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Health Highlights: Nov. 22 2016

No Aloe Vera in Aloe Gel Products at Major Retailers Girl at Center of Brain Test Court Fight Dies Heinz HomeStyle Bistro Au Jus Gravy Recalled Anorexic Woman Can Refuse Force-Feedings: Judge

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

No Aloe Vera in Aloe Gel Products at Major Retailers

There was no aloe vera in store-brand aloe gel products bought at Wal-Mart, Target and CVS, according to researchers hired by Bloomberg News.

The products all listed aloe barbadensis leaf juice -- another name for aloe vera -- as either the first ingredient or the second after water.

The presence of aloe in aloe gel sold at Walgreens could not be confirmed or ruled out by the lab tests, Bloomberg reported.

Target Corp. refused comment, while Wal-Mart Stores Inc., CVS Health Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. said their suppliers assured them their aloe gel products were authentic.

There is no government oversight of aloe gels or other products such as drinks and vitamins. Last year, the U.S. market for aloe products was $146 million, according to Chicago-based market researcher SPINS LLC, Bloomberg reported.


Girl at Center of Brain Test Court Fight Dies

A 2-year-old girl who was the focus of a legal fight over a brain death test died Nov. 1, a hospital official said Monday.

Mirranda Grace Lawson of Virginia had been on life support at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center since May after she choked on a piece of popcorn and went into cardiac arrest, the Associated Press reported.

Doctors didn't know if she would recover and wanted to take Lawson off a ventilator briefly in order to determine if her brain would tell the body to breathe on its own. But the girl's parents refused to give permission for the test because they were concerned it would harm her.

In June, the Richmond Circuit Court ruled against the Lawsons, but said they could pay a $30,000 bond that prevented the hospital from conducting the test while the parents appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court, the AP reported.

In July, the state Supreme Court refused the hospital's request to immediately perform the test, but did not deal with the parents' appeal before the girl died.


Heinz HomeStyle Bistro Au Jus Gravy Recalled

Heinz has recalled about 500 cases of its HomeStyle Bistro Au Jus Gravy because some of the jars may contain undeclared milk and soy.

People with an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk or soy may suffer serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume this product. So far, there have not been any complaints or reports of illness, according to the company.

The product was distributed across the United States. Consumers with the product should return it to the place of purchase for an exchange or full refund.

For more information, contact Heinz at 1-866-572-3808.


Anorexic Woman Can Refuse Force-Feedings: Judge

A severely anorexic woman has the right to refuse force-feedings, a New Jersey judge has ruled.

The 29-year-old woman, who weighs 69 pounds, has been committed to a state psychiatric hospital since 2014. She told the court she doesn't want food or water and would instead like to enter palliative care, the Associated Press reported.

State lawyers argued the woman isn't competent due to chronic depression and that anorexia isn't a fatal condition, but doctors testified that the woman was diagnosed with terminal anorexia-nervosa.

The judge said the woman's testimony was credible. It's not known if the state will appeal, the AP reported.

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