Associated Press/Photo by Lynne Sladky

Doctors, lawmakers embrace gender dysphoria treatments

Sexuality | Pressure from LGBT groups forces policy changes
by Bonnie Pritchett
Posted 10/15/16, 08:13 am

New York legislators and Johns Hopkins University doctors are reversing course and advocating for unproven hormone treatments and surgery for patients with gender dysphoria (GD). And in New York, lawmakers want taxpayers to foot the bill.

Read more

Associated Press/Photo by Carolyn Kaster

D.C. physician-assisted death bill moves ahead

Medicine | The law would allow doctors to help terminally ill patients commit suicide
by Kiley Crossland
Posted 10/06/16, 12:01 pm

A District of Columbia city council committee voted Wednesday to advance a physician-assisted suicide bill. The 3-2 vote by the Committee on Health and Human Services sends the bill to the entire city council for a tentative Oct. 18 hearing.

While supporters celebrated the narrow victory, critics of the legislation called on the council to vote down the measure, saying the legislation harms doctors, patients, caretakers, and communities, and is ripe for abuse.

Read more

Associated Press/Photo by Andre Penner

Doctors find more potential birth defects from Zika

Zika Virus | Even babies who don’t have microcephaly can suffer other effects
by Anna K. Poole
Posted 10/04/16, 01:21 pm

Since the Zika threat first surfaced last October, medical experts have maintained a tentative link between the vector-borne virus and microcephaly, a severe birth defect resulting in abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains. As research on the mysterious virus mounts, some say Zika damage in infants could be far more subtle than a shrunken skull.

“Microcephaly is only the tip of the iceberg, only the thing we see when the baby is born,” said Dr. Vanessa van der Linden, a pediatric neurologist in Recife, Brazil, at a recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) meeting.

Read more