Dutch geriatrician faces charges over euthanasia case

BMJ 2017; 359: j4639
Author: Tony Sheldon
“A specialist in elderly care medicine could face prosecution under the Netherlands’ euthanasia laws after ending the life of a 74 year old nursing home patient with advanced dementia. The woman was considered no longer competent to consent but had previously signed a living will requesting euthanasia. Yet Dutch public prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation, claiming a “serious suspicion” that a criminal offence had been committed. This is the Netherlands’ first such investigation under the reporting arrangements established in the 2002 euthanasia law.”
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Current state of genomic policies in healthcare among EU member states: results of a survey of chief medical officers

European Journal of Public Health, 27(5), 2017, 931–937
Authors: W. Mazzucco R. Pastorino T. Lagerberg et al.
“A need for a governance of genomics in healthcare among European Union (EU) countries arose during an international meeting of experts on public health genomics (PHG). We have conducted a survey on existing national genomic policies in healthcare among Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) of the 28 EU member states, plus Norway.”
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France to prosecute its drug regulator and Servier in scandal over diabetes drug

BMJ 2017; 358: j4231
Author: Owen Dyer
“France’s drug regulator and one of its leading drug companies, Servier, will stand trial as legal persons over the marketing of the antidiabetes and weight loss drug benfluorex (marketed in France as Mediator), which is believed to have killed between 500 and 2300 people before being pulled from the market in 2009.”
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Italy has introduced mandatory vaccinations and other countries should follow its lead

The Conversation, 2 June 2017
Author: Alberto Giubilini
“Parents will have to provide proof of vaccination when they enrol their children in nursery or preschool. In this respect, the Italian policy follows the example of vaccination policies in the US. But there’s one crucial difference: the Italian law doesn’t allow parents to opt out on the grounds of ‘conscientious objection’.”
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Blood disaster: Families search for the truth

BBC, 10 May 2017
Source: BBC News
“Jason Evans’ father died after being infected with HIV through treatment with contaminated blood. Now in what is understood to be the first case of its kind, Jason is taking legal action against the government for its role in his father’s death. More than 2,000 people – mostly haemophiliacs – have died after being infected with HIV and hepatitis C through blood treatments. The victims were infected over 25 years ago, in what has been called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.”
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Brexit regulatory uncertainty ‘threatens UK med tech’

Reuters, 2 May 2017
Authors: Ben Hirschler, Susan Fenton
“Regulatory uncertainty in the wake of Brexit could leave Britain’s multi-billion-pound medical technology industry out in the cold, with separate regulatory systems threatening exports and jobs. In a new report, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) called on the British government to harmonize its post-Brexit rules with EU regulations on medical devices – a category covering everything from heart stents to walking aids – or risk losing billions of pounds in exports.”
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Crackdown on migrants forces NHS doctors to ‘act as border guards’

The Guardian, 20 April 2017
Author: Amelia Gentleman
“A medical charity has launched a campaign against government guidance that “makes border guards of doctors” by allowing the Home Office to access details of undocumented migrants who seek NHS treatment. Doctors of the World runs clinics for undocumented migrants who are afraid of accessing NHS healthcare due to concerns that a visit to the doctor could lead to deportation. The organisation wants the government to “stop using NHS patients’ personal information to carry out immigration enforcement”.”
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Conscientious refusal in healthcare: the Swedish solution

Journal of Medical Ethics 2017; 43:257-259.
Author: Munthe C
“The Swedish solution to the legal handling of professional conscientious refusal in healthcare is described. No legal right to conscientious refusal for any profession or class of professional tasks exists in Sweden, regardless of the religious or moral background of the objection. The background of this can be found in strong convictions about the importance of public service provision and related civic duties, and ideals about rule of law, equality and non-discrimination.”
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