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January 3, 2010 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
About three months ago, Samantha Slattery approached her nanny about getting the H1N1 flu vaccine. Slattery, 33, of Topanga, had a 5-month-old daughter and 2-year-old son. The baby was too little to be vaccinated, and Slattery wanted to avoid vaccinating her son. But nanny Blanca Duarte refused. Duarte, 47, said she was afraid the vaccine would make her sick; she had gotten ill after a flu vaccination years before. "For three weeks I could not work," Duarte said. "After that, I said no more."
November 11, 2009 | STEVE LOPEZ
Floyd Meshad, Vietnam vet, was in a Ralphs supermarket in Westchester when his cellphone rang at 9 o'clock one evening not long ago. It was Meshad's suicide hotline, and a soldier was being patched through. Meshad, a psychiatric social worker, walked outside the store so he could concentrate while trying to talk the soldier out of killing himself. He gets lots of calls like this from all over the country, more now than ever, and he knew one thing: This soldier, calling from Florida, was serious.
October 27, 2009 | Robert J. Lopez
An Orange County caregiver was sentenced to five years in state prison Monday for stealing more than $315,000 from a 92-year-old woman. Susana Duran, 38, who lives in Tijuana, commuted daily to take care of the woman at her Laguna Woods home, prosecutors said. Duran allegedly forged checks from the victim's bank account and used her debit card to steal cash, prosecutors said. Duran was ordered to pay $315,000 in restitution, and the victim will receive more than $50,000 from Duran's bank assets and cash found in her home, according to prosecutors.
October 20, 2009 | Josh Meyer
Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. said today the Obama administration is officially reversing the federal stance on medical marijuana and ordering authorities not to arrest or charge any users and suppliers who conform to state laws. In guidelines issued today, Justice Department officials are telling prosecutors and federal drug agents that they have more important things to do than to arrest people who obey state laws that allow some use or sale of medical marijuana. The move clarifies what some critics had said was an ambiguous position of the Obama administration on the controversial issue, especially in the battleground state of California, where authorities have raided numerous clinics and made arrests over the years.
July 12, 2009
He was once the handsome entrepreneur in the fading newspaper article on his bedroom wall -- a former nurse running a temporary nurse agency. Today Spencer Sullivan, 48, spends his days in a wheelchair at his Laguna Hills home. In 2001, after neck surgery at UC San Francisco Medical Center, two doctors gave similar orders for powerful medications. Instead of questioning the duplication, a nurse gave Sullivan all of the drugs, then didn't check on him as required, state records allege.
May 10, 2009 | Gina Piccalo
Alzheimer's disease doesn't leap to mind as a subject likely to draw many TV viewers, much less draw them for a four-part series. But it's tough to turn away from HBO's exhaustive and bracing look at the illness through the lives of people enduring it and the scientific breakthroughs that could change everything. "The Alzheimer's Project" marks the third time HBO Documentary Films has made a focused attempt at public health education.
April 6, 2009 | By Cynthia Copeland
I'm impatient by nature. But I thought I had learned how to remain still in yoga classes, coaxing calm and patience from an overactive mind. I thought I learned patience when my daughter was born 2 1/2 weeks late. But I didn't really learn anything until my mom was diagnosed with renal cell cancer. Her diagnosis was an ugly interruption into a wonderful life. She was active, fiercely independent and interesting. Recently retired, she was busier than ever, volunteering at the Los Angeles Arboretum, enjoying dinners and plays with friends, color coordinating the blooms in her garden and devoting every other spare moment to my daughter.
March 16, 2009 | Shari Roan
Once a patient becomes terminally ill, relationships between patients, their caregivers and their primary doctors can change. Now a study offers an unusual glimpse of what patients and their doctors are thinking as the end of life approaches -- and it shows that patients sometimes feel abandoned. The study, published March 9 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, involved 55 patients with incurable cancer or advanced lung disease who were expected to live a year or less.
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