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Continued Protection Sought for Medical-Marijuana States

U.S. News

Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California have sent a letter with the signatures of 64 colleagues to congressional leaders supporting the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment that prevents federal officials using public funds to enforce federal laws against medical marijuana.


Your private medical data is for sale – and it's driving a business worth billions

The Guardian

Your medical data is for sale – all of it. Adam Tanner, a fellow at Harvard's institute for quantitative social science and author of a new book on the topic, Our Bodies, Our Data, said that patients generally don't know that their most personal information – what diseases they test positive for, what surgeries they have had – is the stuff of multibillion-dollar business. But although the data is nominally stripped of personally identifying information, data miners and brokers are working tirelessly to aggregate detailed dossiers on individual patients; the patients are merely called "24601" instead of "Jean Valjean". At the doctor's office, Tanner told the Guardian, "you close the door and you think, I'm telling my doctor my most intimate medical secrets, and only my doctor knows about it. Patients are reduced to gender, age, particular ailments, and neighborhood.


Japan medical community must apologize for eugenics procedures, panel says

The Japan Times

Japan's medical community must apologize for its involvement in forced sterilizations under the now-defunct eugenic protection law, the Japanese Medical Science Federation said Thursday. A federation panel for reviewing the issue said in a report that a heartfelt apology is needed as medical professionals were involved in the drawing up and execution of the law, which forced mainly people with disabilities to undergo surgeries or other steps for sterilization. The panel also proposed the establishment of a body including many medical societies to review ethical issues regarding prenatal diagnoses, genome editing and other areas that may be closely linked to eugenics. The report found that medical professionals were involved in forced sterilizations out of a false sense of mission, as many mistakenly believed that such procedures were necessary for the public interest due to the existence of the eugenic protection law. It added that, while some in the medical field questioned the forced sterilizations, "their voices were not strong enough toward the whole society." "It is our responsibility to make sure this will never happen again," said Morito Monden, the federation's chairman, at a news conference after receiving the report.


When AI is used in medicine patients will need new protections

#artificialintelligence

For Elon Musk, the term artificial intelligence conjures apocalyptic scenarios of autonomous robots wreaking destruction in a world dominated by hyper-intelligent machines. Stephen Hawking foresees a future in which smart machines replace sluggish humans across a range of activities, driving million...


COVID-19 vaccine rollouts may be way around variant issue, expert says

FOX News

Vaccinating as many people against the novel coronavirus as possible may be one way to address the concerning variant issue, one expert said. Dr. Dial Hewlett, medical director of the division of disease control at Westchester County Department of Health and a fellow at the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), said that lowering the number of people susceptible to the virus should continue to be a key goal. "If we are able to immunize enough people over a short period of time, then we are going to be able to get around this problem of new variants," he said during an IDSA media briefing on Thursday. "The virus has to have a host in order to survive." Several studies have suggested that the currently-approved mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna may not offer as much protection against the South African variant as it does others.