In 1986, Sandra Clarke was working as a staff nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, OR when a dying man asked her to sit with him. She agreed but first needed to make her rounds and the man died alone in his room before she was able to return. Troubled, and feeling that she had failed a patient, she resolved to gather volunteers to stay with those who were alone and close to death. Ms. Clarke enlisted her entire hospital for a bedside vigil system
to help ensure that patients would not be alone when they died. In 2001, Sacred Heart formalized the program as No One Dies Alone
(NODA) and over the last decade, it has spread to hospitals across the US. "Susan Cox Is No Longer Here"
offers us a glimpse into the NODA experience in Indianapolis. [more inside]
The Course of Their Lives.
While much in medicine has changed over the last century, the defining course of a first year medical student's education is still 'Gross Anatomy.' This is their hands-on tour of a donated cadaver -- an actual human body -- and is an experience which cannot be replicated by computer models. When Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Mark Johnson came up with the idea of following a med school gross anatomy class for a feature story, his editor challenged him to make it different. So he chose to intertwine the students' stories with that of Geraldine 'Nana' Fotsch, a living future donor, as sort of a stand-in for the cadaver. (Via
. This four-part series contains descriptions of a human dissection. Some may find it disturbing.
) [more inside]
Detroit, New Orleans, Oakland... some of the safer places in America to live!
Sure, big cities might have more murders per capita... but residents in large cities are *MUCH* safer when it comes to injury deaths than those living in more rural parts of America, according to a new study
in The Annals of Emergency Medicine.
"Cars, guns and drugs are the unholy trinity causing the majority of injury deaths
. . . Although the risk of homicide is higher in big cities, the risk of unintentional injury death is 40 percent higher in the most rural areas than in the most urban. And overall, the rate of unintentional injury dwarfs the risk of homicide, with the rate of unintentional injury more than 15 times that of homicide among the entire population."
First Gene Therapy Successful Against Aging-Associated Decline: Mouse Lifespan Extended Up to 24% With a Single Treatment
A new study consisting of inducing cells to express telomerase, the enzyme which -- metaphorically -- slows down the biological clock -- was successful. The research provides a "proof-of-principle" that this "feasible and safe" approach can effectively "improve health span." [article
In 2002, Doug Monroe placed his parents in assisted living
. A decade later, he's looking back at "the weighty financial and emotional costs that come with a parent's immortality": The Long Goodbye
Since 1988, the Center for Reproductive Rights
has compiled a visual map of the laws regulating abortion throughout the world. Earlier this month, they released their 2011 Map in pdf
and updated their online World Abortion Laws Map
in a new interactive format which allows country comparisons and provides text of abortion laws for certain countries. (Via Good: Can I get an Abortion Here? The Abortion Rights Map of the World)
Cancer Cure Patented
A group of researchers claim that they are patenting a possible cure for cancer involving nothing more than sugar and short-chain fatty acid combination.
Obesity and Diabetes
- another free supplement by Nature
has a somewhat technical but free supplement
on stem cells (alongwith a podcast and related blog
Life after death,
interesting though short reading. Scientific materialism takes a slight beating? Maybe. Nice that somebody finally tested the low oxygen theory that's been flying around since the 70's.