- Pop Star Michael Jackson Dies at 50
- Actress Farrah Fawcett Dies of Cancer at 62
- New York State Will Buy Women's Eggs for Stem Cell Research
- European Regulator Wants Painkiller Off Market
- E. coli Scare Spurs Big Beef Recall
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Pop Star Michael Jackson Dies at 50
Michael Jackson, an entertainment icon since he was a child, died Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The newspaper reported that Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Steve Ruda said paramedics responded to a 911 call at 12:26 p.m. at Jackson's home in Bel Air, Calif. The 50-year-old Jackson was unconscious when the paramedics arrived.
CPR was performed on the way to the hospital, the newspaper reported. Several media outlets reported that the cause of death was cardiac arrest. His spokesman denied reports he had cancer just last month, asserting that the King of Pop was "in the best of health."
A 50-concert tour in Great Britain had been planned for later this summer. Concerns over the state of Jackson's health had surfaced in recent years, but AEG Live, a promoter of the U.K. shows, said in March that Jackson had passed a four-and-a-half hour physical exam conducted by independent doctors, MSNBC reported.
Jackson's death capped a life of superstardom and scandal. The music legend first burst onto the pop scene as a child star with the Jackson 5 nearly four decades ago and went on to become one of the biggest selling entertainers of all time.
Actress Farrah Fawcett Dies of Cancer at 62
Farrah Fawcett, a national sex symbol in the 1970s thanks to her feathery mane and her role in the TV series Charlie's Angels, died Thursday of cancer in California, the Los Angeles Times reported. She was 62.
Fawcett, initially known more for her layered locks than her acting ability, was diagnosed in 2006 with a rare anal cancer. She was declared cancer-free in 2007, but three months later, doctors at UCLA Medical Center said the cancer had returned and spread to her liver, the Times said. The actress subsequently sought experimental treatments in Europe, according to news reports.
Fawcett was a spokeswoman in the fight against cancer long before her diagnosis. In a statement released Thursday, Elizabeth Fontham, national volunteer president at the American Cancer Society, said: "We are saddened at the news of the passing of Farrah Fawcett. Ms. Fawcett served as the American Cancer Society's chairperson for Women Against Cancer in the early 1980s, appearing in a public service announcement where she encouraged viewers to avoid smoking and get regular cancer checkups. Her public battle against cancer these past few years is a reminder of the work still to be done, and of the toll cancer still takes. Her support of those efforts, and her unique approach to life, will be missed."
Fawcett's publicist, Paul Bloch, said she died at 9:30 a.m. at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, the Times reported.
Women get anal cancer slightly more often than men, according to the American Cancer Society. It estimates that 5,290 new cases will be diagnosed this year, and that 710 people in the United States will die from the disease.
Anal cancer, most often found in adults older than 35, is curable in most cases, the cancer society said.
New York State Will Buy Women's Eggs for Stem Cell Research
New York's decision to become the first state to allow taxpayer-funded scientists to pay women for eggs to be used in embryonic stem cell research is being greeted with both praise and criticism.
Women who donate eggs will receive up to $10,000 for the time, discomfort and expenses associated with the procedure, the Washington Post reported. The new policy conflicts with guidelines issued by scientific organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, the newspaper said.
Supporters of the decision say it will help advance stem cell research.
"This is a really great, appropriate policy," Susan Solomon, co-founder of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, a private, nonprofit research organization, told the Post. "This could help us to pursue some critical experiments that we hope will lead to treatments for devastating diseases."