Double Dose: Sexism in the ICU; Time Spent On Housework Linked to Women's Pay; Paging Dr. Cliche; Ricki Lake's Documentary on Birth - The New "Inconvenient Truth"?

By Christine Cupaiuolo — November 16, 2007

Is There Sexism in Lifesaving?: “Want a surefire prescription for dreading old age? Delve into every study that explores the gender gap in medical care,” begins Carol Lloyd, who cites several studies, including one published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that found “women over the age of 50 are one-third less likely to be admitted to ICUs, and then once in ICUs are far less likely to received lifesaving medical interventions like mechanical ventilation and pulmonary artery catheterization than their male counterparts.”

Future Nobel Prize Winner?: Jennifer Block, author of “Pushed Birth,” notes that Ricki Lake’s documentary, “The Business of Being Born,” is such a hit in Australia, it’s being likened to Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Legalization Opens Doors for Women in Mexico City: “Abortion remains illegal in the rest of Mexico, as it is in nearly all of Latin America,” writes Hector Tobar in the L.A. Times. “But in Mexico City, legalization is bringing a profound, if quiet, change to the way thousands of women lead their lives. In a country where unwanted pregnancies often strip women of their independence and ambitions, the extraordinary number of legal abortions taking place every day is beginning to diminish the procedure’s considerable cultural stigma.”

Plus: The New York Times profiles abortion doctor Susan Wicklund. “In her forthcoming book ‘This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor” (Public Affairs), Dr. Wicklund describes her work, the circumstances that lead her patients to choose abortion, and the barriers — lack of money, lack of providers, violence in the home or protesters at clinics — that stand in their way,” writes Cornelia Dean. “But she said her main goal with the book was to encourage more open discussion of abortion and its prevalence.”

Plus 2: Roman Catholic bishops this week approved voting guidelines for Catholics that are somewhat less rigid on abortion. Neela Banerjee writes in the Times:

“Abortion is among a few evils greater than others, the document asserts. But it also concedes that Catholics face difficult decisions when voting and in some cases might be able to vote for those who support abortion rights or stem cell research. ‘There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons,’ the document says.”

More Money = Less Housework: “In married working couples, the more money a woman earns, the less housework she will do, regardless of how much money her spouse makes, says Sanjiv Gupta, a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst,” according to this release based on a study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. “Gupta goes further and says, based on his newest research, that for every $7,500 in annual earnings a married woman working full time makes, she can expect to do one hour less of routine housework each week.”

Paging Dr. Cliche: Disability Studies blog critiques a couple of recent episodes of “ER,” but as Penny L. Richards writes, the NBC series used to do much better by the disability community. “Characters with physical, mental and sensory disabilities have been presented as rounded human beings with full civil rights, at least as well as any other 44-minute network TV drama has done (admittedly, that’s a low standard to achieve).”

Geneticist Salome Gluecksohn-Waelsch Dies at 100: I only learned about Salome Gluecksohn-Waelsch this week when I came across her obit. After fleeing Nazi Germany, she first worked as a researcher at Columbia University and later became chair of the department of genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. And that’s not the half of it. Meet an underappreciated “truly great woman of science.”

Plus: There are approximately 40,000 Americans who are 100 years old or older, according to the New England Centenarian Study — and 85 percent of these centenarians are women. More from the L.A. Times.

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