Health

The Brisbane nun who defied Sir Joh’s government to help AIDS sufferers

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Queensland was gripped by fear in the 1980s following the outbreak of HIV, so much so that then-premier Joh Bjelke-Peterson refused to curb the spread of the virus among Indigenous Australians because he believed it was “a punishment from God”. Toby Crockford Brisbane Times However, one Brisbane nun defied the wishes of Sir Joh and helped AIDS sufferers in any way she could, including setting up secret funding to the Queensland AIDS Council by moving the money through the Mater… Sister Angela ... Read More »

Man with intellectual disability jailed because NDIS couldn’t provide carer, released on bail

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Judge says he’s ‘horrified’ by isolation conditions 20-year-old Victorian man, Francis, was held in after service provider pulled out of care contract Calla Wahlquist  The Guardian A Victorian man with a profound intellectual disability will be released from jail on Monday after spending two months in isolation because he did not have an accredited care provider. Announcing his decision to release 20-year-old Francis on bail on Thursday, supreme court judge Lex Lasry reportedly said he was “horrified” by the conditions ... Read More »

Air pollution linked to poor sperm quality

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Study finds ‘strong association’ between high levels of fine particulate matter and abnormal sperm shape – but impact on wider fertility remains unclear Matthew Taylor The Guardian High levels of air pollution are associated with poor sperm quality and could be partly responsible for the sharp drop in male fertility, according to a new study. A team of scientists, led by researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, studied the sperm of nearly 6,500 men and found a “strong ... Read More »

Radical new approach to schizophrenia treatment begins trial

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Exclusive: as evidence emerges that schizophrenia could be an immune system disease, two-year trial will use antibody drug currently used for MS Hannah Devlin The Guardian British scientists have begun testing a radically new approach to treating schizophrenia based on emerging evidence that it could be a disease of the immune system. The first patient, a 33-year old man who developed schizophrenia after moving to London from Cameroon a decade ago, was treated at King’s College Hospital in London on ... Read More »

The ethics of medical practice in offshore detention facilities

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As the standoff between hundreds of asylum seekers in the Manus Island detention facility and PNG authorities continues, we are witnessing a potential crisis of health and mental health among these detainees. Louise Newman The Conversation As a psychiatrist, I have had direct contact with current Manus detainees who are experiencing increasing anxiety and distress and an uncertain future. Some of these people are treated with medication, usually antidepressants, and some feel that this provides them with some symptomatic relief. ... Read More »

Doctors join forces for euthanasia

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A group of WA doctors have banded together to push for assisted dying laws in the State, arguing one of the country’s peak medical group is out of touch. Cathy O’Leary The West Australian The newly formed WA arm of Doctors for Assisted Dying Choice has made a submission to the State’s parliamentary inquiry into end-of-life choices, which closed for submissions this week. The doctors include GP Alida Lancee, who was at the centre of a police investigation last year ... Read More »

Up to 40 per cent of aged care residents get no visitors, minister Ken Wyatt says

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Up to 40 per cent of people in aged care homes never get visitors, Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt has told the National Press Club. Louise Yaxley  ABC “It saddens me immensely,” Mr Wyatt said. He said it was a figure he had heard rather than a solid statistic, but Mr Wyatt said he was dismayed that older people were left on their own without family contact. “Our love should not be conditional on a point in age, or because ... Read More »

Assisted dying is one thing, but governments must ensure palliative care is available to all who need it

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Assisted dying moved one step closer to reality in Victoria last week with the authorising bill passing the lower house with a comfortable 47-37 majority Stephen Duckett Throughout the debate, many MPs spoke of terrible personal experiences of the deaths of family members. The Conversation Such harrowing stories were also present in submissions to the parliamentary inquiry into end-of-life choices, that recommended an assisted dying regime leading to the… These terrible deaths were most often used to argue in favour ... Read More »

Peru legalises medical marijuana in move spurred by mother’s home lab

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Proposal to decriminalise the drug came after police raided a makeshift laboratory where a group of women made cannabis oil for their sick children Dan Collyns The Guardian Lawmakers in Peru have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a bill to legalise medical marijuana, allowing cannabis oil to be locally produced, imported and sold. With a vote of 68-5, Peru’s Congress approved the bill which will be written into law in 60 days, once regulations for producing and selling cannabis have ... Read More »

Pollution Is Killing 50,000 People In The UK Every Year

File photo dated 10/04/15 of air pollution over London, as a major study has found exposure to man-made chemicals killed more than 50,000 Britons in 2015, giving the UK one of the worst records of pollution death in Europe.

UK is fairing much worse than Europe and the US Sara C Nelson HuffPost  9 million deaths worldwide in 2015 caused by pollution Dirty air and polluted water were biggest contributors Greatest number of deaths occurred in India and China Deaths caused by diseases including heart conditions, cancers and strokes In 2015 pollution was responsible for x3 as many deaths as AIDS, TB and malaria Pollution is killing 50,000 people a year in the UK, a report in the Lancet ... Read More »

Study calls for less shame and secrecy around menstruation in global conflict areas

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A new study by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) found that girls and women in emergency contexts have inadequate access to safe and private facilities and supplies for menstrual hygiene management (MHM), and are provided with insufficient guidance by response teams on the… EurekAlert! Moreover, many staff have a limited understanding of what an improved response should entail, and… The study, published in the journal Conflict and Health, is one ... Read More »

Would these people get help to die under Victoria’s proposed euthanasia laws?

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Would these people get help toIt could soon be legal to help some terminally ill Victorians die Our state MPs are expected to hold a conscience vote in mid-October on whether to allow voluntary assisted dying in certain circumstances. The Age The proposed laws are, in part, based on the findings of an independent panel of medical experts on when people should be given the right to die. We asked the panel’s chair, Professor Brian Owler, what would happen in six hypothetical ... Read More »

We should beware of ceding tobacco to the criminals

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No one who has watched a loved relative die of a smoking-induced disease will have much sympathy for the tobacco industry To see someone with emphysema fighting for every breath, or to watch the painful decline of someone with lung cancer – these are harsh lessons that change lives. Editorial The Sydney Morning Herald Smoking doesn’t just kill; it kills with pain, horror and indignity. Many people will thus understand and sympathise immediately with Andrew Forrest’s new anti-smoking campaign, intended ... Read More »

Vegetative-state patient responds to therapy

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A man in France has regained some degree of consciousness after being in a vegetative state for 15 years Doctors treated the 35-year-old, injured in a car accident, with an experimental therapy that involved implanting a nerve stimulator into his chest. Michelle Roberts BBC Within a month, he could respond to simple instructions, turning his head and following an object with his eyes. Experts say the results are potentially very exciting, but need repeating. Vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) may not work as ... Read More »

Legalising assisted dying would be a failure of collective human memory and imagination

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We can judge the ethical tone of a society by how it treats its weakest and most in need. With euthanasia we offer them death instead of loving care. Margaret Somerville  The Guardian Dying and death is not a new phenomenon: we have always become ill, suffered, were going to die and someone else could have killed us. So why now, at the beginning of the 21st century, after prohibiting euthanasia for thousands of years and when we can do ... Read More »

The Sanders Single-Payer Plan Is No Miracle Cure

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Last week, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced “Medicare for all” legislation, which would enroll all Americans into the nation’s Medicare program within four years. LANHEE J. CHEN and MICAH WEINBERG The New York Times Senator Sanders, the Vermont independent, argues that his proposal would create a system that “works not just for millionaires and billionaires, but for all of us.” Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and over a dozen of their Senate Democratic colleagues have co-sponsored the legislation. ... Read More »