whether conscious or unconscious — affect the types of mental health diagnoses African-American patients receive. (Pattani, 3/27)
Paternal Smoking And Child Risk: Smoking Tied To Newborn Heart Defects
Maternal smoking during pregnancy has long been associated with congenital heart defects in offspring, but new research published this week in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology suggests parental smoking during a mother’s pregnancy — both maternal and paternal — increases risks in newborns. (Pirani, 3/26)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Selling CBD In Food Is Illegal, FDA Says. So Why Are So Many Retailers Selling It?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration prohibits the addition of CBD to prepared foods. That’s despite language in the 2018 Farm Bill that loosened restrictions on the interstate commerce of hemp — cannabis that contains less than 0.3 percent of THC — and its derivatives such as CBD. Even advocates and researchers advise caution before consuming it.If you’re confused, join the club. (Wood, 3/26)