Freezing a woman’s eggs and implanting them at a later time became the subject of medicine and scientific inquiry beginning in the 1800s.
The subject raised legal, religious, and moral questions affecting the status of the women impregnated and their children. The issue is a quandary in the twenty-first century, as scientific advancements race toward the ability to produce babies-to-order.
Wrangling over the US government’s role in funding healthcare is into its second century. The Affordable Healthcare Act is in the news for arguably driving premiums so high that healthcare is sliding to the brink of unaffordability.
U.S. Spending on Healthcare Has Not Made it Affordable
The history of federally funded health care shows how the United States got swamped in this morass. Germany’s workers have had some form of compulsory sickness insurance since 1883. Forms of national health insurance have covered other Europeans since 1912. Marxism and socialism were sweeping the continent, and governments initiated health-coverage programs, in part, for income protection, ensuring political stability, and gaining political favoritism among workers.
High Carb Intake has been Linked with Cancer
A meme has been sweeping the Internet linking foods and cancer—most recently fingering carbs. Carbohydrates are sugars, starches, and fibers in fruits, grains, vegetables, and dairy, and they comprise a basic food group important in a healthy diet.
Processed foods tend to be carbohydrate intense: sweets, cookies, table sugar, honey, breads, jams, breakfast cereals, and that all-time favorite prior to a marathon, pastas. Animal products contain fewer carbohydrates.
Early in this century, research scientists began suspecting high carb intake as a risk factor for breast cancer. One study among Mexican women observed high calorie counts resulting in a suspected link to breast cancer and possible insulin resistance, not from fat but from sucrose and fructose (Isabelle Romieu, et al. “Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention,” August 2004).
Early Intervention Can Stop Maternal Deaths
Women giving birth or within forty-two days of ending a pregnancy from any cause other than accidents or inflicted injuries define “maternal death.” The United Nations Population Fund estimates there are nearly 300,000 maternal deaths annually. Numbers and rates of maternal mortality are dropping globally, but shockingly, the numbers and rate in the U.S. are rising.
Vaccines are Essential, but Controversial
The definition for “vaccine” is so simple it masks the gonzo kerfuffle about vaccinations. Being vaccinated ought to be an indisputable exercise in a nation with a highly educated and regulated medical testing apparatus. It is not.
Vaccines are biological preparations that provide active acquired immunity to particular diseases. Vaccines are made from inactive or dead forms of the microbe, its toxins, or surface proteins resembling the micro-organism causing the disease.
More Women are Opting for Later Age Pregnancies
Cultural and social norms, together with science and technology, undoubtedly influence health and medical care. For instance, in the mid-twentieth century, American medical and public health achievements greatly improved chances for live births and healthy newborns. Yet, in the 1960s and 1970s, zero population growth advocates held sway over women’s thinking about having more than one or two children.
Another example of the confluence of science and social norms: According to The American Society for Nutritional Sciences (The Journal of Nutrition, 2001), women breastfed for thousands of years. In the 1900s, greater numbers of women left home to work, and artificial ways of baby feeding came on the market with formula milk and packaged baby foods. Bottle-fed babies became the norm, and breastfeeding was largely disdained. In the 1990s, due to cultural norms, opinions shifted again. Today, mothers are encouraged to nurse into toddler age.
Similarly, cultural norms, social acceptability, and science are now extending the age of first and future pregnancies.