New Zealand bans vaginal mesh implants

The Guardian, 13 December 2017
Author: Hannah Devlin
“New Zealand has become the first major country to effectively ban vaginal mesh implants in response to safety concerns over the surgery. The country’s Ministry of Health announced on Monday that it had written to leading mesh suppliers asking them to stop marketing the products from January – or prove that their products are safe.”
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Rules on reporting trials must be better enforced, say health integrity groups

BMJ 2017; 359: j5786
Author: Deborah Cohen
“Unregulated reporting of clinical trials opens the door to fraud and corruption, undermining medical advances and public health objectives, a report has warned. The report, by a consortium of “health integrity organisations,” urges governments to enforce current rules to ensure that patients, doctors, and scientists can access the full results of all clinical trials.”
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The Real Problem With Human Head Transplantation

JME Blog, 4 December 2017
Author: Michael S. Dauber
“The medical community has resoundingly asserted that the procedure is extraordinarily unethical, given the current state of our medical technology and the unforeseen effects such a procedure might have on the patient, assuming the patient survived at all. While these are certainly serious issues, the real problem with this picture is with international regulations: none of the laws and policies designed to protect patients and human research subjects have been able to stop them Canavero and Ren, nor are they likely to do so.”
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Controversial pelvic mesh devices banned in Australia by medical watchdog

SMH, 30 November 2017
Author: Ebony Bowden
“Vaginal mesh is to be banned in Australia after the medical regulator found the risk posed to patients by the device outweighed any benefits.The Therapeutic Goods Administration announced the ban this week after an investigation which followed widespread complaints from women who said the implants left them in debilitating pain.”
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Why Tobacco Companies Are Paying to Tell You Smoking Kills

NYT, 24 November 2017
Author: Sapna Maheshwari
“The messages stem from a lawsuit brought by the Justice Department in 1999. As part of the 2006 ruling in the suit, which sought to punish cigarette makers for decades of deceiving the public about the dangers of their product, the companies were ordered to disseminate “corrective statements” centered on the health risks and addictive nature of smoking. But until now, they resisted through appeals and by wrangling over wording.”
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F.D.A. Speeds Review of Gene Therapies, Vowing to Target Rogue Clinics

NYT, 17 November 2017
Authors: Sheila Kaplan, Denise Grady
“The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued new guidelines to speed the introduction of treatments involving human cells and tissues, including gene therapy. But the agency also said it would crack down on rogue clinics offering dangerous or unproven versions of those treatments.”
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GMC to push for erasure of paediatrician convicted of manslaughter

BMJ 2017; 359: j5223
Author: Clare Dyer
“The General Medical Council is to press ahead with an appeal in the High Court against what it considers a too lenient regulatory sanction on a paediatrician convicted of gross negligence manslaughter, despite a letter signed by more than 100 doctors urging the GMC to reconsider.”
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Australia’s health watchdog accused of ‘too close’ relationship with industry

SMH, 5 November 2017
Author: Joanne McCarthy
“Australia’s drug and medical device watchdog, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, needs a complete overhaul to distance it from the health industry and allow consumers to sue it for negligence, say academics and consumer advocates after the regulator quietly announced moves to classify all pelvic mesh devices high risk after years of controversy.”
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The global abortion policies database—legal knowledge as a health intervention

The BMJ Opinion, 1 November 2017
Author: Joanna Erdman
“In 2012, Savita Halappanavar died in an Irish hospital from miscarriage complications after being refused an abortion. The treating physicians believed that because the fetus still had a beating heart their “hands were tied.” Under Irish law, abortion is a criminal offence unless necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman, yet there is little clarity on this exception. Following nationwide protests, the government introduced the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 to clarify the law and to regulate access under it. Years earlier, the European Court of Human Rights called for precisely such regulation moved by the impossible position of physicians who “faced criminal charges, on the one hand, and an absence of clear legal, ethical, or medical guidelines, on the other.”
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De-doctoring medicine via another layer of bureaucracy

MJA Insight, 30 October 2017
Author: Aniello Iannuzzi
“The draft report of the Independent Review of Accreditation Systems within the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) for health professions has been released and it proposes massive changes, and is not to be glossed over.”
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