Longer Looks: Reproductive Rights; Presidents And Health Care; And Limits Of Human Compassion
Each week, KHN finds interesting reads from around the Web.
The New York Times:
A New Front In The War Over Reproductive Rights: ‘Abortion-Pill Reversal'
Marie Stettler has a tattoo on her arm that reads ‘‘Gelobt sei Jesus Christus, in Ewigkeit Amen.’’ It’s a German prayer her family used to recite together, and it means ‘‘Praise be Jesus Christ, for eternity Amen.’’ The family attended Mass weekly, and every Saturday morning at 4:30 they prayed together in front of the Eucharist for an hour. As a teenager in Soda Springs, Idaho, Stettler had a 4.0 G.P.A. and was named Caribou County Junior Miss. She prayed all the time, asking God at each big juncture of her life what he wanted her to do. Her friends, she said, saw her as ‘‘this Christian gal who is chasing the Lord.’’ (Ruth Graham, 7/18)
Why Health Care Drives Presidents Insane
I can’t prove this happened, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Bill Clinton and Barack Obama placed a conference call to President Donald Trump, where they began by proclaiming: “Welcome to the club!” Once again, a new American president has received a significant shock by daring to touch what is now the reigning third rail of American politics: health care. Do I exaggerate? Let's take a trip down memory lane. (Jeff Greenfield, 7/18)
A Psychologist Explains The Hard Limits Of Human Compassion
There are now 65.3 million refugees worldwide, the United Nations reports. It’s an all-time high: likely the largest population of refugees and asylum seekers in human history. Think about that number: 65.3 million. Can you even imagine it? Like, really imagine it. When we see one life, we can imagine their hopes and pain. But 65 million? You can’t. That’s just an abstraction. There’s a hard limit to human compassion, and it’s one of the most powerful psychological forces shaping human events. (Brian Resnick, 7/18)
Trans Kids And Hormone Therapy: Parents’ Perspectives And Stories
Almost a decade ago, Judy Caplan Peters’s four-year-old made an announcement that would shake their family’s values to its core. “Mommy,” the little one said, hand on chest as if to recite the pledge of allegiance, “I’m a boy.” A simple enough statement except that, up until that moment, her child had been raised a girl. Sander*, as he’s known now, had been born with a girl’s anatomy, went by a girl’s name, and dressed in girls’ clothes. (Rebecca Johnson, 7/18)
Your Brain Doesn't Contain Memories. It Is Memories
Recall your favorite memory: the big game you won; the moment you first saw your child's face; the day you realized you had fallen in love. It's not a single memory, though, is it? Reconstructing it, you remember the smells, the colors, the funny thing some other person said, and the way it all made you feel.Your brain's ability to collect, connect, and create mosaics from these milliseconds-long impressions is the basis of every memory. By extension, it is the basis of you. (Nick Stockton, 7/19)
The New Yorker:
How Do You Make A Responsible Movie About Anorexia?
"To the Bone,” the new movie from Marti Noxon, stars Lily Collins as a young woman with anorexia and Keanu Reeves as the vaguely unconventional—he’s bearded and uses curse words—doctor who treats her. After premièring at Sundance in January, it was bought by Netflix, for eight million dollars. Noxon, who made her name as a writer and executive producer on subversive, female-centered TV shows such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “UnREAL,” both wrote and directed the movie. It’s her directorial début. (Jia Tolentino, 7/19)
Mental Illness Is Far More Common Than We Knew
Most of us know at least one person who has struggled with a bout of debilitating mental illness. Despite their familiarity, however, these kinds of episodes are typically considered unusual, and even shameful. (Aaron Reuben, Jonathan Schaefer, 7/14)
Surgery Is One Hell Of A Placebo
The guy’s desperate. The pain in his knee has made it impossible to play basketball or walk down stairs. In search of a cure, he makes a journey to a healing place, where he’ll undergo a fasting rite, don ceremonial garb, ingest mind-altering substances and be anointed with liquids before a masked healer takes him through a physical ritual intended to vanquish his pain. (Christie Aschwanden, 7/19)