Terror alert blows lid off Jalandhar kidney racket

Times of India, 2 August 2015
Author: IP Singh
“Thirteen years after the Rs 150-crore Amritsar kidney scam, an organ trade racket has been busted in Jalandhar, with the arrest of five accused including the staffer of a pathology laboratory. It was the high alert following the terror attack in Punjab’s border town of Dinanagar that led the police to cracking the racket on Friday. By Saturday, cops investigating the case found documentary proof that in five of the cases kidneys were given by unrelated donors for monetary considerations.”
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Solitary Confinement: Punished for Life

NYT Health, 3 August 2015
Author: Erica Goode
“A lawsuit yields insights into the psychological harms of holding prisoners in isolation for years, sometimes decades. Few social scientists question that isolation can have harmful effects. Research over the last half-century has demonstrated that it can worsen mental illness and produce symptoms even in prisoners who start out psychologically robust.”
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Informal coercion in psychiatry: a focus group study of attitudes and experiences of mental health professionals in ten countries

Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, August 2015, Volume 50, Issue 8
Authors: Emanuele Valenti, Ciara Banks, Alfredo Calcedo-Barba, et al
“Whilst formal coercion in psychiatry is regulated by legislation, other interventions that are often referred to as informal coercion are less regulated. It remains unclear to what extent these interventions are, and how they are used, in mental healthcare. This paper aims to identify the attitudes and experiences of mental health professionals towards the use of informal coercion across countries with differing sociocultural contexts.”
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Ethics, Embryos, and evidence: a look back at Warnock

Med Law Rev published 1 August 2015, 10.1093/medlaw/fwv028
Author: Natasha Hammond-Browning
“The Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Human Fertilisation and Embryology, the Warnock Report, forms the basis of the UK legislation on embryo research, and its influence continues to be felt, even though over 30 years have passed since its publication. The Warnock Committee was the first of its kind to consider how advancements in human fertilisation and embryology should be regulated. This article examines the evidence submitted to the Warnock Committee, upon which its members ultimately reached their conclusions.”
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Should We Charge Patients for Medical Research?

NYT Health, 31 July 2015
Authors: Ezekiel J Emanuel, Steven Joffe
“This idea is not as outlandish as it sounds. In the 1980s some for-profit companies and institutes charged patients for participating in research. Mostly they went bust. Recently, others have proposed that the rich buy places in clinical trials. And now scientists have begun thinking this may be a way to fund promising research ideas. By charging participants, maybe a few experimental tests and treatments that would not be pursued under today’s tight research budgets would be funded, and maybe one or two would succeed. But the risks are not worth taking. We must avoid compromising the integrity of the entire research enterprise and the likelihood of exploitation that will inevitably accompany pay-to-play trials.”
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UK proposals to strip obese claimants of benefits ‘flawed and unethical’

The Guardian, 31 July 2015
Author: Damien Gayle
“UK government proposals to strip obese or drug-addicted welfare claimants of benefits if they refuse treatment may violate medical ethics, the president of the British Psychological Society has said. Prof Jamie Hacker Hughes, whose organisation represents psychologists in the UK, said people should not be coerced into accepting psychological treatment and, if they were, evidence shows it would not work.”
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We’re overdosing on medicine – it’s time to embrace life’s uncertainty

The Conversation, 3 August 2015
Author: Ray Moynihan
“The more we learn about the problem of too much medicine and what’s driving it, the harder it seems to imagine effective solutions. Winding back unnecessary tests and treatments will require a raft of reforms across medical research, education and regulation. But to enable those reforms to take root, we may need to cultivate a fundamental shift in our thinking about the limits of medicine. It’s time to free ourselves from the dangerous fantasy that medical technology can deliver us from the realities of uncertainty, ageing and death.”
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Israel Passes Law Sanctioning Force-Feeding Prisoners

NYT, 30 July 2015
Author: The Associated Press
“Israel’s parliament passed a contentious law on Thursday that would permit the force-feeding of inmates on hunger strike, eliciting harsh criticism over the practice. The law allows a judge to sanction the force-feeding or administration of medical treatment if there is a threat to the inmate’s life, even if the prisoner refuses. It passed with a 46-40 vote in favor — a slender margin in the 120-seat Knesset.”
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Doctors got $84M from drug companies

The San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 July 2015
Author: Lauryn Schroeder
“Doctors in San Diego County received $84 million in payouts from drug and medical device companies last year, according to federal data. Health professionals received payments for services such as consulting, promotional speaking and research, as well as gifts in the form of meals and entertainment, according to a review of federal data by The San Diego Union-Tribune. More than 107,000 transactions were documented.”
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