health

The state of Washington is on a hiring spree for forensic psychologists. They’re needed to help address a backlog of mentally ill jail inmates whose competency to stand trial is in question.

Over the years, scientists have mostly interpreted the world through what they can see. But in the last few decades, a culture of listening has blossomed, especially among biologists who seek to understand how animals communicate. This week Morning Edition embarks on a weekly summer series called Close Listening: Decoding Nature Through Sound. We begin with an innovation that transformed medicine by searching sounds for clues to illness and health.

Anti-abortion groups are calling for an investigation into Planned Parenthood, and now, state and federal lawmakers are getting involved.

Ross Reynolds talks with Carol Wagner, senior vice president for patient safety at the Washington State Hospital Association, about some of the infections patients contract at hospitals. 

Don Elliget, a patient at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, with transplant surgeons, Drs. Andrew Precht and Marquis Hart.
Courtesy of Swedish Hospital

Nearly 10,000 Americans got organ transplants this year. They’re the lucky ones; there are more than 10 times that number waiting for an organ. That gap between supply and demand is only expected to grow.

The case of Sandra Bland has raised anger and suspicions nationwide since she was found dead in a jail cell in Hempstead, Texas, two weeks ago. Bland's family and supporters have rejected the medical examiner's finding of suicide, and the criminal district attorney for Waller County, Texas, says he's recruited two outside lawyers to assist in the investigation of her death. The local investigation has been reviewed by the FBI, and local prosecutors have pledged to bring the case to a grand jury next month.

Transgender people are not getting adequate health care, and widespread discrimination is largely to blame, according to a recent World Health Organization report. And the story is told most starkly in the high rates of HIV among transgender women worldwide.

JoAnne Keatley, one of the authors of that study, puts it plainly.

Boats crowd Lake Washington during a past Seafair weekend.
Flickr Photo/missyleone (CC BY 2.0)

David Hyde speaks with Beth Ebel, a professor of pediatrics and a doctor with the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, about the culture around drinking and boating and how we can change it. 

A view of Lake Union from Seattle Harbor Patrol 2. Drownings often occur on sunny days and because of drunk boating.
KUOW Photo/Jeannie Yandel

Seattle Police Officer Mark Mulvanny remembers a time about 10 years ago when he spotted a drunk boater.

He was patrolling Lake Union when he saw the boat speeding northbound, heading straight for him.

Kevin Stormans, owner of Ralph's Thriftway, is at the heart of a seven-year legal over whether pharmacists can withhold prescriptions for religious reasons. The debate began over whether pharmacists may refuse to dispense the contraception pill Plan B.
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Pharmacists in Washington state must stock emergency contraceptive – even if they believe it goes against their religious beliefs.

A federal appeals court says the pharmacy rule does not infringe on religious freedom.

The state of Washington is under a federal court order to address the issue of mentally ill inmates languishing in jail. But the problem has actually gotten worse, not better.

People With Depression: You Are Not Alone

Jul 23, 2015
Hosts Rogelia Sanchez and Lola Garcia.
KUOW Photo/Lola Garcia

Welcome to RadioActive's second podcast of summer 2015. We are talking about depression. We got some advice from a psychiatrist at the University of Washington and recorded personal experiences with depression that we'd like to share with you.

Chemotherapy given to patients at the end of life often does more harm than good, according to a study that calls into question this common practice.

It's true that being overweight or obese is a leading risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes.

But attention, skinny and normal-weight people: You may be vulnerable, too.

Lots of lifestyle choices influence the risk of diabetes: everything from whether you smoke to how much you exercise (or don't). It turns out, what you choose to drink is also a risk factor.

The face of Alzheimer's isn't always old. Sometimes it belongs to someone like Giedre Cohen, who is 37, yet struggles to remember her own name.

Until about a year ago, Giedre was a "young, healthy, beautiful" woman just starting her life, says her husband, Tal Cohen, a real estate developer in Los Angeles. Now, he says, "her mind is slowly wasting away."

People like Giedre have a rare gene mutation that causes symptoms of Alzheimer's to appear before they turn 60.

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