Viewpoints: Texas Bill 1434 Ends Pelvic Exams Without Consent; Are Robot Therapists The Way Of The Future?
Editorial pages delve into these public health matters.
Dallas Morning News:
Texas Women Deserve Control Over Pelvic Exams
Women understand that pelvic exams are medically necessary and a normal part of wellness checkups. But too often in this country, they are performed unnecessarily and without a woman’s consent, frequently while she is under anesthesia for an unrelated procedure. This practice, done for years to help educate medical students, needs to end, and we are glad to say it has in Texas. The Legislature passed and the governor signed House Bill 1434 this session, requiring hospital staff to get informed consent from a patient prior to surgery in order to do the procedure. This decision has been a long time coming, especially after the viral hashtag #MeTooPelvic spurred conversations about a practice that many didn’t know existed. (7/22)
The New York Times:
Robot Therapists? Not So Fast, Says Talkspace C.E.O.
Talk therapy has seen a boom during the pandemic. And with mental health chat bots like Woebot on the market and text therapy platforms like Talkspace going public, the possibility of humans outsourcing our behavioral health to algorithmic healers is only growing — along with the ethical questions attached to it. So Kara Swisher turned to Oren Frank, a co-founder and the chief executive of Talkspace, to ask what the increasing technologization of therapy means for treatment efficacy and for privacy. (7/22)
Fight Medical Misinformation On Social Media With More Information
When the surgeon general of the United States speaks, people tend to listen. So Vivek Murthy’s recent 22-page report proclaiming that the spread of misinformation through social media has become an “urgent threat to public health,” and that more needs to be done to combat the issue, is bound to get some attention. He has a point: Social media is at the heart of misinformation. But social media also has the power to drive public health discussion, a point that runs through the report but is never highlighted. (Victor Agbafe and Prerak Juthani, 7/22)
'When Memory Fades': Misinformation About Aduhelm For Alzheimer's
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued a timely and thought-provoking advisory about the serious threat to public health posed by misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic on July 15. Just two days later, the New York Times chose to run a disconcerting ad on its pages about yet another global public health challenge: Alzheimer’s disease. The ad contains precisely the elements of “false, inaccurate, or misleading” information the surgeon general warns about. “When Memory Fades” is a slick paid post that narrates the story of Jane, a 76-year-old woman who has been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer’s disease. The post was paid for by Biogen and created by the New York Times’ “brand marketing arm.” (Madhav Thambisetty, 7/21)
How AtlantiCare's Diversity, Equity And Inclusion Plan Affects Its Community
Every healthcare organization is impacted by the community it serves, with social, economic and institutional factors naturally influencing the approach to care. In the best of circumstances, this results in an interconnected relationship where we work, learn and grow together. At AtlantiCare, we appreciate that fulfilling our mission to promote health and healing is achieved by creating partnerships that address the other stressors—food insecurity, housing inequality, unconscious bias, and more—affecting the quality of life for those we serve. (Lori Herndon, 7/20)
Trans And Queer People In India Should Demand Better Health Care
After almost three decades of fighting, queer people in India won a long overdue battle when the Supreme Court of India decriminalized same-sex sexual acts among consenting adults in 2018. Since then, I have often been asked where I see India’s queer movements going. Is it going to be marriage equality? Something else? With recent celebrations of Pride Month in mind, I argue for the need of queer people to demand a better, more inclusive and more affordable public health care system. Honestly, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. We know that queer people have been disproportionately affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of a robust public health care system. (Sayantan Datta, 7/21)