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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Health Health News From the Associated Press


After the outbreak: Med schools boost Ebola-wrecked Liberia

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 17:01:21 UT

The Ebola epidemic that ravaged Liberia took a heavy toll on the country's medical ranks, leaving the West African nation with one of the lowest doctor-to-patient ratios in the world. To build the country's health care system back up, teams from American universities and hospitals, with backing from the World Bank and the U.S. government, are working to strengthen medical training and develop a new corps of doctors. Onyema Ogbuagu, a Yale School of Medicine professor who spent last week in Liberia, said the country's remaining doctors all have stories of people they knew personally who contracted Ebola and died during the 2014-2015 outbreak, which killed 4,800 in the country and thousands more in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Therapist who advised baby bottle for boy, 9, gets court win

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 23:14:14 UT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's appeals court ruled Wednesday that a state board was wrong to permanently revoke the license of a psychologist who told the parents of a 9-year-old boy to bottle feed him chocolate milk, engage him in "tummy time" and isolate him from the family to treat what they said were troublesome behaviors. The ruling, however, let stand the Board of Psychologist Examiner's emergency order temporarily suspending Debra Kali Miller's license — meaning she still cannot see patients. Miller, who lives in Portland, did not return a message left Wednesday by The Associated Press.

German therapist convicted of botched psychedelic experiment

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 14:18:44 UT

BERLIN (AP) — A German psychotherapist has been sentenced to probation after confessing to providing a group of alternative practitioners with psychedelic drugs as part of a seminar on expanding consciousness. The 2015 seminar resulted in the hospitalization of the 27 participants with cramps, delirium and other complications from ingesting the psychedelic drug 2C-E and also an extremely potent hallucinogen known as DragonFLY. The 53-year-old defendant, identified only as Stefan S. in line with German privacy laws, admitted to possessing and distributing the drugs. But he said he hadn't been aware that DragonFLY had been mixed with the 2C-E and apologized to the participants of the experiment in the northwestern town of Handeloh.

Australian state reaches brink of legalizing mercy killings

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:36 UT

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian state parliament on Wednesday stepped closer to passing a voluntary euthanasia bill, 20 years after the country repealed the world's first mercy-killing law for the terminally ill. The Victorian Legislative Council passed the bill on doctor-assisted suicide 22 votes to 18, after hours of passionate debate that ended with several lawmakers in tears. The vote was the last significant hurdle to euthanasia becoming legal in Australia's second-most populous state from 2019. The Legislative Council insisted on amending a bill passed by parliament's lower chamber, the Legislative Assembly, last month, 47 votes to 37.

VA study shows parasite from Vietnam may be killing vets

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 06:47:40 UT

HEROLD, W.Va. (AP) — A half century after serving in Vietnam, hundreds of veterans have a new reason to believe they may be dying from a silent bullet — test results show some men may have been infected by a slow-killing parasite while fighting in the jungles of Southeast Asia. The Department of Veterans Affairs this spring commissioned a small pilot study to look into the link between liver flukes ingested through raw or undercooked fish and a rare bile duct cancer. It can take decades for symptoms to appear. By then, patients are often in tremendous pain, with just a few months to live.

Ohio killer who survived execution files new court appeal

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 05:39:21 UT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A condemned killer whose poor veins led Ohio to halt his execution has appealed a judge's decision upholding the state's lethal injection system. Death row inmate Alva Campbell argues that Ohio's process raises an unconstitutional risk of serious harm because the first of three drugs may not render inmates completely unconscious. Lawyers for Campbell and fellow death row inmate Raymond Tibbetts announced the appeal to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday. Federal Judge Michael Merz rejected the inmates' arguments earlier this month. Ohio prisons director Gary Mohr stopped Campbell's execution Nov. 15 after executioners said they couldn't find usable veins.

Big Tobacco's anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 20:47:19 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Decades after they were banned from the airwaves, Big Tobacco companies return to prime-time television this weekend — but not by choice. Under court order, the tobacco industry for the first time will be forced to advertise the deadly, addictive effects of smoking, more than 11 years after a judge ruled that the companies had misled the public about the dangers of cigarettes. But years of legal pushback by the industry over every detail means the ads will be less hard-hitting than what was proposed. Tobacco control experts say the campaign — built around network TV and newspapers — will not reach people when they are young and most likely to start smoking.

Self-harm, suicide attempts climb among US girls, study says

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 20:45:05 UT

CHICAGO (AP) — Attempted suicides, drug overdoses, cutting and other types of self-injury have increased substantially in U.S. girls, a 15-year study of emergency room visits found. It's unclear why, but some mental health experts think cyberbullying, substance abuse and economic stress from the recent recession might be contributing. The rising rates "should be of concern to parents, teachers, and pediatricians. One important reason to focus on reducing self-harm is that it is key risk factor for suicide," said Dr. Mark Olfson, a Columbia University psychiatry professor who was not involved in the study.

Lawsuit: 3M contamination led to more cancer, infertility

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 18:05:50 UT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota's attorney general alleges that chemicals dumped by 3M Co. in the Twin Cities metro led to an increase in cancer, infertility and babies with low birth weights. The contamination caused $5 billion in health and environmental damage for which 3M should be liable, Attorney General Lori Swanson said Friday in a court filing. The filing alleges that 3M knew the groundwater was contaminated years before it stopped making perflourinated chemicals, known as PFCs, and that it withheld critical information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Nearly half of US cancer deaths blamed on unhealthy behavior

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 17:29:58 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — A new look at cancer in the U.S. finds that nearly half of cancer deaths are caused by smoking, poor diet and other unhealthy behaviors. That's less than commonly-cited estimates from more than 35 years ago, a result of new research methods and changes in American society. Smoking rates have plummeted, for example, while obesity rates have risen dramatically. The study found that 45 percent of cancer deaths and 42 percent of diagnosed cancer cases could be attributed to what the authors call "modifiable" risk factors. These are risks that are not inherited, and mostly the result of behavior that can be changed, like exposure to sun, not eating enough fruits and vegetables, drinking alcohol and, most importantly, smoking.