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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Ban on gay ‘conversion’ therapy to be challenged

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Gay rights advocates are making plans to get other states to join California in banning psychotherapy aimed at making gay teenagers straight, even as opponents prepared Monday to sue to overturn the first law in the nation to take aim at the practice. After months of intense lobbying, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill late Saturday that prohibits licensed mental health professionals from using so-called reparative or conversion therapies with clients under age 18. Brown called the therapies "quackery" that "have no basis in science or medicine."

California law bans gay teen ‘conversion’ therapy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California has become the first state to ban a controversial form of psychotherapy aimed at making gay teenagers straight. Gov. Jerry Brown announced Sunday that he had signed SB1172 by Democratic Senator Ted Lieu of Torrance. The law, which prohibits sexual orientation change efforts for anyone under 18, will stop children from being psychologically abused, Lieu said.

Agency: Medicare refills strong drugs despite law

MIAMI (AP) — Medicare routinely refilled pain pills and other restricted medications that are barred by federal law from renewal without a fresh prescription, government inspectors said in a report Thursday. The report based on 2009 data found three-quarters of contractors who processed prescriptions for the Medicare Part D program wrongly refilled some medications classed as Schedule II controlled substances, which include strong pain killers and other drugs considered at high risk for abuse. Those refills were worth a total of $25 million.

Bizarre tumor case may lead to custom cancer care

It's a medical nightmare: a 24-year-old man endures 350 surgeries since childhood to remove growths that keep coming back in his throat and have spread to his lungs, threatening his life. Now doctors have found a way to help him by way of a scientific coup that holds promise for millions of cancer patients. The bizarre case is the first use in a patient of a new discovery: how to keep ordinary and cancerous cells alive indefinitely in the lab.

High court to consider drunken driving case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will decide when law enforcement officers must get a warrant before ordering a blood test on an unwilling drunken-driving suspect. The issue has divided federal and state courts around the country and the justices on Tuesday agreed to take up a case involving a disputed blood test from Missouri.

Pot could be tax windfall, but skeptics abound

DENVER (AP) — A catchy pro-marijuana jingle for Colorado voters considering legalizing the drug goes like this: "Jobs for our people. Money for schools. Who could ask for more?" It's a bit more complicated than that in the three states — Colorado, Oregon and Washington — that could become the first to legalize marijuana this fall.

AP Exclusive: Mass. inmate lauds sex-change ruling

BOSTON (AP) — A convicted murderer in Massachusetts says a judge's decision to grant her request for sex-reassignment surgery is "the right thing to do." U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled this month that the surgery is the only adequate treatment for Michelle Kosilek's gender-identity disorder, a condition he said is a "serious medical need." The ruling marks the first time a judge has ordered prison officials to provide sex-reassignment surgery.

Kathy Bates recovering from double mastectomy

NEW YORK (AP) — Kathy Bates says she is recovering from a double mastectomy. The Oscar-winning actress tweeted on Wednesday that she was diagnosed with breast cancer two months ago. But in a separate post, she said she doesn't miss her breasts as much as "Harry's Law," her NBC law drama that was canceled last May.

‘Berlin Man,’ doctor convinced HIV cure is real

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The first person reportedly cured of HIV said Wednesday he is hopeful that medical advances will allow others suffering from the virus that causes AIDS to be cured, too. Timothy Ray Brown of San Francisco is known as "The Berlin Patient" because of where he was treated. He and the doctor who treated him, Gero Hutter, made their first joint appearance in the U.S. on Wednesday when Hutter spoke at a symposium on gene therapy at Washington University in St. Louis.

Studies: Alzheimer drug may stabilize brain plaque

An experimental drug that failed to stop mental decline in Alzheimer's patients also signaled potential benefit that suggests it might help if given earlier, fuller results of two major studies show. Some patients on the drug had stable levels of brain plaque and less evidence of nerve damage compared to others who were given a dummy treatment, researchers reported Tuesday.

Study: Placebo or not, acupuncture helps with pain

CHICAGO (AP) — Acupuncture gets a thumbs-up for helping relieve pain from chronic headaches, backaches and arthritis in a review of more than two dozen studies — the latest analysis of an often-studied therapy that has as many fans as critics. Some believe its only powers are a psychological, placebo effect. But some doctors believe even if that's the explanation for acupuncture's effectiveness, there's no reason not to offer it if it makes people feel better.

7 scientists win prestigious Lasker medical awards

NEW YORK (AP) — Seven scientists have won prestigious medical awards for development of liver transplantation, discoveries about the inner workings of cells, and leadership in biomedical science. The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation announced the winners Monday. The prizes, worth $250,000 for each of three categories, will be presented in New York on Sept. 21.

AP IMPACT: Surprising methods heal wounded troops

BOSTON (AP) — Scientists are growing ears, bone and skin in the lab, and doctors are planning more face transplants and other extreme plastic surgeries. Around the country, the most advanced medical tools that exist are now being deployed to help America's newest veterans and wounded troops. —In Los Angeles, surgeons used part of Michael Mills' forehead to rebuild his nose after a bomb disfigured him in Iraq.

Surprising new medicine to heal wounded warriors

BOSTON (AP) — Scientists are growing ears, bone and skin in the lab, and doctors are planning more face transplants and other extreme plastic surgeries. Around the country, the most advanced medical tools that exist are now being deployed to help America's newest veterans and wounded troops. —In Los Angeles, surgeons used part of Michael Mills' forehead to rebuild his nose after a bomb disfigured him in Iraq.

AP IMPACT: Surprising methods heal wounded troops

BOSTON (AP) — Scientists are growing ears, bone and skin in the lab, and doctors are planning more face transplants and other extreme plastic surgeries. Around the country, the most advanced medical tools that exist are now being deployed to help America's newest veterans and wounded troops. —In Los Angeles, surgeons used part of Michael Mills' forehead to rebuild his nose after a bomb disfigured him in Iraq.

Ryan: Don’t interfere with legalized medical pot

DENVER (AP) — Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan says the federal government shouldn't interfere with states that have legalized medical marijuana. The Wisconsin congressman tells KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs that he personally doesn't approve of medical marijuana laws. But he says that states should have the right to choose whether to legalize the drug for medical purposes.

Aide: Rep. Jackson home after depression treatment

CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has returned to his home in Washington after treatment for depression at Mayo Clinic, Jackson's chief of staff in suburban Chicago said Friday. "He's at home in Washington convalescing with his wife and children," Jackson aide Rick Bryant said. "Let's hope he returns to work on Monday."

Zimbabwe AIDS activist sues prisons over drugs

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — An AIDS awareness campaigner is pressing Zimbabwe's highest court to force police and prison authorities ensure HIV sufferers receive life prolonging medication. Douglas Muzanenhamo said in papers filed at the Supreme Court that he was denied appropriate antiretroviral treatment in jail for three weeks last year and his condition veered toward death.

Radiation may up breast cancer risk in some women

LONDON (AP) — Mammograms aimed at finding breast cancer might actually raise the chances of developing it in young women whose genes put them at higher risk for the disease, a study by leading European cancer agencies suggests. The added radiation from mammograms and other types of tests with chest radiation might be especially harmful to them and an MRI is probably a safer method of screening women under 30 who are at high risk because of gene mutations, the authors conclude.