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Apology For A Death Sparked A Hospital’s Change

Every week, reporter Jessica Marcy selects interesting reading from around the Web.

The Boston Globe Magazine: The C-Section Boom
I was the obstetrician on hospital duty that Sunday morning, so I introduced myself and learned that the patient, pregnant with her first child, wished to have as few interventions as possible. Respecting her desire, we decided to reevaluate her in a few hours to see how her labor had progressed. But would she get her wish? … the odds were greater than 1 in 4 that this woman would end up not with the natural delivery she wanted, but with a surgical delivery in one of the two operating rooms down the hall (Dr. Adam Wolfberg, 10/28).

WBUR’s CommonHealth blog: Hospital Chief On Apology To James Woods For Brother’s ER Death
The news is nearly two years old, that Kent Hospital in Warwick, R.I. settled a suit by actor James Woods over his 49-year-old brother’s Emergency Room death. But it is still quite something to hear the hospital chief involved, Sandra Coletta, say out loud before an audience of hundreds that she apologized for what happened and that “Quite honestly, I did nothing other than what my mother taught me.” The issue of medical apologies is particularly relevant right now in Massachusetts, where the next wave of health reform is expected to include legal changes to help spur more of them (Goldberg, 11/2).

Time: Tracing An Infectious Virus Through The NBA
If, or when, the NBA season does resume after the lockout, teams will have to address another important off-the-court issue: infectious illness. According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Viral Diseases, an outbreak of norovirus, a highly contagious bug that causes gastroenteritis, left at least 24 players and staff members from 13 NBA teams with symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea in 2010. The CDC launched its investigation immediately after reading media reports of a “stomach virus” that had affected 20 NBA players from 13 teams located in 11 states between Nov. 28 and Dec. 8 (Sean Gregory, 11/1).

The Economist: Devil In The Details
[On November 8th] Mississippi’s voters will decide whether to approve a measure defining a person as “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.” On first reading, this language no doubt sounds minatory to pro-choicers and pleasing to pro-lifers. It’s not so simple. … A simple statement of principles? Perhaps. More likely, advocates wish to provoke a series of court challenges leading all the way up to the Supreme Court, whose current composition is far less favourable to abortion-rights advocates than was the early-1970s Burger Court, which decided Roe (11/1).

American Medical News: Medical Liability: Cutting Costs From The Bench
After years of presiding over thousands of civil claims in one of the busiest courts in the country, New York Judge Douglas E. McKeon was bothered by how medical liability cases were being treated in the system. The claims were classified the same as every other civil lawsuit, despite medical liability issues being more complex and taking more time to review, said McKeon … So in 2002, McKeon began a unique approach to evaluating liability claims in collaboration with New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., the largest municipal health care organization in the U.S. The strategy, called judge-directed negotiation, focuses on early court intervention and facilitating discussion among attorneys about claims and potential settlements (Alicia Gallegos, 10/30).

National Review: GOP Wastes Obamacare Opportunity
There certainly does not appear to be much evidence that Republicans are still making repeal a top priority. The House hasn’t taken a vote on Obamacare since trying to change the bill’s graduate-medical-education funding back in May. There isn’t even an all-out effort to get behind a repeal of the CLASS Act, despite Democratic defections on the issue. And the Republican presidential candidates have relatively little to say as well. This seems especially odd, given that any Republican not named Mitt Romney should be hammering on the issue almost daily (Michael Tanner, 11/2).