NHMRC releases updated assisted reproductive technology guidelines

NHMRC, 20 April 2017
“The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today released the Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research, 2017 (ART guidelines). This update replaces the 2007 ART guidelines and provides contemporary ethical guidance for the conduct of ART in the clinical setting. The ART guidelines articulate ethical principles and, when read in conjunction with federal and state or territory legislation, create a robust framework for the conduct of ART in Australia.”
Find media release and guideline here.

Policing and Public Health—Strategies for Collaboration

JAMA. 2017;317(15):1525-1526
Authors: Jonathan P. Shepherd, Steven A. Sumner
“Policing and public health have largely been perceived by clinicians, researchers, and policy makers as 2 entirely separate approaches to reducing violence. This long-standing tradition, reinforced by the different languages of criminal justice systems (eg, deterrence, culpability, victimhood, and offending) and public health systems (eg, injury, risk factors, and epidemiology), has perhaps contributed to limited collaboration between local law enforcement agencies and public health to prevent violence. It has also probably limited collaboration between criminologists and population health researchers relative to other cross-discipline areas such as road traffic safety, prisoner health, and prevention of substance abuse.”
Find article here.

The Hyde Amendment at 40 Years and Reproductive Rights in the United States

JAMA. 2017;317(15):1523-1524.
Authors: Eli Y. Adashi; Rachel H. Occhiogrosso
“On September 30, 1976, in the waning months of the 94th Congress, freshman Representative Henry J. Hyde (R-IL) witnessed his namesake amendment enacted into law via the Departments of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare Appropriation Act of 1977 (PL 94-439). All of one sentence, the amendment stipulated that “None of the [Medicaid] funds contained in this Act shall be used to perform abortions except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term.”
Find article here.

Mammogram Guidelines Have Changed, But Are Doctors Listening?

MedicineNet, 10 April 2017
Author: Dennis Thompson
“Four of five doctors still recommend annual mammograms for women in their early 40s, despite guideline changes that have pushed back the age for yearly breast cancer screening, a new survey shows. The doctors also are ignoring the advice of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a volunteer body that helps set standards for preventive care. The USPSTF recommends that women aged 50 to 74 receive mammograms every other year.”
Find article here.

How consent requirements may shape teen mental health research

Reuters, 6 April 2017
Author: Lisa Rapaport
“Requiring teens to get permission from their parents to participate in studies about behavioral health may make it harder to understand adolescent psychology – especially when drugs and alcohol are involved. “Requiring parental consent may introduce a systematic bias that excludes certain segments of our population,” said lead study author Chao Liu of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. In the U.S., minors under age 18 generally need permission from their parents to get medical treatment or participate in research.”
Find article here.

Labor to fight anti-vaccination child care centres

Daily Telegraph, 4 April 2017
Author: Kirstie Chlopicki
“NSW Labor will fight to put a stop to legal loopholes and ban anti-vaccination child care centres across the state. As part of the legislation introduced to the NSW Parliament this week, the opposition will seek to remove the “conscientious objector clause” from the Public Health Act, to prevent unvaccinated children being enrolled in childcare centres. The bill will retain the specialist provision for children who cannot be vaccinated due to a medical condition such as a specialised cancer treatment.”
Find article here.

‘Default’ choices have big impact, but how to make sure they’re used ethically?

The Conversation, 4 April 2017
Authors: Mary Steffel, Elanor Williams, Ruth Pogacar
“The power of defaults to guide people’s choices has made them an extremely popular way for policymakers and marketers alike to nudge people toward a particular decision. But it has also raised questions about how to ensure that defaults are used ethically and responsibly.”
Find article here.

Modernizing And Strengthening Existing Laws To Control Drug Costs

Health Affairs Blog, 31 March 2017
Authors: Tim Horn, Sean Dickson
“If President Trump truly intends to control drug costs, we offer four proposals that leverage existing drug pricing systems to reduce prices for both public and private payers; in this Blog post, we will describe two of the proposals in depth.”
Find article here.

Medical Liability — Prospects for Federal Reform

NEJM, 29 March 2017
Author: Michelle M. Mello, Allen Kachalia, David M. Studdert
“Medical malpractice reform appears to be back on the federal policy agenda. The appointment of Tom Price, a long-time proponent of tort reform, as secretary of health and human services, in conjunction with Republican control of both houses of Congress, has created fertile conditions for several Republican proposals that have languished for years without the requisite support. Although it has been debated many times, a major federal foray into medical liability, a state-based area of law, would be unprecedented. The prospect raises several questions: Which reforms are on the table? Would they be effective? And is the time right?”
Find article here.