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 »

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 »