Continuing a series of regular updates of health and medical reading at The Conversation…
Fron Jackson-Webb writes:
Here are some our health and medical highlights from the past fortnight:
A helping hand? Vitamins may be dangerous for cancer patients
By Professor Ray Lowenthal, Professor of Oncology at The University of Tasmania
Previously unthinkable questions about vitamin use by cancer patients are being asked following a series of recent clinical studies. Is it time for cancer patients’ love affair with vitamins to end? Might vitamins actually be harmful for cancer patients?
Forget me not: preventing suicide among the elderly
By Brian Draper, Conjoint Professor of Psychiatry at The University of NSW
With public attention firmly focused on the increase in the suicide rate among people under the age of 35 in the last 20 years, few people are aware that those aged 75 years and over, particularly males, remain at very high risk.
What will a four-degree climate rise mean for world health?
By Colin Butler, Associate Professor of Medicine, Biology and Environment at Australian National University
Public health experts have warned for more than two decades that climate change will harm human health. Initially their attention focused on “primary” health effects (e.g heat waves, bush fires and flooding) and “secondary” effects (e.g disease transmission) of climate change.
The doctor’s role in battlefield medicine
By Susan Neuhaus, Associate Professor of Surgery at The University of Adelaide
Doctors working in an environment of armed conflict face situations where patients have overwhelming injuries. There is often limited access to medical resources to provide treatment. And the doctors themselves may be in danger.
How clean is too clean? Trust your gut instincts
By Barbara Fazekas de St Groth, Professor of Immunology at the Centenary Institute
Could our obsession with cleanliness in our homes be working against us? Advertisers fetishise germ-free kitchens and bathrooms where the threat of “harmful bacteria” is always lurking but can be eradicated with mop or a wipe.
Who owns the rights to the human body? It’s patently obvious
By Luigi Palombi, Director, Genetic Sequence Right Project at Australian National University
Patents are only to be granted for inventions – that’s the intent of the Patents Act 1990, it has been the law for nearly 400 years, and it’s also what Article 27.1 of TRIPS says in black and white. About 30 years ago, a new patent office practice was established by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the European Patent Office and the Japan Patent Office.
Alternative therapies: without evidence they do more harm than good
By Alastair MacLennan, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at The University of Adelaide
Alternative medicines and therapies are not only costly and largely ineffective, they may harm the individuals who use them and, indirectly, harm the institutions that promote and teach these very dubious therapies.
Meanwhile, The Conversation is conducting a survey of readers. If you’ve got a few moments, tell them what you think…
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