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Síle Lane on keeping libel laws out of science

10 Sep, 09 | by julietwalker

Sile LaneGood science depends on open, critical discussion. Where medical science is concerned, if doctors didn’t voice reservations and medical publishers don’t air disputes, many people might think them irresponsible. But the libel laws in England mean robust criticism brings a risk of ruin that is chilling scientific and medical debates. It does this so effectively that we are now getting only the sanitised, ‘legal’ed part of many stories, and not hearing some stories at all. more…

William Lee on Philip Nitschke’s return to the UK

14 May, 09 | by BMJ

Will LeePhilip Nitschke is in the UK giving his DIY suicide workshops again. I attended one of these in October and blogged about it then. His reappearance reminded me that last month BBC Radio 4 aired “The Report“, in which Simon Cox investigated some concerns about the conduct of the head of another assisted suicide organisation, this time the Swiss organisation Dignitas. more…

JAMA 22/29 Aug 2007 Vol 298

27 Aug, 07 | by BMJ

A question for all GP readers – where do you keep your paediatric sphygmomanometer cuff? Do you know if your practice actually has one? more…

NEJM 23 Aug 2007 Vol 357

27 Aug, 07 | by BMJ

The world’s largest swede weighed in at 171.56kg, according to a highly entertaining website mocking the rutabaga (which is the American word for this estimable root vegetable); more…

BMJ 25 Aug 2007 Vol 335

27 Aug, 07 | by BMJ

Every week or two we detect an irregular pulse and send the patient off for an ECG, but we’ve never audited how many with ?AF written on the form actually have it. Some researchers in the Birmingham (UK) Department of Primary Care, however, have made something of a specialty of atrial fibrillation more…

Lancet 25 Aug 2007 Vol 370

27 Aug, 07 | by BMJ

Here is a painstaking meta-analysis of trials involving 64,000 people randomised to take calcium, vitamin D (in various doses) or placebo for the prevention of fractures and bone loss in people aged over 50. more…

Ann Intern Med 21 Aug 2007 Vol 147

27 Aug, 07 | by BMJ

How grateful we should be for those who delve in the dark places of the earth, bringing up ores and jewels for our use and pleasure. Systematic reviewers share the glory of the mining tribe, and many of its hardships; more…

Plant of the Week: Viburnum cylindricum

27 Aug, 07 | by BMJ

This big handsome shrub is about to display its flat cymes of dull white flowers, exuding a faint sweetish smell. Clearly it is not for these that we in limy places grow this plant: more…

JAMA 15 Aug 2007 Vol 298

18 Aug, 07 | by BMJ

There aren’t many vaccines which work after the infection has been acquired, more…

NEJM 16 Aug 2007 Vol 357

18 Aug, 07 | by BMJ

The initials RLS are forever associated with the great Scottish teller of tales who died on Samoa at the age of 44. He certainly had restless legs, and rarely remained in one place for very long; more…

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