- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 19, 2000

Panel stays order on Texas health care

AUSTIN, Texas A federal appeals court yesterday granted the state's request to delay court-ordered changes to its children's Medicaid program.
The ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturns a ruling last week by U.S. District Court Judge William Justice denying the request.
The plan was part of Judge Justice's Aug. 14 order that said Texas does not give adequate dental care, regular checkups, transportation to doctors or information about available services to children in Medicaid.
Texas is appealing the entire Aug. 14 order. The appeals court granted the delay until oral arguments, which have not yet been set, are heard.

Cord blood transplant called a success

MINNEAPOLIS Doctors declared success yesterday in the groundbreaking case of an ailing 6-year-old girl who received a transplant of umbilical cord blood from her made-to-order baby brother.
Molly Nash suffered from Fanconi anemia, a genetic disorder that prevented her body from making bone marrow. Without the transplant, the disease almost certainly would have killed the Englewood, Colo., girl by age 35, perhaps decades earlier.
Three weeks after the transplant, tests show it is working, and Molly is nearly ready to go home, said Dr. John Wagner of the University of Minnesota.
The cord blood came from Molly's brother, Adam, a test-tube baby who was born Aug. 29 after his parents genetically screened and selected an embryo to make sure he would be free of Molly's disease and would be a compatible tissue donor.

Astronauts fire up jetpacks for testing

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Two spacewalking astronauts wrapped up construction work outside the international space station yesterday, then fired up their jetpacks and cruised around.
Jeff Wisoff and Michael Lopez-Alegria took turns jetting over and around space shuttle Discovery's payload bay to test the small nitrogen-powered rocket backpack that someday could save an astronaut's life.
The miniature jetpack, called Safer, is meant for space station use. Without the jetpack, an astronaut could drift away and become lost in space. NASA insisted the spacewalkers be tethered for the jetpack demonstration.
Earlier yesterday, the two astronauts completed the Discovery crew's fourth and final spacewalk in as many days to install two new space station components.

Father charged with killing infant

NEW YORK A man threw his 3-month-old son out a 15th-floor window minutes after his estranged wife called police to say he had violated an order of protection, authorities said.
The couple had been arguing over a visitation schedule regarding the infant when the woman made the call early Tuesday morning, police said.
A responding police officer saw the baby's body lying in a grassy area and summoned an ambulance. The baby, Kharle Slade, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Derek Slade, 30, was arrested at the home. Later on Tuesday, he was charged with second-degree murder and was ordered held without bail.

Hundreds of sharks die off Florida coast

PANAMA CITY, Fla. Hundreds of dead sharks have been washing up on beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, and officials are baffled by what's causing their deaths.
"We really have no idea," said Jack Mobley, a wildlife biologist at Tyndall Air Force Base, where about 50 sharks, mostly blacktips and some up to 5 feet long, had washed up. "There needs to be tests done before that can be determined."
The sharks started showing up Monday in waters off the Florida Panhandle. Officials estimate that 200 to 300 sharks have died.
Traces of blood reported on nostrils and gills of some sharks suggest an infection might be the culprit, said Mike Brim, an ecologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Judge orders subsidies of some abortions

INDIANAPOLIS A judge ruled yesterday that pregnant women who qualify for Medicaid must be reimbursed for abortions deemed medically necessary.

Indiana law let Medicaid funds be used for abortions only when the woman's life is in danger or in cases of rape or incest.

Marion County Superior Court Judge Susan Macey Thompson found the state rules unconstitutional, saying that if the state provides Medicaid funding for stipulated abortions, "medical necessity" must be among them.

The rule "allows the state to substitute its judgment for that of learned medical professionals in an effort to promote a particular moral agenda," she wrote, calling such grounds unconstitutional.

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