Medibank Private to make surgery fees transparent to surgeons

SMH, online 29 April 2016
Author: Tim Binsted
“Rock-star surgeons charging top end fees will soon be able to see how expensive they are compared to their rivals by using a new data system being developed by Medibank Private.  The private health insurer is working on a system that will give individual surgeons access to their own data, benchmarked against anonymous peer data, upon request.”
Find article here.

Aleppo MSF-supported hospital destroyed in air strikes in Syria

ABC News with Reuters/AFP, online 29 April 2016
“Air strikes have hit a hospital in a rebel-held area of Syria’s Aleppo killing at least 27 people, including three children and the city’s last paediatrician, according to reports from medics and an observatory body.  The al-Quds hospital was supported by international medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF), who said the facility was destroyed after being hit by a direct air strike that killed at least three doctors.”
Find article here.

Don’t forget the legal framework: The public provision of non-invasive prenatal testing in England and Wales

Medical Law International April 28, 2016 0968533216646154
Author: Jeffrey I. Wale
“If the central purpose of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is to deliver improved reproductive autonomy – by facilitating enhanced choice between the continuation and termination of pregnancy – any public-funded regime ought to be compatible with the legal grounds for decision-making in this context. It is problematic for a State to facilitate access to information that would or is likely to result in legal dilemmas and conceptual issues for those using these tests.”
Find abstract here.

Effects of the financial crisis and Troika austerity measures on health and health care access in Portugal

Health Policy, online 27 April 2016
Authors: Helena Legido-Quigleya, Marina Karanikolosb, Sonia Hernandez-Plazac, et al
“* Austerity measures in Portugal involved substantial reforms, including to health care
* In 2010-2012, unmet medical need doubled in Portugal
* Health professionals raised concerns regarding increased co-payments and the quality of care
* Measures are now needed to ameliorate the damage incurred by the recession and austerity.”
Find article here.

Why do girls want labiaplasty? They’re told to hate every inch of themselves

The Guardian, online 28 April 2016
Author: Jessica Valenti
“As labiaplasty – surgery to change your vulva’s appearance – has become increasingly popular among women, it’s also become the surgery of choice for an ever-growing number of girls. So much so, in fact, that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has issued a set of recommendations for doctors on how to talk to adolescent patients seeking the procedure.”
Find article here and find ACOG May 2016 Committee Opinion here.

Fraying at the edges: UK surrogacy law in 2015

H v S (Surrogacy Agreement) [2015] EWFC 36, Re B v C (Surrogacy: Adoption) [2015] EWFC 17, Re Z (A Child: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act: Parental Order) [2015] EWFC 73, A & B (Children) (Surrogacy: Parental Orders: Time Limits) [2015] EWHC 911 (Fam)
Med Law Rev (2016) doi: 10.1093/medlaw/fww013  Author: Kirsty Horsey
“This commentary examines a series of high-profile surrogacy cases decided in 2015. Taken singly or together, these cases serve to illustrate how the UK’s law on surrogacy—in particular its provisions regarding eligibility for parental orders—is not only out of date but also becoming nonsensical. These problems culminate in an evident inability of the law to protect the best interests of children born through surrogacy and indicate strongly a need for reform.”
Find abstract here.

Australia ignored its own medical experts’ pleas to bring Nauru rape victim here

The Guardian, online 28 April 2016
Author: Bianca Hall
“Australia ignored urgent pleas from its own medical experts to bring a refugee raped on Nauru to Australia for an abortion. The Federal Court is considering the case of a young African woman, known only by the pseudonym S99, who was in the midst of a violent epilepsy seizure and barely conscious when she was raped on Nauru. Abortion is illegal in the tiny island nation.”
Find article here.

Doctors at war with chiropractors over treatment of babies and children

SMH, onlne 28 April 2016
Author: Julia Medew
“Doctors have declared war on chiropractors amid outrage over an “eye-watering” video showing a Melbourne chiropractor manipulating a newborn baby’s spine. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has told its members to not refer patients to chiropractors and is calling for the federal government and private health insurers to stop paying them for questionable treatments.”
Find article here.

Prosecution of US psychologists who ran CIA torture program moves a step closer

BMJ 2016;353:i2454
Author: Owen Dyer
“Two psychologists who designed and managed the now defunct torture program of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) may be sued by their victims after a federal judge a allowed the case to move forward. James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen—former employees of the US Air Force Survival School—conducted dozens of torture sessions. The company they formed, Mitchell Jessen and Associates, hired and deployed 60 private interrogators and received over $81 million in payments from the US government.1 The incoming Obama administration ended their contract in 2009.”
Find extract here.