The no correlation argument: can the morality of conscientious objection be empirically supported? the Italian case

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:64
Authors: Marco Bo, Carla Maria Zotti, Lorena Charrier
“The legitimacy of conscientious objection to abortion continues to fuel heated debate in Italy. In two recent decisions, the European Committee for Social Rights underlined that conscientious objection places safe, legal, and accessible care and services out of reach for most Italian women and that the measures that Italy has adopted to guarantee free access to abortion services are inadequate. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Health states that current Italian legislation, if appropriately applied, accommodates both the right to conscientious objection and the right to voluntary abortion.”
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Roles and responsibilities of clinical ethics committees in priority setting

BMC Medical Ethics, 2017 18:68
Authors: Morten Magelssen, Ingrid Miljeteig, Reidar Pedersen, Reidun Førde
“Fair prioritization of healthcare resources has been on the agenda for decades, but resource allocation dilemmas in clinical practice remain challenging. Can clinical ethics committees (CECs) be of help? The aim of the study was to explore whether and how CECs handle priority setting dilemmas and contribute to raising awareness of fairness concerns.”
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Graduate refused registration as psychologist – after taking one year off

SMH, 3 December 2017
Author: Michael Evans
“A psychology graduate who has completed three tertiary degrees in 20 years since arriving in Australia has had her application to practise rejected under English language competency provisions because she took a year off her studies. In a case before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the psychology graduate, identified only as Ms Han, appealed a decision by the Psychology Board of Australia as a “matter of principle”.”
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Controversial pelvic mesh devices banned in Australia by medical watchdog

SMH, 30 November 2017
Author: Ebony Bowden
“Vaginal mesh is to be banned in Australia after the medical regulator found the risk posed to patients by the device outweighed any benefits.The Therapeutic Goods Administration announced the ban this week after an investigation which followed widespread complaints from women who said the implants left them in debilitating pain.”
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‘I want control over my body’: Transgender kids in landmark court win

SMH, 30 November 2017
Author: Miki Perkins
“But in a landmark decision on Thursday, the full bench of the Family Court ruled young people who experience gender dysphoria and want to undergo hormone treatment would no longer need the approval of the court. Until this ruling, Australia was the only country in the world that required court involvement in stage 2 hormone decision-making.”
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Princess Margaret Hospital sued over treatment of toddler who developed cerebral palsy

ABC, 28 November 2017
Author: Frances Bell
“Sunday Mabior was just 16 months old when she was taken to hospital after being scalded by hot water — but instead of getting better, she ended up in a “life and death struggle” that left her with a severe disability, a Perth court has heard.”
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Transgender health: a call to make the “invisible”, visible

MJA Insight, 27 November 2017
Author: Jason Ong
“DESPITE recent media attention thrusting transgender celebrities into the spotlight, the transgender population largely remains “invisible”. This is reflected in how researchers have struggled to accurately define the transgender population, and how legal systems have not protected their human rights. The danger of being “invisible” is that you can be ignored or not acknowledged and, at the cruel extreme, not “exist” in the eyes of society, which has led to unacceptable health disparities.”
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Medical Board of Australia and Panegyres [2017] WASAT 146

Decision date: 21 November 2017
“Medical practitioner – Disciplinary matters – Unprofessional conduct – Professional misconduct – Charging patient for services not provided – Charging patient for services not clinically indicated – Charging for services where no clinical notes – Charging Medicare Australia for services – Code of Conduct for doctors in Australia – Capacity of patient to make decisions concerning his estate – Conduct substantially below standard reasonably expected of a health practitioner of an equivalent level of training or experience.”
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An open letter to the Australian Parliament regarding the health of asylum seekers and refugees on Manus Island

MJA Insight, 27 November 2017
Author: David Watters et al.
“We are senior Australian clinicians who write in our individual capacity to express our concerns about the ongoing health and well-being of the former detainees still based on Manus Island and now in alternative accommodation. They, like all human beings, have a universal right – enshrined in the United Nations charter – to health and well-being. Their political and citizenship status should not affect this right. All politicians regardless of their political party should respect the human right to health and themselves be strong advocates of “health for all” without discrimination.”
Find letter here.

US neurologist escapes jail for alleged serial sexual assaults but faces more accusers

BMJ 2017; 359: j5474
Author: Owen Dyer
“A neurologist who used his specialized knowledge of rare diseases to trap female patients into abusive doctor-patient relationships has escaped jail in a Pennsylvania court but will never practice again. He also faces live police investigations in two other US states where he previously worked.”
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