Medical Child Abuse

Parents who have a mental illness known as factitious disorder may fake or induce illness in their children to get attention, sometimes taking kids to hundreds of medical visits and deceiving doctors into performing numerous procedures and surgeries. Experts and a parent who got his child out of an abusive situation discuss how the legal & medical system may fail kids, danger signs and the road to recovery.

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A Moral Question: Dementia, Spouses, and “Close Friends”

Spouses of Alzheimer’s disease patients often struggle with depression while caregiving and are desperate for support. Some have started new relationships while their loved one is still alive but no longer recognizes them. Acceptance of such infidelity is highly individual. Experts and a woman involved in such a relationship discuss how it can benefit even the incapacitated spouse, as long as families find it acceptable.

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Music And Medicine

Pre-medical students have typically majored in science, but some medical schools are finding that liberal arts and even music majors with no science background can do well. Some admissions officers and doctors believe they may even have advantages, given the importance of communications in the doctor-patient relationship. A musician-turned-med student, an admissions officer and a musical doctor explain.

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Crushing Medical Debt

Nearly a quarter of us owe past due medical debt, and hospitals are moving more aggressively to collect. The rise is the result of a tradeoff–Americans have avoided higher health insurance premiums only to be jeopardized by extremely high deductibles and out-of-network costs. Experts explain what unpaid medical debt can mean, how patients can escape its clutches, and how one charity works to buy and forgive debt.

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Hand Washing And Handshake Bans

Some hospital units have set up handshake bans because too few healthcare workers wash hands well enough to keep from spreading germs. The general public is even worse at washing hands, which has caused spread of serious disease. Some experts say handshakes foster important human connections and oppose bans. Experts discuss and describe what it takes to wash hands well enough to be “clean.”

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