Daily Rounds: Mercy Or Murder; Dead Harvard Mice; Miscarriage Theory; Depression In Public

Ohio man’s shooting of ailing wife raises questions about ‘mercy killings’ (The New York Times) – “Friends and relatives of the couple believe that Mr. Wise, 66, who had no criminal record and no known history of violence, meant only to end the suffering of his wife, Barbara, 65. She had been hospitalized since July 28, when Mr. Wise found her collapsed at home, on the bathroom floor, vomiting and choking. Mr. Wise later told friends that she had suffered a triple aneurysm. The killing has touched off debate in this town of 32,000 and the hamlets surrounding it over when life is no longer worth living and who has the right to decide. Last week, the local newspaper here, The Independent, asked readers to weigh in: was this ‘Mercy or Murder?'”

USDA cites Harvard in lab deaths of 41 mice (The Boston Globe) – “The US Department of Agriculture has cited Harvard University for the death of 41 mice in a research laboratory earlier this year. Eleven adult and 30 young rodents became dehydrated in April after a connection in a system that supplies drinking water became loose. The official warning, released Tuesday, is considered an enforcement ­action signaling a violation of the US Animal Welfare Act, but does not carry a fine or other penalty. Animal research at Harvard has been under scrutiny in recent months. Four monkeys have died since 2010, and others were injured at the New England Primate Research Center, a Harvard Medical School facility in Southborough, prompting the school to suspend new research and make significant procedural changes in the care of the animals.”

Super-fertility offers clue to recurrent miscarriage (BBC) – “Super-fertility” may explain why some women have multiple miscarriages, according to a team of doctors. They say the wombs of some women are too good at letting embryos implant, even those of poor quality which should be rejected. The UK-Dutch study published in the journal PLoS ONE said the resulting pregnancies would then fail. One expert welcomed the findings and hoped a test could be developed for identifying the condition in women. Recurrent miscarriages – losing three or more pregnancies in a row – affect one in 100 women in the UK.”

Going public with depression (CNN.com) – “Editor’s note: Politicians Jesse Jackson Jr. and Patrick Kennedy have each recently revealed struggles with depression and mental illness. After the death this week of “Top Gun” director Tony Scott in an apparent suicide (it’s unclear whether Scott suffered from mental health issues), CNN’s Kat Kinsman writes that talking freely about personal mental health issues and suicidal thoughts, whether you’re a public figure or a private person, can help those who share the struggle. (CNN) — I am 14 years old, it’s the middle of the afternoon, and I’m curled into a ball at the bottom of the stairs. I’ve intended to drag my uncooperative limbs upstairs to my dark disaster of a bedroom and sleep until everything hurts a little less, but my body and brain have simply drained down. I crumple into a bony, frizzy-haired heap on the gold shag rug, convinced that the only thing I have left to offer the world is the removal of my ugly presence from it, but at that moment, I’m too exhausted to do anything about it.”

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