Thursday, May 11, 2006

RU-486-linked deaths part of a broader pattern of infections

It turns out that the handful of deaths in the past few years associated with RU-486 are only a few in a pattern of other deaths due to Clostridium sordelii in gynecological patients. Apparently the idea of prescribing prophylactic antibiotics to patients taking RU-486 is coming into greater favor than previously, which might add a layer of safety that people want when using RU-486.

What is interesting here is the effect of politics on these cases. On the one hand, the abortion issue is looking to be a bit of a red herring, and RU-486 only incidental to the infections. On the other, I don't know if this pattern would have been noticed without the intense scrutiny on abortion-related procedures. What I do know is that if better prevention of these infections is a result, all women will benefit, whether pro-life or pro-choice.

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