Indemnity provider calls for urgent reform of negligence payouts

BMJ 2017; 357: j3025
Author: Clare Dyer
“The spiralling cost of clinical negligence claims in England will become unsustainable unless the government reforms the system as a matter of urgency, a leading doctors’ indemnity organisation has argued at the launch of a new campaign.”
Find article here.

Withdrawing clinically assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH) in patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness: is there still a role for the courts?

Journal of Medical Ethics 2017;43:476-480.
Author: English V, Sheather JC
“Currently, in England and Wales, Court of Protection’s Practice Directive 9E (PD9E) requires all cases of proposed withdrawal or withholding of life-sustaining treatment in relation to adults in a permanent vegetative state (PVS) or minimally conscious state be referred to the Court. This paper looks at the origins of PD9E and contrasts the routine requirement to refer cases to court with the complex clinical terrain that comprises those suffering from prolonged disorders of consciousness.”
Find article here (part of a series of articles on this topic)

Evolving State-Based Contraceptive and Abortion Policies

JAMA. 2017; 317(24): 2481-2482
Authors: Divya Mallampati, Melissa A. Simon, Elizabeth Janiak
“This Viewpoint discusses the importance of US state-based contraceptive and abortion policies given renewed focus by the Trump administration on restrictions to federal funding for reproductive services.”
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Ten-year ban for steroid-prescribing doctor

Australian Doctor, 27 June 2017
Author: Anthony Scholefield
“A doctor who wrote in his notes “naughty boy wants to get buff by April” when prescribing steroids and stimulants to hundreds of body-builders has been struck off for 10 years.”
Find article here.

NHS and police blamed for killing by psychiatric patient on conditional discharge

BMJ 2017; 357: j3103
Author: Clare Dyer
“An independent inquiry commissioned by NHS England into the case of a psychiatric patient, previously committed for killing her mother, who killed another woman while on conditional discharge, has identified serious failings by the NHS and the Metropolitan Police.”
Find article here.

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.”
Find article here.

NHS prescribed record number of antidepressants last year

The Guardian, 30 June 2017
Author: Denis Campbell
“The NHS prescribed a record number of antidepressants last year, fuelling an upward trend that has seen the number of pills given to patients more than double over the last decade. The figures raised questions over whether the rise shows doctors are handing out the drugs out too freely or whether it means more people are getting help to tackle their anxiety, depression and panic attacks. Prescriptions for 64.7m items of antidepressants – an all-time high – were dispensed in England in 2016.”
Find article here.