Tuesday, 18 January, 2022


Researchers warn that smart pills may be a dumb solution

Enthusiasm for an emerging digital health tool, the smart pill, is on the rise but researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago caution...

SA med students becoming more open to legalising euthanasia

More than half of medical students at Stellenbosch University feel the practices of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS) should be legalised in South Africa,...

Hospital staff bear brunt of anger after death of Alfie

The British baby Alfie Evans has died, bringing into the spotlight a host of legal and ethical issues around the treatment of patients in...

Study accuses Asperger of assisting in Nazi euthanasia programme

The Austrian doctor after whom Asperger syndrome is named was an active participant in the Nazi regime, assisting in the Third Reich’s so-called euthanasia...

Down's syndrome takes centre stage in US abortion debate

Bills are being placed before US state legislatures that would make it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion if sought 'solely'...

Contraception, HIV and control over black women’s bodies

The practice of injecting women with the 'controversial' conraceptive Depo-Provera without proper informed consent – especially those who are poor, black and using the...

UK's terminally ill suffer 'traumatic' deaths because they can't afford to go abroad to die

Thousands of terminally ill people in the UK, who want to travel abroad to end their life in specialist clinics cannot afford the costs...

SA NGOs gear up against anti-abortion Bill

The Treatment Action Campaign and Section 27 say they are opposing a new Bill by the African Christian Democratic Party that insists women who...

The death of Charlie Gard leaves a legacy of thorny questions

Charlie Gard, the incurably ill British infant who died recently, could not hear, see or even cry. But, reports The New York Times, his...

The last day of her life — an Alzheimer’s victim’s story

BEM.jpgThe right-to-die issue has raised controversy in the SA media recently (See MedicalBrief 0057) when the death of terminally ill Cape Town man occurred just hours before a landmark High Court judgment granted his application for assisted dying. Even more complicated is the issue of what happens when the patient does not have a terminal affliction. When well-known US university professor Sandy Bem found out she had Alzheimer’s, she resolved that before the disease stole her mind, she would kill herself, writes The New York Times. The question was, when? And how? 

Patient survives despite withheld treatment

A young man whom a judge ruled should be allowed to die against his parents’ wishes, after doctors said further chemotherapy or neurosurgery was 'futile' and predicted he had just days to live, has survived for three months. The case of the 18-year-old, who cannot be identified, is now to be revisited by the Court of Protection in London.

Ethicists to advise on ‘compassionate use’

Johnson.pngJohnson & Johnson will become the first pharmaceutical company to formally seek advice from outside medical ethicists on 'compassionate use' requests, in which desperate patients ask drug makers to let them take an experimental medication.

EMA acts to reduce conflicts of interest

Europe's medicines regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), will restrict experts and committee members who intend to work for a pharmaceutical company from participating in the evaluation of medicines, in a move to reduce conflict of interests.

Questions over CNN's journalist-surgeon

gupta Ethical questions have been raised after a CNN crew covering the Nepalese earthquake filmed its chief medical correspondent, Dr Sanjay Gupta, perform emergency brain surgery on an eight-year-old girl using a saw and resuscitate a woman mid-air on a helicopter, using a cardiac thump.

US psychologists collaborated on torture

The American Psychological Association (APA) secretly collaborated with the administration of President George W Bush to bolster a legal and ethical justification for the torture of prisoners swept up in the post-September 11 war on terror, according to a report by a group of dissident health professionals and human rights activists.

Software creates a barter market for kidneys

New software programs have been developed that are driving chains of donors, to create something like a marketplace for organs – but one where supply and demand are balanced not through pricing but through altruism. The New York Times reports that 'the genius of the computer algorithms driving the kidney chains is that they find the best medical matches – thus increasing the odds of a successful transplant – by decoupling donors from their intended recipients, allowing for a kind of US barter market for kidneys.