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06/14/2018 - 11:39pm

Hat-tip to Dr. Joe Kelley for bring this to my attention… As readers of this blog will recall, there is keen interest in exploiting recent discoveries in genetic engineering to “edit” disease-causing gene mutations and develop treatments for various diseases.  Initially, such treatments would likely use a patient’s own cells—removed from the body, edited to change the cells’ genes in a potentially therapeutic way, then... // Read More »

06/14/2018 - 1:54pm

  By James Love The Senate HELP committee held a hearing on June 12 on “The Cost of Prescription Drugs: Examining the President’s Blueprint ‘American Patients First’ to Lower Drug Prices” where Secretary Alex Azar was the sole witness. It … Continue reading →

06/14/2018 - 9:18am

Harvard social scientists have published controversial back-of-the-envelope estimates in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) of the possible toll from air and other pollutants

06/14/2018 - 9:11am

Anthony Ryan Hatch writes, "Moments after Neo eats the red pill in “The Matrix,” he touches a liquefied mirror that takes over his skin, penetrating the innards of his body with computer code. When I first learned about the controversial new digital drug Abilify MyCite, I thought of this famous scene and wondered what kinds of people were being remade through this new biotechnology"

06/14/2018 - 8:24am

Depending on whom you ask, Addyi is the overdue answer to an unmet need or just another way to shame women

06/14/2018 - 8:13am

News of the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is an urgent reminder that we need to change the way we fight disease, and we need to do so now

06/14/2018 - 7:57am

Compassion & Choices urged Congress to reject a policy rider attached to a

Wednesday night that would repeal the D.C. Death with Dignity Act. ...

06/14/2018 - 7:57am

Compassion & Choices urged Congress to reject a policy rider attached to a
government funding bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee late
Wednesday night that would repeal the D.C. Death with Dignity Act. 

The policy rider is part of the Financial Services and General Government
Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2019 that starts on Oct. 1, 2018.

Similar to laws in seven states, the D.C. Death with Dignity Act gives mentally capable, terminally ill
adults with six months or less to live the option to get prescription
medication they can take to end unbearable suffering and die peacefully in
their sleep. 

Congressional opponents of medical aid in
dying tried to repeal the law in February 2017 during a
30-legislative-day review period
 and during last year’s appropriations
, but they failed
both times.

“Opponents of medical aid in dying should
give up imposing their values on D.C. residents and focus on the issues
impacting their constituents,” said Kim Callinan, CEO for Compassion &
Choices, which led the campaign to pass the D.C. Death with Dignity Act.
“Despite their efforts, the D.C. law remains in effect, and we are working
closely with the D.C. Department of Health to make it easier for terminally ill
patients to access the law.”

In addition to Washington, D.C., medical aid in dying has
been authorized in seven states: Colorado, Hawai‘i, Montana, Oregon, Vermont,
Washington, and California. However, the California law currently is facing a legal challenge based on a
technicality. Collectively, these eight jurisdictions represent nearly one out
of five Americans (19%) and have 40 years of combined experience safely using
this end-of-life care option.

“Members of Congress from the seven
states with medical aid-in-dying laws would be hypocrites if they supported
this policy rider when their constituents have this end-of-life care option to
peacefully end unbearable suffering,” said Callinan. “We cannot allow this
federal power grab to succeed or it will spur efforts to try to ban medical
aid-in-dying laws nationwide.”

The D.C. Council approved the Death with
Dignity Act on Nov. 15, 2016
, by a veto-proof 11–2 margin and the law went into effect on February 18, 2017Polling shows two-thirds of D.C. residents (67%)
support medical aid in dying. 

Medscape online survey shows 7,500 doctors nationwide from 25
medical specialties nationwide support medical aid in dying by nearly a 2–1
margin (57% to 29%).

National and state polls show a majority of Americans across
the ethnic, political and religious spectrum support medical aid in dying
. This majority includes African Americans, Asian
Americans, Latinos, conservatives, Democrats/Democratic-leaning independents,
liberals, moderates, Republicans/Republican-leaning independents, Catholics,
Christians, Protestants, people of other faiths, and people living with

06/14/2018 - 7:30am

By Dorit Reiss, Stanley A. Plotkin, Paul A. Offit A new tactic has emerged in a few recent family law vaccination cases: using arguments created by the anti-vaccine movement. Lack of familiarity with anti-vaccine claims can trip up even the … Continue reading →

06/14/2018 - 7:02am

By Mason Marks and Tiffany Li An earlier version of this article was published in STAT. The National Institutes of Health wants your DNA, and the DNA of one million other Americans, for an ambitious project called All of Us. … Continue reading →