Towards a European code of medical ethics. Ethical and legal issues

J Med Ethics 2017;43:41-46
Authors: Sara Patuzzo, Elisabetta Pulice
“The feasibility of a common European code of medical ethics is discussed, with consideration and evaluation of the difficulties such a project is going to face, from both the legal and ethical points of view. On the one hand, the analysis will underline the limits of a common European code of medical ethics as an instrument for harmonising national professional rules in the European context; on the other hand, we will highlight some of the potentials of this project, which could be increased and strengthened through a proper rulemaking process and through adequate and careful choice of content.”
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UK university launches inquiry into links to work of controversial surgeon

The Guardian, 12 December 2016
Author: Hannah Devlin
“It was the case of the superstar surgeon, the prestigious Swedish institute and the ill-fated windpipe transplants that escalated into allegations of misconduct, dismissal and a criminal investigation. Now, a leading British university has launched an inquiry into its own links with the endeavours of Paolo Macchiarini, the surgeon at the centre of the trachea operations following which six patients died.”
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Next of kin’s experiences of involvement during involuntary hospitalisation and coercion

BMC Medical Ethics 2016 17:76
Authors: Reidun Førde, Reidun Norvoll, Marit Helene Hem, Reidar Pedersen
“Norway has extensive and detailed legal requirements and guidelines concerning involvement of next of kin (NOK) during involuntary hospital treatment of seriously mentally ill patients. However, we have little knowledge about what happens in practice. This study explores NOK’s views and experiences of involvement during involuntary hospitalisation in Norway.”
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New birth injuries compensation scheme announced

BBC, 17 October 2016
Source: BBC
“Parents in England whose children are injured at birth may benefit from a new government compensation scheme. The voluntary scheme is intended to settle complaints more quickly and allow medical staff to speak openly about maternity care failings and learn from mistakes.”
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Questions hang over European patent for hepatitis C drug after ruling

BMJ 2016; 355: i5493
Author: Ned Stafford
“The medical activist group Doctors of the World (Médecins du Monde) is calling for European governments to campaign for the US biotechnology firm Gilead Sciences to lower the price off its effective but very expensive treatment for hepatitis C after the European Patent Office ruled that the current patent must be amended.”
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Mental capacity of those in immigration detention in the UK

Med Sci Law October 2016 vol. 56 no. 4 285-292
Authors: Hugh Grant-Peterkin, Hilary Pickles, Cornelius Katona
“Asylum seekers and migrants can be detained in immigration removal centres (IRCs) or, post sentence, in prison while the Home Office makes decisions on their immigration status and/or arrangements for their removal or deportation. Currently, there is no process for identifying detainees who lack the mental capacity to participate in decision making relating to their immigration situation. Mental illness and distress are common among detainees. There are often cultural and language barriers; there is no consistent system of advocates, and many detainees are without legal representation.”
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Belgian euthanasia model splits Aussie experts

MJA Insight, Issue 37, 26 September 2016
Author: Sarah Colyer
“GPs in Belgium are becoming increasingly confident about referring patients for euthanasia, new research suggests, as in September 2016 the country approved the first death of a child under its laws. The latest study has divided Australian experts amid renewed clamour for a national vote on the issue. Opponents claim that the findings provide fresh evidence of a slippery slope of widening justification for euthanasia, and of the ineffectiveness of safeguards to avoid abuse of the legislation. Supporters, by contrast, emphasise that the overall rate of deaths is still very low, and say that euthanasia is finding a natural place in palliative care.”
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Jeremy Hunt acted illegally over junior doctors, court hears

The Guardian, 20 September 2016
Author: Denis Campbell
“Jeremy Hunt acted illegally and beyond his powers by deciding to impose a new contract on NHS junior doctors, the high court has been told in a legal challenge to the health secretary’s handling of the year-long dispute.”
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