Hidden conflicts of interest in continuing medical education

The Lancet, 11 November 2017
Authors: Ladan Golestaneh, Ethan Cowan
“Continuing medical education (CME) is an integral part of postgraduate training for medical professionals in the USA and globally. CME enables physicians to maintain and gain knowledge and skills that ensure optimal medical care and outcomes for patients. For these reasons CME is a required component of licensure in the USA. Since most physicians regularly complete CME hours, conflicts of interest that could introduce bias into CME must be avoided to prevent potentially detrimental downstream effects on patient care.”
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The emergence of ethical issues in the provision of online sexual health outreach for gay, bisexual, two-spirit and other men who have sex with men: perspectives of online outreach workers

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:59
Authors: Sophia Fantus, Rusty Souleymanov, Nathan J. Lachowsky, David J. Brennan
“Mobile applications and socio-sexual networking websites are used by outreach workers to respond synchronously to questions and provide information, resources, and referrals on sexual health and STI/HIV prevention, testing, and care to gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GB2M). This exploratory study examined ethical issues identified by online outreach workers who conduct online sexual health outreach for GB2M.”
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Has the right to breach patient confidentiality created a common law duty to warn genetic relatives?

QUT Law Review Volume 17, Issue 1, pp.147–159
Author: Wendy Nixon
“This paper discusses the conflict between a medical practitioner’s duty of care and duty to maintain patient confidentiality, and their statutory right to inform a relative about a possible genetic condition. The statutory right arguably creates a Rogers v Whitaker type duty to provide the same information a patient might require in order to make informed choices about testing and treatment. In the event that reasonable clinical judgment is not applied to disclosure, the genetic relative ought to be offered the opportunity to seek redress through the common law if they suffer harm as a result.”
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When surgeons unwittingly don’t obtain informed consent

The BMJ Opinion, 6 October 2017
Authors: Fraser Smith and David Locke
“It is our belief that many patients with rectal cancer are (probably unwittingly) not being informed about potential treatment options which may be available to them that could allow them to avoid radical surgery and a stoma. In effect this is rendering informed consent invalid and represents a failure to safeguard patient autonomy.”
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Homeopathy company investigated over ebook advocating treatment of babies

The Guardian, 30 June 2017
Author: Melissa Davey
“Australia’s drug regulator is investigating the promotion of an ebook that advocates homeopathic treatment for babies and toddlers, against all scientific evidence. Brauer, one of Australia’s largest homeopathy companies, promotes the Little Book of Natural Medicines for Children on its website. The book is available for download, and the website promotes the efficacy of homeopathic products. In 2015 the National Health and Medical Research Council reviewed 225 research papers on homeopathy and found it was not effective for treating any health condition.”
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A Clinic Mix-Up Leaves Pregnant Woman In Dark About Zika Risk

KHN, 21 June 2017
Author: Jonel Aleccia
“Hospital officials in Washington state have apologized after failing for months to inform a pregnant woman she was likely infected with the Zika virus that can cause devastating birth defects. Andrea Pardo was tested for the virus in October, after becoming pregnant while living in Mexico. The results were ready by December, but she wasn’t notified until April just before she delivered her daughter. The delay, blamed on a mistake at the University of Washington clinic where Pardo received care, deprived her of the chance to make an informed choice about her pregnancy.”
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Ethics involved in life support decisions remain matter of debate

The Globe and Mail, 15 June 2017
Author: Wency Leung
“When doctors aren’t able to have end-of-life discussions with patients themselves, they often have to approach the delicate subject with the patient’s caregiver or family members. From a doctor’s perspective, these discussions typically involve presenting the evidence of what is known about the situation, what the likely outcomes may be, given that evidence, and most importantly, understanding the patient – what their values are, their expectations and ideology. To make a choice about whether to proceed with aggressive treatment, families should be informed about what those treatments are, the possible risks and benefits and what the ultimate outcomes are.”
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FDA Puts Brakes on Rule Requiring New ‘Nutrition Facts’ Label

MedicineNet, 13 June 2017
Author: E.J. Mundell
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday announced that the launch of an updated “nutrition facts” panel on foods, developed during the Obama administration, will now be delayed. The deadline for which the food industry must comply with the new labeling will be pushed back for an undisclosed time. the revamped label would make information on calorie counts more prominent, make serving sizes easier to understand, and point to the amount of added sugars a food or drink contains.”
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Physicians recognize new psychoactive substances as health threat

AMA, 12 June 2017
Author: Sara Berg
“New psychoactive substances (NPS) are quickly emerging, transient and difficult to track. While some coordinated public health responses have been used to combat NPS outbreaks, most strategies and solutions remain disconnected, lacking necessary information and data sharing capability. With the eruption of both illicit and synthetic drugs, as well as a lack of regulation, physicians are also searching for further education to aid in treating patients. Delegates at the 2017 AMA Annual Meeting voted to support multifaceted, multiagency approaches to combat NPS.”
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