February 24, 2014 |
In light of what's starting to look like a surge of measles cases spread by unvaccinated carriers, Hastings Law professor Dorit Rubinstein Reiss offers some welcome insights into the legal rights of unvaccinated children. The first two installments of Reiss' five-part series are up at the website shotofprevention.com , with the rest due over the next couple of weeks. Reiss provides a tour of the legal landscape via case law and legal principles, but her core finding is that parents are responsible for weighing the pros and cons of vaccination for their children, and the pros far outweigh the cons. She writes: "By rejecting the abundant data that proves that the risk of not vaccinating is greater than vaccinating, and by purposely leaving a child at the mercy of vaccine-preventable diseases, parents can legitimately be seen as violating a child's right to health and life.
February 14, 2014 |
The death of Philip Seymour Hoffman last week, apparently of a heroin overdose, says a lot about the epidemic of opiate abuse gripping the United States. That epidemic, which I've spent the last year researching for a forthcoming book, is rooted in a 20-year revolution in medicine that has resulted in far wider prescribing of opiates. Narcotic painkillers are now prescribed for chronic back and knee pain, fibromyalgia, headaches, arthritis and other ailments. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, consumption of these opioids has risen 300% since 1999, making them the most prescribed class of medicines in America.
February 13, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration plans to spend $85 million over the next two years to help at least 10 countries improve their ability to respond to disease outbreaks, officials say. In a new push that aims to treat epidemics as potential national security threats, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will help other countries expand their ability to detect deadly diseases early and build teams that can respond to...
February 3, 2014 |
The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman is bringing attention to the growing use of heroin in the U.S. as well as an alarming rise in drug-overdose deaths. The cause of death for Hoffman, found in his apartment Sunday, isn't official, but police say officers found packets of heroin near his body and a hypodermic needle in his arm. Hundreds of thousands in the U.S. are turning to the drug in increasing numbers. It's at "epidemic proportions," a Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman told the L.A. Times. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a 102% increase in fatal overdoses from 1999 to 2010. Check out our graphic below, which shows how the availability of the drug has increased in the United States over the last several years. Follow me at @AmyTheHub
December 29, 2013 |
In 1963, the Supreme Court established a rule of evidence that is now well known to viewers of television courtroom dramas. In Brady vs. Maryland, it held that prosecutors must turn over to defense attorneys evidence favorable to the accused and "material either to guilt or punishment. " But prosecutors, including in Los Angeles, have complied grudgingly with the Brady rule. Some have ignored it altogether. Now a respected federal appeals court judge has warned of "an epidemic of Brady violations abroad in the land.
November 15, 2013 |
At the U.N. climate negotiations in Warsaw on Monday, the lead Philippine delegate, Yeb Sano, made an emotional plea: "Typhoons such as Haiyan and its impacts represent a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action. " But was Sano's statement consistent with the science? Most of the scientists who have been asked that question in recent days have replied with dutiful statements that sound like "no. " No single event can be attributed to climate change.