Pigs confined in gestation cages (Photo: Farm Sanctuary on Flickr)Even if global coverage on the potential swine flu pandemic may be an over-reaction, it's clear that the outbreak is still a serious issue (which you can now follow via Google Maps).
Here's the latest psychiatry news on the opioid epidemic, global mental health, SSRI use in pregnancy, alcohol awareness, and more.
When a Doctor and Patient Disagree About Care at the End of LifeA resident in internal medicine and primary care writes about Medicare's new rules that will allow doctors to be reimbursed for discussing end-of-life preferences with patients—and everything that goes along with that. Opioid Abuse in Chronic Pain—Misconceptions and Mitigation StrategiesNIDA Director Nora Volkow MD and A. Study Finds Risks for Teens of Mothers Who Took Certain AntidepressantsThis WSJ article summarizes the implications of a new finding that teens had a 4-times greater risk of depression if their mothers took SSRIs during pregnancy.

Of Blood and TruthIn conjunction with Alcohol Awareness Month, Dr Cynthia Geppert uncovers many ethical dilemmas in this case study and quiz. Scroll through the slides to read Editors' picks of noteworthy articles from around the Web. The senior resident carefully explains to his patient the risk of refusing a transfusion—including death.
In addition to the other questionable agribusiness practices of "confined animal feeding operations" — a new study by the Soil Association suggests that the overuse of antibiotics could also be a major factor in creating antibiotic resistant super-pathogens (aside from the mutant strain of viral swine flu wreaking havoc now).
Scientific American reports that this MRSA strain was also found in 12 percent of Dutch retail pork samples- This same strain of MRSA has also been found in the United States: according to a new study by University of Iowa epidemiologist Tara Smith, 45 percent of pig farmers and 49 percent of the hogs tested carried MRSA- other research by Peter Davies of the University of Minnesota found that 25 percent to 39 percent of American hogs carry MRSASo what is the link between this strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the industrial farming complex?

According to a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists, seventy percent of all antibiotics in the U.S. It's because big agribusiness interests have been successful so far in preventing any legislation that could have banned the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in the name of the bottom line. Though it might be too early to pinpoint conclusively the underlying factor(s), the abuse of antibiotics deserves some consideration in the larger scheme of things.

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