News & Commentary

Briefly Noted September 2014


Twelve percent of adults ages 50 and older report having had unwanted medical care, and 19% say that the treatments they or a family member had were excessive, according to a survey by the not-for-profit group Compassion & Choices. Eighty-two percent of respondents say that it’s very important to honor end-of-life wishes.... Who needs the abstract when the title tells you all you need to know? A recent study by the Cleveland Clinic is titled “Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Development Pipeline: Few Candidates, Frequent Failures.” From 2002 to 2012, there were 245 clinical trials for an Alzheimer’s drug, and only one succeeded.... Laura’s Law is gaining traction. The law is named after Laura Wilcox, a 19-year-old woman who was shot and killed by a psychiatric patient in 2001. The patient had stopped complying with his treatment. The law forces into outpatient treatment those who’ve been hospitalized or jailed in the last three years, or those who have been violent to themselves or others in the last four years. The law is adopted county by county, and for years there seemed to have been little interest. That’s changing.... Some doctors refuse to treat patients covered by the Affordable Care Act, the Miami Herald reports. The physicians worry that they won’t get paid for their services and are turning patients away, even when those doctors are included in the plan’s network.... Men who have vasectomies are more likely to get advanced and/or fatal prostate cancer, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Researchers tracked nearly 50,000 men and found that those who’d had a vasectomy at a younger age were most vulnerable to prostate cancer.