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January 11, 2013

New York to sharply limit prescription painkillers in ER rooms

Prescription painkillers are the most abused drugs in America. NYC is trying to do something about it. New York City to Restrict Powerful Prescription Drugs in Public Hospitals’ Emergency Rooms - NYTimes.com
Under the new city policy, most public hospital patients will no longer be able to get more than three days’ worth of narcotic painkillers like Vicodin and Percocet. Long-acting painkillers, including OxyContin, a familiar remedy for chronic backache and arthritis, as well as Fentanyl patches and methadone, will not be dispensed at all. And lost, stolen or destroyed prescriptions will not be refilled. City officials said the policy was aimed at reducing the growing dependency on painkillers and preventing excess amounts of drugs from being taken out of medicine chests and sold on the street or abused by teenagers and others who want to get high. “Abuse of prescription painkillers in our city has increased alarmingly,” Mr. Bloomberg said in announcing the new policy at Elmhurst Hospital Center, a public hospital in Queens. Over 250,000 New Yorkers over age 12 are abusing prescription painkillers, he said, leading to rising hospital admissions for overdoses and deaths, Medicare fraud by doctors who write false prescriptions and violent crime like “holdups at neighborhood pharmacies.” But some critics said that poor and uninsured patients sometimes used the emergency room as their primary source of medical care. The restrictions, they said, could deprive doctors in the public hospital system — whose mission it is to treat poor people — of the flexibility that they need to respond to patients.

French lesbians forced to conceive in Belgium

Belgium becomes conception haven for French lesbians | The Raw Story
As France braces this weekend for giant protests against gay marriage and adoption, neighbouring Belgium has become a haven for French lesbians, who flock there in their thousands to conceive babies they are denied at home. Some 2,000 babies conceived in Belgium through artificial insemination by donor are thought to be born each year to French lesbian couples, who are not eligible to undergo the procedure in France. “We have seen a sharp increase in demand over the past three years. The word is getting around in France, our patients are passing the message along,” said Professor Michel Dubois at the University Hospital of Liege, in the southeast of the country. The children thus conceived even have a nickname — “Thalys babies” — after the high-speed train service between Brussels and Paris on which their mothers shuttle back and forth — sometimes for years — in their quest to become parents. Plans by France’s Socialist government to extend marriage and adoption rights to gay couples have proven deeply divisive, igniting fierce protests from opponents including Catholic and Muslim leaders, with a new mass rally planned in Paris for Sunday.

January 10, 2013

In which we are reminded that a gun is an instrument, not a tool

Proof that Concealed Carry permit holders live in a dream...

Chinese consumers have bought all the infant formule in Australia, because China's is poisoned

Chinese Thirst for Safe Baby Formula Empties Australian Shelves - NYTimes.com
But the run on formula is not the result of a local baby boom. Instead, it is being attributed to Chinese visitors, who are apparently concerned about domestic food safety standards and are believed to be buying in bulk and carrying it home. The run is one of the odder examples of how China’s thirst for high-quality products can upend faraway consumer markets, particularly amid concerns about the quality of its food supply. A number of recent high-profile scandals involving tainted food products in China have shaken public confidence in the safety of domestic supplies. In 2009, two Chinese milk producers were executed for selling contaminated milk powder after infant formula and other products were found to have the industrial chemical melamine. Six children died and about 300,000 became ill, provoking a nationwide panic among parents. Last June, China’s biggest milk producer, the Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, was compelled to recall six months’ worth of production. . . .

Is it possible to have football and not have debilitating brain disease?

Probably not. It's time for us to consider whether football is worth it. Is the entertainment value worth knowing that many of the players are literally destroying their brains to perform for you? As a father, I can tell you, I will never let my son play football. Junior Seau Had CTE - Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic
I am listening to Herman Edwards talk about how this information can help other players. But the information can only lead to the end of football as we know it. You can't fix this by getting rid of big hits. You can't fix this by focusing on concussions. Junior Seau never had such a diagnosis, and even if he did, it is the repeated "minor" hits that cause CTE. The enemy is the game itself. And it is killing men. At the time of Seau's death it was said that we should not jump to conclusions. I generally think prudence is a good idea. Except that an astonishing number of football players keep shooting themselves. A rather stunned Mike Greenberg just put it well: "You can't live with a business when one of the results can be Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. It's a hard word to even pronounce. it's a brain disease."