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DOJ will defend Alabama VA doctors threatened with abortion prosecutions

The Justice Department said Thursday that it will provide legal defense if necessary to Veterans Affairs medical workers who perform abortions to save a patient’s life, protect the mother’s health or in instances when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest — even if performed in a state where the procedure is illegal in those circumstances.

In an internal government opinion, Justice Department lawyers said that a recently adopted Department of Veterans Affairs policy permitting employees to provide abortion services to veterans and their eligible relatives is legally sound and can continue. The Veterans Affairs agency started offering abortions at its federal facilities earlier this month in the wake of a June Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wadeupending the right to terminate a pregnancy that had been enshrined in federal law for nearly 50 years.

1 in 3 American women have already lost abortion access.

Man, 67, being held in Bexar County Jail on $2,500 bond dies of apparent ‘medical episode’

SAN ANTONIO – A Bexar County Jail inmate held on a $2,500 bond for a misdemeanor theft charge died while in custody on Thursday, according to the sheriff’s office.

A detention officer found 67-year-old Rogelio Hernandez unresponsive in his cell around 2:32 am and called for backup before attempting lifesaving measures, BCSO said.

Medical staff members from University Health working in the facility then took over trying to save Hernandez’s life.

First responders with the San Antonio Fire Department arrived at the scene shortly after, around 2:38 am, to help.

Hernandez was pronounced dead at 2:55 am, BCSO said.

The sheriff’s office said Hernandez may have experienced a medical episode before being found unresponsive. However, the medical examiner will determine his cause of death.

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, Internal Affairs, and The Public Integrity Unit are investigating Hernandez’s death.

The Karnes County Sheriff’s Office will also

‘This is a crisis’: Head of medical association warns that the health-care system faces ‘collapse’

The new president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) said Wednesday he fears the country’s fragile health-care system will deteriorate further without an injection of cash — and a plan to increase the number of doctors and other health care professionals.

Dr. Alika Lafontaine, an anesthesiologist in Grande Prairie, Alta., and the group’s first Indigenous president, told CBC News that Canada’s health care is in “dire” straits, with quality care severely limited in some parts of the country.

He pointed to recent emergency room closures in Ottawa, southwestern Ontario, Quebec and other locales and eye-popping ER wait times in major cities like Toronto and Montreal as terrible precedents undermining the longstanding Canadian promise of timely access to care for all who need it.

“We’ve been saying for a while that we’re concerned about collapse. And in some places, collapse has already happened,” Lafontaine said.

A man wearing a suit and patterned tie stands, smiling, in front of a building.
Dr. Alika Lafontaine, the new president

NJ hospital to close under proposed deal. Some services would move to another medical center.

A proposed deal between two health systems would close St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, sending some of its services across town.

Capital Health has entered into a purchase agreement with Trinity Health — which owns St. Francis — to buy the medical facility, a St. Francis spokeswoman told NJ Advance Media on Tuesday.

The hospital “has been struggling financially for several years and is not viable in the long term,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

Certain services provided by St. Francis will move to another Trenton hospital, Capital Health Regional Medical Center.

“Capital Health is entering into the transaction to acquire St. Francis with a shared goal: preservation of services to the vulnerable and underserved, and ensuring and enhancing patient access to comprehensive, integrated, high-quality care,” the statement said.

A purchase price was not disclosed. The deal is still in the approval process.

“Subject to regulatory approvals, including

Why health care needs a Black Friday sale

The best time to buy a car is at model year-end sales, and Black Friday deals can’t be beat for major appliances. Ever wonder why you don’t see a President’s Day sale on colonoscopies? Or ads for buy-one-get-one free knee replacements?

In most instances, offering patients a discount on health care services would be considered an improper patient inducement under the federal Civil Monetary Penalties Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute. These laws reason that discounts encourage patients to seek unnecessary care and overuse services — as though anyone would schedule a colonoscopy for fun!

From cars to shoes, just about every industry uses discounts or financial incentives like rewards programs to attract customers. They benefit the seller and the buyer. But if a hospital does this, it could face civil fines or criminal penalties. The law specifically prohibits incentives that are likely to influence an individual’s choice of