Viewpoints: Health Care Providers Are Falling Behind When It Comes To Helping Climate Change Migrants; Focus On A Real Emergency Like The Opioid Epidemic
Editorial pages focus on these health care topics and others.
We Are Caring For A New Type Of Patient: The Climate Migrant
As part of the Migrant Clinicians Network, my colleagues and I have treated many kinds of migrant over more than two decades: a farm worker who needs prenatal care who must travel every three weeks with the harvest; an asylum seeker struggling with insulin-dependent diabetes who is trying to escape war and violence; an immigrant who needs to travel back home in the midst of his tuberculosis treatment. But we are beginning to see a new type of patient — climate migrants — who I fear we will be seeing more of in the years to come, especially as the Trump administration seems to be ignoring the effects of climate change. (Ed Zuroweste, 1/9)
The Washington Post:
Here Are Some Real Emergencies. None Of Them Requires The President To Turn Into A Dictator.
Start with the opioid addiction epidemic, which the president did designate a national health emergency in the fall of 2017. Unfortunately, there has been limited follow-up from him or his administration since then. Even with more than 70,000 people dying in 2017 from drug overdoses, federal spending remains at levels far short of what experts say is required to fight addiction effectively. (1/9)
Should We Build A Border Wall Or Fund Research That Saves Millions Of Lives?
The U.S. government entered a partial shutdown shortly before Christmas, in large part due to a lack of resolution about President Trump’s $5.7 billion demand for a border wall. Lost in the conversation is how the closure of governmental agencies affects the scientific infrastructure of our country — and the health and safety of our citizens. (Andrea C. Gore, 1/8)
Gun Politics: Universal Background Checks Get A Welcome Push
Now leading a highly polarized House of Representatives, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has zeroed in on one issue that commands broad public support: requiring background checks on all gun sales. Eighty-five percent of American adults — including 79 percent of Republicans — support them for private sales and at gun shows, a recent survey shows.The House Democrats’ new legislation to require these checks should be considered and passed without delay. (1/8)
Hospital-Based Physicians Play A Key Role In Ending The Opioid Epidemic
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s recently released 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment estimates that opioids killed roughly 200 people a day in 2017. Despite efforts across the country to halt the national opioid epidemic, we continue to see deaths. Hospital-based physicians have a unique opportunity to identify innovative programs and proven practices that prevent and treat addiction in isolated pockets of the healthcare system and bring them to scale. (Rebecca Parker, 1/8)
The Washington Post:
What If We Paid People To Donate Their Kidneys To Strangers?
What if a simple policy could save tens of thousands of people every year from a deeply unpleasant treatment followed by early death? A policy that would disproportionately help the most disadvantaged? While actually saving taxpayer money? That’s a pretty rare combination; presumably you’d be pretty excited. But what if the policy involved paying people to donate one of their kidneys to a stranger? (Megan McArdle, 1/8)
The New York Times:
Coming Out As Trans Isn’t A Teenage Fad
Unfortunately, what many other parents are receiving right now is not encouragement to find wisdom and understanding. What they are getting instead is a bogus new diagnosis — Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria. The inventors of this spurious term claim that R.O.G.D. is not a real trans identity but the product of social pressure. Abigail Shrier, writing in The Wall Street Journal, describes it as “social contagion.” She says that young people — many of them college-aged, and most of them born female-bodied — are embarking upon transition, with its surgeries and hormones and other accompanying challenges, in the same way a person might take up the ukulele. (Jennifer Finney Boylan, 1/8)
Why Doesn't Legal Marijuana Come With Warning Labels?
In his inaugural address on Jan. 1, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, like other governors, announced that he will push for the legalization of recreational marijuana, but he said nothing about what he will do to mitigate the health risks. Before legislators legalize marijuana, they should require bold and direct warning labels to be placed on the packaging as is done with tobacco products. If the states fail to act, then the Food and Drug Administration should step in and require it. (DJ Jaffe, 1/8)
The New York Times:
After Birth: How Motherhood Changed My Relationship With My Body
The mental and physical impact of going through pregnancy, giving birth and then dealing with a newborn is immense and can feel overwhelming. Whether you’re battling with stretch marks, hair loss or an inability to control your bowel movements, every woman’s experience of post-birth recovery is valid. Hopefully starting an honest dialogue free from shame, guilt or judgment — as I’ve tried to do here in this film — will benefit future mothers. (Bronwen Parker-Rhodes, 1/8)