Health

Move to call abortion and assisted suicide ‘human rights’ is ‘evil’, says Princeton professor

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has been accused of elevating individual freedom above moral considerations after recently including abortion and assisted suicide among the… Christian Today The committee’s ‘General Comment’ on the right to life, issued at the end of October, argued for the decriminalisation of abortion and the removal of restrictions that could subject women or… It also put the rights of women and girls seeking an abortion before the rights of medical practitioners with conscientious objections to performing ... Read More »

UN climate talks: final agreement on reducing carbon emissions remains elusive

Stand-off on international co-operation on carbon trading persists as closing plenary session pushed back Kevin O’Sullivan Katowice, Poland The Irish Times The UN climate talks have a finishing line in sight as “70 per cent of the text” has been published but final agreement on how to raise ambition in reducing carbon emissions remained elusive at noon on Saturday. While significant progress has been made in agreeing to pursue a new climate finance goal for supporting developing countries and states that ... Read More »

Assisted dying ‘only option for many with terminal illness’

The introduction of assisted dying in Scotland is coming and is the only way to “relieve the suffering” for many with terminal conditions, MSPs have been told. By SCOTT MACNAB The Scotsman Medical leaders from Canada were in the Scottish Parliament last week to set out how the medical assistance in dying (MAID) system has worked there since being introduced two years ago and how splits in the profession were overcome. Dr Sandy Buchman, president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), ... Read More »

Obamacare: Texas court rules key health law is unconstitutional

A federal judge in the US state of Texas has ruled that a key part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional. BBC Twenty states argued the whole law was invalidated by a change in tax rules last year which eliminated a penalty for not having health insurance. President Donald Trump said the ruling was great news for America. The law’s provisions will, however, remain in place until an appeal is heard at the US ... Read More »

What the US could learn from Thailand about health care coverage

The open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) draws to a close on Dec. 15. Joseph Harris The Conversation Yet, recent assaults on the ACA by the Trump administration stand in marked contrast to efforts to expand access to health care and medicine in the rest of the world. In fact, on Dec. 12, the world observed Universal Coverage Day, a day celebrated by the United Nations to commemorate passage of a… While the U.N. measure was nonbinding ... Read More »

10 organisations sign up to improve criminal justice sector

Ten organisations from the legal profession, judiciary and government, have signed an agreement to collaboratively improve the wellbeing of those working in the criminal justice sector. Emma Ryan Lawyers Weekly The 10 signatories to the Statement of Shared Commitment to improve wellbeing across the sector are: the Criminal Bar Association, Victoria Police, the Judicial College of Victoria, Victoria Legal Aid, the… In signing the agreement, the group has committed to working together to find ways to reduce stress on those working ... Read More »

Nature is a rich source of medicine – if we can protect it

The Pacific yew tree is a fairly small and slow growing conifer native to the Pacific Northwest. The Gila monster is a lizard with striking orange and black markings from the drylands of the Southwestern US and Mexico. Authors: The Conversation Two very different organisms, but with a fascinating connection. They’ve both given us drugs that have saved and improved the lives of millions of people. Paclitaxel, originally isolated in 1971 from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree, is ... Read More »

Dying With Dignity Versus The Metastases Of Our Religious Heritage

Why do we let religion rule our lives, but in particular our deaths? Geoff Russell takes a look at the power of Churches to prevent people from making the most intimate of choices. Geoff Russell New Matilda The fingers that once skipped around the frets and strings of her guitar made hard work of rolling the little plastic wheel. But as it finally moved into place, the process began: drip, drip, drip. Clear sodium pentobarbital moved into the plastic intravenous ... Read More »

Pig-to-human heart transplant more likely after baboon success

Berlin: Pig hearts could soon be tested in humans after scientists passed an important milestone by keeping primates alive for three months after transplanting the organs. WAtoday Telegraph, London Surgeons in Germany grafted pig hearts into five baboons and kept four of the animals alive for at least 90 days, with one still in good health for more than six months. In 2000, the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation suggested that human trials would be considered once 60 per ... Read More »

Hunger, violence and constant stress: The brutal truth of life as a child refugee

As a former child refugee, I feel very strongly for the children on Nauru. I know the sense of uncertainty and hopelessness that comes from being stuck in limbo — not knowing if or when you might get to live freely in a… Sayed Rabbani ABC I was just 9 years old when my family fled Afghanistan for the third time in 2001, when the war in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks on America began. I remember the first airstrike ... Read More »

Nauru mental health situation equivalent to ‘victims of torture’, Medecins Sans Frontieres says

The mental health situation on Nauru is equivalent to that of victims of torture, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says, in what it describes as the first independent medical data on mental health conditions on the… AM – By Lexi Metherell ABC MSF treated 208 asylum seekers and refugees in the 11 months its medical staff were on Nauru, until they were expelled by that nation’s Government in October. In a report compiled on the mental health condition of the asylum seekers, refugees and ... Read More »

Medical evacuations are essential to maintain basic human decency

Some lessons are learned too late. For refugee Hamid Khazaei, who died of sepsis contracted on Manus Island, belated reforms can no longer help. Catherine Stubberfield The Sydney Morning Herald Reflecting on his death, the Queensland State Coroner earlier this year could not have been clearer in his findings. That bureaucrats and politicians should never be allowed to override a clinical decision made by a medical doctor. That Australia retains responsibility for those it has relocated under so-called “offshore processing” ... Read More »

South Sudan region ‘sees huge increase in rape’, says charity

Dozens of women and girls have been subjected to rape and other violence over the past 10 days in a northern region of South Sudan, Doctors Without Borders has said. BBC A midwife at the charity said 125 women came to its clinic in Bentiu, more than in the whole of the previous 10 months. They included girls under 10, women over 65 and pregnant women, she added. The country has been ravaged by civil war for most of its ... Read More »

Why bigotry is a public health problem

Over a decade ago, I wrote a piece for a psychiatric journal entitled “Is Bigotry a Mental Illness?” Ronald W. Pies The Conversation At the time, some psychiatrists were advocating making “pathological bigotry” or pathological bias – essentially, bias so extreme it interferes with daily function and reaches near-delusional proportions – an official psychiatric diagnosis. For a variety of medical and scientific reasons, I wound up opposing that position. In brief, my reasoning was this: Some bigots suffer from mental illness, and ... Read More »

How to Halt Yemen’s Slide into Famine

A Saudi-led coalition attack on the city of Hodeida risks plunging millions of Yemenis into famine and will meet fierce resistance from Huthi rebels. ICG The U.S. should stop enabling coalition offensives and international stakeholders must quickly place Hodeida under UN control. What’s new?  At the end of October, fighting reached the outer edges of the city of Hodeida, a gateway on Yemen’s Red Sea coast for trade that is a lifeline for some two thirds of the country’s population. ... Read More »

Child refugees to return to Nauru

Scott Morrison says child refugees relocated from Nauru to Australia for medical attention will be sent back to the offshore processing centre. Richard Ferguson The Australian The Australian reported earlier this month that the Prime Minister plans to transfer all children off Nauru by the end of the year. Mr Morrison said there are only 30 children on the island now. But he said this morning that those remaining 30 children will be left on the island unless they need medical help ... Read More »