Some live and some die.

Premature decision

Amillia born
at 21 weeksAmillia born at 21 weeksThe government has just voted to retain the abortion limit at 24 weeks so is it not time to do something about the age at which premature babies are placed in intensive care? The UK has the highest rate of low birthweight babies in western Europe. About 300 babies are born in the UK each year at 23 weeks. In some hospitals, the policy is to not resuscitate babies born at 23 weeks or less. In others, every single baby will be given intensive care. The majority of babies still die at 23 weeks and 64% have a serious disability.

Sick system?

Please take note

European communities
finance billEuropean communities finance bill
Alan Johnson, the NuLabour MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle and Health Secretary, is to 'tackle' the problem of the sick note culture, reported today, 20th February 2008, by both the Times and The Independent. The latter opts to put the apostrophes around sick note culture, see HERE

Drugs not health

A NICE little earner

statins poster
statins poster Your GP earns an average of £106,000 per annum. A single practice GP can earn an extra £126,000 making a potential total of £232,000 a year. In order to earn the extra £126,000 he needs to gain all 1050 points on the government's Quality and Outcomes Framework 'QOF' Over half of these points relate to clinical targets.One of the points is gained by prescribing statins for those at some risk of coronary heart disease. The patient is then on the drug for life, making this QOF point an easy one to maintain.There is little realistic possibility that a GP will be permitted to exercise his own independent clinical judgement and would be scared of legal action brought by a patient if NICE guidelines had not been followed.

Emancipation of Women

The secret statistics of female genital mutilation

instruments are often crude
instruments are often crude It is hard to find out official statistics regarding FGM but it certainly happens and the figures are growing according to the agencies dealing with it. It has been illegal since 1985.This law has been evaded by parents taking their daughters abroad but the 2004 Female Genital Mutilation Act makes this illegal also and punishable by up to 14 years' imprisonment.

The then Home Secretary, David Blunkett, said he expected to see prosecutions as a result of the new law and that all concerned organisations must: "be brave enough to take it head-on" and "Where doctors come across this kind of mutilation they have a duty to take action in reporting it". To date there has NEVER been a prosecution. Two doctors who offered to perform the operation were merely struck off but subsequently re-instated.

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