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Recent Newspaper & Online Columns by Kate Scannell MD

The American eugenics movement -- In our living history

By Dr. Kate Scannell, Syndicated columnist; First Published in Print: 06/23/2012

It's important to know about Elaine Riddick and what happened to her in North Carolina one godless day in 1967. Her disturbing personal story tells a troubling American tale that most of us would like to forget or deny.

But Riddick's story provides a living history of the American eugenics movement, experienced by tens of thousands of people who were forcibly sterilized by order of their state's governments. In fact, California was one of 32 states that supported and practiced eugenics, and about one-third of the 64,000 sterilizations that occurred nationwide between the dawn of the 20th century and the late 1970s were performed in California. Read More 

Exercising healthy judgment about exercise

By Dr. Kate Scannell, Syndicated columnist; First Published in Print: 06/09/2012

Can physical exercise be unhealthy for you?

Throughout my career as a doctor, this question certainly ranks amongst "the top 10" questions ever raised by my patients. Typically, it was asked by patients who, like Mark Twain, had "never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting" and intended to argue against my recommendation for a healthy dose of physical activity.

Everyone, it seemed, could recount a cautionary tale about a friend or family member who had suffered some ungodly accident or illness in the course of exercising.  Read More