Posts Tagged ‘ veterans ’

Veterans Would Receive Infertility Coverage Under New Bill

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Veterans who are experiencing difficulty conceiving a child would be entitled to financial assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs to cover the considerable costs of in vitro fertilization (IVF) if a new bill passes both houses of Congress.

The Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs voted last week in support of the bill, which was sponsored by Democrat Patty Murray of Washington state.  Murray argues the bill could help the 1,830 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who the Pentagon says have suffered pelvic or genital injuries that could affect their ability to reproduce.  More from The Associated Press:

Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, introduced but then withdrew an amendment that would bring the measure in line with Department of Defense policy. That department provides IVF for severely injured or ill veterans but doesn’t cover the cost of artificial insemination using surrogates or donor eggs and sperm.

Murray said such an amendment would unfairly exclude from coverage veterans whose injuries are so severe as to eliminate any possibility that they could conceive or bear children. Burr, the ranking member of the committee, agreed to withdraw that amendment.

‘‘It is not our place to pick winners and losers based on the severity of the injury,’’ she said.

Burr also successfully introduced amendments allowing VA to provide adoption assistance to veterans with infertility conditions incurred in combat and to require the VA to report annually the number of veterans receiving treatment and the cost of that treatment.

Image: U.S. Capitol building, via Shutterstock

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Study: Domestic Violence Affects Kids’ Brains Similarly to Military Combat

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

A new study published this week in the journal Current Biology has found that the brains of children who are exposed to domestic violence, either perpetrated against themselves or other family members, are similar to the brains of military veterans who have witnessed traumatic combat situations.  Like soldiers, the study concludes, children who are in violent households are vulnerable to emotional disorders like depression and anxiety later in life.

Specifically, the researchers found that children from abusive families are 50 times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and 6 times more likely to commit suicide. Roughly 80 percent go on to repeat the cycle of violence in adulthood.

“This new study, while small in sample size, demonstrates that children exposed to domestic violence may have a heightened neurological reaction to anger expressed by others. This may translate into greater anxiety and mistaken social cues in key social interactions and lead to other longer-term difficulties for children,” Makers of Memories Foundation researcher Jeffrey L Edleson, a Professor in the University of Minnesota School of Social Work and Director of the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse, said in a statement.

Image: Sad young girl, via Shutterstock.

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