Massachusetts Teen Girls Made Pact to Get Pregnant.
A group of teenage girls in Glouchester, Mass., made a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together, the Associated Press reports. The girls admitted making the deal after officials at their high school began investigating an increase in pregnancies among students. Seventeen teens are pregnant, compared with a typical four pregnancies per year at the school. Almost half of the pregnant girls were involved in the pact, the AP reports.
In December, U.S. News's Deborah Kotz offered advice on how parents could use news of Jamie Lynn Spears's pregnancy to educate their kids about sex. (Spears reportedly gave birth to a baby girl this week.) Kotz also discussed the debate over teaching abstinence.
Experimental Melanoma Therapy Successful for One Man
A man whose melanoma had already spread to a lung and a groin lymph node went into complete remission after receiving an infusion of his own fortified immune system T cells, researchers reported yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine. This is the first time a patient's cloned T cells, used alone, have resulted in complete remission of an advanced solid-tumor cancer, the authors say. The man was still in remission after two years of follow-up, but doctors lost track of him after that.
U.S. News recently reported that a combination of chemotherapy and disabling a protein frequently found in growths may be effective in treating melanoma. In April, a study found that larger skin lesions are more likely than smaller ones to be melanoma.
Doctors Group Leaves Secret Shoppers in the Waiting Room
The American Medical Association opted not to decide whether to endorse using "secret shoppers" to evaluate medical practices, U.S. News's Michelle Andrews reports. Rather than adopt a tepidly positive report by the group's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, which had offered its qualified support provided certain conditions were met, the AMA's House of Delegates, after hearing doctors' concerns, voted to refer the issue back for further study.
Ricki Lake Fires Back in Debate Over Home Birth
TV personality Ricki Lake has been dragged into a battle between physicians' organizations and midwives who perform at-home births, U.S. News's Deborah Kotz reports. Lake and filmmaker Abby Epstein released an documentary in January called The Business of Being Born, which takes aim at doctors for treating every birth like a "potentially catastrophic medical emergency." The film included footage of Lake giving birth to her second son in the bathtub of her Manhattan apartment. At its delegates' meeting last weekend, the American Medical Association issued a resolution against home births and explicitly criticized Lake.
—January W. Payne