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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Medical devices face tougher premarket testing under new EU laws

BMJ 2017; 357: j1870
Author: Deborah Cohen
“The European Parliament has passed new legislation to tighten regulation of medical devices that will require high risk devices, such as hip implants, to undergo more premarket testing and assessment. European device regulation has come in for criticism after a series of high profile failures—including hip replacements, breast implants, and pelvic meshes—that have resulted in harm to patients.”
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From physician to felon: A doctor warns how easy it is to be bribed

Washington Post, 12 April 2017
Author: Lenny Bernstein
“In 2014, an internist pleaded guilty to one count of accepting a bribe. She accepted monthly payments of $5,000 to refer patients to Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services, for blood tests and other screenings. Such referrals are illegal in medicine because of the potential that doctors will put their financial interests ahead of the needs of their patients. To date, 29 doctors have been convicted in the multiyear investigation. The U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey said the case involves more than $100 million paid to the testing lab by Medicare and private insurance companies.”
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Why Assam’s two-child policy plan is being criticised by public health experts

ScrollIn, 13 April 2017
Author: Arunabh Saikia
“India: Assam’s health minister unveiled the draft of a new population policy for the state. It proposes, among other things, to penalise people who have more than two children. If the draft were to become law, they would be ineligible for government jobs and benefits, and be barred from contesting all elections held under the aegis of the state election commission.”
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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.”
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Who will own your data when your electronic health records are linked to Aadhaar?

Scroll.in, 6 April 2017
Authors: Anumeha Yadav, Menaka Rao
“After making Aadhaar necessary to access a number of services, the government is now ready to start linking health records to the biometrics-based identity number system. “Patients’ Aadhaar numbers will be linked to a second health ID and these will be used in electronic health records,” The health records will contain all the information related to the patient including name, address, and the health records produced during his or her visit to the hospital such as X-ray reports, blood test reports among others.”
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Blocked from public health system, drunk doctor finds job at private hospital

SMH, 7 April 2017
Author: Harriet Alexander
“An anaesthetist who abandoned his patient mid-operation and then passed out from intoxication has found new employment at Shellharbour Private Hospital. The doctor who had a history of drinking on the job, has not returned to work at Wollongong Hospital since the incident on its premises in May last year. But the NSW Medical Board allowed him to continue practising under certain conditions”
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Record number of GP closures force 265,000 to find new doctors

The Guardian, 7 April 2017
Author: Sarah Marsh
“A record number of GP practices closed last year, forcing thousands of patients to find a new surgery. NHS England data showed nearly a hundred practices closed in 2016, a 114% increase in GP closures compared with figures from 2014. Of the 92 practices that shut, 58 did so completely, while 34 merged with other local surgeries in order to pool resources. The new data has renewed fears that family doctors are not coping with increased demand and need an urgent cash injection to survive.”
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New Brunswick becomes first Canada province to offer free abortion pill

The Guardian, 6 April 2017
Author: Julien Gignac
“New Brunswick has become the first province in Canada to distribute an abortion pill for free. Access to publicly funded abortion in New Brunswick was restricted from the 1980s until 2015. During that period, Medicare would only cover an abortion at one of the province’s two approved facilities if two doctors had certified that it was necessary for medical reasons. The provincial health minister announced that women will be entitled to receive Mifegymiso without payment if they have a valid healthcare card.”
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