Increased Service Use Among Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Associated With Mental Health Parity Law

Health Aff 2017 vol. 36 no. 2 337-345
Authors: Elizabeth A. Stuart, Emma E. McGinty, Luther Kalb, Haiden A. Huskamp et al
“Health care services for children with autism spectrum disorder are often expensive and frequently not covered under private health insurance. The 2008 Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act was viewed as a possible means of improving access by eliminating differences between behavioral health and medical/surgical benefits. We examined whether the legislation was associated with increased use of and spending on mental health care and functional services for children with autism spectrum disorder compared to the period prior to implementation of the law.”
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Indian surrogate mothers grab last chance to make babies ahead of impending ban

Reuters, 19 January 2017
Author: Roli Srivastava
“India’s surrogacy industry has come under attack by women’s rights groups who say fertility clinics are “baby factories” for the rich, and that a lack of regulation results in poor and uneducated women signing contracts they do not fully understand. The Indian parliament could pass a bill to outlaw commercial surrogacy – a 15-year-old industry estimated to be worth as much as $2.3 billion annually – in its next session starting in February.”
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Kids asthma flareups fall after no smoking laws

Health.com, 9 January 2017
Source: HealthDay News
“In many U.S. communities that have adopted indoor smoking bans, fewer children need emergency asthma treatment, a new study finds. ER visits for childhood asthma attacks fell 17 percent overall in 20 metropolitan areas that prohibit smoking in public places such as restaurants and hotels, researchers found. The study doesn’t confirm that the clean air laws directly boost lung health in kids. But, it makes a strong case, according to the researchers from Brown University, the University of Chicago Medical Center and Kansas University.”
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Britain agrees to license three-parent IVF babies to prevent disease

Reuters, 15 December 2016
Author: Kate Kelland
“Britain on Thursday became the first country to formally license an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment designed to create babies from three people. Critics of the treatment say it is a dangerous step that will lead to the creation of genetically modified “designer babies”. Doctors say that the treatment known as mitochondrial transfer, could help prevent incurable inherited diseases.”
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Family Court backs parents on removal of gonads from intersex child

The Australian, 7 December 2016
Author: Caroline Overrington
“A five-year-old child who was born genetically male will be raised as a sterilised female after the Family Court agreed to a ­request by the parents to have the child’s gonads removed. Such babies were once, and often erroneously, called hermaphrodites but are today more commonly known as intersex. For much of the 20th century parents were encouraged to assign a gender to them, and then opt for surgery. The court determined that the parents were well within their rights to pursue surgery for the child, and did not have to consult the court.”
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Kansas sperm donor to same-sex couple not liable for child support

BBC, 30 November 2016
Source: BBC News
“A Kansas man who donated sperm to a same-sex couple is not legally the child’s father and cannot be forced to pay child support, a court has ruled. A Kansas law says a man who provides donated sperm to a doctor for an insemination is not the child’s parent, unless there is a written agreement to the contrary.”
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UK panel says new three-parent IVF technique now safe for ‘cautious use’

Reuters, 30 November 2016
Author: Kate Kelland
“A three-parent IVF technique designed to reduce the risk of mothers passing hereditary diseases to their babies is safe enough to be offered to patients in special circumstances, a British expert review panel said on Wednesday. Britain’s parliament last year voted to change the law to allow the three-parent in-vitro-fertilisation (IVF) technique known as mitochondrial transfer, which doctors say could help prevent incurable inherited diseases.”
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Personalized assent for pediatric biobanks

BMC Medical Ethics 2016 17:59
Authors: Noor A. A. Giesbertz,Karen Melham, Jane Kaye, Johannes J. M. van Delden, Annelien L. Bredenoord
“Pediatric biobanking is considered important for generating biomedical knowledge and improving (pediatric) health care. However, the inclusion of children’s samples in biobanks involves specific ethical issues. One of the main concerns is how to appropriately engage children in the consent procedure. We suggest that children should be involved through a personalized assent procedure, which means that both the content and the process of assent are adjusted to the individual child. In this paper we provide guidance on how to put personalized assent into pediatric biobanking practice and consider both the content and process of personalized assent. In the discussion we argue that the assent procedure itself is formative. Investing in the procedure should be a requirement for pediatric biobank research.”
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The Intensive Care Lifeboat: a survey of lay attitudes to rationing dilemmas in neonatal intensive care

BMC Medical Ethics 2016 17:69
Authors: C. Arora, J. Savulescu, H. Maslen, M. Selgelid, D. Wilkinson
“Resuscitation and treatment of critically ill newborn infants is associated with relatively high mortality, morbidity and cost. Guidelines relating to resuscitation have traditionally focused on the best interests of infants. There are, however, limited resources available in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), meaning that difficult decisions sometimes need to be made. This study explores the intuitions of lay people (non-health professionals) regarding resource allocation decisions in the NICU.”
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