Disquiet over Andrew Denton’s role in blocking amendments to WA dying laws

Western Australia's euthanasia laws are facing a tortuous journey through the state's Parliament, with Upper House MPs planning to reintroduce amendments blocked by Labor during overnight sittings of the Lower House last week. And MPs for and against the state government's Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill are privately raising concerns about TV personality Andrew Denton's involvement in the passage of the legislation. TV personality Andrew Denton, a pro-euthanasia campaigner and host of the 'Better Off Dead' podcast, was in Perth to brief politicians at the commencement of an epic parliamentary debate on WA's Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.Credit:Edwina Pickles Mr Denton told MPs to block any amendments to the draft laws in [...]

By |2019-09-14T08:17:49+10:00September 14th, 2019|

Avoidable deaths are not unique to rural Australia – they occur in all hospitals

This week’s ABC Four Corners program shared the devastating stories of four patients who each suffered significant disability or death as a result of the care they received at their local regional hospital. All their stories were preventable and it is important we acknowledge the continued pain and grief those patients and their families endure each day. Our health system failed them. Indigenous Australians far more likely to die from cancer, new data shows Read more Patients deserve the highest standard of healthcare no matter where they live. About three in 10 Australians live in rural and remote areas where they can face challenges because of their geographic isolation, including [...]

By |2019-09-14T08:18:44+10:00September 14th, 2019|

Dedicated mission to support University of Sydney’s medical research into motor neurone disease

From pain to hope: After losing two members of his family to the same neurological disease, which was to also deliver the same diagnosis to another, Cecil Churm of Connells Point, has dedicated his life to supporting medical research for motor neurone disease. Life was more than a little unfair when not one, but three members of Cecil Churm's family were diagnosed with the same condition. An unlucky discovery was a cruel blow to the Connells Point resident. His family was affected by a disease that is both debilitating and difficult - motor neurone disease (MND). Mr Churm's first wife Pamela was 60 when she died. His son Greg was [...]

By |2019-09-14T08:17:49+10:00September 14th, 2019|

Gastro cases spike among children in NSW

NSW Health is urging parents and carers to keep young children at home if they are sick amid a rise in viral gastro cases. NSW Health's Acting Manager of Enteric and Zoonotic Diseases, Keira Glasgow, says the warning has been prompted by an increase in gastroenteritis outbreaks at childcare centres across the state and a high number of children aged under five years of age seeking treatment at emergency departments. "Nearly 100 childcare centres reported outbreaks of gastro in August, double the average for this time of year, and at least 820 children and 165 staff have fallen ill," she said. "The number of children seeking treatment for the highly-contagious [...]

By |2019-09-14T08:17:49+10:00September 14th, 2019|

shortage of technetium

A nationwide shortage of a chemical element needed for therapeutic tests is set to cause serious problems for patients across the country. Technetium is used in more than 500 scans a week in Perth. The Health Department is blaming the crisis on a mechanical failure at Australia's Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation facility in Sydney. Technetium is injected into patients, and helps identify cancer and other health issues such as thyroid problems. Doctors are now trying to find supplies from overseas to boost stocks. At Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital scans are being prioritised, based on their urgency, from next week. It's unclear how long the shortage will last. Click here [...]

By |2019-09-14T08:19:30+10:00September 14th, 2019|

How artificial intelligence is transforming medical treatment

Experts explain just how artificial intelligence is being used in medicine. Artificial intelligence is giving medical professionals the ability to create a digital replica of patients, allowing doctors to predict how effective surgery will be. Australia’s peak science agency CSIRO is developing AI-powered tools to diagnose mental health disorders more accurately and safeguard patients’ genetic data in DNA testing. Northeast Health Wangaratta is already using AI to stop cyber attacks. Using its public hospital in regional Victoria, Northeast Health Wangaratta is investigating the use of AI to create a digital replica of its patients. Doctors then use the replica to trial treatment. It is also just months away from introducing [...]

By |2019-09-14T08:19:55+10:00September 13th, 2019|

Immunotherapy a groundbreaking new cancer treatment, but prohibitively expensive

Photo: Chemotherapy did not work on Dave Roberts's form of lymphoma. (Supplied: Dave Roberts) Dave Roberts is fighting for his life, and his doctor says there is only one option left to him, an immunotherapy treatment called Kymriah. Dave Roberts has a form of lymphoma and is hoping immunotherapy could be a cure Novartis manufactures Kymriah, which could be an effective treatment but costs $500,000 Mr Roberts is calling on the Government to provide assistance to make the treatment more accessible "My doctor has stated … that this drug is basically my only hope of survival," he told 7.30. The treatment is approved for use in Australia but is not [...]

By |2019-09-13T08:50:47+10:00September 13th, 2019|

Gold Coast aged care home that abruptly shut down also subject of abuse claims

The nurse whose call for help sparked a full-scale disaster response at a Gold Coast aged care facility also reported allegations of elder abuse to police. The complaints were levelled against three staff members, a parliamentary inquiry into the Earle Haven age care home has heard. Telecia Tuccori, the former clinical manager of the Earle Haven age care home, said the home had a zero tolerance policy and staff were stood down as a result of the complaints. However police found the allegations – which involved one allegation of physical abuse – did not require charges or any further investigation. 'My heart is crying': Indigenous elders face death far from [...]

By |2019-09-13T08:49:29+10:00September 13th, 2019|

Hospital hierarchies are fostering sexual harassment against young doctors

As issues of sexual harassment and toxic workplace cultures are gaining more coverage in the media, it has surprised people to read such accounts by doctors and surgeons. People may wonder if these accounts could possibly be true, and if so, why highly trained professionals put up with being demeaned and sexualised at work. We are three doctors who have studied the phenomenon of sexual harassment and abuse of doctors and medical students, by doctors. As clinicians we have worked with survivors of sexual abuse by fellow medical professionals. The experience of being demeaned and sexually harassed while performing their work is commonplace for female health professionals. Internationally, 59% of [...]

By |2019-09-13T08:49:29+10:00September 13th, 2019|

Cancer diagnoses crisis after shutdown at Lucas Heights nuclear facility

Australia is facing a shortage of medicine vital for cancer diagnoses due to a mechanical fault at the Lucas Heights nuclear medicine facility. Less than three months after production was suspended at the new Australian nuclear medicine facility when two workers were exposed to an unsafe dose of radiation , the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation has confirmed another shutdown occurred on Friday. While Ansto insists there are “no safety implications” from the failure, a shortfall in production of the radioisotope molybdenum-99 or Mo-99 could have severe implications. Ansto admitted Australia was experiencing “significant impacts on availability of nuclear medicine”, and doctors have told Guardian Australia that unless production [...]

By |2019-09-13T08:52:39+10:00September 13th, 2019|