Health Highlights: Oct. 29, 201310/29/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Texas Abortion Restrictions Unconstitutional: Judge
A federal judge says new abortion restrictions passed by Texas
lawmakers are unconstitutional and blocked them from taking effect
as scheduled on Tuesday.
The new rules violate the rights of abortion doctors to do what
they believe is best for their patients and would unreasonably
restrict a woman's access to abortion clinics, District Judge Lee
Yeakel wrote Monday, the
He made his ruling in a lawsuit launched by Planned Parenthood
and other abortion providers. Their lawyers argued that a
requirement that doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital
within 30 miles of the abortion clinic would force one-third of the
clinics in Texas to close.
The plaintiffs' lawyers also said that forcing doctors to follow
the Food and Drug Administration's original label for an
abortion-inducing drug would deny women the benefit of recent
advances in medical science, the
The new rules protect women and the life of the fetus, the Texas
attorney general's office argued. The state's attorney general is
expected to file an emergency appeal of Yeakel's order to the 5th
Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
A similar abortion law passed in Mississippi last year was
blocked by a federal judge pending a trial scheduled to begin in
U.S. Military Body Fat Test Needs to be Changed: Experts
Some U.S. military personnel are turning to liposuction in order
to remove excess fat from around the waist so they can pass the
Defense Department's body fat test, which can affect their future
prospects in the military.
Those who opt for the surgical procedure say they have no choice
because the Pentagon's method of estimating body fat weeds out not
just those who are flabby, but also those with bulkier, muscular
Doctors and fitness experts agree and say that the military's
fitness standards need to be overhauled. This includes outdated
weight tables that don't reflect the fact that Americans are
bigger, but not necessarily less healthy.
Defense officials say the body fat test is designed to ensure
that troops are prepared for the physical demands of combat. While
undergoing liposuction is not banned, the military does not condone
the use of surgery to pass the body fat test, the
Teresa Heinz Kerry Says Recent Seizure Related to Concussion
A "bad concussion" four years ago was the likely cause of a
seizure suffered in July by Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry.
In an interview with the Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette, Heinz Kerry said her seizure was not related
to her 2009 treatment for breast cancer, but rather to the
lingering effects "after a bad concussion that was not properly
treated at all ... from a very bad fall,"
The 75-year-old heiress to the Heinz condiment fortune said she
suffered the concussion when she fell four years ago.
Heinz Kerry said her doctors told her it can take years for the
brain to repair itself after a concussion and does so by forming
new connections and circuits. The newspaper noted that "circuits
formed can be overly excited and lead to seizures,"
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