Viewpoints: Our Organ Donation System Is Broken; To Mask Or Not To Mask?
Editorial writers tackle these public health issues.
US Organ Donation System Is Deadly Monopoly. We Must Break It Up
In late December, my friend Tonya Ingram – a brilliant poet, surfer, advocate, cat auntie and "Price Is Right" contestant – died waiting for a kidney transplant. She was 31. Before she died, she used her voice to help call for the breakup of the monopoly in charge of the U.S. organ donation system – because its failures are "killing patients." (Jennifer Erickson, 3/1)
What Is A Reasonable Approach To Masking Right Now?
In medicine as elsewhere in life, if you ask the wrong question, you’re likely to get the wrong answer. So if the question is, “Do masks worn outside medical settings work to protect against COVID-19 and respiratory diseases?” — or its politically charged companion, “Do you believe in masks?” — don’t be surprised if the answers you receive are simplistic or wrong. (Cory Franklin and Robert Weinstein, 2/28)
How An Ideologically Blinded Media Failed To Take The COVID-19 Lab-Leak Theory Seriously
Citing a classified intelligence report provided to members of Congress, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that the Energy Department has now concluded with “low confidence” that the COVID-19 pandemic most likely began after an unintentional laboratory leak in China. (2/28)
Dallas Morning News:
Health Care Policies In Texas Are Hurting The State’s Business-Friendly Reputation
Texas’ out-of-control health care prices are borne by families and businesses and are a crisis for both. Individual patients are dealing with higher prices that sometimes venture into the obscene. It is not hard to find health care horror stories in Texas: See the family billed $54,000 for a COVID test or the $41,000 hip replacement surgery that costs less than half of that out of state. (Mia McCord, 3/1)
FDA Needs To Build In More Flexibility For Rare Disease Trials
My toddler, Wheeler, will probably not live to adulthood. Juvenile Batten disease — he has the type known as CLN3 — is stealing his childhood. And then this rare disease will steal my child. (Judy Stecker, 2/28)
An Intimate Look At The Impact Of Dementia On Caregivers
Dementia thoroughly altered my dad — and our family — and taught me just how hard it can be to care for someone with dementia. When I don’t understand something, my impulse as a photojournalist is to do a story about it. That instinct, by way of a Facebook group for caregivers of people with dementia, connected me with Leandra and George Manos, whose lives I have been chronicling since the spring of 2021. (Steven G. Smith, 2/28)
The CT Mirror:
CT's Legislature Must Act To Prevent Health Care Deserts
Our 2023 Connecticut Legislature has been given the task of considering recommendations and bills impacting who will live and who will die in the coming year. We were one ten states nationally chosen in December 2021 to participate in a collaboration between the Office of Health Strategy (OHS) and the Department of Public Health (DPH) in the Strategies to Repair Equity and Transform Community Health Initiative (STRETCH). (Brenda Buchbinder, 3/1)
Environmental Justice Index Institutionalizes Climate Apartheid
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has for decades ignored its responsibility to enforce civil rights laws, as I argued last year in a First Opinion essay. Doing nothing to protect minority populations from inequitable health harms resulting from the health care industry’s greenhouse gas emissions constitutes environmental and institutional racism. HHS has now chosen to make matters worse by creating an Environmental Justice Index (EJI) that will do many things — except provide environmental justice. (David Introcaso, 3/1)