Sunday, August 2, 2009

News Briefs (07/26 -08/02)

The End of the White Coat?: The white coat was adopted by the medical profession from laboratory scientists as a symbol of cleanliness and professional authority. Recent studies, however, have indicated that unclean white coats may harbor significant colonies of germs that are transferred to at risk patients. The American Medical Association has recommended that white coats be gradually phased out due to these risk factors. Strong opposition is certain to arise within the medical community and potentially even among patients themselves. The NY Times discusses both sides of the issue in "The Lab Coat is on the Hook in the Fight Against Germs" (July 25, 2009).

Op-Ed Collection on Swine Flu:
The NY Times has compiled four editorials on the resurgence of swine flu in the fall. The series called "Ready for Swine Flu, Round 2?" (August 1, 2009) focuses on the impact of swine flu on schools, emergency rooms, airline traffic, and public opinion on vaccination. An overarching message of the Op-Eds is the need for public education about the issues.

New England Face Transplant: The Boston Globe (May 21, 2009) tells the story of James Perry Maki who received the second face transplant in the US. Mr. Maki suffered from debilitating burns due to an accident on a train platform during which he fell unto the electrified third rail. The article contains a gallery of images (some are graphic) and the story of Mr. Maki and his road to receiving a transplant.

CT Scans of War Causalities: An article in the NY Times, "Autopsies of War Dead Reveal Ways to Save Others" (May 25, 2009) describes the use of CT scans on bodies of soldiers killed fighting in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The three dimensional images have been used to determine improvements to armor and medical techniques. For instance, scans discovered that tubing used to reinflate collapsed lungs was too short in many cases to reach the lungs and changes were implemented. The CT scans have also allowed for the families of soldiers to gain a better understanding of the cause of death of their loved ones.

Massachusetts Cuts Back on Care:
The difficulties of the recession have forced the Massachusetts legislature to cut state healthcare coverage for legal immigrants ages 18 - 65 who are note disabled. The cut would save $130 million, but result in nearly 30,000 dropped individuals. A NY Times article "Massachusetts Takes a Step Back From Health Care for All" describes the decision (July 14, 2009).

Michael Shusterman is the Editor in Chief of TuftScope (2009 - 2010).
blog comments powered by Disqus

TuftScope: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Health, Ethics, and Policy

TuftScope is a student journal published biannually in conjunction with Tufts University since 2001. Funding is provided by the Tufts Community Union Senate. The opinions expressed on this weblog are solely those of the authors. The staff reserves the right to edit blog postings for clarity and to remove nonfunctional links.

  © Free Blogger Templates Autumn Leaves by 2008

Back to TOP