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Health and Medicine

Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 14, 2007 - 3:50pm.
PM elect Rudd strips John naked
"Monday’s feeding frenzy of expenditure would actually make inflationary pressures worse. Mr Howard spent nearly $10 billion on Monday.  Trying to buy his way out of political trouble.  And he did so little more than an hour after the Reserve Bank of Australia issued its monetary policy statement warning of rising inflationary pressures. Today I am saying loud and clear that this sort of reckless spending must stop. The commitments I announce today will cost less than one quarter of those Mr Howard announced on Monday. Furthermore, the commitments I am making today are exclusively directed at tackling the skills shortage, tackling infrastructure bottlenecks and acting on Australia’s environmental and economic challenges." Kevin Rudd, PM elect
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Submitted by PF Journey on November 4, 2007 - 12:23pm.
PF Journey's tap dancing with Kevin
There is nothing to beat a morning walk in a beautiful and exotic place. I have seen John Howard walking, very often, by the beautiful Sydney Harbour from Kirribilli to Luna Park and to Lavendar Bay. I have seen him by sidewalk in front of the White House, the great Wall of China, the Forbidden City in Beijing, and get ambushed by the Chaser Boys by the Yarra River or the Howard Ladies who offerred him the Erection (sorry the Election) viagra. Yes, I wish I could walk a mile in his shoes. I still enjoy my walks very much but I have also discovered another way of keeping fit that is just as enjoyable, if not more enjoyable...
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Submitted by Evan Hadkins on October 21, 2007 - 1:17pm.
Funding Health
To be fair to our pollies (not my natural inclination) health policy is an incredibly difficult area.  Health has the potential to absorb as much money as we can devote to it.  Even one area (say cancer research) could absorb our entire government spending.  This seems ridiculous (and it is of course), but consider: if it was your child dying of cancer ...
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on September 16, 2007 - 3:14pm.
Family First gets in first on kids' costs
Hello. Family First is on the ball, and today leads the pack on new policies to ease the costs of bearing and raising children. If only FF would come to its senses and preference other minor parties before either of the majors, there would exciting times ahead in the Senate election. It's a no brainer, in my opinion - getting another minor over the line if their candidate doesn't get up in a State means minor parties - including Family First's Senator Steve Fielding, who is not up for re-election this time, is dealt into play. through jointly holding the balance of power.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on September 10, 2007 - 10:01pm.
Biomedicine - Legal and Ethical Issues
In this address to the Commonwealth Law Conference, The Hon. Justice Michael Kirby examines problems presented to the law by advances in biotechnology and biomedicine with particular reference to demands for (1) intellectual property law protection over genetic data and its applications; (2) the right to procure, and conduct experiments using, embryonic stem cells; (3) access to pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to identify in embryos serious hereditary diseases; and (4)  access to new anti-retroviral therapies essential in treating HIV/AIDS.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on August 8, 2007 - 9:01am.
Law Council on NT Emergency Laws
“Some of the plan’s elements have been drastically moderated since first announced and that has principally been due to the force of public criticism levelled at them. Much of that criticism has been constructive and has helped save the Government from its own rhetoric. But the Government still appears to see any critic as an enemy that needs to be demonised and Parliament as a rubber stamp. The arrogance of the Government is palpable”: Law Council President Tim Bugg
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Submitted by Marilyn Shepherd on July 26, 2007 - 5:33pm.
Indefinite detention, sometimes illegal, still all the rage from DIMIA turned DIAC
When Vivian Alvarez was found in the Philipines the information of this 33 was already public, so Amanda Vanstone launched an inquiry into the possible illegal detentions of other Australians, or worse other deportations.   247 cases were then sent to the Ombudsman. The most chilling case was the case of LP, an Australian citizen child incarcerated for 149 days as “a visitor to his mother”. Just a guest of the minister in a regime of brutal detention that was utterly illegal. No-one bothered to ascertain if the reality was that the child was a citizen.
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Submitted by Roger Fedyk on July 24, 2007 - 11:07am.
'Scorcher: the dirty politics of climate change'
It is tempting to lay the blame on Howard and his government for what has been done in our name but, at the end of the day, it is the Australian public with whom much of the fault lies. We have been gullible and self-absorbed. As a nation, we do not really take the threat of global warming seriously. The disengagement by the public at large has allowed our politicians of both major political persuasions to give our big polluters a free ride.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on July 12, 2007 - 4:45pm.
The dissidents' alternative plan for NT Aborigines
At last! I've just noticed that an alternative plan to Howard's plan to solve child abuse in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities has been proposed.  It's by the Combined Aboriginal Organisations of the NT. Now we've got 2 plans to compare. What do you think?
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on June 29, 2007 - 11:34am.
The dissident view on Howard's martial law plan
In their present form the proposals miss the mark and are unlikely to be effective. There is an over-reliance on top-down and punitive measures, and insufficient indication that additional resources will be mobilised where they are urgently needed; to improve housing, child protection and domestic violence supports, schools, health services, alcohol and drug rehab programs. These issues have been raised by many Indigenous leaders over many years.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on June 26, 2007 - 11:21am.
Recommendations of the Sacred Children report
The aim of the following recommendations should be plain from the report. They are offered to the Chief Minister in the knowledge that the safety of children is everybody’s business, not just that of government. Parents have responsibilities too.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on June 22, 2007 - 5:11pm.
Are Aborigines Howard's Tampa 2?
Prime Minister why have you judged it necessary to take control of land bestowed under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act? "Because we don't believe we can effectively implement these changes without taking that authority."
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Submitted by Project Syndicate on February 27, 2007 - 7:01pm.
Health Care's Fantastic Voyage
"Health care research over the next decade will integrate advances in biology, material sciences, and chemical and bioengineering to create a revolutionary new generation of medical devices and drug delivery systems. The main challenge facing researchers in these diverse fields may be a shortage of adequate interdisciplinary training.": Robert Langer
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Submitted by Peter Singer on January 16, 2007 - 7:40am.
The Right to Die
" Welby’s death raises two questions, which need to be distinguished. One is whether a person has a right to refuse life-sustaining medical treatment. The other is whether voluntary euthanasia is ethically defensible. ": Peter Singer
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Submitted by Roslyn Ross on January 8, 2007 - 10:10am.
Is The Modern World Killing Our Kids?

"Teenage suicide rates have been doing more rising than falling across the world for the past decade or more and Australia is no exception. In fact we have frequently managed to have a suicide rate which ranked as the highest of all of the industrialized nations." Roslyn Ross.

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on January 3, 2007 - 8:53am.
Taxing Tissue

"Today’s biomedical research is a collaborative research enterprise, requiring the contributions of patients, universities and industry. Today’s laws, however, allow only universities and industry, which supply basic knowledge and technology, to profit from their contributions; patients, who supply tissue, may not be compensated. Some consider this unfair, as it allows tissue donated by patients to be wholly appropriated by universities and industry. Others consider this wise, as compensating individual tissue donors could block scientific progress and technological development. Is there a way to redress the double standard in biomedical research that is both fair and wise?" Jasper Bovenberg

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on January 2, 2007 - 3:20pm.
Out of the Asylum

"There is an urgent need to change government policies so that providing services for people with mental disabilities in the community is the norm rather than the exception. Such services must be accessible to everyone who needs them. And governments must reallocate resources from institutions -- and the bureaucracies that have a vested interest in preserving their positions -- to organizations that support community-based living." Dragan Lukic and Judith Klein

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Submitted by Jeffrey Sachs on December 22, 2006 - 12:39am.
Getting Practical in Controlling Malaria

"Many international assistance programs fail because they are badly designed and/or too complicated. The result is that the poor don’t get the help they need, and taxpayers in rich countries lose confidence in the use of their aid funds. A case in point has been malaria control. If rich countries adopt simpler and more practical strategies to help Africa fight malaria, they can save millions of Africans while building enthusiastic support among their citizens.": Jeffrey Sachs

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on December 4, 2006 - 12:08am.
Spying on Eros

"Although local Muslim leaders have since criticized Hilaly’s attitude, the incident again raises the question of attitudes regarding sex in "orthodox" communities, and how they can be reconciled with prevailing norms in the West. Meanwhile, in the United States, the controversy over government spying on its citizens seems to have died down, mostly because people are now convinced that their government will only look at the really bad guys. What do these two issues have in common?" H T Goranson

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on December 2, 2006 - 7:36am.
Your Genes or Mine, How Different Are We?

"Studies showed that there are hundreds of regions of the genome that could have more or less than the expected two copies. This alerted scientists to the existence of a larger source of genetic variation than was previously understood, and forced us to speculate on the implications of this discovery.": Jennifer L. Freeman and Charles Lee

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Submitted by Kevin Maguire on November 5, 2006 - 3:26pm.
Hospital Waiting Lists

"The other evening I lay awake listening to blood regurgitating in my weakened heart. I began to ponder the lot of others whose quality of life was also impaired. How many people were in a similar or a worse condition?": Kevin Maguire

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on November 1, 2006 - 1:29pm.
To Err is Science

"Science is a noble pursuit, but genuine progress in scientific research is not easy to achieve. It requires a lot of time, continuous effort, uncompromising integrity, appropriate funding and material support, and unwavering commitment. Proposed scientific advances require careful validation and replication by independent scientists. Scientific knowledge is never final, but it evolves continuously. This is part of the great fascination of science, and it fosters liberty of thought.": John P.A. Ioannidis

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on September 30, 2006 - 9:57pm.
The Science of Acupuncture

"Like many other traditional Chinese medicines, acupuncture has for many centuries been viewed suspiciously in the West. It seems to work, but how? Is a scientific answer possible?": Ming Liu

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Submitted by Peter Singer on September 14, 2006 - 10:47pm.
The Mixed Blessing of Genetic Choice

"The most alarming implication of genetic selection is that only the rich will be able to afford it. The gap between rich and poor will become a chasm that mere equality of opportunity will be powerless to bridge. That is not a future that any of us should approve. But avoiding this outcome will not be easy, for it will require that selection for genetic enhancement is either available to no one or accessible to everyone. ": Peter Singer

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on September 3, 2006 - 9:12am.
The danger of trans fats

"The harmful health effects of trans fats are now better established than for nearly any other substance in our food supply. The strength of evidence and the potential magnitude of harm greatly exceed those of food contaminants or pesticide residues, which are appropriately regulated to very low levels." Dariush Mozaffarian

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Submitted by Roslyn Ross on August 31, 2006 - 8:31am.
The drugs of choice and the choice of drugs

"There will always be vulnerable people in our society and there will always be people who seek to profit from them. The only way that we can protect them and protect society by extension, is to have laws which can moderate and control behaviour. Making something illegal merely pushes it underground and into the hands of criminals." Roslyn Ross

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Submitted by Gus Leonisky on August 21, 2006 - 6:46am.
and so sayeth the abbott
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Submitted by Project Syndicate on July 31, 2006 - 7:21am.
Models of Madness

"Mental health services around the world are largely based on the assumption that being upset or disoriented is a sort of condition like medical illnesses. Here in Australasia, we imported this perspective from overseas, actively suppressing more holistic Maori and Aboriginal understandings about human distress. We did so despite numerous studies that show that recovery rates from "mental illness" in "underdeveloped" countries are far superior to those in "advanced" societies." John Read

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on June 28, 2006 - 9:40am.
The return of TB

"Generations of doctors, politicians, and public health officials have struggled to defeat tuberculosis. But, after years of success, TB is making a comeback. Unless we act to step up the fight against TB, many health-care systems may find themselves facing a less abstract problem: securing the economic resources and organizational capacity to ensure treatment for the growing number of patients who want and need it.": Annunziata Faustini

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Submitted by Peter Singer on June 15, 2006 - 8:17am.
The Ethics of Eating

"Global meat consumption is predicted to double by 2020. Yet in Europe and North America, there is growing concern about the ethics of the way meat and eggs are produced. ... As consumers, we have the power – and the moral obligation – to refuse to support farming methods that are cruel to animals and bad for us.": Peter Singer

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