Health Highlights: March 22, 201103/22/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Send Health Care Law Directly to Supreme Court: Va. Attorney
Virginia's challenge of the new U.S. health care law should
bypass an appellate court and proceed straight to the Supreme Court
because a delay in resolving the case leads to "crippling
uncertainty," according to Virginia Attorney General Ken
He makes the argument in a brief filed in response to the Obama
administration's March 14 filing on the issue. The White House had
argued that there was no reason to take the rare step of bypassing
a lower court review of a Virginia judge's decision to strike down
the part of the health care law requiring citizens to buy health
insurance or pay a penalty, the
Associated Press reported.
The Obama administration has asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals to reverse the Virginia judge's decision. A May hearing has
been scheduled by the appeals court.
However, Cuccinelli said Virginia wants the case to go directly
to the Supreme Court because of "the crippling uncertainty faced by
the country until those issues are resolved," the
New South Dakota Law Puts 3-Day Wait on Women Seeking
A new South Dakota law requires women to wait three days after
meeting with a doctor before having an abortion, and to undergo
counseling at pregnancy help centers that discourage abortion.
The measure, which was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Dennis
Daugaard and takes effect July 1, means women in South Dakota will
have longest abortion waiting period in the nation, the
Associated Press reported.
Abortion rights groups plan to file a lawsuit challenging the
measure. They say the waiting period and counseling impose an undue
burden on women who have a constitutional right to abortion.
Supporters of the law say it will ensure women are not being
coerced into abortions, the
Overweight Passengers Force Bus Safety Rule Changes
Bus safety rules have to be rewritten due to the increasing
number of overweight Americans using public transit, says the U.S.
The assumed average weight per bus passenger should be raised
from 150 pounds to 175 pounds, says a Federal Transit Authority
USA Today reported. The FTA also wants an additional quarter
of a square foot of floor space per passenger.
The proposed rule modifications "acknowledge the expanding girth
of the average passenger," the FTA said.
The changes could mean that fewer people will be allowed on city
buses across the nation,
USA Today reported.
Tween Brands Will Limit Cadmium in Jewelry
The toxic metal cadmium will be removed from child, teen and
adult jewelry sold by Tween Brands Inc. as part of a settlement
that's the first of its kind in the United States.
Last summer, Tween recalled about 137,000 Chinese-made pieces of
jewelry due to unspecified levels of cadmium. A case against the
company was brought by the California-based Center for
Environmental Health. The group has made extensive use of the
state's Proposition 65 to force companies to reduce levels of
harmful materials in consumer products, the
Associated Press reported.
The agreement takes effect January 2012 and Tween will face
fines if it sells jewelry that is more than 0.03 percent cadmium. A
state judge still needs to approve the settlement.
The settlement covers jewelry sold in California but the state's
market is so large that the elimination of cadmium will become
national policy for Tween, the
U.S. Personnel in Japan Offered Potassium Iodide
U.S. government personnel and their dependents who are in the
vicinity of the damaged Japanese nuclear power station are being
offered potassium iodide (KI), the State Department said
Officials said the offer to Americans in Nagoya, Tokyo, Yokohama
and 15 prefectures is being made "out of an abundance of caution,"
and added that no one should take KI at this time,
Agence France-Presse reported.
"While there is no indication that it will become advisable to take KI, out of an abundance of caution the United States government is making it available to its personnel and family members to be used only upon direction if a change in circumstances were to warrant," the State Department said in a travel warning.
Earlier on Monday, a plume of smoke that rose from one of the
reactors at the Fukushima nuclear facility led to the removal of
workers trying to get the situation under control,
Pelosi Released From Rome Hospital
Following a brief stay in a Rome hospital, U.S. House Democratic
leader Nancy Pelosi was released Monday and is resuming her
schedule in Italy, says her spokesman.
"After several flights yesterday in Afghanistan, and a long flight back to Italy that arrived early this morning, Leader Pelosi was not feeling well," Nadeam Elshami said in an e-mailed statement, Bloomberg News reported.
"This morning in Rome, the leader was advised to visit a clinic, and the closest medical facility was a hospital," the spokesman said.
Pelosi, 70, is on an official trip to Rome with a congressional
delegation. Her health concerns forced her to cancel a meeting with
the Italian defense minister,
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.