Baclofen: alcoholism ‘cure’ pill no better than counselling – study

The Guardian, 1 December 2016
Source: Agence France-Presse
“A drug being touted and prescribed as a cure for alcoholism known as baclofen, may not work any better than counselling, Dutch researchers have said. Without proof of its efficacy, prescribing high doses of the drug may be irresponsible. Two years ago French health authorities approved use of the drug for treating alcoholism. It was originally designed and widely used to treat muscle spasms.”
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A Dose of a Hallucinogen From a ‘Magic Mushroom,’ and Then Lasting Peace

NYT, 1 December 2016
Author: Jan Hoffman
“Psilocybin has been illegal in the United States for more than 40 years. But the results of a study looking at whether the drug can reduce anxiety and depression in cancer patients, were striking. About 80 percent of cancer patients showed clinically significant reductions in both psychological disorders. In the 1940s and 1950s, hallucinogens were studied in hundreds of trials. But by 1970, when those drugs were placed in the most restricted regulatory category, research ground to a near halt.”
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Mylan CEO Hopes EpiPen Furor Leads To ‘Price Transparency’

Forbes, 1 December 2016
Author: Bruce Japsen
“The CEO of Mylan MYL, which manufactures the EpiPen, said she hopes the pricing controversy over the lifesaving device for allergy sufferers should lead to changes in how drugs are priced in the U.S. Policymakers need to lift the veil on how drugs are priced so the consumer knows what the prescription really costs.”
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Planned Parenthood and ACLU mount abortion law challenges in three states

The Guardian, 1 December 2016
Author: Molly Redden
“Reproductive rights advocates announced a significant slate of challenges to anti-abortion laws on Wednesday, taking aim at major restrictions in three states which advocates say are unconstitutional. In Missouri, Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Center for Reproductive Rights will challenge a pair of abortion restrictions that have reduced the number of abortion providers to just one. They are taking aim at a similar clinic restriction in Alaska. In North Carolina, they will mount a challenge to a 20-week ban on abortion that has some of the nation’s strictest exceptions.”
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Injecting natural oils for muscle gain could be deadly, doctors warn

The Guardian, 2 December 2016
Author: Haroon Siddique
“Bodybuilders seeking to enhance their physique by injecting natural oils risk lasting damage and even death. Doctors fear that a case in west London in which a 25-year-old man suffered scarring and restricted function after injecting coconut oil may be the “tip of the iceberg”. Instances have been recorded in recent years of bodybuilders using other oils, including sesame oil, walnut oil and paraffin, which are less costly than other synthetic compounds, in the hope of boosting muscle size and definition.”
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U.N. Apologizes for Role in Haiti’s 2010 Cholera Outbreak

NYT, 1 December 2016
Author: Somini Sengupta
“After six years and 10,000 deaths, the United Nations issued a carefully worded public apology on Thursday for its role in the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti and the widespread suffering it has caused since then. The mea culpa was an implicit acknowledgment that cholera was not present in Haiti until United Nations peacekeepers arrived in the country from Nepal, where a cholera outbreak was underway.”
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Perceived coercion to enter treatment among involuntarily and voluntarily admitted patients with substance use disorders

BMC Health Services Research 2016 16:656
Authors: Anne Opsal, Øistein Kristensen, John Kåre Vederhus, Thomas Clausen
“Perceived coercion is a sense of pressure related to the experience of being referred to treatment. The sense of pressure arises from the patient’s internal perception of coercion. The sources of coercion may be the legal system, the family, the health system, or self-criticism (internal sources). Here, we studied patients diagnosed with substance use disorders that were involuntarily admitted to hospital, pursuant to a social services act. We sought to determine whether these patients perceived coercion differently than patients that were admitted voluntarily.”
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Appropriate and inappropriate care in the last phase of life: an explorative study among patients and relatives

BMC Health Services Research 2016 16:655
Authors: Eva Elizabeth Bolt, H Roeline Willemijn Pasman, Dick Willems, Bregje Dorien Onwuteaka-Philipsen
“Many people are in need of care in the last phase of life. However, the care they receive is not always appropriate. For instance, people can receive overly aggressive treatment or can have limited access to palliative care. The term appropriate care is often used by policy makers, while it is unclear what care recipients consider as appropriate care. This study aims to identify what care patients and relatives perceive as appropriate and as inappropriate in the last phase of life, for patients suffering from different conditions.”
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Zika, public health, and the distraction of abortion

Med Health Care and Philos (2016). doi:10.1007/s11019-016-9739-9
Author: Thana Cristina de Campos
“This paper suggests that the focus on abortion legalization in the aftermath of the Zika outbreak is distracting for policy and lawmakers from what needs to be done to address the outbreak effectively. Meeting basic health needs (i.e. preventive measures), together with research and development conducive to a vaccine or treatment for the Zika virus should be priorities.”
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Introduction to the article collection ‘Translation in healthcare: ethical, legal, and social implications’

BMC Medical Ethics 2016 17:74
Authors: Michael Morrison, Donna Dickenson, Sandra Soo-Jin Lee
“New technologies are transforming and reconfiguring the boundaries between patients, research participants and consumers, between research and clinical practice, and between public and private domains. From personalised medicine to big data and social media, these platforms facilitate new kinds of interactions, challenge longstanding understandings of privacy and consent, and raise fundamental questions about how the translational patient pathway should be organised.”
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