Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Legislation Criminally Penalizing Doctors Who Treat Transgender Teens Goes Against Best Medical Practices

KHN Morning Briefing

Most teens seeking care aren’t getting permanent surgeries, but rather injections that pause the process of puberty. A new wave of bills from conservative states, including South Dakota and Kentucky, want to make it illegal for doctors to give such care, despite testimony that the injections help diminish depression and suicidal thoughts. “They’re not listening to any health care providers,” said Dr. Alexis Chávez, a psychiatrist. “And they’re advancing something that’s very dangerous to make a statement.”

Do No Harm? Guantanamo Bay Hearings Shine Harsh Spotlight On Doctors’ Roles In Interrogations

KHN Morning Briefing

A judge is hearing testimony about how Guantanamo Bay inmates were treated, including disturbing accounts about medical professionals’ behavior toward the prisoners. “The physicians were present in interrogations that were harmful and life-threatening, and that violates the first principle of medical ethics: First, do no harm,” said Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist and retired Army general.

Wave Of State-Level Bills Restricting Medical Care For Transgender Teens Reignites Polarizing Debate On Issue

KHN Morning Briefing

More than half a dozen states are considering legislation that would penalize doctors for performing certain treatments for transgender patients. The speed and number of state bills has mobilized activists, suicide prevention groups and civil rights organizations. In 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement that recommended giving youths “access to comprehensive gender-affirming and developmentally appropriate health care,” while noting the benefits and risks of using hormones that delay puberty.

Federal Laws Protect Workers From Losing Jobs Because Of Depression. But Churches Are Exempted From That Rule.

KHN Morning Briefing

Psychologists who specialize in treating ministers say that Christian pastors are still regularly fired after church elders discover they suffer from depression, bipolar disorder or other mental-health problems, and there are no protections in place to help them. In other public health news: fish oil, sepsis, doctor-patient relationships, chronic inflammation, safe driving, the burden of being a caregiver, and more.

Donations After Cardiac Death Are Starting To Show Promise For Thousands Of People Who Desperately Need Heart Transplants

KHN Morning Briefing

Strict rules outline how and when organs can be transplanted but if this new trial method proves to be successful and safe, researchers say it could revolutionize transplantations. Other public health news is on inactive adults, millennials’ thoughts on vaccines, blood pressure, body temperature, binge drinking, surgical gown recalls, health research on mice, sepsis deaths, breakthrough on sudden death of Amish children, and more.

Massive Genetic Study Reveals Link Between Genes, Anxiety

KHN Morning Briefing

One of the most useful findings from the study was an association between anxiety and a gene named MAD1L1, which in previous studies has indicated vulnerability to several other psychiatric conditions, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. “It keeps coming up over and over again,” said Daniel Levey, a co-author on the anxiety research. In other public health news: suicides, snake bites, pelvic exams, body temperature, and more.

Can Darwin’s Theory Of Evolution Better Help Scientists Battle Ever-Mutating Cancer Cells?

KHN Morning Briefing

The cutting-edge strategy seeks to reduce the treatable cancer cells, stop treatment, and wait for those cells to grow back before treating them again, recognizing that cancer cells are always evolving to fit their environment. In other public health news: a cancer moonshot, the emerging virus in China, how to pack for hospital stays, male infertility, processed food and obesity, dementia, and more.

Questions Remain About Marijuana-Cased Psychosis Among Teens, But One Thing’s Very Clear: Treatment Severely Lags Behind Need

KHN Morning Briefing

Advocates say the number of substance abuse programs serving teens afflicted by problems brought on by marijuana is insufficient to deal with the growing problem. Other public health news reports on the benefits of complaining, research on female athletes and dementia, a mysterious pneumonia in Asia, alcohol’s effect on AFib, the best milk for children, aging well, detecting cancer early, HIV outreach at church, new calorie labeling, and brain trauma studies.

‘Sharing The Sentence’: Toll Taken On Millions Of American Children Mounts As More Mothers Are Incarcerated

KHN Morning Briefing

Having a parent in prison is a “primal wound” for children, advocates say, and there are at least 5 million of them in America. They face increased risks of psychological and behavioral problems and higher odds of entering the criminal justice system themselves. Public health news is on 2020 health predictions, do-not-resuscitate orders, infectious diseases outbreaks in 2019, sickle cell therapy, to eat meat or not?, life after rehab, intermittent fasting, autism, healthspans, and the benefits of altruism, as well.