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Health and Medicine

Submitted by John Pratt on November 2, 2011 - 7:28pm.
Robin Hood, mining tax and seven challenges for 7 billion people
With challenges like these confronting mankind, can we continue with a business as usual approach? Are the current institutions capable of addressing these challenges? I think not. To fix these problems governments will need to raise a lot more revenue.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on June 20, 2011 - 12:11am.
A sense of "self-direction": Jewels' and Sienna's Diary
"When giving Sienna a bath, Sienna needs assistance to get undressed.  Her nappy and clothes need to be ready.  Her hearing aids and glasses needs to come off.  Her hearing aids need to be turned off.  The cloth around her gastrostomy needs to be taken off.  I lift her from her wheelchair onto the toilet chair, then wheel her to her bedroom, undress her in there and then wheel her to the bathroom, where her bath is ready"- Jewels Smith
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on April 19, 2011 - 2:25am.
Save Our Suicides - "people power" prevention
Why am I so passionately supporting this cause?  When I first saw the picture with the rope, a day after Trevor died, it was with a chilling realisation of "There but for the grace of God go I"  Actually God didn't have a lot to do with it ... my family and friends did.
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on August 8, 2010 - 7:41pm.
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed
Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming - reviewed by Robin McKie of The Observer.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on April 29, 2010 - 8:38pm.
Excising your demons: the "cancer-stick" tax
Of those grumbling about two bucks a pack back then, the ashes of many would be turning in their urns today on hearing of a quickly-announced Government tax of two dollars a packet to come into effect at midnight. 
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Submitted by Hamish Alcorn on April 1, 2010 - 10:46am.
Tips for Anti-Drug War Agents
The term “Drug War” was invented by the warriors themselves, but it is a very descriptive term and we should use it constantly. A war is something expensive, with casualties, and that requires constant justification on the basis of results. If our opponents try to avoid the term, don’t let them. It’s their term, it is apt, and we will insist on it. In our literature we always capitalise “The Drug War” or “The War on Drugs” as it is a proper noun for a historical event with a beginning… and an end.
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Submitted by Paul Walter on August 27, 2009 - 2:06pm.
Time for Queensland to enter the 21st century
My view is that there is a semantic confusion between "abortion" in its most negative, "laden", and controversial sense and what I would describe as "retrospective contraception", particularly involving RU486.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on May 28, 2009 - 9:41pm.
Pacific Dawn – “Love Boat” gone wrong
The couple rang QANTAS to advise them of the predicament, and the airline gave them permission to make the flight. Loretta tells me that health authorities, when advised of QANTAS and the couple's decision, "were about to go into a meeting and would discuss it there" and would ring them back later in the day. The call was never returned.
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Submitted by Yeong Sassall on May 9, 2009 - 8:54am.
Popping the binge drinking balloon?
Just how do we assess the effectiveness of this tax? A recent AC Nielsen report showed a 28 per cent drop in Ready To Drink (RTD) sales from April 2008 to January 2009, yet there was also a 14 per cent increase in the sale of spirits. Are young people just saving their pennies by upping their spirits intake? And are sales figures really the best way to judge?
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Submitted by David Roffey on April 29, 2009 - 4:23pm.
Take that, you swine!
JULY UPDATE: Now we have many dead Australians and the belated pandemic declaration it's probably time to re-open discussion on this one. PS note that no-one knows how many swine flu cases there have been globally, as very few countries actually test everyone with flu symptoms to find out whether they have H1N1 A. Nearly everyone's case numbers are an underestimate.
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Submitted by John Pratt on April 8, 2009 - 2:22pm.
Access block
According to the Medical Journal of Australia over 2,000 Australians die every year while waiting to be admitted to hospital emergency departments. No wonder doctors are frustrated. What would happen if we were faced with a large scale disaster?
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Submitted by John Pratt on January 31, 2009 - 8:45pm.
Rudd must remove the gag
Too many women in the third world are being denied access to legal abortion. These women often have to resort to illegal backyard abortions. Many die as a result. It is time Kevin Rudd stood up for these women and gave them the same rights that Australian women enjoy.
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Submitted by Zhang Xiaojia on October 23, 2008 - 11:27am.
Greed Kills
Four babies were killed and more than 12,600 were hospitalized by the melamine-tainted infant formula produced by SanLu earlier last month. At first glance, people thought it was only a random incident. But when further investigations were undertaken, it was revealed that almost every milk product sold on the Chinese market contained excessive melamine.
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Submitted by Liv Proud on September 30, 2008 - 4:42pm.
"Blinded" by binge drinking
Smashed. Plastered. Blind. Hammered. Legless. It almost sounds like a car accident. Pissed. Blotto. Shit-faced. Just the response we hear so often when we ask how a mate was last Saturday night. Only for a country that seems to take such pleasure in getting drunk, we sure don’t make it sound like too much fun.
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Submitted by Sarah Jessup on September 28, 2008 - 1:09pm.
Taking on Kokoda
One of my friends is walking the Kokoda trail this year to raise money for breast cancer research. I’ve seen her fundraising efforts, and that of the other women walking, and I have been really blown away. Viona Young had an idea for raising money for breast cancer research, and in her first year of trying raised so much money that only corporate sponsors raised more than she did. This is one of the few things in recent memory that I have been really impressed by. Good luck to all the women walking.
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Submitted by Jill Burdett on September 28, 2008 - 12:35pm.
Mother blame
Acts of incest that produce offspring have sparked inquiry into the personality of accused perpetrators and the psychological and physical effects on victims and their offspring. In considering the extreme and extended nature of these cases I believe it is fair to speculate on the mother’s role in the incest family dynamic.
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Submitted by Darren Boon on September 23, 2008 - 2:21pm.
Television food advertising targets children
Child obesity is hardly surprising nowadays. Half the food ads shown during children’s television timeslots were for “non-core” foods like chocolate and fast food, according to a new study by obesity researchers.
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Submitted by soharni tennekoon on September 23, 2008 - 1:35pm.
Blowing hot and cold
Summer’s on its way. And just as the weather picks up and we flock outdoors to our local beer gardens, a dark cloud looms over us. Is it smoke from our cigarettes? No. Ironically, it’s the potential lack thereof. Those who relish the idea of a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other, your days may be numbered.
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Submitted by Sandra Ortiz on September 22, 2008 - 11:43am.
Barnett’s motion, new doses of hope?
“I intend to reintroduce my motion to disallow Medicare funding following the report of the Senate Committee”. These words said by Liberal Senator for Tasmania, Guy Barnett, this week in the Sydney Morning Herald, were rapidly spread all over the web.
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Submitted by Christel van Hoof on September 21, 2008 - 1:42pm.
Smoking kills? Your appetite!
Although these smoking campaigns might be successful, I really wonder if it is necessary to broadcast them on national television. The commercials are very graphical and don’t leave anything to the imagination. By broadcasting them on prime time television every viewer, whether a smoker or not, is exposed to the same horrifying images.
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Submitted by joanna.egan on September 21, 2008 - 1:30pm.
Euthanasia and Youtube
Youtube has given a voice to those who otherwise would not be heard by the masses... The personal nature of Youtube videos makes the delivery of the tragic messages from those tangled up in the euthanasia debate all the more confronting – and, as we’ve seen through Australia’s reaction to Ms Flowers’ video, all the more effective.
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Submitted by Julia Stolzenberg on September 21, 2008 - 12:23pm.
Youth binge-drinking: A question of responsibility
Who would think of celebrating mateship with a glass of mineral water? Who would have a dry ANZAC day? Alcohol is a central part of Australian social and cultural events which we mark as significant by drinking.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on July 4, 2008 - 5:10pm.
Clean: An unsanitised history of washing
Most modern people have a sense that not much washing was done until the 20th century, and the question I was asked most often while writing this book always came with a look of barely contained disgust: “But didn't they smell?” (Katherine Ashenburg)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on June 22, 2008 - 2:21pm.
Human rights and climate change
Whilst there is now plenty of discussion about the responses that governments should be making to address the predicted consequences of climate change, the focus seems to have been largely on the economic, trade and security issues. The social and human rights implications rarely rate a mention. (The Hon. John von Doussa)
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on June 19, 2008 - 1:44pm.
The NT Intervention one year on: Brilliant idea or utter nightmare?
The document ..., entitled 'Northern Territory Emergency Response Situation Report as at 1500 hrs Wed 14th May 08', paints a picture of an incomplete roll out of the Northern Territory Intervention, an emergency response that Mal Brough recently admitted to ABC Darwin radio was put together in 48 hours. (Sophie Black, Crikey)
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on June 8, 2008 - 6:18pm.
Pro-life policy on RU486 condemns tumour sufferers to die
RU486 remains essentially a prohibited import ... in a category of its own too hard for doctors and pharmacists to get approval to prescribe it, too hard for drug companies to get approval to make it available. And this is having a sad and costly side-effect. You see, RU486 is not only an abortion drug. It has life-saving effects for patients with cancer and benign tumours. (Crispin Hull)
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Submitted by David Roffey on May 16, 2008 - 8:14pm.
Burma - some good news
An email update from a worker in the country. The title above was his subject line from the email - you can make up your own mind whether he's right .
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Submitted by John Pratt on April 4, 2008 - 7:11pm.
Does Australia need a population policy?
Australia is rapidly increasing its population through immigration, yet there is little debate as to what is a sustainable population would be. It is high time we decided just what is the optimum population level for Australia.
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Submitted by John Pratt on March 27, 2008 - 11:59am.
Aged care crisis: Lest we forget.
Families are struggling to care for their older parents or grandparents. We need to act now before we are completely overwhelmed by the baby boomers who are just reaching the age where they will require more care. We must not forget our elderly...
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Submitted by Trevor Kerr on December 15, 2007 - 4:16pm.
E-health
Where will the data from the Labor government's plan to record the weight of every Australian child when it turns four be held, who will have access to it and how will it be integrated with other data that has been collected, such as immunisations? At the root of all questions about health informatics is the ability to assign data with supreme and incorruptible accuracy to the correct individual.
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