When Doctors Refuse to Treat LGBT Patients


In the first week of April, Mississippi passed a new law making it expressly legal for doctors, psychologists, and counselors to opt out of any procedure or choose not to take on any patient if doing so would compromise their conscience. (photo: Andrey Popov/Shutterstock/Paul Spella/The Atlantic)
In the first week of April, Mississippi passed a new law making it expressly legal for doctors, psychologists, and counselors to opt out of any procedure or choose not to take on any patient if doing so would compromise their conscience. (photo: Andrey Popov/Shutterstock/Paul Spella/The Atlantic)

 

Emma Green | The Atlantic | Reader Supported News | April 20, 2016

A new law in Mississippi makes it legal for physicians and therapists to opt out of care on religious grounds. What does this mean for medicine?

 

eing lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is not a disease. It took a long time, but nearly all medical organizations now agree that queerness is not a “sociopathic personality disturbance,” as the American Psychiatric Association once maintained.

“Nearly all” is an important caveat, though. There are still a few organizations—which most doctors and scholars would likely consider part of the fringes of medicine—that challenge this view. Some are dissenting offshoots of mainstream associations. Others are the de-fanged descendants of ex-gay-therapy groups. They’re often accused of outright bigotry, but these doctors tend to frame their dissent differently, placing an emphasis on “choice.” Patients have a right to choose a therapist who will help them with unwanted same-sex attractions or feelings of gender dysphoria, they say. And physicians and therapists have a right to choose not to provide treatments that conflict with their religious beliefs. These treatments might include sex-change operations, hormone-replacement therapy for transgender people, fertility treatments to same-sex couples, or counseling for patients who are in non-heterosexual relationships.

Some legislators agree. In the first week of April, Mississippi passed a new law making it expressly legal for doctors, psychologists, and counselors to opt out of any procedure or choose not to take on any patient if doing so would compromise their conscience. The law is specifically designed to protect medical professionals who object to gay marriage and non-marital sex. Tennessee’s general assembly just passed a similar law, which would only apply to counselors, and a now-dead Florida bill would have protected religious health-care organizations from having to “administer, recommend, or deliver a medical treatment or procedure that would be contrary to the religious or moral convictions or policies of the facility.”

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Teflon Toxin Contamination Has Spread Throughout the World


PFOA has spread throughout the world. (photo: The Intercept)
PFOA has spread throughout the world. (photo: The Intercept)

 

Sharon Lerner | The Intercept | Reader Supported News | April 19, 2016

n recent months, PFOA, the perfluorinated chemical formerly used to make Teflon, has been making news again. Also known as C8, because of its eight-carbon molecule, PFOA has been found in drinking water in Hoosick Falls, New York; Bennington, Vermont; Flint, Michigan; and Warrington, Pennsylvania, among many other places across the United States. Although the chemical was developed and long manufactured in the United States, it’s not just an American problem. PFOA has spread throughout the world.

As in the U.S., PFOA has leached into the water near factories in Dordrecht, Holland, and Shimizu, Japan, both of which were built and operated for many years by DuPont. Last year, the Shimizu facility and part of the Dordrecht plant became the property of DuPont’s spinoff company, Chemours. Just as it did in both New Jersey and West Virginia, DuPont tracked the PFOA levels in its workers’ blood in Holland and Japan for years, according to EPA filings and internal company documents. Many of the blood levels were high, some extremely so. In one case, in Shimizu in 2008, a worker had a blood level of 8,370 parts per billion (ppb). In Dordrecht in 2005, another worker was recorded with 11,387 ppb. The national average in the U.S., in 2004, was about 5 ppb.

Water contamination was also a problem in both locations. In Shimizu, PFOA was detected in 10 wells at the site, with the highest level of contamination measuring 1,540 ppb. Groundwater in Dordrecht, which is about an hour south of Amsterdam, was also contaminated, with 1,374 ppb of PFOA at one spot near the factory in 2014.

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Accidental medical breakthrough could mean the end of breast cancer


 

RT America | March 14, 2016

A medical experiment may have accidentally unlocked the secret to curing breast cancer. Researchers in the UK have found a pairing of drugs that could reveal a new rapid way to treat an aggressive form of the cancer without the pain of chemotherapy. RT America’s Simone del Rosario reports.

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Half all American black gay men are projected to get HIV Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/world/half-all-american-black-gay-men-are-projected-to-get-hiv-20160223-gn1vk7.html#ixzz414Z0WK77 Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook


John Tozzi | The Age | February 23, 2016

A baby's blood is taken for a Dry Blood Spot (DBS) test - the most accurate way of determining if a baby is HIV positive ...A baby’s blood is taken for a Dry Blood Spot (DBS) test – the most accurate way of determining if a baby is HIV positive or negative.

 

New York:   If you’re a white American woman, your risk of being diagnosed with HIV is pretty small, lower than the odds of dying in a car crash. If you’re a gay black man, the chances of getting an HIV diagnosis are closer to a coin flip.

About 43 per cent of black men who have sex with men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetimes if the epidemic’s current trends hold, according to research being presented on Tuesday by the Centres for Disease Control. For Hispanic men who have sex with men, the rate is 22 per cent. For white men who have sex with men, it’s about 10 per cent.

A startling proportion of American gay black men are projected to contract HIV/AIDS at some point in their lifetimes.A startling proportion of American gay black men are projected to contract HIV/AIDS at some point in their lifetimes.

The latest report is a staggering reminder that gay men of colour bear the brunt of the HIV crisis. That fact has been evident for years in the data on HIV, but it has often gone unmentioned as public health campaigns focus on broad-based prevention strategies.

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Review: Cannabinoids Reasonable Option For Chronic Pain Treatment


NORML |

Montreal, Canada: Cannabinoids are safe and effective in the treatment of chronic pain conditions, according to a review of recent clinical trials published online ahead of print in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia.

Investigators at the University of Montreal, Department of Anesthesiology evaluated the results of 26 clinical trials “of good or excellent quality” involving 1,364 subjects. Trials assessed the use of various types of cannabinoid preparations, including herbal cannabis, liquid and oral cannabis extracts, and synthetic cannabinoid agents, in pain treatment.

Authors reported that cannabinoids were efficacious in alleviating various types of pain, including pain due to neuropathy, musculoskeletal disorders, fibromyalgia, HIV, and other chronic pain conditions.

They concluded, “Overall, the recent literature supports the idea that currently available cannabinoids are modestly effective analgesics that provide a safe, reasonable therapeutic option for managing chronic non-cancer-related pain and possibly cancer-related pain.”

Their conclusion mimics that of a 2015 systematic review published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology that reported, “[C]annabinoids are safe, demonstrate a modest analgesic effect, and provide a reasonable treatment option for treatment of chronic non-cancer pain.”

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Medical cannabis: considerations for the anesthesiologist and pain physician,” appears in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia.

February 11, 2016

 

Study: Marijuana Linked To Better Outcomes In Brain Injury Patients


NORML | February 11, 2016

Rieti, Italy: The recent use of cannabis is associated with improved outcomes in patients hospitalized with intracerebral hemorrhaging (ICH aka bleeding in the brain), according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Cerebrovascular Diseases.

An international team of investigators from Argentina, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States evaluated demographic trends and patient outcomes in a cohort of 725 subjects with spontaneous ICH. Researchers reported that cannabis-positive subjects possessed “milder ICH presentation” upon hospitalization and presented “less disability” at discharge as compared to similarly matched patients who tested negative for cannabinoids.

Preclinical and observation trial data has previously indicated that cannabinoids may possess neuroprotective activity. Specifically, a 2014 UCLA study previously reported that Traumatic Brain Injury patients who tested positive for cannabis upon hospital admission possessed significantly increased survival rates as compared to patients who tested negative for marijuana.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Prior cannabis use is associated with outcome after intracerebral hemorrhage,” appears in Cerebrovascular Disease.

Florida: Medical Marijuana Measure Qualifies For 2016 Ballot


NORML | February 4, 2016

Orlando, FL: Floridians will decide on a proposed constitutional amendment this November that seeks to permit the physician-authorized use and distribution of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

Proponents of the measure, United for Care, collected more than the 683,000 signatures required to place the measure on the November ballot, the Florida Division of Elections confirmed last week.

The ballot measure, entitled the “Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Conditions,” will appear before voters as Amendment 2.

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Jeremy Clarkson: Parents who support transgender children are ‘poisoning their minds’


Darren Wee | Gay Star News | January 25, 2016

Jeremy Clarkson has said parents who support their transgender children are guilty of ‘poisoning their minds.’

The disgraced Top Gear presenter, who was fired by the BBC last year for punching a producer, made the comments in a column for The Sunday Times.

‘As far as I was concerned, men who want to be women were only really to be found on the internet or in the seedier bits of Bangkok,’ he wrote.

‘They were called ladyboys, and in my mind, they were nothing more than the punchline in a stag night anecdote.’

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WHO warns Zika virus will spread into northern hemisphere


https://www.youtube.com/embed/rbRTtqWcA_Q

 

RT America | January 25, 2016

With a virus that causes brain damage and under-development and has no vaccine or medication for prevention or treatment, the Director General of the World Health Organization says the virus outbreak is extremely worrisome, while the CDC is advising travel restrictions for pregnant women. The virus has been found in 21 countries and is expected to reach everywhere besides Canada and Chile. RT’s Marina Portnaya reports from Miami.

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Or watch us online: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/

 

6 states report extensive lead exposure


 

RT America | January 25, 2016

Water contamination is now on the mind of all Americans following developments from Flint Michigan. RT’s Ed Schultz talks to Simone Del Rosario who breaks down the issue and tells us why data on the issue of water contamination is so lacking.

Find RT America in your area: http://rt.com/where-to-watch/
Or watch us online: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/