Longer Looks: A Medical Mystery; Fentanyl; Preventive Medicine
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
When Doctors Refuse To Treat LGBT Patients
Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is not a disease. It took a long time, but nearly all medical organizations now agree that queerness is not a “sociopathic personality disturbance,” as the American Psychiatric Association once maintained. “Nearly all” is an important caveat, though. (Emma Green, 4/19)
The New York Times:
Why Was This Woman Gaining Weight Despite Her Diet?
She had never been skinny, she continued, but shapely. In her mid-40s, she started gaining weight, slowly at first, then rapidly. She was considering bariatric surgery, but she wanted to make sure she wasn’t missing something obvious. She had low thyroid hormones and had to take medication. Could her thyroid be off again? (Lisa Sanders, 4/14)
Fentanyl: The Drug That’s Ravaging Sacramento
Last week, authorities in Sacramento County confirmed two additional overdoses and another death, driving the number of overdoses up to 51 and the number of fatal overdoses to 11— in less than a month’s time. This comes a mere two days after authorities expressed optimism that the rash of overdoses sweeping local emergency rooms finally seemed to be slowing down. The drug isn’t just limited to Sacramento; fentanyl-related overdoses are escalating nationwide. (Madeleine Thomas, 4/18)
Canada’s New Doctor-Assisted Dying Law Takes Shape
Soon after Justin Trudeau succeeded Stephen Harper as prime minister in November, his government petitioned the Supreme Court for an extension to the 12 months it had granted for an assisted-dying law to be proposed and passed. The new administration needed time to settle in and decide how to frame a law that, in principle, fully three-quarters of Canada’s population support. The court granted an extra four months, with the new deadline set for June 6th. (4/19)
How Can The U.S. Stop Disease Before It Starts?
In recent years, focus has increasingly shifted to offense rather than defense with the rise of “preventive medicine.” Rather than doing our best to treat conditions once they arise, preventive medicine means getting out in front of the problems—promoting healthy behavior, screening for diseases, trying to remove environmental and economic barriers to care. Preventive medicine was a key tenet of the Affordable Care Act, which created the National Prevention Strategy and a National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council to implement it. (Julie Beck, 4/16)