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Risky Business

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Thursday, April 07, 2011

On today’s show: we’ll look into how medical care has been politicized in the United States, and how medicine has become one of the weapons of the “culture wars.” The sister of murdered Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya discusses whether journalism is worth dying for. Playwright Sharr White and actress Laurie Metcalf talk about the world premiere of “The Other Place.” Our latest Backstory profiles President Salih of Yemen, and on Underreported, Charlayne Hunter-Gault takes a look at the volatile political situation in South Africa.

The Leonard Lopate Show is live in the Greene Space April 13 at 7 pm! Find out more and get tickets here!

The Hippocratic Myth

M. Gregg Bloche, a health policy expert with a background in medicine, law and journalism, looks at the ways society is pushing physicians to ration care and to use their skills on behalf of insurance companies, hospital bureaucrats, government officials, and the courts―putting patient trust at risk. In The Hippocratic Myth: Why Doctors Are Under Pressure to Ration Care, Practice Politics, and Compromise Their Promise to Heal, he looks at the tensions between doctors and patients and examines how doctors have double agendas as caregivers and arbiters of cost, which compromises their ability to prioritize patient needs, and why there’s a need for doctors to forge a new compact with patients and society.

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Is Journalism Worth Dying For?

Elena Kudimova, sister of murdered Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, talks about Politkovskaya’s courageous reporting. Is Journalism Worth Dying For? Final Dispatches is a collection of Politkovskaya’s writing—from personal ideas about the nature of journalism, to horrendous reports from Chechnya, to pieces of memoir. It also includes the first translation of the series of investigative reports she was working on at the time of her murder—pieces many believe led to her assassination.

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The Other Place

Actress Laurie Metcalf and playwright Sharr White talk about “The Other Place.” It tells the story of Juliana Smithton, whose life takes a disorienting turn just as her research leads to a potential breakthrough in neurological medicine. It’s playing at the Lucille Lortel Theatre through April 24.

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Backstory: Ali Abdullah Saleh

Despite 32 years of near absolute rule, the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh is teetering. A rapidly intensifying protest movement, along with an insurgency in the north and a secessionist movement in the south have put Yemen on the brink of unraveling. Christopher Boucek, an associate in the Carnegie Enowment for International Peace’s Middle East program, looks at how President Saleh has kept a grip on power, even as ambassadors from the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries meet opposition representatives in Saudi Arabia to work on negotiating a deal for his exit.

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Underreported: Political Dysfunction in South Africa

South Africa has been held up as one of Africa’s most stable countries, but numerous allegations of political corruption and bribery, high crime and unemployment rates, and the deteriorating political climate in neighboring Zimbabwe may be threatening South Africa’s stability. Journalist  Charlayne Hunter-Gault discusses the current situation there.

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