A Federal Ban on Making Lethal Viruses Is Lifted

NYT, 19 December 2017
Author: Donald G McNeil Jr
“Federal officials on Tuesday ended a moratorium imposed three years ago on funding research that alters germs to make them more lethal. Such work can now proceed, said Dr. Francis S. Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, but only if a scientific panel decides that the benefits justify the risks.”
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Latest Report on Health Effects of Climate Change

JAMA. 2017; 318(23): 2287
Author: M J Friedrich
“The report notes that the delayed response to climate change over the last 25 years has put human lives in jeopardy. It also emphasizes that health professionals have a responsibility to communicate the health threats from climate change to the public and to policy makers and that progress in mitigating these threats is essential to human well-being.”
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Sandra Battersby v Allan; Darrel Battersby v Allan [2017] NSWSC 1724

Decision date: 15 December 2017
“EVIDENCE – Expert evidence – Proceedings alleging negligence by a Neurosurgeon – Where plaintiff sought to rely upon the evidence of a Neurologist – Whether Neurologist had the requisite specialised knowledge based upon training study and experience to express an opinion regarding surgery – Opinion admissible.”
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Health record details exposed as ‘de-identification’ of data fails

SMH, 18 December 2017
Author: Ben Grubb
“One in 10 Australians’ private health records have been unwittingly exposed by the Department of Health in an embarrassing blunder that includes potentially exposing if someone is on HIV medication, has terminated a pregnancy, or is seeing a psychologist.”
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Too Many Older Patients Get Cancer Screenings

NYT, 19 December 2017
Author: Liz Szabo
“A growing chorus of geriatricians, cancer specialists and health system analysts say that for the best quality of life, she’d be better off skipping the screening. Such testing in the nation’s oldest patients is highly unlikely to detect lethal disease. It is also hugely expensive and more likely to harm than help, since any follow-up testing and treatment is often invasive.”
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Court orders Trump administration to give immigrant teens abortion access

Reuters, 19 December 2017
Author: Sarah N Lynch
“A U.S. District Court judge ruled on Monday that President Donald Trump’s administration must allow access to abortion for two pregnant teenagers who are in the country illegally, escalating a high-profile legal fight.”
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The surgeon who signed patients’ livers was silly, not criminal. The law is an ass

The Guardian, 16 December 2017
Author: Henry Marsh
“Last Wednesday Simon Bramhall, a consultant surgeon specialising in liver transplantation, pleaded guilty in Birmingham crown court to “assault by beating”. He awaits sentencing. On two occasions during liver transplantation surgery – a highly complex and difficult procedure – he had signed his initials on the surface of his patients’ organs using an argon gas coagulator.”
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Drug Company Under Fire After Revealing Dengue Vaccine May Harm Some

NYT, 17 December 2017
Authors: Denise Grady, Katie Thomas
“The Philippines government has begun investigations into the rollout of the immunization program by French drugmaker Sanofi, which has come under fire for discounting early warnings that its vaccine could put some people at heightened risk of a severe form of the disease.”
Find article here.