Health

Brooke Ellison, Prominent Disability Rights Advocate, Is Dead at 45
Health

Brooke Ellison, Prominent Disability Rights Advocate, Is Dead at 45

Brooke Ellison, who after being paralyzed from the neck down by a childhood car accident went on to graduate from Harvard and became a professor and a devoted disability rights advocate, died on Sunday in Stony Brook, N.Y., on Long Island. She was 45.Her death, in a hospital, was caused by complications of quadriplegia, her mother, Jean Ellison, said.As an 11-year-old, Brooke had been taking karate, soccer, cello and dance lessons and singing in a church choir. But on Sept. 4, 1990, she was struck by a car while running across a road near her home in Stony Brook. Her skull, her spine and almost every major bone in her body were fractured.After waking from a 36-hour coma, she spent six weeks in the hospital and eight months in a rehabilitation center. And for the rest of her life she was de...
H.I.V. Groups Warn of Privacy Risks in How C.D.C. Tracks Virus Samples
Health

H.I.V. Groups Warn of Privacy Risks in How C.D.C. Tracks Virus Samples

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday revised its guidelines for tracking the genetic signatures of viruses collected from people newly diagnosed with H.I.V., a controversial practice used by state and local health departments to curb infections.The updated policy encouraged health officials to be more transparent with their communities about the tracking, one of many changes sought by H.I.V. advocacy organizations concerned about how so-called molecular surveillance could violate patients’ privacy and civil rights.But the agency stopped short of adopting more significant changes that some advocates had pushed for, such as allowing health agencies to opt out in states where people can be prosecuted for transmitting H.I.V.“We’re in a period in which health data is increas...
J&J, Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb CEOs Will Testify at Senate Hearing on Drug Prices
Health

J&J, Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb CEOs Will Testify at Senate Hearing on Drug Prices

The chief executives of three major pharmaceutical companies are set to appear in front of the Senate health committee on Thursday to defend how much they charge for drugs in the United States, drawing them further into a confrontation with lawmakers and the Biden administration over the cost of some of the most widely used prescription medications.The three executives scheduled to testify — Joaquin Duato of Johnson & Johnson, Robert M. Davis of Merck and Christopher Boerner of Bristol Myers Squibb — are expected to clash with the health committee’s chairman, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who has made reining in drug prices a signature cause of his late-career years in Congress.Mr. Sanders plans to focus the hearing on why drug prices are higher in the United States...
Cancer Diagnosis Like King Charles’s Is Not Unheard-Of
Health

Cancer Diagnosis Like King Charles’s Is Not Unheard-Of

A patient checks into the hospital for a routine procedure to treat an enlarged prostate. And, unexpectedly, a test done in the hospital — perhaps a blood test or an X-ray or an examination of the urethra and the bladder — finds a cancer.Apparently, something like that happened to King Charles III. When the British monarch was treated for an enlarged prostate in January, doctors found a cancer that the palace said is not prostate cancer. Charles started treatment Monday. The palace did not disclose what had led to the king’s diagnosis.While some prostate specialists like Dr. Peter Albertsen at the University of Connecticut called such situations “pretty rare,” other doctors said they were not unheard of.Dr. Otis Brawley, an oncologist at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, said a ma...
Alternative Therapies Like Meditation and Acupuncture Are on the Rise
Health

Alternative Therapies Like Meditation and Acupuncture Are on the Rise

The doctor is in. So is the yogi.A sharp shift in health care is taking place as more than one-third of American adults now supplement or substitute mainstream medical care with acupuncture, meditation, yoga and other therapies long considered alternative.In 2022, 37 percent of adult pain patients used nontraditional medical care, a marked rise from 19 percent in 2002, according to research published this week in JAMA. The change has been propelled by growing insurance reimbursement for clinical alternatives, more scientific evidence of their effectiveness and an increasing acceptance among patients.“It’s become part of the culture of the United States,” said Richard Nahin, the paper’s lead author and an epidemiologist at the National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health, a divis...
When a Spouse Goes to the Nursing Home
Health

When a Spouse Goes to the Nursing Home

Even as the signals of approaching dementia became impossible to ignore, Joseph Drolet dreaded the prospect of moving his partner into a long-term care facility.Mr. Drolet, 79, and his beloved Rebecca, 71, both retired lawyers and prosecutors in Atlanta, had been a couple for 33 years, though they retained separate homes. In 2019, she began getting lost while driving, mishandling her finances and struggling with the television remote. The diagnosis — Alzheimer’s disease — came in 2021.Over time, Mr. Drolet moved Rebecca (whose surname he asked to withhold to protect her privacy) into his home. But serving as her round-the-clock caregiver, as she needed help with every daily task, became exhausting and untenable. Rebecca began wandering their neighborhood and “getting dressed in the middle ...
U.S. Makes Initial Offers in Medicare Drug Price Negotiations
Health

U.S. Makes Initial Offers in Medicare Drug Price Negotiations

Why It Matters: The price offers kick off negotiations.The medicines selected for negotiations are taken by millions of older Americans to treat conditions like diabetes, cancer and heart failure. The administration identified them in August, beginning a lengthy process intended to result in an agreed-upon price that would take effect in 2026, assuming the negotiation program survives legal challenges.The initial round of price offers is a key step in the negotiation process. Each drugmaker has until early March to accept the offer or propose a counteroffer to the government. A series of negotiation sessions could follow, with the process set to conclude by August.Health policy experts said the announcement of the initial round of offers amounted to a kind of starting gun, giving the Biden...
The Stanley Cup Lead Scare Is Not Something to Worry About, Experts Say
Health

The Stanley Cup Lead Scare Is Not Something to Worry About, Experts Say

You might have heard of the Stanley tumbler, the hip, trendy water bottle that has people camping outside stores or getting into fights to get their hands on one.They’ve become a fashion accessory, especially since Stanley has made use of influencer culture to target women and make sales of its tumblers skyrocket. The reach of the bottles has been amplified by social media users.But social media giveth and social media taketh away. In recent weeks, several widely shared posts on TikTok, Instagram, Reddit and X have amplified concerns Stanley cups may contain lead, with one X user calling it “The Leadening.” YouTubers have also jumped into the fray. One TikTok video on the topic was viewed nearly seven million times.Some Stanley owners, hoping to check the claims, started to use home lead-t...
The Man in Room 117
Health

The Man in Room 117

Sam and Olga had concluded that only involuntary treatment could break the cycle for Andrey — something open-ended, combining long-term injectable medications with intensive therapy and counseling.They are part of a much larger ideological shift taking place, as communities grope for ways to manage ballooning homeless populations. California, one of the first states to turn away from involuntary treatment, has passed new laws expanding it. New York has made a billion-dollar investment in residential housing, psychiatric beds and wraparound services.Sam had staked his hopes on Washington’s new involuntary treatment law, and found it maddening that this fall, when Andrey was released, the new system was not yet active. His frustration was often directed toward civil rights advocates who oppo...
Phones Track Everything but Their Role in Car Wrecks
Health

Phones Track Everything but Their Role in Car Wrecks

Cellphones can track what we say and write, where we go, what we buy and what we search on the internet. But they still aren’t being used to track one of the biggest public health threats: crashes caused by drivers distracted by the phones.More than a decade after federal and state governments seized on the dangers that cellphone use while driving posed and began enacting laws to stop it, there remains no definitive database of the number of crashes or fatalities caused by cellphone distraction. Safety experts say that current estimates most likely understate a worsening problem.The absence of clear data comes as collisions are rising. Car crashes recorded by the police rose 16 percent from 2020 to 2021, to 16,700 a day from 14,400 a day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Ad...