Viewpoints: There’s About To Be A Gut Check Moment On Mental Health Services In California
A selection of opinions on health care developments from around the state.
How To Improve California’s Mental Health Services Act
In coming weeks, the Legislature will have the opportunity to pass a measure that would change the lives of thousands of Californians at risk of serious mental illness, increase access to quality mental health treatment, and ultimately turn the tide in our homelessness crisis. But it means being more strategic and accountable in how we deliver mental health services in California. (Darrell Steinberg and Scott Wiener, 8/2)
Los Angeles Times:
American Women Are Having Too Many Caesareans, At Too Much Risk
In 1976, a young, first-time mother entered the hospital in spontaneous labor. She had not missed any prenatal visits, those visits had revealed no abnormalities, her pregnancy was full-term, and she carried one fetus positioned headfirst. In other words, hers was a prototypical low-risk pregnancy. She felt great. Then a physician ruptured her amniotic sac, hastening labor. “I went,” she told me years later, “from feeling nothing to being totally in excruciating pain.” A nurse attached her to what was then a relatively new device — an electronic fetal monitor. Physicians reviewed the monitor strip and told the mother she had to make a decision, and fast. “They said either that I would die, or my baby would die, or both of us would die, if I didn’t have a caesarean. They said her heart was in distress.” At about 10.5% of births, caesareans were far less common in the United States in 1976 than they are today, when almost one in three births is by caesarean section. (Jacqueline H. Wolf, 7/29)
The Mercury News:
Visiting Migrant Children Reveals Extent Of Outrage
As leaders in legal advocacy for youth and immigrant children, my colleagues and I at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley recently joined fellow lawyers, interpreters, social workers and other volunteers in visiting federal detention centers across the country where migrant children are being detained. The primary purpose of our visits was to determine whether children being held by the U.S. government after crossing the border had access to the most basic provisions as outlined in the Flores Settlement Agreement, on which the Law Foundation serve as co-counsel. (Andrew Cain, 7/31)
Los Angeles Times:
Are The Recent Spate Of Deaths At DCFS Coincidental, Or Part Of A Larger Pattern Of Failure?
The death of a child from suspected abuse or neglect is a horrific tragedy twice over — first, and most obviously, because of the death itself, sometimes following unimaginable physical and emotional torture inflicted by exactly those adults on whom children should be able to depend for love, support and protection. ... The human mind is quick to see patterns where sometimes there is just coincidence. Yet sometimes there really is a pattern, and while the deaths of Anthony and Damian (and the near-death of the girl whose name has not yet been released) must be investigated individually, the spate of incidents within a short period of time requires the county to search for any systemic connection. (7/27)
The Sacramento Bee:
What Does It Cost To Have A Baby In The United States?
I’d written about health care for seven years. Worked on the business side of a clinic for two years. Was raised by a nurse. So I thought I had a pretty good understanding of health care in the U.S. Then I got pregnant. Navigating the system for nine months was a refresher course in how convoluted, secretive and occasionally magical American health care can be. (Audrey Dutton, 8/2)