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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Today's Globe: Living skin donation, Pembroke Hospital investigation, Matt Nagle, 'polar madness,' veterans' care, Disney smoking

beverly shafer85.bmpDr. Beverly Shafer (left) of Beverly is one of roughly 69 surgeons nationwide, and the only one in Massachusetts, who turn excess skin from living donors into usable grafts for others through the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, a New Jersey-based nonprofit organization that describes itself as the nation's largest tissue bank.

Pembroke Hospital employees yelled and swore at patients, engaged in inappropriate horseplay, and failed to report a patient's stolen credit card on which $650 had been charged, all in possible violation of state regulations or hospital policy, according to an investigation by the state Department of Mental Health.

nagle100.bmpMatt Nagle (left), paralyzed from the shoulders down six years ago when he went to help friends in a brawl and was stabbed in the neck, volunteered for experimental treatments. Sensors and electrodes implanted in his body allowed him to operate a robotic hand, play computer games, and, at last, breathe on his own. He died Monday in Brockton. He was 27 years old.

Working for long periods in the harsh and unforgiving conditions near the North Pole and South Pole often causes people to suffer a stew of psychological symptoms dubbed "polar madness," scientists said yesterday.

A presidential commission examining the care given to wounded US service members yesterday recommended "fundamental changes" aimed at simplifying the military's convoluted healthcare bureaucracy and overhauling the veterans disability system for the first time in more than half a century.

cruellla100.bmpWalt Disney Co., responding to congressional calls for Hollywood to discourage tobacco use, will eliminate cigarette smoking from some films. Family movies from Disney, the first studio to make the pledge, won't show cigarette smoking, and executives will discourage scenes in Touchstone and Miramax productions, the Burbank, Calif.-based company said yesterday.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:11 AM
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