Viewpoints: Suicide Report Shows That Lives Are Undeniably Being Saved By California’s Gun Laws
A selection of opinions on health care developments from around the state.
California Suicide Rates Are Low. Is It Gun Control?
It is an article of faith among opponents of gun control in California that this state’s tough firearm laws are pointless – that try as we might, sick people will do what sick people do, and death, as ever, will have its way. But one of the key takeaways from the stunning report released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the difference that can be made by measures that keep lethal weapons out of the hands of people in crisis. (6/9)
The Mercury News:
Be A Friend; Do Your Part To Help Stop Suicides
Few issues in life are more difficult for healthy, happy people to understand than the mindset of people who die by suicide. I know. My oldest brother killed himself in 1983 at the age of 31. Ever since, I’ve done what those left behind so often do: Wonder what I could have done — no, should have done — to prevent it. (Ed Clendaniel, 6/14)
Los Angeles Times:
Of Course Students At UC And Cal State Campuses Should Have Access To Medication Abortions
The University of California and the California State University have nearly three dozen campuses scattered across the state and every one of them has a student health center. All of those centers provide basic reproductive healthcare, including gynecological exams and contraception. Senate Bill 320 would extend that to include what is known as a medication abortion — a simple and safe nonsurgical procedure that involves taking two pills. (6/15)
San Jose Mercury News:
Low's Legislation Will Help Reduce Opioid Abuse
Low’s legislation centers around thoughtful ways to strengthen the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES), a computerized database maintained by the state Department of Justice for electronic monitoring of the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances including opioids. ... We are hopeful that efforts at the state level, such as the legislation authored by Assemblyman [Evan] Low, will help physicians ensure that patients who truly need opioids are able to obtain them, while identifying the few physicians who persistently overprescribe and the patients who are doctor-shopping or otherwise misusing these powerful drugs. These policies must be based on evidence-based guidelines for opioid prescribing, non-opioid alternatives, compassionate pain medicine, and humane treatment of dependence and addiction. (Dr. Karen Sibert, 6/13)
Los Angeles Times:
Conservatives Are Fighting To Roll Back Abortion Rights. And They're Winning
When the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to a strict Arkansas abortion law last month, it effectively made Arkansas the first state in the country to ban medication abortion. As a result, anyone seeking an abortion in Arkansas now has to travel out of state or to Little Rock, where the state’s only surgical abortion provider is located. (Surgical abortion is still legal.) There is no medical or health reason for this ban on medication abortion. (Cecile Richards, 6/13)
The Mercury News:
Why Building More Shelters Won't Solve Homelessness
Many naive policymakers discuss homelessness in purely economic terms, perpetrating a distracting myth. Sure, people become homeless for diverse reasons. One might be a LGBT youth, kicked out by parents. Another might be a spouse fleeing an abusive relationship. Those are prime candidates for conventional outreach and solutions: Make them aware of shelters and house them temporarily. But unlike the individuals above, the coterie of able-bodied young men living under my freeway exit could certainly pool resources (including government-provided funds) and share a modest apartment in a down-market locale — which would be better than sleeping outside. Understanding why they don’t is key to understanding the issue. (Mike Gatto, 6/14)
Why Raw Milk Is Dangerous And Needs To Be Regulated
Rates of serious illness from drinking “raw” or unpasteurized milk products are increasing. They need to be more strictly regulated. As a pediatrician at a Sacramento area hospital, I have seen the cost to families. An adorable 2-year-old boy with bright blue eyes was hospitalized for weeks, with a dialysis catheter coming out of his chest, after his kidneys failed from E coli. His parents tried their best to keep his spirits up, but the situation became traumatic for him. Sometimes kids’ kidneys do not recover. Sometimes they require a renal transplant. (Vidhi Jhaveri, 6/14)
How Long Will Sacramento Wait On Cannabis Equity?
Sacramento likes to think of itself as a leader — even the leader — of California’s burgeoning cannabis industry. And indeed, over the past year, the city has moved faster than most to start licensing dispensaries, cultivators and manufacturers, determined to collect millions of dollars in tax revenue sooner rather than later. Too bad the same can't be said of the city's efforts to create a cannabis equity program. (Erika D. Smith, 6/13)