KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Longer Looks: A Nurse’s Hardening Approach To Death; Preventing Diabetes

Every week reporter Ankita Rao selects interesting reading from around the Web.

Slate: Approaching Death
A child is dead. There is a terrifying, soul-piercing scream that a mother makes when she loses a child. This scream is so universal that everyone, in every corner of the emergency department, knows what has just happened when they hear it. … Was it really possible that my response to the intense anguish of two broken parents was to push them into a room and run off to finish my job? When had I become so callous? I remembered myself as a new nurse—one who made it a point to touch every patient, even when she wasn't examining them; who had a gift for sensing what a psychotic patient needed in order to de-escalate; who was known as the one to call when a battered woman needed to feel safe enough to talk—but this memory was distant and faded (Kimberly A. Condon, 6/19).

Los Angeles Times: Girl's Lung Transplant Leaves Thorny Ethical Questions
The emails arrived by the dozens. Then the hundreds. Then the thousands. Family and friends of Sarah Murnaghan had posted an online petition demanding that the 10-year-old, whose lungs were ravaged by cystic fibrosis, be given the same access as adults to organs from adult donors — and not be limited to organs from children. … Nobody wants to deny transplants to children. In fact, minors generally receive preferential status for organs. But allocation of lungs is particularly complicated (Alan Zarembo, 6/12).

National Journal: How To Lower Your Risk Of Diabetes
Wendy Wiernik was sitting in her car, just after a doctor's appointment when it hit her: She was not going to get diabetes. She started crying. Wiernik, a 42-year-old mother with two jobs and a family history of depression and diabetes, weighed more than she should and had been flagged as "prediabetic" half a year before. That's when her physician's assistant made a surprising suggestion. Instead of writing her a prescription or offering her medical treatment, the PA suggested that Wiernik sign up for a diabetes-prevention class at the YMCA (Margot Sanger-Katz, 6/13).

NPR: Why Men Die Younger Than Women: The 'Guys Are Fragile' Thesis
The 19th century just lost its last living man. Jiroemon Kimura, of Kyotango, Japan, was born in April 1897, lived right through the 20th century and died last Wednesday. He was 116. According to Guinness World Records (which searches for these things), he was the last surviving male born in the 1800s. All the other boys from that century, as best we know, are dead. … Once again, the ladies have outlasted the gentlemen. Not that that's a big surprise. Women, on average, seem to take a little longer to die. But here's what I didn't know: Women, it turns out, don't just win in the end. It seems that women consistently outlive men in every age cohort (Robert Krulwich, 6/17).

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