Longer Looks: Experimental Marijuana Treatments; Assisted Dying; The Burden On Patients
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
Not White, Not Rich, and Seeking Therapy
A new study suggests there might be another problem at play when low-income and black people attempt to schedule psychotherapy appointments: They never make it past the first voicemail. The study, published in the June issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, suggests psychotherapists are more likely to offer appointments to middle-class white people than to middle-class African-Americans or to working-class people of any race. (Olga Khazan, 6/1)
The Sacramento Bee:
Can Experimental Marijuana Treatments Save A Young Boy’s Life?
The first seizure struck when he was 3. Soon, Silas Hurd was having hundreds a month. Doctors would tell his parents, Forrest and Nicole, that their son had a rare and life-threatening form of epilepsy. The diagnosis set the family on a years-long journey to find a cure, one that has tested their courage, stretched their definition of medicine and put them on the front lines of a county fighting over its marijuana use. A three-part series. (Peter Hecht and Paul Kitagaki, Jr., 5/31)
He's 20. Has Brain Cancer. And Is Caught In The Crossfire Between The FDA And A Renegade Doctor
The dizziness didn’t much worry Neil Fachon. Neither did the double vision. He was recovering from concussions he had sustained while playing sports, and the symptoms weren’t enough to keep him from his engineering classes at Northeastern University in Boston.
The British Medical Association Prepares To Revisit Its Opposition To Assisted Dying
For doctors, the idea of helping a patient to die—even a terminally ill one—is fraught. The Hippocratic Oath, the first attempt to provide an ethical framework for the profession, starts with an injunction to “do no harm”; many feel the discussion need go no further. But a survey for The Economist last year showed that seven in ten Britons thought doctors should be allowed to help patients end their lives, subject to safeguards. So what is a doctor to do? (5/30)
Misunderstanding Medicated Kids
Here’s the data: The National Health Interview Survey from 2011–12 found that children between the ages of six and 17 from families under the poverty line were significantly more likely to be prescribed psychiatric medication than any other economic group. The same study found that children on Medicaid were 50 percent more likely to get a prescription than those with private insurance. An analysis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnoses among kids between the ages of five and 17 between 1998 and 2009 found rates rose twice as fast for working-class and poor kids. A measurable class gap has emerged among children when it comes to mental health. (Malcolm Harris, 5/26)
Unpaid, Stressed, And Confused: Patients Are The Health Care System's Free Labor
I write a lot about health care for my job here at Vox, and have spent the past seven years covering and explaining the American health care system. But there was something I didn't understand about American health care until this experience. It is the considerable burden our fragmented system puts on patients to coordinate their own care. (Sarah Kliff, 6/1)