First gene therapy drug sets million-euro price record

Reuters, 26 November 2014
Authors: Ludwig Burger and Ben Hirschler
“The Western world’s first gene therapy drug is set to go on sale in Germany with a 1.1 million euro ($1.4 million) price tag, a new record for a medicine to treat a rare disease. The sky-high cost of Glybera shows how single curative therapies to fix faulty genes may upend the conventional pharmaceutical business model.”
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Mama mia! Serious shortcomnigs with another ‘(en)forced’ caesarean section case Re AA [2012] EWHC 4378 (COP)

Med Law Rev (2014)
Author: Emma Walmsley
“Caesarean sections have often been authorised by finding that the patient lacks capacity. This commentary discusses one of the latest enforced caesarean cases to come before the Court of Protection (CoP), the judgment of Re AA [2012] EWHC 4378 (COP), delivered by Mostyn J. Two questions that emerge from the judgment will be discussed. First, whether Re AA confirms that the ‘best interests’ framework within the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) is an effective tool for maternal compliance. Second, whether capacity is thoroughly tested in cases involving invasive obstetric surgery.”
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Kuwait: Improving health care in prisons

ICRC, media release 26 November 2014
“At a three-day regional seminar in Kuwait that ended today, prison authorities and health professionals came together to discuss mechanisms to improve health care in places of detention in the Gulf. The seminar was organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in close cooperation with Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior and the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).”
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Muscular dystrophy experts on brink of therapy breakthrough

The Guardian, 27 November 2014
Author: Ian Sample
“Scientists have edged closer to a therapy for muscular dystrophy by turning skin cells from a patient into healthy muscle cells. Researchers hope injections of the newly made cells could boost the performance of failing muscles in patients and so alleviate some of the worst symptoms of the condition.”
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Autonomy, best interests and the public interest: treatment, non-treatment and the values of medical law

Med Law Rev (Autumn 2014) 22 (4): 459-493.
Author: Richard Huxtable
“When constructing its responses to cases concerning the treatment and non-treatment of patients, both competent and incompetent, English medical law primarily uses two analytic tools: the autonomy and the welfare (or best interests) of the patient. I argue, however, that the construction going on behind the facade involves the use of more—and more precise—tools.”
Find abstract here.

Evidence and causation in mental capacity assessments PC v City of York Council [2013] EWCA CIV 478

Med Law Rev (Autumn 2014) 22 (4): 631-639.
Author: Paul Skowron
“McFarlane LJ’s leading judgment in PC v City of York Council consistently stresses the ‘plain’ statutory language of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. In doing so, it reveals how intractably difficult performing an assessment in accord with the Act can sometimes be. In particular, it raises questions about the sources of evidence upon which a finding of incapacity can be based, illustrates that causation under the Act may have been widely neglected, and highlights contestable assumptions that underlie the Act’s ‘decision-specific’ approach to assessment.”
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Lab-grown spinal cords

The Guardian, 26 November 2014
Author: Mo Costandi
“As regenerative medicine and stem cell technologies continue to progress, so the list of tissues and organs that can be grown from scratch – and potentially replaced – continues to grow. Now, researchers in Germany report that they have grown complete spinal cords from embryonic stem cells.”
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Smoking Rate For U.S. Adults Reaches Record Low

Huffington Post, 26 November 2014
Author: David Beasley
“Cigarette smoking among U.S. adults last year touched its lowest on record, a drop spurred by higher prices, smoke-free policies and anti-smoking campaigns. About 17.8 percent of American adults smoked cigarettes in 2013, down from 20.9 percent in 2005 and 42.4 percent in 1965″
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Fat to blame for half a million cancers a year

Reuters, 25 November 2014
Author: Kate Kelland
“Some half a million cases of cancer a year are due to people being overweight or obese, and the problem is particularly acute in North America. In a study published in the journal The Lancet Oncology, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said high body mass index (BMI) has now become a major cancer risk factor, responsible for some 3.6 percent, or 481,000, of new cancer cases in 2012.”
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