A recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) released articles dedicated to the study of conflict, human rights, and international mental health consequences. Some of the most striking papers dealt specifically with the psychological effects of war as well as the implications exposure to violent war crimes have on efforts towards peace building. Theory built off of conventional research has already established the links between external conflict and severe psychological trauma for children as well as adults.
Legislation in Massachusetts has been proposed this year that would require licensed hospitals to make video and audio recordings of all surgeries. If you were a patient having surgery, would you want your surgery to be videotaped? As you can imagine, this piece of legislation has met strong opposition from physicians. Among the reasons cited by physician opponents is the intent of the policy. Some feel that it is an imposition on the physician-patient relationship.
Last month, the U.S. Senate approved what will be known as the Mental Health Parity Bill. This piece of legislation will require group health plans with mental health benefits to offer them at the same level as physical health benefits. The measure does not affect individual insurance plans but only group. This bill certainly destigmatizes mental illness by not allowing mental health to be treated differently by health insurers. Some highlights include having the same deductibles, copayments, number of visits, days of coverage, and annual or lifetime limits as physical illness. It also includes substance abuse treatment.
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