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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Today's Globe: drug-resistant germ, Affleck and hospital workers, ex-Mass. surgeon, defibrillator suit, Betsy Laitinen

A dangerous germ that has been spreading around the country causes more life-threatening infections than public health authorities had thought and is killing more people in the United States each year than the AIDS virus, federal health officials reported yesterday.

ben%20affleck%20100.bmpActor and film director Ben Affleck took time out yesterday from promoting his new movie "Gone Baby Gone" (right, at opening) to stump for the powerful Service Employees International Union, which moved closer to launching a full-blown organizing campaign to unionize thousands of workers at Boston's teaching hospitals.

A surgeon who gave up his Massachusetts medical license and is under investigation in a string of deaths at an Illinois Veterans Affairs hospital has applied for a medical license in North Dakota, that state's medical regulators confirmed yesterday.

A man who claims he received 47 unneeded jolts from his implanted defibrillator is suing Medtronic over the broken wires the company is recalling.

betsy%20laitinen%2085.bmpAn advocate for the rights of those with disabilities, Betsy Laitinen (left) spent years working with agencies on everything from improving medical care to ensuring that people can live independently even when they need significant assistance with basic daily tasks. Mrs. Laitinen, who had a neuromuscular illness akin to muscular dystrophy, was with friends for their annual girls' weekend on Cape Cod when she could not be awakened Saturday, and she died at Falmouth Hospital. She was 45 and had lived in Chestnut Hill.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:57 AM
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