Since Oregon legalized physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill in 1997, more than 700 people have taken their lives with prescribed medication — including Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old with an incurable brain tumor, who ended her life earlier this month.
The White House acknowledged today that it overreported the number of signups under the Affordable Care Act by nearly 400,000 people.
Some people with separate medical and dental plans were counted twice, leading the administration to state erroneously that more than 7 million had enrolled in coverage under ACA, instead of the correct figure of about 6.7 million.
"Text neck," the posture formed by leaning over a cellphone while reading and texting, is a big problem, according to the author of a newly published study in the National Library of Medicine.
Kenneth K. Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, says the bad posture can put up to 60 pounds of pressure on the upper spine — sometimes for several hours a day, depending on how often people look at their devices.
Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 3:54 pm
Right now, at preschool programs around the country, teachers are tapping infinite reserves of patience to keep the peace among children at various stages of development and need. They're also providing meals, wiping noses and delivering a curriculum in math and reading that will get the kids ready for school.
Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 2:04 pm
Diabetes is an expensive disease to treat, costing the United States $244 billion in 2012, according to an analysis of the disease's economic burden.
When the loss of productivity due to illness and disability is added in, the bill comes to $322 billion, or $1,000 a year for each American, including those without diabetes. That's 48 percent higher than the same benchmark in 2007; not a healthy trend.
The increase is being driven by a growing and aging population, the report finds, as well as more common risk factors like obesity, and higher medical costs.
In his short story collection, former Marine Phil Klay takes his experience in Iraq and clarifies it, lucidly tracing the moral, political and psychological curlicues of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On Wednesday, he won the National Book Award for fiction for the collection.
Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 4:35 pm
When Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) first entered politics in the 1960s, he started out as moderate — pro-abortion rights, pro-union, in support of the civil rights movement. With time, McConnell shifted to the right as the Republican Party shifted.
"I was just really startled by this when I started looking into it," Alec MacGillis tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I knew that he had started out as somewhat more moderate — but I didn't realize just how moderate he really was."
Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 4:39 pm
A few hundred hawkers and street vendors gathered Wednesday on the side of a dusty, busy road in the northern Indian city of Gurgaon, a few miles from the capital, New Delhi. Some wore black headbands with "No Wal-Mart" signs. Others carried banners that said "Stop uprooting hawkers and vendors."
The crowd of protesters walked down the road to the Indian headquarters of Wal-Mart, located in one of many modern, multistoried buildings. They stood outside, chanting "Wal-Mart, down, down!" "Wal-Mart, come to your senses!"
Soccer's governing body said today it will further review the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, reopening for scrutiny the mechanism by which Russia and Qatar were awarded the tournaments.
Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 6:32 pm
It's a question we've all wrestled with: Which emails should be saved and which ones should be deleted?
The Central Intelligence Agency thinks it's found the answer, at least as far as its thousands of employees and contractors are concerned: Sooner or later, the spy agency would destroy every email except those in the accounts of its top 22 officials.
It's now up to the National Archives — the ultimate repository of all the records preserved by federal agencies — to sign off on the CIA's proposal.
Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 12:37 pm
The executive in charge of quality for Takata Corp. apologized today for the defects in the air bags made by his company that have been linked to at least five deaths and dozens of injuries.
"We are deeply sorry about each of the reported instances in which a Takata air bag has not performed as designed and the driver or passenger had suffered personal injuries or death,"Hiroshi Shimizu, senior vice president of quality for Takata, told the Senate Commerce Committee.
Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 8:21 am
When you open up your Skype app to make a call, it's probably no surprise that it's accessing your phone's call history. But would you expect your Nike+ Running app to collect that information too?
If you're like most people, the answer is no.
That's why the Nike+ Running app gets a B on PrivacyGrade, a site for people to figure out what information their apps might be collecting. Right now it only looks at Android apps, but the site already lists hundreds of them from Google Maps to Instagram to WebMD.
Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 2:01 pm
When it comes to health records, how concerned are Americans about what happens to their personal information?
We asked in the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll. And, in a bit of surprise to me, the responses showed that, in general, worries don't run very high.
First, we learned that nearly three-quarters of people see doctors who use electronic medical records. So the chances are good that your medical information is being kept digitally and that it can be served up to lots of people inside your doctor's office and elsewhere.
Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 3:06 pm
While beverage companies have cut their marketing of unhealthy drinks to children on TV and websites overall, they have ramped up marketing to black and Latino kids and teens, who have higher rates of obesity than white youth, a study finds.
Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 1:06 pm
Her eyes met the camera. She was there. And yet she wasn't there.
That's how NPR photographer David Gilkey remembers the moment last Saturday when he took a picture of Baby Sesay, a 45-year-old traditional healer in the village of Royail in Sierra Leone.
Sesay had tried to cure a sick little boy. The boy died, likely of Ebola. Then Sesay herself fell ill. She had come to a community care center a few hours earlier, walking in under her own power, to be tested for the virus.
Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 12:59 pm
An appeals court in Sweden has upheld a detention order in connection with sex assault accusations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since seeking refuge there more than two years ago.
Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 5:40 pm
Republicans in Congress are warning President Obama against acting alone on immigration, hours ahead of a planned announcement by the president that could provide temporary relief to some of the nearly 12 million immigrants in the country illegally.
Republicans say any unilateral action on immigration by the president would mean there is no chance of passing a comprehensive immigration overhaul in Congress.
Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 4:59 pm
The good people of Buffalo are certainly no strangers to snow — but this week has put even the city's most seasoned winter veterans to the test.
The latest from the National Weather Service is that parts of western New York state could get another 3 feet of lake-effect snow on top of the 5.5 feet already on the ground. At least 10 deaths are attributed to this week's severe weather.
"He was a true visionary, winning the highest honors in the arts for his work as a director, writer, producer and comic and was one of a tiny few to win the EGOT — an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony in his lifetime," ABC News President James Goldston said in the statement.
Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 8:26 am
Florida State University police shot and killed a gunman who had opened fire in the crowded university library around midnight. Three people were wounded.
Michael DeLeo, Tallahassee, Fla.'s chief of police, said the gunman appears to have acted alone.
"It will take not only hours but days to put all the pieces together," he said at a news conference this morning. "Obviously, everyone wants to know why, and that's the hard question that we're going to continue to investigate and try to find those answers for everybody."