Longer Looks: Dangers Of Too Much Tylenol; Death Dinners

Every week reporter Ankita Rao selects interesting reading from around the Web.

ProPublica: Use Only As Directed
During the last decade, more than 1,500 Americans died after accidentally taking too much of a drug renowned for its safety: acetaminophen, one of the nation's most popular pain relievers. Acetaminophen – the active ingredient in Tylenol – is considered safe when taken at recommended doses. Tens of millions of people use it weekly with no ill effect. But in larger amounts, especially in combination with alcohol, the drug can damage or even destroy the liver (Jeff Gerth and T. Christian Miller, 9/20).

Al Jazeera: In Indian Country, Uneven Access To Plan B
A slender woman with long, dark hair stands silently flipping through a series of handwritten cards. "Afraid? Worried?" the first says. The questions go on. "Unprotected sex?" "Missed your pills?" "Condom broke?" "Raped?" … Access to emergency contraception is especially vital in Native American communities because of the exceptionally high rate of sexual assault (more than one in three Native women is raped in her lifetime versus fewer than one in five for American women overall), (Rachel Friedman, 9/24).

Bloomberg: Death Dinners At Baby Boomers' Tables Take On Dying Taboo
At a Manhattan dinner party, former Citigroup Inc. executive Steffen Landauer gathered an eclectic mix of guests at his apartment off Fifth Avenue to sip pinot noir, dine on seared salmon -- and talk about death. … Not to be confused with a macabre parlor game, the evening was conceived to confront real-life issues wrapped up in death and dying that few people like to acknowledge, let alone talk about at a dinner party. Would I want a feeding tube? Does dad want to die at home? What happens to my kids if I die in an accident along with my spouse? Those questions are getting asked more frequently. Over the past month, hundreds of Americans across the country have organized so-called death dinners, designed to lift the taboo around talking about death in hopes of heading off conflicts over finances and medical care -- and avoiding unnecessary suffering at the end of life (Shannon Pettypiece 9/24).

The New York Times: The Simple Test That Saved My Baby
On July 10, my wife gave birth to a seemingly healthy baby boy with slate-blue eyes and peach-fuzz hair. The pregnancy was without complications. The delivery itself lasted all of 12 minutes. After a couple of days at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut, we were packing up when a pediatric cardiologist came into the room. We would not be going home, she told us. Our son had a narrowing of the aorta. … It turned out that our son was among the first in Connecticut whose lives may have been saved by a new state law that requires all newborns to be screened for congenital heart defects (Michael Grabell, 9/21).

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