Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:56 am
Choosing hospice care is never an easy decision. It's an admission that the end is near, that there will be no cure.
But even after a family has opted for this end-of-life care, some still face an unexpected hurdle: Twelve percent of hospices nationwide refuse to accept patients who don't have a caregiver at home to look after them, according to a recent survey of nearly 600 hospice providers published in Health Affairs.
A few years ago, a doctor started prescribing Michael Israel painkillers for bad cramps in his gut. Israel had been struggling with Crohn's disease, a chronic digestive disorder, since he was a teenager.
"So he was prescribed, you know, Lortab, or Vicodin or whatever. You know, they would flip-flop it from one to another," says Avi Israel, Michael's father.
Then one day, Michael confessed that something was wrong.
President Obama pulled out a surprise in his inaugural address on Monday. After barely mentioning climate change in his campaign, he put it on his short list of priorities for his second term.
"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations," he said. Today the White House had scant detail on what the president plans to do.
Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Thousands of activists on both sides of the issue are holding rallies marking the day at state capitals across the country.
In the decades since the decision, abortion has been one of the most debated and legislated issues in the nation. And state legislatures, which are increasingly passing laws restricting abortion, have become the debate's key battlegrounds.
The Senate picked up Tuesday exactly where it left off nearly three weeks ago. By a twist of the rules, the Senate chamber remains in its first legislative day of the 113th Congress.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he's kept things at the starting point so that he and his fellow Democrats have the option of changing the rules on the filibuster by a simple majority vote.
"The Senate will take action to make this institution that we all love, the United States Senate, work more effectively," Reid said Tuesday. "We'll consider changes to the Senate rules."
Should emergency rooms track the number of people who get hurt or sick after drinking coffee? That's what the maker of Monster Energy drinks suggests in response to a recent report that emergency room visits involving caffeine-laced energy drinks doubled from 2007 to 2011.
Information technology has transformed much of the American economy, but its use in health care still lags, especially when it comes to electronic medical records.
Here's an example: The state of Colorado runs a computerized registry where any provider who gives a child a vaccine can report that information. The system should help kids stay current with their immunizations.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 2:46 pm
President Obama mentioned him five times in Monday's inaugural address â€” God, that is.
In modern times, religion has become so intertwined in our political rhetoric that the failure of any president to invoke God in a speech as important as the inaugural could hardly escape notice. Thanks to this graphic in The Wall Street Journal, we noticed the presidents who did (nearly all) and the few who didn't (Teddy Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes).
Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 7:32 am
Uptown and downtown in D.C. this weekend, some 600,000 people or so celebrated President Obama's second inauguration. And they were hungry.
Reflecting the president's message of diversity, city chefs and caterers turned out everything from highbrow brunches featuring smoked salmon and eggs Benedict to a luau, complete with leis and a spit-roasted pig. And there were plenty of hot dogs and chicken and waffles to be found between the balls.
While the number of abortion providers has been decreasing, the number of pregnancy centers has been increasing. According to The New York Times, there are now approximately 1,800 abortion providers around the country, compared with 2,500 pregnancy centers. These centers, largely run by Christian groups, discourage women from getting abortions and offer help during their unplanned pregnancies.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 11:24 am
Update at 9:05 p.m. ET Michelle Obama's Dress
NBC News is reporting that the first lady is wearing a custom Jason Wu ruby-colored chiffon and velvet gown, Jimmy Choo shoes and a ring by Kimberly McDonald to the Commander in Chief Ball. The White House said that the outfit and accompanying accessories will go to the National Archives at the end of the inaugural events.
President Obama dined with lawmakers at the Capitol in the traditional inaugural luncheon on Monday. Within hours, Obama and congressional Republicans will be back at it over the debt ceiling, spending cuts and a possible government shutdown.
For many inauguration attendees without tickets to official viewing areas, there was a historic alternative all the way on the other side of the National Mall at the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln is often invoked by President Obama and the memorial's role in the civil rights movement also made it a powerful draw on a day that was not only Inauguration Day, but also Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
Robert Siegel talks to several prominent African-Americans for their thoughts on what it has meant to have the first black president. We hear from Roger Wilkins, a civil rights activist, history professor, and journalist; Washington, D.C., Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton; writer Shelby Steele of the Hoover Institution of Stanford University; and civil rights lawyer Sherrilyn Ifill, the new head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
If the voters in Louisa, Ky., had their wish, Mitt Romney would have taken the oath of office Monday. Louisa is in eastern Kentucky, and "coal" was the one-word issue in the election. President Obama is seen as an enemy of coal mining and he got only 27 percent of the vote in the county.
And now comes word that Louisa is going to lose its biggest industry â€” a power generating plant that's been burning coal since 1962.
It's about 25 degrees on a clear Saturday morning when Gregg Treinish â€” executive director of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, a nonprofit that puts volunteers to work gathering data for scientists around the world â€” gathers a small group of outdoor adventurers around him near the Duckabush River in the Olympic National Forest in Washington state.
One of President Obama's gun control proposals appears to have widespread support â€” universal background checks for gun purchases. Some experts on mental health and gun violence find problems with the current laws, and they say the system doesn't do a very good job of predicting and preventing gun crime.
When you enter Kerley's Hunting and Outfitting in Cupertino, Calif., you're greeted by a taxidermy lion roaring and leaping. There are rows of rifles on the walls, but the owner, Harry Dwyer III, doesn't appear to be as fierce as his mascot.