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January 14, 2014 | By Frederick N. Rasmussen
Dr. John M. Freeman, a longtime Johns Hopkins University pediatric neurologist and medical ethicist who was known as an expert in pediatric epilepsy, died Jan. 3 of cardiovascular disease at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He was 80. His death was announced by Johns Hopkins. Dr. Freeman's iconoclastic questioning of established medical practices revolutionized the treatment of pediatric epilepsy and became the hallmark of his work. He became a forceful advocate of two long-abandoned therapies - one that required a strict, unconventional high-fat ketogenic diet known as KD, the other involving surgery to remove half of the brain of children who were tormented by unremitting epileptic seizures - which led to their revival and current acceptance as effective treatments.
January 10, 2014 | By Jason Wells, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
The attorney who successfully fought in court to keep 13-year-old Jahi McMath on a ventilator at an Oakland hospital for weeks after she was declared brain dead defended his actions this week, calling the case a fight for family rights. Christopher Dolan has been widely criticized as having fed false hope to the McMath family that somehow their daughter -- declared brain dead by at least three neurologists and issued a death certificate by the Alameda County coroner -- will recover.
January 8, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved U.S. marketing of the drug dapagliflozin, the second of a new class of medications that aim to improve glycemic control in patients with Type 2 diabetes. The drug will be marketed under the name Farxiga. Dapagliflozin is a sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor, a drug that blocks the reabsorption of glucose by the kidney, increases the excretion of glucose in urine and lowers glucose levels in the blood. It will join -- and is likely to be prescribed in conjunction with -- a wide range of diabetes medications, including metformin, pioglitazone, glimepiride, sitagliptin and insulin.
January 8, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK - Gov. Andrew Cuomo took the first step Wednesday toward making New York the 21st state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, announcing plans to let some hospitals distribute the drug to patients with “serious illnesses.” The announcement in his state-of-the-state speech represents a shift for Cuomo, who had opposed legalizing the drug for any use. But most New Yorkers want their state to follow the lead of others that have...
January 8, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
A political retaliation scandal that erupted around Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday may be about to get worse. In September, according to a report from the Bergen Record , paramedics trying to reach an unconscious 91-year-old woman in Fort Lee, N.J., got stuck in a traffic jam that had apparently been created by Christie's associates as political punishment for the borough's mayor, a Democrat. Multiple lanes were forced to merge into one, gridlocking traffic for days.  The woman later died at a hospital of cardiac arrest, according to a Sept.
January 8, 2014 | By Amy Hubbard
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has loosened up on medical marijuana. An executive order on Wednesday by Cuomo, a longtime opponent of legalizing pot for medicinal purposes, is set to legalize medical marijuana. But it's restrictive. It will still be illegal in New York to grow marijuana or import specialized plants from outside the state, Reuters reports . The number of hospitals authorized to dispense marijuana will be limited, and its use will be restricted to certain diseases, such as cancer and glaucoma, the news outlet says.
January 5, 2014 | By George P. Shultz, Scott W. Atlas and John F. Cogan
As the acute problems of the Affordable Care Act become increasingly apparent, it also has become clear that we need new ways of ensuring access to healthcare for all Americans. We should begin with an examination of health insurance. Insurance is about protecting against risk. In the health arena, the risk at issue is of large and unexpected medical expenses. The proper role of health insurance should be to finance necessary and expensive medical services without the patient incurring devastating financial consequences.
January 3, 2014 | Rahul Rekhi, Rahul Rekhi, a student at Stanford University School of Medicine, is currently studying as a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University. He served as special assistant to the Maryland secretary of health in 2013
Since its inception more than a century ago, modern medical education has undergone a series of quiet revolutions, stretching and scaling to accommodate advances in biomedical science. Yet this comprehensive expansion in one critical area masks a relative neglect of another. Despite their staggering scope -- spanning genetics to geriatrics, and everything in between -- medical curricula today largely omit training on health policy. The result? Even as today's medical students graduate with a deep scientific fluency, they leave all but illiterate when it comes to the healthcare system.
January 3, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash have each played six games this season, making the Lakers' medical-insurance options more interesting than usual. The Lakers are short on victories but might get some money back from the absences of Nash and Bryant. If a player misses 41 games in a season, medical insurance covers 80% of his missed time after that. Bryant and Nash sat out their 27th game Friday. Neither player is expected to return for several weeks, Nash because of recurring back soreness and Bryant because of a fractured left knee.
January 3, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Among the many stents, surgical clamps, pumps and other medical devices that have recently come before the Food and Drug Administration for clearance, none has excited the widespread hopes of physicians and researchers like a machine called the Illumina MiSeqDx. This compact DNA sequencer has the potential to change the way doctors care for patients by making personalized medicine a reality, experts say. "It's about time," said Michael Snyder, director of the Stanford Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine.
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