Another Australian state legalizes ‘assisted dying’

Banana-benders back 'assisted dying' 

Another Australian state, Queensland, legalised assisted dying this week. The bill passed in the unicameral parliament by an impressive margin -- 61 to 30 -- on Thursday afternoon.

Although 55 separate amendments were proposed, all of them were rejected and the legislation passed as drafted by the state’s independent law reform commission. The law will be operation from January 2023.

The premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, was a strong supporter of the bill. “Dignity is a word that I hold dear,” she said. “There is dignity in work. There is dignity in the family and… MORE

British Medical Association goes neutral on ‘assisted dying’

The British Medical Association, the lead group for doctors in the United Kingdom, no longer opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide. After a vote at its annual representative meeting on Tuesday, the BMA altered its official stance from opposition to “neutrality”.

The vote was close, with 149 for, 145 against, and 8 abstentions. It followed a survey of BMA members last year; of the 30,000 doctors who responded, 40 percent supported a change in the current law, 33 percent favoured opposition, and 21 percent backed neutrality.

Sarah Wootton, of Dignity in Dying, Britain’s lead lobby group for assisted dying, was exultant. She… MORE

Medical students moonlighting as sex workers need support not judgement, says BMA

Another resolution was carried at the same BMA annual conference: that medical students moonlighting as sex workers should be shielded from censure by universities and professional bodies.

The BMA, the delegates declared, must work with medical schools to develop specialised support services for student sex workers. They deserve an “environment free from judgment” and completely confidential.

The head of the BMA Medical Students Committee, Becky Bates, proposed the motion. She explained that: “The high cost of studying medicine and unacceptably low levels of financial support in the UK are a major part of why these medical students feel forced to… MORE

China cracks down on cosmetic surgery to stop ‘appearance anxiety’

Global Times 

The Chinese government has been cracking down on conspicuous consumption and tall poppies in recent months. Billionaires have disappeared; movie stars have become unpersons; at least one scientist, He Jiankui, has been jailed.

The latest target is China’s huge cosmetic surgery industry.

The official People’s Daily declared this week that it was “imperative and urgent” to regulate advertising. “From posters at bus stops and in subways, to introductions on social websites and content platforms, from advertisements planted in films and television variety shows to promotions by live-streamers, medical beauty advertisements are overwhelmingly pervasive,” it said.… MORE

Appeals court overturns landmark gender ruling in UK

Keira Bell 

A landmark British case about transgender treatment for under-16s has been overturned. The Tavistock Trust, which runs the UK’s only gender identity development service (GIDS) has won an appeal against a 2020 High Court ruling.

Doctors can now judge for themselves whether children under 16 can give informed consent to puberty blockers, without seeking permission from a judge.

The decision from the Court of Appeal reverses the High Court’s decision that under-16s lacked capacity to give informed consent to puberty blockers.

The judges acknowledged "the difficulties and complexities" of the issue, but they said that… MORE

Another case of fertility fraud in the US

Oops, not again. Another American gynaecologist using his own sperm to impregnate his patients? Yup, sorry. Dr Morris Wortman, of Rochester, New York, is being sued by the 35-year-old daughter of a woman who was treated in the 1980s.

According to the Washington Post, 35-year-old Morgan Hellquist knew that her biological father had been a sperm donor. She began checking on-line genealogical records and found that she had at least nine half-siblings.

A lawsuit filed this week alleges that the doctor falsely told Ms Hellquist’s mother that the sperm came from a medical student. It accuses the doctor of… MORE

Is fear of burdening the planet driving a rise in vasectomies?

Vasectomies for childless Australian men in their 20s and 30s are rising steeply, according to doctors interviewed by The Australian. One Sydney doctor who specialises in vasectomies says that between one-half and one-third of his patients are childless. He has started requiring counselling for men under 30 to make sure that they fully understand the implications of the procedure.

Many of the men, says Dr Justin Low, are worried about harming the environment by fathering children.

“Then there are the ones who say to me: ‘I just don’t want to bring children into a world like this,’ …… MORE

UPitt hires independent investigator to review its foetal research program

For months the University of Pittsburgh has been under pressure from pro-life groups over its foetal tissue research programs. There have been allegations that UPitt scientists have harvested the kidneys of unborn babies while their hearts were still beating.

The University has heatedly denied any wrong-doing. “As we have repeatedly noted, the University of Pittsburgh does not perform medical procedures and is not part of the tissue collection process,” David Seldin, Pitt’s vice chancellor for news, told Fox News in August. “All of the University’s research is closely supervised to ensure compliance with strict and rigorous federal and state laws… MORE

Hundreds of medical journals call for climate change policies to protect health

More than 230 medical journals have put climate change at the top of the world’s health agenda as the November COP26 climate conference in Glasgow approaches. They have published the biggest joint editorial in history to warn everyone that the greatest threat to public health is failure to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°C. The signatories include The BMJ, the NEJM, The Lancet and numerous other top journals (with the notable exception of JAMA).

The terms of the editorial are apocalyptic: “The science is unequivocal; a global increase of 1.5°C above the pre-industrial average and the continued… MORE

Biden mandates vaccination of 100 million American workers

US President Joe Biden is mandating the vaccination of 100 American million workers. In a forceful speech on Thursday, he said that all companies with more than 100 workers need to have vaccination or weekly testing. He has mandated vaccination for health care workers, federal contractors and the vast majority of federal workers, who could face disciplinary measures if they refuse.

He said that he was deeply upset by the reluctance of millions of people to get vaccinated. About 80 million people are eligible but still have not received a jab.

Mr. Biden also moved to mandate shotsMORE

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