Daily Rounds: Mental Health Cuts; Breastfeeding Deductible; Smoker-Free Workplaces; Stumbling On Incest

Mental health workers decry planned cuts - The Boston Globe "Governor Deval Patrick’s proposal to eliminate one-quarter of the beds in the state’s mental hospitals has provoked strong opposition from mental health professionals who say it will increase the ranks of the mentally ill in the state’s jails, homeless shelters, and emergency rooms. They say they are particularly concerned that hospital patients who are violent will not get the attention they need once they are released into understaffed group homes and other settings." ( Breast-feeding supplies deductible, IRS rules | Reuters "Breast pumps and other lactation supplies are now tax deductible as medical expenses, the Internal Revenue Service said on Thursday, reversing a long-held position. The new ruling means that families can use pre-tax funds from their flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts for these supplies. Breast pumps typically cost more than $200 and, along with supplies, can run as high as $1,000 in the first year of a baby's life." (Reuters)

Tobacco-Free Hiring in Workplaces - "This shift — from smoke-free to smoker-free workplaces — has prompted sharp debate, even among anti-tobacco groups, over whether the policies establish a troubling precedent of employers intruding into private lives to ban a habit that is legal. “If enough of these companies adopt theses policies and it really becomes difficult for smokers to find jobs, there are going to be consequences,” said Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, who has written about the trend. “Unemployment is also bad for health.” (

DNA tests could reveal unknown proof of incest - "Improved gene tests can now reveal children born of incest without the need to test for either parent's DNA, doctors reported Thursday. The report in The Lancet journal opens unexpected legal and ethical thickets, increasingly more common in medicine as powerful genetic testing spreads."(

This program aired on February 11, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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