Healthy alternative

Medicine | A New Jersey clinic may be a model for a new health-care system, but is anyone in Washington paying attention?
by Susan Olasky
Posted 6/18/05, 12:00 am

ZAREPHATH, N.J.-Three years ago, if you had asked Amal Gurguis whether she was worried about a crisis in health insurance, she probably would have said no. The thirty-something mother of two small children was covered under her husband's health insurance policy, which he had through his employer.

But when her husband suffered a massive coronary on her son's second birthday, Amal's life changed. She lost her husband and joined the ranks of the uninsured.

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When all's futile

Medicine | Utilitarian medical ethics, high costs, and bio-babble all drive controversial health-care decisions in the post-Schiavo era
by Lynn Vincent
Posted 5/21/05, 12:00 am

On April 21, a British judge rejected the pleas of Darren and Debbie Wyatt who had fought to keep their 18-month-old daughter Charlotte alive. Doctors say Charlotte, born three months premature, is brain-damaged, in continual pain, and likely terminal. Her parents say she can see and hear to a limited extent, and sometimes smiles. While London High Court Justice Mark Hedley agreed that the baby responds to loud noises and tracks the movement of a colorful toy, he upheld an order that would allow doctors to let Charlotte die if she stops breathing.

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Spelling it out

Medicine | Schiavo case shows the need for very specific advance directives
by Lynn Vincent
Posted 4/09/05, 12:00 am

As Terri Schiavo's tongue bled and her eyes sank from the effects of dehydration, her husband's attorney, George Felos, announced what may be the first autopsy ever scheduled for public-relations purposes in advance of a person's death. Michael Schiavo, his lawyer said last week, hoped the results would show "the full and massive extent of the damage to Mrs. Schiavo's brain," and prove to the public that she wasn't cognitive, responsive, or cruelly starved to death.

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