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Viewpoints: ‘Code Status’ And End-Of-Life Complexities; Legalizing Marijuana Can Be A Money-Making Move For States

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

WBUR: Code Blue Confusion: He’d Checked ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ But Wanted To Live
End-of-life care is a vastly complex topic. One particularly unsettling aspect is the “code status” discussion, in which patients decide whether or not to have invasive measures performed if they are needed during an emergency. (Abraar Karan, 10/30)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Legalizing Medical Marijuana Sales Could Boost Missouri’s Bottom Line
The strongest argument for legalizing medical marijuana sales in Missouri is that anywhere from $9 million to $66 million in potential tax revenue is going up in smoke. Missouri is cash-strapped and lawmakers shouldn’t turn their backs on a significant way to raise money. (10/30)

The Des Moines Register: ‘The Planets Are Aligning’ On Iowa’s Mental Health Needs
Susan Huppert of Des Moines University and Peggy Huppert of NAMI Iowa share more than a last name: They both have a passion for improving mental health care in Iowa. The two Hupperts look like they could be sisters, but they aren’t related by blood. Susan Huppert’s husband, Michael Huppert, is Peggy Huppert’s ex-husband. The two women decided years ago, for the sake of Peggy’s and Michael’s children, to skip the drama and try to cooperate as friends. That collaboration has moved from the family into professional partnership between the university and the national mental health association. Now, Des Moines University is on the brink of becoming the first medical school in the country to provide National Alliance on Mental Illness-developed training in mental health care to all students. (Kathie Obradovich, 10/30)

The Columbus Dispatch: Spare People With Severe Mental Illness
American courts long have held that the death penalty is unjust for people who weren’t adults or were developmentally disabled when they committed their crimes. Execution is no fairer for people who commit crimes while they are severely mentally ill. House Bill 81 would give lawyers for a small subset of the most severely mentally ill defendants a chance to argue that their clients should be exempt from execution. This reasonable law has been parked in the House Criminal Justice Committee since May. It deserves consideration. (10/31)

The Washington Post: Victims Say VA Whistleblower Retaliation Is Growing Under Trump, Despite Rhetoric
When President Trump talked about the importance of protecting “our great, great people, our veterans,” during a White House meeting in March, he said, “No more games going to be played at the VA.” At a White House briefing on Trump’s executive order to improve whistleblower protection in April, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said, “The message is clear that we will not tolerate whistleblower retaliation in the Department of Veterans Affairs.” Well, nine months into the Trump administration, that message is not clear, and games continue to be played. (Joe Davidson, 10/30)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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