Region Briefs for June 25.

June 25, 2014 

New law requires life support for pregnant women

BATON ROUGE -- Doctors in Louisiana will be required to use life support in most cases to keep a brain-dead pregnant woman alive until the birth of her child -- if the woman doesn't have a living will.

Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the bill by New Orleans Rep. Austin Badon, a Democrat, into law Monday. It takes effect immediately.

The bill requires doctors to use life-sustaining measures if the woman has been pregnant for 20 weeks or more and if an obstetrician determines the woman's life "can reasonably be maintained" to permit the birth.

Badon's bill was pushed by abortion opponents who described it as protecting the sanctity of life. Opponents said it meddled in decisions that should be left to family members.

-- Associated Press

Roby upset by Alabama VA records problem

MONTGOMERY -- U.S. Rep. Martha Roby says the latest report on the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System is consistent with what she's been hearing about phony medical practices and the Veterans Administration inspectors not being aggressive about complaints.

The Republican congresswoman from Montgomery was responding to a report from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel that a pulmonologist at the Central Alabama VA in Montgomery cut and pasted notes from previous patient visits to make them look like current readings. VA inspectors determined the records were not handled properly but said there was no evidence of anyone's health being endangered.

Roby called it "obviously egregious behavior," and she asked how anyone could think that falsifying more than 1,200 pulmonary records does not endanger patients.

-- Associated Press

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