Longer Looks: Mental Illness And Death Row; Declining Women’s Health; And Fighting Superbugs
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
The Los Angeles Times:
On California's Death Row, Too Insane To Execute
Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris’ office has asked the California Supreme Court to remove [Ronnie] McPeters from death row, arguing he will always be too gravely disabled to execute. State prosecutors believe McPeters’ sentence should be be converted to life, to be spent in other prisons or state medical facilities. If the state’s highest court agrees, Harris’ legal theory of “permanent incompetence” would make California the first to address a growing problem of aging and gravely mentally ill inmates awaiting ever-delayed execution. (Paige St. John, 6/5)
Women's Health In The US Is Declining In 4 Key Ways, And Researchers Can't Explain Why
Analyzing changes in the death rate among middle-aged white women, Columbia University statistician Andrew Gelman found that from 1999 to 2013, the death rate steadily increased, while for white men it has been decreasing since 2005. In a separate article, researchers at the Urban Institute noted that the trend reflects what's going on with American women generally (not just non-Hispanic white women). The outlook is particularly dismal when they're compared with groups in other countries. (Julia Belluz, 6/7)
The Mushroom Farmer Versus Drug-Resistant Superbugs
The rise of drug-resistant bacteria is sobering. Just last week, colistin-resistant E. coli––a “superbug” resistant to the antibiotic that’s considered the last resort for combatting particularly dangerous types of infections––landed in the U.S. Soon, public health officials anticipate, infections will be harder to stop; 10 million people could die of drug-resistant superbugs annually by 2050 due to a lack of effective medicine. It may be a long shot, but it’s conceivable that [Tradd] Cotter's process offers a new kind of hope. (Jesse Frost, 6/3)
The Los Angeles Times:
As California's 'Death With Dignity' Law Takes Effect, What Can We Learn From Oregon's Experience With Assisted Suicide?
As California’s aid-in-dying law takes effect, a top Oregon health officer describes how terminally ill Oregonians use that state’s longstanding death with dignity law. Podcast. (Pat Morrison, 6/8)
Last Week Tonight:
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: Debt Buyers
Companies that purchase debt cheaply then collect it aggressively are shockingly easy to start. We can prove it! Video. (6/5)