Guns, Society, and Medicine

N Engl J Med 2015; 372:874-875
Author: Jerome P. Kassirer, M.D.
“Efforts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the epidemiology of gun violence — as passionately advocated by Sacks1 in her Perspective article in this issue of the Journal — were launched more than 20 years ago but then quickly abandoned because of a congressional order banning funding for such research.2 President Obama signed an order to lift the ban years ago, but research funds have not flowed. Major institutions and organizations, including the Institute of Medicine, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Association, have made sensible recommendations that could reduce the risk of firearm-related injury or death.3-6”
Find editorial here and commentary here.

WMA calls for Official Investigation into ISIS Organ Harvesting

WMA statement, 20 February 2015
“The World Medical Association has joined the international call for the United Nations to investigate reports that ISIS is involved in harvesting human organs to raise funds for its terrorist activities. The WMA’s demand follows comments earlier this week from the Iraqi ambassador to the UN that the terrorist organisation was forcing doctors to remove human organs and executing those doctors who refused to participate.”
Find statement here.

Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings: Inquiry

Senate Community Affairs References Committee, Parliament of Australia, online
“On 11 February 2015, the Senate referred the following matter to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report: Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings, including the gender and age related dimensions, and the particular situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, and culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability. …Submissions should be received by 10 April 2015.  The reporting date is 24 June 2015.”
Find terms of reference and other inquiry information here.

Don’t forget health when you talk about human rights

The Lancet, Volume 385, No. 9967, p481, 7 February 2015
Editorial: “Last week, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released World Report 2015, their 25th annual global review documenting human rights practices in more than 90 countries and territories in 2014. …this 656-page report is a grim read in a year marked by extensive conflict and extreme violence. But when one delves deeper, there is a hidden story that often does not make the headlines. That story is the health dimension of human rights. Viewed through the lens of health, the report contains several compelling and disturbing themes.”
Find editorial here.

Mistrust and machetes thwart efforts to contain Ebola in Guinea

Reuters, 10 February 2105
Author: Misha Hussain
“When Red Cross pickups crawl through the streets of the Guinean town of Lola in search of Ebola victims, crowds of women gather to shoo the medical workers away, young boys throw stones and angry men reach for their machetes. In the country where West Africa’s Ebola outbreak began, hostility towards aid workers – fueled by ever more far-fetched rumors – is undermining efforts to contain the deadly virus.”
Find article here.

Doctor Michael Salmon guilty of indecent assaults

BBC News, 6 February 2015
Author: BBC
“Former doctor Michael Salmon has been found guilty of indecently assaulting girls at a hospital where Jimmy Savile abused patients. The 79-year-old was convicted of nine indecent assaults and two rapes carried out against six girls at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire.”
Find article here.

Being like Mike — Fear, Trust, and the Tragic Death of Michael Davidson

N Eng J Med February 4, 2015DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1501253
Author: Lisa Rosenbaum, M.D.
“Around 11:00 a.m. on January 20, 2015, Stephen Pasceri arrived at the cardiovascular center at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he had an appointment to speak to Michael Davidson, a 44-year-old surgeon who had performed valve surgery on Pasceri’s mother a few months earlier. Davidson entered an exam room and greeted Pasceri, who fired two shots at the surgeon at close range before killing himself. A team of Brigham surgeons spent 9 hours in the OR in a futile attempt to save Davidson’s life.”
Find article here.