Health Newsbrief
May 17, 2000
Vol. 1, No. 5
ISSN pending
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Bruce Maxwell, Editor <bmax@silverhammerpub.com>
Silver Hammer Publishing <http://silverhammerpub.com>

Instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing are provided at
the end of this newsletter.


The News
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FACING DEATH AT PEACE, WITH DIGNITY
Most people fear a "bad death" more than death itself, according
to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The
study, which involved interviews with doctors, nurses, social
workers, chaplains, hospice volunteers, patients, and recently
bereaved family members, also examined what's necessary for a
positive end-of-life experience.
Source: Reuters - May 15, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000515/hl/death_1.html
Annals of Internal Medicine report:
http://www.acponline.org/journals/annals/16may00/steinhauser.htm


COMPLICATION RATES VARY AMONG HOSPITAL TYPES
The next time you need surgery, it may pay to be careful about
what type of hospital you choose. A report in the Journal of
General Internal Medicine found that patients are far more likely
to suffer a drug interaction, missed or delayed diagnosis, or a
complication from surgery at for-profit hospitals or small
hospitals owned by a government agency. Your best chances are at
nonprofit hospitals or major teaching hospitals.
Source: Reuters - May 11, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000511/hl/hospitals_2.html


PRESCRIPTION ERRORS COMMON IN OUTPATIENT SETTING
Nearly one in five prescriptions written at a selection of
outpatient clinics in Boston had errors, according to a study
presented at the annual meeting of the Society of General
Internal Medicine. Most of the mistakes were dosing errors - not
problems with legibility.
Source: Reuters - May 9, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000509/hl/prescriptions_2.html


VENTURES AIM TO PUT FARMS IN PHARMACEUTICAL
VANGUARD
The health benefits of eating your veggies could take on a whole
new twist. About 20 companies around the world are working to
create pharmaceutical drugs in genetically altered plants,
including potatoes and corn. The technology isn't finalized, and
opponents cite a whole list of risks that the plants could pose.
Source: New York Times - May 14, 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/
051400sci-gm-crops.html



MAINE VOTERS FACE DECISION ON DOCTOR-ASSISTED
SUICIDE
A tough battle is predicted over a referendum on Maine's November
ballot that would legalize physician-assisted suicide. Oregon is
the only state that currently allows the practice, but a bill
passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and pending in the
Senate would overturn Oregon's law and make the practice illegal
nationwide.
Source: American Medical News - May 22/29, 2000
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_00/prsb0522.htm


REPORT FINDS CANCER RATES DECLINING
Reduced rates of smoking and early detection are helping to lower
the number of Americans who get or die from cancer, according to
a study released by the National Cancer Institute, the American
Cancer Society, the North American Association of Central Cancer
Registries, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The number of new cancer cases per 100,000 people dropped by an
average of 0.8 percent per year between 1990 and 1997.
Source: Associated Press - May 15, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000515/hl/cancer_rates_1.html
National Cancer Institute press release:
http://rex.nci.nih.gov/massmedia/pressreleases/cancer_decline.html


SACCHARIN DROPPED FROM CANCER LIST
CONSUMER GROUPS OPPOSE REMOVING SACCHARIN
FROM CANCER LIST
More than 20 years after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
tried unsuccessfully to ban saccharin because of fears it caused
cancer, the federal government has officially dropped the
artificial sweetener from its list of cancer-causing chemicals.
But Reuters reports that the Public Citizen Health Research Group
and the Center for Science in the Public Interest both oppose the
move, saying it's not grounded in scientific evidence.
Source: Associated Press - May 15, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000516/hl/
sweetener_delisted_3.html

Source: Reuters - May 16, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000516/hl/
cancer_saccharin_1.html

Ninth Report on Carcinogens:
http://ehis.niehs.nih.gov/roc/toc9.html


FOR DOCTORS' SCRAWL, HANDWRITING'S ON THE WALL
Dozens of doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles
recently went back to school. But they weren't boning up on the
latest medical techniques: they were learning good penmanship.
The object was to reduce errors in patient treatment and
medications caused by indecipherable scrawls.
Source: Washington Post - May 16, 2000
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56453-2000May12.html


AN ATTRACTIVE ALTERNATIVE? MAGNETS ARE TOUTED
FOR PAIN RELIEF AND SPEEDIER HEALING, BUT
SCIENTIFIC SUPPORT IS SKETCHY
Magnets that marketers claim relieve pain and speed healing are
now a multibillion-dollar industry. Yet there's still no
convincing scientific evidence that magnets do any good, and the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved their use as a
medical device.
Source: Washington Post - May 16, 2000
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A9585-2000May16.html


A Quick Plug
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Congressional Quarterly has just published my book, "How to Track
Politics on the Internet," which describes more than 600 of the
best political Web sites, newsgroups, and mailing lists. The book
costs $29.95, and can be ordered from CQ (800-638-1710) or any
online bookstore. The table of contents and introduction are
available at http://bmaxwell.home.mindspring.com
______________________________________________________

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Bruce Maxwell
Silver Hammer Publishing
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Falls Church, VA 22042
703-532-6327
bmax@silverhammerpub.com

 

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