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Trump Administration Agrees to Postpone Implementing Health Care Rule

The rule was supposed to take effect on July 22 but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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FILE - People hold up signs in favor of legal abortion during a protest against abortion bans, May 21, 2019, outside the Supreme Court in Washington. VOA

The Trump administration has agreed to postpone implementing a rule allowing medical workers to decline performing abortions or other treatments on moral or religious grounds while the so-called “conscience” rule is challenged in a California court.

The rule was supposed to take effect on July 22 but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its opponents in a California lawsuit mutually agreed Friday to delay a final ruling on the matter until Nov. 22.

The agency called it the “most efficient way to adjudicate” the rule.

A federal judge in San Francisco permitted the change on Saturday.

Trump, Administration, Health
The Trump administration has agreed to postpone implementing a rule allowing medical workers to decline performing abortions. Pixabay

A California lawsuit alleges that the department exceeded its authority with the rule, which President Trump announced in May.

The measure known as Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority would require institutions that receive money from federal programs to certify that they comply with some 25 federal laws protecting conscience and religious rights.
Most laws pertain to medical procedures such as abortion, sterilization and assisted suicide.

The department has previously said that past administrations haven’t done enough to protect such rights in the medical field.

The rule is a priority for religious conservatives, but critics fear it will become a pretext for denying medical attention to LGBT people or women seeking abortions, a legal medical procedure.

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“The Trump administration is trying to systematically limit access to critical medical care for women, the LGBTQ community, and other vulnerable patients,” San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement announcing Friday’s decision. “Hospitals are no place to put personal beliefs above patient care.”

San Francisco would have faced losing about $1 billion in federal funding for health care-related programs if the rule took effect, according to the statement from his office. (VOA)

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Vaping Can Lead to Chronic Disease in Lungs known as “Popcorn Injury”

This novel disease pattern of airway injury associated with vaping leading to chronic obstruction appears to be distinct from the alveolar injury

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Vaping
Novel disease pattern of airway injury associated with Vaping leading to chronic obstruction appears to be distinct from the alveolar injury characterizing the EVALI . Pixabay

In yet another serious health alert on e-cigarette use, researchers have documented first-ever case of a new form of damage from Vaping products in a youth which is similar to “popcorn lung,” a condition seen in workers exposed to food flavouring fumes in microwave popcorn factories.

If inhaled, the chemical called diacetyl causes bronchiolitis, which is characterized by the small airways of the lungs becoming inflamed and obstructed.

The 17-year-old patient who narrowly avoided the need for a double lung transplant suffered with this new type of vaping-related injury.

A team from Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario, and University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto described the life-threatening bronchiolitis in a previously healthy 17-year-old male who initially presented for care after a week of persistent and intractable cough and was eventually hospitalized and put on life support.

After ruling out other causes, the team suspected flavoured e-liquids as the cause. The youth’s family reported that he vaped daily using a variety of flavoured cartridges and used tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) regularly. THC is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects.

“This novel disease pattern of airway injury associated with vaping leading to chronic obstruction appears to be distinct from the alveolar injury characterizing the EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury) have been described cases recently reported in the US, and the seven confirmed or probable cases in Canada, highlighting the need for further research and regulation of e-cigarettes,” elaborated lead author Dr Karen Bosma, Associate Scientist at Lawson.

The case study, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), provides detailed medical information on the extent and type of injury as well as treatment.

“This case of life-threatening acute bronchiolitis posed a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge,” the authors wrote.

Vaping
In yet another serious health alert on e-cigarette use, researchers have documented first-ever case of a new form of damage from Vaping products in a youth which is similar to “popcorn lung,” a condition seen in workers exposed to food flavouring fumes in microwave popcorn factories. Pixabay

“Given the patient’s intense vaping exposure to flavoured e-liquid and negative workup for other causes of bronchiolitis, we suspected that bronchiolitis obliterans might have been developing in this patient as in microwave popcorn factory workers exposed to occupational inhalation of diacetyl.”

The youth narrowly avoided the need for a double lung transplant, but now has evidence of chronic damage to his airways.

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He is still recovering from his lengthy stay in the intensive care unit, and is abstaining from e-cigarettes, marijuana and tobacco.

“This case may represent the first direct evidence of the lung disease most expected to result from e-cigarette use,” said Dr Matthew Stanbrook, Deputy Editor, CMAJ. (IANS)