Health

Have you got an end-of-life plan?

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Lawyers are encouraging us to think about how we want our lives to end as part of a campaign to record end-of-life wishes with a free online tool called Advance Care Directive. Melissa Coade LawyersWeekly While the topic of death and dying remain uncomfortable subjects for many, lawyers in South Australia are urging members of the community to think seriously about the end. These can include questions about whether a patient wishes to be resuscitated or placed on life support ... Read More »

Is abortion legal in Australia? It’s complicated

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Ireland has just voted on whether to lift the country’s controversial ban on abortion. Olivia Willis ABC But in Australia, whether or not abortion is legal depends on where you live — as does the cost and availability of the procedure. And that’s because abortion laws are made by state and territory governments, not the Federal Government. Abortion in Australia: A snapshot It is estimated between a quarter to a third of Australian women will choose to terminate a pregnancy ... Read More »

Irish abortion referendum: Ireland overturns abortion ban

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The Republic of Ireland has voted overwhelmingly to overturn the abortion ban by 66.4% to 33.6%. A referendum held on Friday resulted in a landslide win for the repeal side. BBC Currently, abortion is only allowed when a woman’s life is at risk, but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality. The Eighth Amendment, which grants an equal right to life to the mother and unborn, will be replaced. The declaration was made at at Dublin Castle ... Read More »

Children struggle to hold pencils due to too much tech, doctors say

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Children need opportunities to develop hand strength and dexterity needed to hold pencils Amelia Hill The Guardian Children are increasingly finding it hard to hold pens and pencils because of an excessive use of technology, senior paediatric doctors have warned. An overuse of touchscreen phones and tablets is preventing children’s finger muscles from developing sufficiently to enable them to hold a pencil correctly, they say. “Children are not coming into school with the hand strength and dexterity they had 10 ... Read More »

A big day for Ireland. A huge day for women

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Tonight, our time, Ireland will head to the polls in a groundbreaking referendum that could dramatically increase access to abortion for the country’s citizens. Clementine Ford Brisbane Times Ireland currently suffers under some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws, with the procedure completely illegal in all circumstances except those in which the mother’s life is at substantial risk. But the vote to repeal the 8th amendment is hopefully set to change all that The history of the 8th amendment ... Read More »

Balancing mental illness and crime a job for judges not politicians

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In 1843 on a cold winter’s day in London, Daniel McNaughten, suffering intense paranoid delusions, went out to shoot the British prime minister, Sir Robert Peel. Duncan Fine The Age He missed and killed Peel’s private secretary. So, half a century before Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis, the courts were dealing with issues of crime and mental illness. The court found McNaughten not guilty by reason of insanity. There was a massive public outcry. Today in Melbourne, we’re still uneasily grappling ... Read More »

‘Give addicts overdose cure’ Doctors desperate to keep opioid epidemic at bay

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TENS of thousands of drug addicts should be given anti-overdose medication to keep at home, according to new advice on preparing for a possible opioid epidemic. Kate Devlin Express Doctors and health experts fear a death toll to rival that in the US, where the drugs have been implicated in overdoses and the deaths of pop stars Michael Jackson and Prince. New guidance says addicts should be given an emergency “antidote” called naloxone – which keeps them alive until an ... Read More »

‘Measuring success differently’: New Zealand budget’s shift in economic thinking

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The Ardern government in New Zealand is articulating a bigger role for government in society, talking up wellbeing over traditional economic measures — while still playing on the standard “fiscal… David Donaldson TheMandarin New Zealand’s Labour-led coalition government has handed down its first budget, highlighting health, education and housing as areas of focus. “Our priorities are different from the previous government. We are determined to turn the page on the ideology of individualism and a hands-off approach to our economy ... Read More »

New Zealand ‘people’s’ budget sees Ardern put billions more into health and education

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Prime minister says she wants her child to look back and judge efforts favourably rather than want to change their name Eleanor Ainge Roy The Guardian The first Labour government in close to a decade has pledged to make New Zealand a kind and equitable nation where children thrive, and success is measured not only by the nation’s GDP but by better lives lived by its people. Finance minister Grant Robertson said the Labour coalition government didn’t want to “manage” issues such ... Read More »

Extinguished and anguished: what is burnout and what can we do about it?

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Feeling “burnt out” is a pretty common phrase in daily parlance, but we’re starting to learn more about its longer-term destructive effects. Authors: The Conversation Sufferers often describe feeling exhausted and disconnected, and as though they’re “going through the motions” without motivation or… Burnout can have serious consequences, including reduced work performance and life satisfaction, and has been associated with other mental health conditions. For instance, it has been linked to depression, as both conditions share a number of symptoms ... Read More »

Final donation for man whose blood helped save 2.4 million babies

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For every regular blood donation, three lives could be saved; an ordinary plasma donation could save 18. But James Harrison is extraordinary. Kate Aubusson The Age His blood has helped save the lives of 2.4 million babies. The 81-year-old’s plasma contains a potent antibody used to create a remarkable treatment known as Anti-D that protects unborn babies from the potentially deadly Rhesus D Haemolytic Disease (HDN). On Friday, after more than 60 years and 1173 donations, Mr Harrison made his ... Read More »

The New Ebola Outbreak Could Take ‘Three, Maybe Four’ Months to Control

Director of the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB), Jean-Jacques Muyembe from Democratic Republic of Congo poses on May 28, 2015 in Paris. Dr Muyembe received the 2015 Christophe Merieux Prize for his search on Ebola. AFP PHOTO / MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE        (Photo credit should read MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE/AFP/Getty Images)

The DRC’s top virologist says the response has been quick, but it started late because of delays in reporting suspected cases. Ed Yong The Atlantic The Democratic Republic of Congo is currently fighting its ninth Ebola outbreak—and Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum is as calm as ever. Warm, round-faced, and preternaturally chill, Muyembe was the first scientist to encounter Ebola during the first-ever outbreak in 1976, and he has been involved in studying and fighting the disease ever since. “We have a ... Read More »

Criminally minded … and how you can change it all

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When a person becomes “criminally minded”, the circumstances that brought them to that place are many, varied and complicated. No one is ever truly out of reach of help but once a person thinks like a criminal they can usually see no options apart from the “easy” way out. Mental illness of any degree plays a huge role in shaping how someone deals with any given situation. Stephen Menadue* Pic: Flickr, Alan Cleaver Tasmanian Times If you’re someone that says ... Read More »

Vitamin D linked to lowered autism risk in large study

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Children born with high blood levels of vitamin D have 25 percent decreased odds of autism compared with those born with low levels. Nicholette Zeliadt Sprctrum Researchers presented the unpublished results today at the 2018 International Society for Autism Researchannual meeting in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The results come from the largest study yet to explore a link between vitamin D and autism. It involves an analysis of dried blood spots from 3,370 newborns in Sweden, 1,341 of whom now have an ... Read More »

Finding a better way to identify children experiencing domestic violence

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Around one in five children in the UK have been exposed to domestic violence or abuse between their parents or caregivers. Natalia Lewis The Conversation When adults are involved in an abusive relationship, their children bear the consequences. The effects of domestic violence on a child can range from emotional and behavioural problems to physical injury and death when children are caught up in the violence between adults. Even when not directly involved, children’s exposure continues through witnessing and being ... Read More »

Need an urgent medical transfer from Nauru? Forget it.

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The former Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF), Roman Quaedvlieg, made a remarkable admission last week. It occurred in an exchange on Twitter with a former senior medical officer who had worked with refugees on Nauru. In a tweet, Quaedvlieg admitted that during his tenure the ABF had deliberately obstructed and thwarted the… Spencer Zifcak John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations “It’s true to say that the threshold for medical repatriation to Australia is high. It’s an issue which ... Read More »