Canadian mother whose son died from strep throat sentenced to three years in prison

BMJ 2017; 359: j5521
Author: Owen Dyer
“A mother from Calgary whose son died after she attempted to treat his strep throat at home with dandelion tea and oil of oregano has been sentenced to three years in prison for criminal negligence causing death. Tamara Lovett, 48, a believer in holistic medicine, did not call a doctor when her 7 year old son Ryan developed a throat infection, only calling an ambulance after two weeks of illness when she found him collapsed on the floor.”
Find article here.

Sentences for serious manslaughter in healthcare should start at 12 years, report recommends

BMJ 2017; 358: j4490
Author: Clare Dyer
“Sentences for gross negligence manslaughter could increase after the Sentencing Council for England and Wales concluded that prison terms imposed by judges were too short in some cases. The council, an independent, non-departmental public body of the Ministry of Justice, is consulting on plans to issue comprehensive sentencing guidelines on manslaughter, in a consultation that closes on 10 October.”
Find article here.

Queensland abortion law bill rejected, but reform is still an ‘open question’

SMH, 30 August 2016
Author: Daisy Dumas
“After 1400 submissions, scores of expert appearances and public hearings in Cairns, Emerald and Brisbane, Queensland’s Parliamentary inquiry into abortion law reform has rejected a bill to decriminalise abortion across the state.”
Find article here.

Politics and Public Health: The Flint Drinking Water Crisis

Hastings Center Report 46 (2016): 5-6
Author: Lawrence O Gostin
“The Flint, Michigan, lead drinking water crisis is perhaps the most vivid current illustration of health inequalities in the United States. Since 2014, Flint citizens—among the poorest in America, mostly African American—had complained that their tap water was foul and discolored. But city, state, and federal officials took no heed. In March 2016, an independent task force found fault at every level of government and also highlighted what may amount to criminal negligence for workers who seemingly falsified water-quality results, allowing the people of Flint to continue to be exposed to water well above the federally allowed lead levels.”
Find abstract here.

More than third of sexual assaults, homicides linked to domestic violence, ABS data shows

ABC News online 13 July 2016
Author: Dan Oakes
“More than a third of sexual assaults and homicides recorded in Australia last year were domestic violence-related, according to new figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).  The 2015 crime statistics also show that there were 21,380 victims of sexual assault across the country, a rise of 3 per cent on the previous year, and a six year high.”
Find article here and ABS report here.

Osteopath arrested for sexual assault – Bondi Junction

NSW Police Force, statement 23 June 2016
“A male doctor who also practices as an osteopath has been arrested in Bondi Junction after a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted. Police have been told the 23-year-old woman attended a clinic on two occasions, during February and March 2016, where she was allegedly sexually assaulted during her massage appointments. Officers attached to Eastern Suburbs Local Area Command have been investigating the incidents. Following these inquiries, around 12.25pm yesterday (Wednesday 22 June 2016), officers arrested a 38-year-old man at a clinic in Bondi Junction.”
Find police statement here.

R v A2; R v Magennis; R v Vaziri (No. 24) [2016] NSWSC 737

Decision 9 June 2016
“Catchwords: CRIMINAL LAW –sentence –two offenders convicted of offences of female genital mutilation against two young girls – s. 45 Crimes Act 1900 – third offender convicted as an accessory after the fact to s. 45 offences – sentences of imprisonment imposed – each offender referred for assessment as to suitability for home detention – whether home detention should be ordered in each case – each offender assessed as suitable in home detention assessment report – where each of the offenders have different subjective cases – where the offender mother (A2) has expressed remorse – where the imposition of full-time custodial sentence upon A2 would act as a double punishment to the victims – where the acts were carried out by an elderly woman (Magennis) who suffers significant health problems – difficulty of managing health problems in custody – general deterrence of particular importance in case of religious leader (Vaziri) – calculated and deliberate acts by religious leader over a period of weeks to deflect police investigation – no finding of remorse in his favour – order that Offender A2 serve sentence by way of home detention – order that Offender Magennis serve sentence by way of home detention – order that Offender Vaziri serve sentence by way of full-time imprisonment”
Find decision here.

Medical executives face criminal charges for “misbranded” devices

BMJ 2016;353:i3270
Author: Jeanne Lenzer
“Two US medical device executives are facing criminal charges for off-label promotion of a device to treat nasal sinus problems. William Facteau, former chief executive officer, and Patrick Fabian, vice president for sales, of the ear, nose, and throat medical device company Acclarent, have been charged with “distributing adulterated and misbranded medical devices” and securities fraud related to their promotion of the Status medical device to open up nasal sinuses.1 Acclarent was sold to Johnson & Johnson for $785m (£542m; €690m) in 2010.”
Find extract here.

Oncologist pays $300?000 to settle US claims of billing for fake cancer drug

BMJ 2016;353:i2861
Author: Owen Dyer
“A California oncologist and his wife, who was also his office manager, have paid $300?000 (£205?000; €268?000) to settle government allegations that they billed Medicare for illegally imported, unapproved cancer drugs—which later turned out to contain no active ingredient.
John F Kiraly III became the third oncologist in California, and at least the fifth nationwide, to be ensnared in a federal investigation into illegal shipments from a Turkish pharmaceutical distributor.”
Find extract here.