Health

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 »

Women of childbearing age around world suffering toxic levels of mercury

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Study finds excessive levels of the metal, which can seriously harm unborn children, in women from Alaska to Indonesia, due to gold mining, industrial pollution and fish-rich diets Damian Carrington The Guardian Women of childbearing age from around the world have been found to have high levels of mercury, a potent neurotoxin which can seriously harm unborn children. The new study, the largest to date, covered 25 of the countries with the highest risk and found excessive levels of the ... Read More »

How China’s economy could turn radioactive

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Satellites show massive land slides at North Korea’s nuclear test site, which are raising concern about radiation leaks that could threaten China. William Pesek Asia Times In February, China’s embassy in Tokyo issued a unique safety warning to millions of mainland tourists flocking to Japan: mind the radiation. Chinese diplomats in February were responding to an admission by Tokyo Electric Power Co. that radiation levels at the Fukushima atomic facility northeast of Tokyo were higher than previously… Yet China may ... Read More »

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund hits $1 trillion valuation for first time ever

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Norway’s sovereign wealth fund owns about 1.3 per cent of all listed stocks globally and about 2.3 per cent of all stocks listed in Europe Josie Cox The Independent  The value of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which is the world’s largest, has hit the equivalent of $1 trillion for the first time in history. Experts on Tuesday said that the value of the fund had been bolstered by rising global stocks and a strong performance of the euro. Major stock ... Read More »

We should weep, but more importantly we should act to stop Indigenous suicides

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I have sat with hundreds of families in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities that have lost loved ones to suicide. They are crying out to be heard. Gerry Georgatos The Guardian In the last few years I have written more than 300 articles on the suicide crisis and on suicide prevention. In those same years I have supported hundreds of suicide affected-families and thousands of critically at-risk individuals. In my view, understanding why one has suicidal thoughts should be ... Read More »

The abuse victims not on our radar and here’s why

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If I told you that right now, while you read this article, 200,000 Australian women were being abused, bullied or kept in social isolation you’d be outraged. Michael Riley Brisbane Times Correct? What about if a new report came out that the same number of children were being sexually abused both at home and in supposed safe institutions? Or if we read a news article that told us the same number of animals were being physically mistreated and left shaking ... Read More »

Donald Trump suppressed report into coal mining’s risk to public health, accuses world-leading Nature scientific journal

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Scientists have voiced fears that the United States could become like Soviet Russia where ideology was more important than hard evidence Ian Johnston The Independent  One of the world’s leading scientific journals has accused the Trump administration of suppressing a major study into the public health risks of coal mining, saying it raises the prospect of researchers being prevented from making discoveries that the US government does not like. Donald Trump, who has dismissed climate change as a “hoax”, has ... Read More »

Anti-vaccination advocate Kent Heckenlively denied entry to Australia by minister Peter Dutton

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One of the world’s most prominent anti-vaccination advocates has been denied entry to Australia due to his “dangerous” views. Henry Belot ABC Kent Heckenlively was planning to visit Australia later this year for an international tour calling on parents to stop vaccinating their children. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton made the decision to deny Mr Heckenlively entry, saying his views were not welcome in Australia. “These people who are telling kids, telling parents that their kids shouldn’t be vaccinated are dangerous ... Read More »

Garden designed to trigger memories in dementia sufferers opens in Port Macquarie

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The first dementia-friendly garden in Australia has opened in Port Macquarie, providing a sensory experience that also reduces anxiety. Carla Mascarenhas ABC A retirement haven, Port Macquarie on the NSW mid-north coast has one of the highest rates of dementia in the country. The garden features a number of sensory components including a texture wall, water features, a gathering space, and a pick and sniff plant area. While dementia sufferers say the garden evokes all kinds of memories, their experience ... Read More »

Harvard study strengthens link between breast cancer risk and light exposure at night

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A new study from Harvard has found greater risk of breast cancer in women who live in neighborhoods that have higher levels of outdoor light during the night. Richard G. “Bugs” Stevens The Conversation The findings are based on the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), which has for decades been advancing our understanding of risks to women’s health. For this study, epidemiologist Peter James and colleagues followed nurses in the NHS for breast cancer occurrence from 1989 to 2013. The home ... Read More »

How HIV Became a Cancer Cure

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The immunologist behind the revolutionary new treatment set to win approval from the FDA Allysia Finley WSJ  Philadelphia When Ben Franklin proposed in 1749 what eventually became the University of Pennsylvania, he called for an academy to teach “those Things that are likely to be most useful.” Today the university lays claim to having incubated the world’s biggest cancer breakthrough. In 2011, a team of researchers led by immunologist Carl June, a Penn professor, reported stunning results after genetically altering ... Read More »

WA doctors warns falling morale could impact patient care

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Western Australia’s doctors are chafing at poor management and a workplace culture that discourages speaking out, according to the state’s medical lobby. David Allan-Petale WAtoday In the wake of a damning independent review of staff morale at Perth’s Princess Margaret Hospital, AMA WA is sending out surveys to its membership in the state to create a bigger picture look of morale in the state’s health system. Since the survey’s publication in June, AMA WA state president Omar Khorshid said the ... Read More »

UN: 80 pct of Yemen children in need of immediate aid

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A vicious combination of war, cholera and hunger has left 80 percent of Yemeni children in desperate need of aid, the United Nations has said said. Sanaa Hurriyet ”Nearly 80 percent of Yemen’s children need immediate humanitarian assistance,” the executive directors of three U.N. agencies said in a joint statement released at the end of a two-day visit on July 25. ”Nearly two million Yemeni children are acutely malnourished. Malnutrition makes them more susceptible to cholera. Disease creates more malnutrition. ... Read More »

Yemen’s cholera epidemic is worst on record: Oxfam

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More than 360,000 suspected cholera cases have been recorded over just three months in war-ravaged Yemen, says charity. Al Jazeera and news agencies An ongoing cholera epidemic which has swept war-ravaged Yemen is the “largest ever recorded” in a single year, with more than 360,000 suspected cases in the three months since the… Since cholera began to spread in April, the epidemic has killed more than 2,000 people, while the country grapples with death, starvation, malnutrition and… Yemen’s cholera epidemic… Read More »

McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King branches

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The Government advises that the safe level of the bacteria in water used for human consumption is zero Ben Chapman Independent Faecal bacteria has been found in ice at McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King. The BBC’s Watchdog programme tested samples from 10 random branches from each of the fast food chains across the UK. Tests revealed bacteria known as faecal coliforms were present in three of the McDonald’s samples, six… McDonald’s, KFC and… Read More »