Given that Croakey readers are likely to be interested in many of The Conversation’s articles, I’m delighted that the new venture has agreed to provide us with a regular update of its most interesting health and medical pickings.
Our must-reads so far…
Reema Rattan and Fron Jackson-Webb write:
It’s been just three weeks since we launched The Conversation and we’ve already banked up a list of almost forty comment pieces from the nation’s leaders in health and medicine.
Here’s a wrap-up of our must-reads so far:
Death threats are a sideshow – Wilkie’s pokies plan will work
By James Doughney, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Strategic Economic Studies at Victoria University
Once ‘un-Australian’ appears in any debate don’t expect rational argument or evidence. Look no further for proof than the advertising blitz by Clubs Australia and the Australian Hotels Association against intended pokies reform. At issue is mandatory pre-commitment. It would allow pokies players, especially those with gambling problems, to set limits on losses and time spent, before they get into the grip of the machines.
NHMRC funding cuts to create ‘lost generation’ of scientists
By James Angus, Dean of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne
Recent rumours from the highest levels of the Commonwealth Government indicate the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) budget may be slashed by $400 million over the next three years. Cabinet is yet to make a final decision but if the Government were to make the cut, the consequences for Australia’s health and medical research sector would be dire.
The long road to legalising euthanasia in South Australia
By Andrew McGee, Law Lecturer at Queensland University of Technology
With the South Australian parliament passing its latest euthanasia bill to committee stage, there is a real possibility locals will be given the right to end their life. And with an unprecedented number of voluntary euthanasia bills introduced to the parliaments of Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria over the past two years, other states are likely to follow.
Hospital birth units make stress-heads out of mums
By Maralyn Foureur, Professor of Midwifery at University of Technology, Sydney
More than 200,000 Australian women give birth in hospital every year, but very few give much thought to the room in which they will do it. Imagine a woman’s surprise when they walk in to discover that this momentous, life-changing, intimate, exhausting yet exhilarating experience will take place in a bedroom decked out like an operating theatre.
Food industry digs in heels over traffic light labels
By Timothy Gill, Principal Research Fellow at the University of Sydney
The fight over how to label our food has never been more intense. On one side of the argument we have public health associations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and consumer groups looking for effective solutions to address the growth of lifestyle diseases, including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. On the other side are the food industry associations eager to reassure consumers about the nutritional value and quality of their products.
Ditching bike helmets laws better for health
By Chris Rissel, Professor of Public Health and the University of Sydney
With epidemics of diabetes and obesity threatening to bankrupt state health budgets, governments need to broaden their strategies to encourage physical activity. Allowing cyclists to ride without a helmet would remove one common barrier to cycling and encourage more Australians to get on a bike. Even if there is a small risk involved.
A neuroscientist’s view: spare children the manipulations of chiropractic quackery
By Marcello Costa, Professor of Neurophysiology at Flinders University
Chiropractic, one of the several popular so-called complementary and alternative medicines, should never be applied to children. It simply isn’t based on credible scientific evidence.