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William Heisel's Antidote: Investigating Untold Health Stories

William Heisel, former investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times, writes about investigative health reporting. He is currently the director of global engagement at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

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At the EAT Stockholm Food Forum, speakers took on junk food and suggested the debate between freedom and regulation is a false one. But attempts to regulate food have backfired. Some argue politicians now must persuade people that the freedom to eat bad food is no freedom at all.

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Children's Hospital New Orleans failed to disclose a serious pattern of fungal infections. That's a shame, as anything that adds to the suffering of patients should be promptly explained. It would've also let parents of the children know they weren't alone during a difficult time.

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At least five children died after contracting a fungus at Children's Hospital New Orleans. The hospital kept the pattern of infections secret for five years, spurring outrage. The incident raises the question, What benefits would a full disclosure have brought?

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Outrage followed news that at least five children died after contracting a fungal infection at the hospital. The hospital didn't tell the parents that other children had died of the same cause. Should they have?

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Indiana's Vanderburgh County has stopped providing causes of death on death certificates. The local paper and a committed reader are now taking the fight to the Indiana Supreme Court, arguing that the information has vital implications for public health.

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When Gary Schwitzer recently announced funding had run out for Health News Review, it caused considerable angst among health reporters. Here's a look back at some key lessons that have emerged from Schwitzer's enterprise, which has made health journalism better.

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In an alarming case, two Danish journalists are facing criminal charges from the Danish government for their reporting on MRSA bacteria. When journalists aren’t allowed to report on the sources of infectious diseases, they’re kept from one of their most vital roles.

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The University of Kentucky sued a reporter seeking surgical death rates and has steadfastly fought against their release, wasting time, money and reputations. Parents still aren’t any closer to understanding if their children were worse off at the hospital than elsewhere.

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A new study finds the average home is a prime reservoir of drug-resistant bacteria MRSA. For reporters, the study opens up a new set of story ideas while providing a fresh opportunity to think about how we write about such infections.

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The U.S. is way behind in switching to a more expansive system of diagnostic and procedure codes, which are far better at tracking diseases. Even worse, the rest of the world will switch to a newer medical coding system less than two years after the U.S. finally adopts ICD-10 in October 2015.

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