In the News

Here is some (other) stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Severe burns; descriptions of surgery; images of injury and surgical healing at link] This is an amazing story about another recipient of a face transplant, whose life has been changed by the revolutionary surgery: "A volunteer firefighter badly burned in a 2001 blaze has received the most extensive face transplant ever, covering his skull and much of his neck, a New York hospital announced Monday. The surgery took place in August at the NYU Langone Medical Center [and lasted 26 hours]. The patient, 41-year-old Patrick Hardison, is still undergoing physical therapy at the hospital but plans to return home to Senatobia, Mississippi, in time for Thanksgiving. ...The donor was 26-year-old New York artist and competitive bicyclist David P. Rodebaugh. He had died of injuries from a biking accident on a Brooklyn street. ...A native of the Columbus, Ohio, area, he had signed up to donate organs. His mother gave permission to use his face, noting that Rodebaugh had always wanted to be a firefighter." Blub.

[CN: War on agency. NB: Not only women need access to abortion.] The Supreme Court has agreed to take on a major abortion case: "The Supreme Court will likely hear the case Whole Woman's Health v. Cole in 2016. The case challenges two provisions of Texas' omnibus abortion law, known as HB2. The first provision, which has already forced more than half of the clinics in the state to close, requires providers to secure hospital admitting privileges. The second provision forces clinics to fulfill costly, medically unnecessary ambulatory surgical center (ASC) requirements. Both the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have spoken out against both the ASC and admitting privileges requirements as medically unnecessary. Without any medical justification, all these laws seek to do is make it increasingly difficult-or even impossible-for a woman to get an abortion. 'We are confident the court will recognize that these laws are a sham and stop these political attacks on women's rights, dignity, and access to safe, legal essential health care,' said Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Whole Woman's Health and other providers in the case."

I wish I shared Northup's confidence. I hope that SCOTUS will do the right thing, but I am frightened that they won't. Relatedly, here is Jessica Mason Pieklo: "Justice Kennedy Can Save Roe, But Will He?"

In other terrifying news, the GOP is doing their damnedest to permanently lock Democrats out of policymaking: "Given the Federalist Society's influence among Republican lawmakers—especially the kind of Republican lawmaker who wears judicial robes—it is very likely that many of their proposals will be implemented if the 2016 election gives the GOP control of all three branches of government. It should be noted, moreover, that their proposals to hobble federal agencies are likely to give a structural advantage to Republicans that could very well become permanent. Republicans would still be capable of implementing their preferred policies, while Democrats would struggle to do the same even in the immediate wake of an electoral victory."

[CN: Disablism; addiction; privacy violations] Um: "As death rates from painkillers spike across the country, many experts are trying to stop the problem at its source: the doctor's office. ...Since 2012, Massachusetts and 23 other states have passed laws requiring doctors to, under certain circumstances, check patients' names in databases that track how and where they fill prescriptions for controlled substances. And now a new report, released on Monday morning by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says that doctors in every state should be required to use these databases, also known as 'prescription drug monitoring programs,' or PDMPs. ...So far, evidence suggests that these programs work. Shortly after Kentucky mandated PDMP use among physicians, rates of 'doctor-shopping' went down and the number of people seeking addiction treatment went up." But: "While these databases are seen as a public health win, they're controversial because of the potential for law enforcement to go on fishing expeditions (in many states they need an open investigation, but no warrant, to access the data)."

Do you want a preview of Adele's second single? Well, here you go! Spoiler Alert: IT'S AMAZING.

And finally! Redonkulously adorz photos of a baby penguin named Elmer "for the glue used to repair its shell, which cracked during incubation." Omg.

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