Daily Rounds: Furor Over Komen; 6-Organ Transplant; Cystic Fibrosis Drug Approved; Medicine 'Already Socialized'

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Furor erupts over Susan G. Komen halt of grants to Planned Parenthood (NPR) - "The reaction has been intense this evening to the news from The Associated Press that "the nation's leading breast-cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is halting its partnerships with Planned Parenthood affiliates. Much of it is highly critical of the charity, such as this message from Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif.:"Komen's decision hurts women — it puts politics before women's health. @komenforthecure should be ashamed." (NPR)

Waning hope, a 6-organ transplant, life anew (The Boston Globe) - "A 9-year-old Maine girl will leave Children’s Hospital Boston today, three months after transplant surgeons replaced five of her abdominal organs and her esophagus to save her from a rare and aggressive cancer. The finger-like tendrils of the tumor, which entwined the organs in tangles, required one of the most extensive transplant surgeries ever performed in the region, according to the New England Organ Bank. Alannah Shevenell of Hollis, Maine, received an esophagus, liver, stomach, spleen, pancreas, and small intestine - “a new set of parts,’’ as her grandmother calls it." (The Boston Globe)

Vertex gets OK for pricey cystic fibrosis drug (The Boston Herald)-  "Word that Cambridge-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals won FDA approval for the first drug to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis was great news personally and professionally for Robert Coughlin. The CEO of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council is the father of a 9-year-old son, Bobby, who has the disease." (The Boston Herald)

The secret of American health care: Surprise! It's already socialized (Slate) - "Americans made their choice clear long before Barack Obama ever signed the law—and they picked social insurance. The issue today isn’t whether we should redistribute health care dollars. We do, arguably to the same degree that every other country does. Systems with national health insurance systems explicitly redistribute money before patients get in car accidents, discover cancer, or develop heart disease. Here we do it in secret after illness occurs. We create the illusion of actuarial insurance, when the truth is that all major American health care institutions have been socialized for decades." (Darshak Sanghavi in Slate)

This program aired on February 1, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.