Paolo Macchiarini is not guilty of scientific misconduct

The Lancet, Volume 386, No. 9997, 5 September 2015
“Last week, allegations of research misconduct against Paolo Macchiarini, a professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, were finally dismissed. The university issued its final ruling, concluding that there was “nothing to support suspicions of scientific misconduct”. Macchiarini’s work on the transplantation of tissue-engineered tracheas was published in The Lancet in 2011.”
Find editorial here.

AMA calls for Australian Leadership to address the global health impacts of climate change

AMA, media release 4 September 2015
“The AMA today released the updated AMA Position Statement on Climate Change and Human Health (Revised 2015), which was last revised in 2008. The updated Position Statement takes account of the most recent scientific evidence, and is being released a day after United States President Barack Obama said that “climate change left unchecked would soon trigger global conflict and condemn our children to a planet beyond their capacity to repair”.”
Find release and link to statement here.

The establishment of a national registration system for Australian paramedics

Senate Standing Committees on Legal and Constitutional Affairs inquiry, Parliament of Australia, online
“The establishment of a national registration system for Australian paramedics to improve and ensure patient and community safety, with particular reference to: the role and contribution made by those in the paramedic profession, including the circumstances in which they are required to operate; the comparative frameworks that exist to regulate the following professions, including training and qualification requirements and continuing professional development: paramedics, doctors, and registered nurses; …whether a system of accreditation should exist nationally and, if so, whether the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency is an appropriate body to do so; …and any other related matters.
“The submission deadline is 29 January 2015. The reporting date is June 2015.”
Find inquiry page here.

Wrongful birth claim: Whether an ‘injury’

Bill Madden medical and health law blog, online 3 September 2015
“Heatherington v Department of Defence [2015] VSC 448 arose as the claimant underwent a medical examination on enlistment in the Royal Australian Navy, which failed to note her early pregnancy. By the time she became aware of the pregnancy it was no longer feasible to undergo a termination procedure. She brought a claim against the Commonwealth of Australia which was framed as a common law negligence / breach of contract claim.”
Find summary here.

Canada’s prescription opioid epidemic grows despite tamperproof pills

BMJ 2015;351:h4725
Author: Owen Dyer
““Weak” doctors who cannot say no to their patients are driving Canada’s prescription opioid epidemic, the Canadian Medical Association’s annual general council heard this week, as new research showed that the mortality risk from chronic high doses may have been badly underestimated.”
Find extract here.

Khoo v South Western Sydney Local Health District [2015] NSWCATAD 183

Decision date: 03 September 2015
“Catchwords: GOVERNMENT INFORMATION – Information contained in medical records of applicant’s deceased grandmother – Public interest considerations in favour of disclosure – Interest in government accountability – Interest in disclosure of information relating to care of elderly people – Personal factors of application – Applicant’s close relationship to grandmother – Applicant’s concern to investigate suspected negligence – Public interest considerations against disclosure – Personal information of deceased person – Contravention of health privacy principle – Whether disclosure of information could reasonably be expected to prejudice the supply of confidential information – Whether disclosure of information could reasonably be expected to prejudice the effective exercise by the respondent of its functions – Lack of evidence to support public interest considerations against disclosure – Balancing of public interest considerations”
Find decision here.

Planned Parenthood, Community Health Centers, And Women’s Health: Getting The Facts Right

Health Affairs Blog,2 September 2015
Author: Sara Rosenbaum
“The current Planned Parenthood fight, one of the most disturbing battles over women’s health in recent years, has been riddled with inaccuracies. A particularly damaging one is the assertion that the nation’s community health centers could pick up the slack if Planned Parenthood is defunded. …For now, legislation that would have cost the organization its ability to receive federal funding has failed (S. 1881, 114th Cong., 1st session). But given the frenzy surrounding the issue, it is likely that the subject will be revisited when Congress returns from its August recess.”
Find article here. See also “Anti-abortion groups target funding of Planned Parenthood” (The Lancet, Volume 386, No. 9997, 5 September 2015).

Surgeon allowed to leave medical register without being investigated

BMJ 2015;351:h4663
Author: Clare Dyer
“The General Medical Council has allowed the former head of the Department of Neurosurgery at Dundee University medical school to remove himself voluntarily from the medical register rather than face a fitness to practise hearing. Sam Eljamel, who was a consultant neurosurgeon at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and a professor at the university, stepped down from both jobs and later retired from the NHS after the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service made an interim order barring him from doing spinal surgery.”
Find extract here.