Trump-Era Conscience Rule Rescinded; Lloyd Austin’s Cancer; Sinead O’Connor’s Death

Derick Alison
Derick Alison
4 Min Read

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HHS issued a final nondiscrimination rule that partly rescinds a sweeping 2019 Trump-era “conscience” rule, clarifying the process for enforcing federal conscience laws in healthcare and strengthening protections against conscience and religious discrimination.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra appeared to be making inroads with President Biden’s closest advisers, according to a STAT special report.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin underwent prostate cancer surgery and was subsequently treated for a urinary tract infection, his doctors reported. (AP)

Here’s a timeline of events associated with Austin’s hospital stay. After his undisclosed hospitalization, the White House ordered a Cabinet protocol review. (Politico, The Hill)

A ProPublica analysis detailed how the Department of Veterans Affairs has failed veterans with mental health problems.

With the January 19 government funding deadline drawing near, doctors urged Congress to reverse Medicare payment cuts that took effect January 1. (Axios)

The Federal Trade Commission charged X-Mode Social and Outlogic with selling data that could be used to track people’s visits to sensitive locations like medical and reproductive health clinics, and issued an order to prohibit the companies from doing so in the future.

Citing manufacturing issues, the FDA declined to approve zolbetuximab for claudin 18.2-positive, HER2-negative gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancers, Astellas Pharma said.

The agency also warned healthcare providers about possible chemical exposure when GE HealthCare EVair or EVair 03 compressors are used with certain ventilators. Preliminary testing showed the potential for elevated levels of formaldehyde.

In a Nature Medicine commentary, experts said that while reports of T-cell malignancies after CAR T-cell therapy should be investigated, existing data suggest the risk is low compared with other cancer treatments.

The Justice Department proposed rules to improve access to medical diagnostic equipment for people with disabilities.

Face masks were mandated in hospitals and healthcare centers in Spain due to a spike in respiratory illnesses. (AP)

Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor died of natural causes, according to the Southwark Coroner’s Court in London. (CBS News)

Women with perinatal depression were at an increased risk of suicidal behavior, especially in the first year after diagnosis. (JAMA Network Open)

Vertex Pharmaceuticals paused the phase I/II study of its VX-880 islet cell therapy for type 1 diabetes after two participants died. The company said the deaths were not related to the treatment.

Leiters Health recalled IV bags with either vancomycin, phenylephrine, or fentanyl that may contain twice the labeled amount of drug.

A plant-based diet was linked with lower odds of COVID infection. (BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health)

A small study showed widespread muscle tissue abnormalities in long COVID patients with post-exertional malaise. (Nature Communications)

  • Judy George covers neurology and neuroscience news for MedPage Today, writing about brain aging, Alzheimer’s, dementia, MS, rare diseases, epilepsy, autism, headache, stroke, Parkinson’s, ALS, concussion, CTE, sleep, pain, and more. Follow

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