Longer Looks: A Lawsuit Against A Pediatrician; Keeping A Community Healthy; Breast Cancer Research; And More
Each week, KHN finds interesting reads from around the Web.
The New York Times:
These Women Say A Trusted Pediatrician Abused Them As Girls. Now They Plan To Sue.
Stuart Copperman was, to all appearances, an old-fashioned pediatrician. For 35 years, he ran a bustling practice in Merrick, Long Island, where he was revered by parents as an authority on everything from colic to chickenpox. Well-dressed, affable and tan year-round, he was always available in an emergency, and even made house calls. When he told mothers that their daughters were old enough to see him alone — without a parent in the room, so the girls could speak freely — they accepted it as sound medical practice. Girls who told their mothers that the pediatrician had rubbed their genitals or inserted his fingers into their vaginas were often met with disbelief. (Rabin, 10/8)
The New York Times:
When A Steady Paycheck Is Good Medicine For Communities
Growing up in the Baldwin Village section of Los Angeles, Charles Slay roamed the streets as a member of the Bloods. The neighborhood was forlorn and devoid of commercial life, making it easy ground for ambush — especially a ragged patch of dirt alongside a major thoroughfare. “I used to rob people there,” he says. But three years ago, when construction workers began transforming the vacant lot into a gleaming campus of medical offices, there was Mr. Slay, donning work boots and coveralls. He had spent 27 years behind bars for a gang-related murder. On this day, he was employed as an apprentice electrician. (Goodman, 10/10)
How Research Is Failing Women With Metastatic Breast Cancer
Despite the billions of dollars collected and spent on breast-cancer research over the past half-century, relatively little has been devoted to studying metastatic-breast-cancer patients or their particular forms of the disease. Doctors do not know why some breast cancers eventually form deadly metastases or how to quash the disease once it has spread. Patients with metastatic disease are typically treated with one drug after another, their doctors switching the medications whenever the disease stops responding to treatment. Eventually, nearly all patients with breast-cancer metastases run out of options and die, although in recent years, many have been living longer. (Pickert, 10/1)
23andMe Tests Reveal Undetected Genetic Anomalies
Before Natalie Nakles was born, before the egg from which she was conceived was even fully mature, something went slightly awry. The egg that would help form her ended up with two copies of chromosome 16. So today, 24-year-old Nakles does not, as most people do, have one set of chromosomes from each parent. She has two copies of chromosome 16 from her mother and none from her father. (Zhang, 10/10)
Do You Want Your Apps To Know About Your Last Doctor's Visit?
Few Americans may realize that, under current law, releasing their digital health records to an app—So easy! Just like using Uber!—is like being bitten by a vampire: There is nothing you can do to reverse this action, and it has the potential to infect every part of your life. Third-party health apps—think apps for fertility, weight loss, lifestyle changes, or diabetes management—aren't covered by federal privacy laws. They certainly aren't covered by HIPAA, which governs only health industry "covered entities," like health insurance companies, doctors, and hospitals, and requires that those actors adequately protect your health information and use (and disclose) that data only as minimally necessary to provide you services.So, unless something changes, once you click impatiently through your favorite health app's terms of service, that app will be able to sell your data—including your name and everything in your medical records—to anyone. (Crawford, 10/2)
Period-Syncing Almost Definitely Isn’t Real
For a phenomenon that’s highly unlikely to be real, period syncing has enjoyed an impressively long life in the popular imagination. Every now and again, news stories and listicles pop up to inform the public that no, actually, period synchronization as a result of prolonged proximity is not a thing, but the fictional story lines and offhand jokes persist nonetheless. TV and movies certainly help maintain the popularity of the period-syncing myth. But to some extent it survives because so many people want it to be true. No matter how inaccurate the myth of period syncing may be, the idea that women’s bodies can fall into collective rhythms carries a certain mysterious, otherworldly appeal and, lending the myth more inertia, gives women a way to feel connection, empathy, and collective empowerment with other women. (Ashley Fetters, 9/24)