Viewpoints: Denying Climate Change Puts Children’s Health At Serious Risk; Time To Open Our Arms Again To Everyone, End Mental Health Torture
Editorial pages focus on these health topics and others.
Children Are The Most Neglected And Vulnerable Stakeholders In Climate Change
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), only 10 percent of the world’s population is less than five-years-old and they will bear 90 percent of the economic and health burden of climate change. We have a very limited amount of time remaining in which to decide whether we will take responsibility to address climate change and the disproportionately devastating effects it will have on our children. (Michael Rosenbaum and Lawrence Stanberry, 5/28)
St. Louis Post Dispatch:
The EPA Isn't Going To Make The Air Safer; It's Just Going To Say It Is.
In the Trump administration’s latest assault on science in service to industry, the Environmental Protection Agency is planning to adopt a new method for projecting the future health risks of air pollution. It will drastically lower the number of predicted deaths — not by actually prompting cleaner air, but by downplaying the dangers of the current levels of air pollution. (5/27)
We Must Find A Way To Assimilate Immigrants As We Did Before
The report, by The Intercept and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, found that the federal immigration agency has used isolation cells at Krome and elsewhere to punish immigrants for sometimes minor offenses and to segregate certain groups, including LGBTQ detainees and people with disabilities or mental illness. To say that it is appalling to know that there is so little compassion in the world, that human beings could be so heartless to other humans, is an understatement. (Bea Hines, 5/24)
First Ladies Can Help Lead The Fight Against HIV/AIDS
From Barbara Bush to Margaret Kenyatta, first ladies have a special place in the rich history of women’s leadership on AIDS. In Africa, that expertise and authority are formalized through the Organization of African First Ladies for Development. Its latest effort, the Free to Shine campaign, seeks to keep mothers healthy and end AIDS among African children by 2030. The campaign was launched in Zimbabwe last year, and other countries are rolling out their own plans. (Agnes Mahomva, 5/29)
Georgia Health News:
CDC Must Back Pneumococcal Vaccinations For Seniors
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet June 26 in Atlanta and consider whether to continue recommending the pneumococcal vaccine for Americans 65 and older. Keeping the ACIP vaccination recommendation in place is important. The recommendation increases the likelihood that health care providers will talk to patients about immunization, and it may even affect whether health plans cover immunizations. (Linda Walden, 5/28)
Dialysis Care Offers Lessons For Achieving Health Equity In The U.S.
Achieving health equity at a local level is challenging. Doing so consistently at a national scale is rare. Yet that is exactly what one U.S. health care sector — dialysis care — has been doing, substantially outperforming many other sectors of this ecosystem. The kidney community has overcome socioeconomic barriers and is reliably delivering excellent clinical outcomes regardless of where dialysis centers are located and who they are caring for. (Kent Thiry, 5/29)
Americans Are Unhealthy Because They Work Too Much
The problems with our health are part of a complex pattern, inextricably linked to a society that for all its wealth sets us up for bad habits and poor outcomes. We live in a more demanding and less rewarding work world in which elite executives enrich themselves to an obscene degree while cutting health insurance and pension plans and job security; a free-rein, marketing-oriented culture that barrages us with messages about things we should buy, many of which are bad for us; and a society that leaves us without a real safety net. (Karin Klein, 5/25)
The New York Times:
Nurses Know The Human Costs Of Care. That’s Why Many Want ‘Medicare For All.’
The experiences that have turned the members of National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union for nurses, into vocal advocates for a universal, government-run health care system are numerous and horrific. Renelsa Caudill, a Washington, D.C.-area cardiac nurse, remembers being forced to pull a cardiac patient out of the CT scanner before the procedure was complete. The woman had suffered a heart attack earlier that year and was having chest pains. The doctor wanted the scan to help him decide if she needed a potentially risky catheterization, but the woman’s insurance, inexplicably, had refused to cover the test. (Jeneen Interlandi, 5/27)
The New York Times:
A Missed Opportunity For The Malpractice System To Improve Health Care
The American medical malpractice system is doing almost nothing to improve the quality of health care, research suggests. What may be more concerning is that there is very little discussion, much less action, about changing this. Despite worries among doctors that they are at financial risk from large payouts to plaintiffs, it turns out that a small percentage are responsible for a huge number of claims. A new study, confirming earlier research, found that about 2 percent of doctors accounted for about 39 percent of all claims in the United States. (Aaron E. Carroll, 5/27)
The Washington Post:
A Letter To My Suicidal Younger Self: Suicide Is The Wrong Choice, No Matter How Dire Things Look.
At 10, I sat down in my teddy bear chair that was getting a little too small for me, and I wondered what I had done to make my daddy hate me. I thought he must hate me because he threatened my life. Just the night before, I’d heard him say he might turn on the gas to our house, and he said it would be better if we all were to die. But I didn’t want to die! Not then, anyway. The rest of fourth grade did not get better. After months of begging my daddy to live, I finally lost the battle I waged to save his life. My daddy shot himself to death on traditional Memorial Day in 1989. It was the beginning of my 10th summer and the abrupt end to my childhood. (Robin Raven, 5/25)
Sex Offender Bill Targets Child Predators
The way this state deals with sexual offenders, particularly those who prey on children, has been a problematic part of the law for decades. Now the Massachusetts Legislature has an opportunity to readjust the balance between psychology and public safety, between the role of experts and the pain of victims; they should grab it before the moment passes. (5/28)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Don’t Put Supervised Injection Site On Ice. Put It On Wheels.
Cities in Germany, Spain, Canada, and other countries have converted vans to a two- or three-seat clinic — similar to a small version of a Red Cross van for blood donation — in which clients inject drugs under medical supervision. Supervised injection vans are usually a way to expand the reach of a brick-and-mortar site, but that is not a required condition. Seattle, for example, is considering opening a mobile site. (5/24)