BMJ 10 Feb 2007

This article describes how assisted suicide is actually carried out in two places where it is legal – Switzerland and Oregon. It will no doubt provoke a deluge of correspondence in the Rapid Responses from those who believe that God disapproves of such practices. Having waded through the last deluge, I am still at a loss to understand why helping people to die with dignity at a time of their choosing is considered such an affront to religious values. This article touches on how doctors are involved in these places, and could be here if we ever tried to become an open, thoughtful society.

A systematic review which tells us – in case we didn’t know – that lifestyle interventions are at least as effective as drugs in preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes in people with impaired glucose tolerance.

Several of my favourite patients have been to prison. Make no mistake about it, prison works. By subtle or not-so-subtle means, it breaks inmates to the point where they trust nobody, as this paper demonstrates. Most prisoners leave prison in a state of mental anguish, but few of them would go to their general practitioner. As we know, quite a few of them kill themselves at this point, and many of the rest end up back inside.