Flu shots now open to all; officials fear fake Tamiflu

first_img “Starting today, October 24th, we’re making influenza shots available to everyone,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. “There’s no reason for anyone to delay or go without their seasonal flu shot.” Von Eschenbach announced that the FDA is forming a “rapid response team” of experts to help make sure antiviral drugs are available in the event of a flu pandemic. In early September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had recommended that flu shots be reserved for people at risk for serious flu complications until today. (The recommendation did not apply to MedImmune’s live-virus vaccine [FluMist], which is licensed only for healthy people between ages 5 and 49.) Despite some scattered shortages caused by delayed vaccine deliveries, the CDC stuck to that timetable. See also: “Providers in areas with sufficient flu vaccine already should open up their programs to the expanded group of people” not at high risk for complications, she said. She recommended that clinicians who have an ample supply of vaccine inform local public health officers so the latter can help shift surplus doses to providers who need them. CDC officials repeated their estimate that at least 71 million doses of flu vaccine will be available in the United States this season, compared with about 60 million last year, when the loss of 48 million doses expected from Chiron triggered shortages. CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding said the flu season is just beginning. “We’re seeing very sporadic activity in seven states, and local activity in one state.” Leavitt observed that oseltamivir has been “much in the news” because of the chance that H5N1 avian flu will lead to a human flu pandemic. Many countries, including the United States, are trying to build stockpiles of oseltamivir, but the drug takes a long time to produce. Some localized vaccine shortages have been reported as a result of delayed deliveries, but they are expected to clear up soon, Gerberding said. At a news briefing, officials also warned that the threat of a flu pandemic may spur the sale of fake versions of the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu). To make sure they get the genuine article, officials said, people should seek the drug through their physician. The best way to avoid fake oseltamivir is to get it from state-licensed pharmacies, said von Eschenbach. “We feel strongly that the best protection for patients is to avail themselves of the drug in the context of a doctor-patient relationship.”center_img He added that people seeking a flu shot should make an appointment, because some providers may not have received their vaccine yet. In a news release issued this afternoon, he said, “Using the Rapid Response Team approach, we believe we could review a complete drug application in six to eight weeks.” Because demand for the drug far exceeds the supply, said Leavitt, “We’re concerned about the threat of counterfeiting of Tamiflu.” The CDC still expects 60 million doses from Sanofi Pasteur, 3 million from MedImmune, and 8 million from GlaxoSmithKline, said CDC spokeswoman Christina Pearson. She said the agency also expects up to 18 million doses from Chiron, which until last week was projecting 18 million to 26 million. Gerberding said that right now she does not expect a shortage of oseltamivir for use against seasonal flu. “The manufacturer still has several million doses in the pipeline,” she said. “The doses that haven’t been distributed yet exceed the number prescribed last year by a significant amount. At this point there’s no evidence of a shortage that’s going to result in any clinical impact on patients. We’ll monitor that.” Oct 24, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Seasonal influenza shots are not just for high-risk groups anymore, and everyone interested in a shot should go ahead and seek one out, federal health officials said today. Gerberding said people who experience flu symptoms and have not been vaccinated, especially if they are in a high-risk group, should call their physician promptly to find out if treatment with an antiviral drug would be appropriate. Preventive treatment with an antiviral may be indicated n some cases, such as for people who can’t be vaccinated because of an egg allergy. In response to questions, Leavitt and Andrew von Eschenbach, acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said they had seen no evidence of counterfeiting to date. But Leavitt said, “It’s a situation that’s ripe for counterfeiting. The WHO [World Health Organization] now indicates that counterfeit drug making is a $34 billion–a-year industry. We’re seeing it in many other instances.” FDA news releasehttp://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2005/ucm108502.htmlast_img read more

CDC airs results for new public health ‘no fly’ list

first_img Shoring up air travel restrictionsThree months after the CDC developed the DNB list, majority members of the US House Committee on Homeland Security released a report that criticized how US health officials handled the case of Andrew Speaker, a man with drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) who caused an international health scare in May 2007 when he traveled overseas despite warnings from health officials. likely contagious with a communicable disease that presents a serious public health threat Of the 9 people who weren’t added to the list, 4 were subject to other local public health actions such as isolation orders, 3 agreed not to fly, and 2 were determined to be noncontagious. Sep 13, 2007, CIDRAP News story “House panel sees CDC errors in case of traveling TB patient” Data from the first year of the program, from June 2008 to May 2008, appear today in the Sep 19 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). See also: How the list worksAccording to the provisions of the DNB list, state and local health officials must contact their local CDC quarantine station to place a person on the DNB list. Then the CDC determines if the person is The CDC also pointed out another tool that can be used to restrict travel across borders. The CDC, with DHS Customs and Border Protection, can issue a border lookout that can prevent a person with a communicable disease from entering the country by sea, air, or land. “Backup measures such as border lookout records are important adjuncts to the public health DNB list,” the authors wrote. Drug susceptibility test results were known from 27 of the people on the list, 19 of whom were susceptible to first-line antibiotics used for treating TB. Among the others, 7 had MDR TB and 1 had XDR TB. Fifteen of the people on the list were citizens of what the WHO designated as TB high-burden countries. When to use the toolIn an editorial note that accompanied the report, the CDC said judicious use of the DNB list could help avoid the human and economic burdens of contact investigations that result when people with communicable diseases fly. Once public health officials determine a patient is noncontagious, the CDC and DHS remove the person from the list, usually within 24 hours. The CDC also said it reviews the list each month to determine if anyone on the list is eligible for removal. Speaker was traveling internationally when he was thought to have extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR TB). He was later found to have multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB. The committee said the delay was a violation of International Health Regulations. After the House committee issued its report, the CDC said it was clear that the incident provided useful lessons, and though the agency was in the process of reviewing its own performance, it had already taken steps to prevent future problems. First-year tallyAccording to the MMWR report, the CDC received 42 requests to add persons to the DNB list, all of whom had suspected or confirmed pulmonary TB. The agency approved 33 (79%) of the requests. likely to try boarding a commercial aircraft The CDC said it has several criteria for deciding when to add or remove people from the DNB list. More stringent rules are in place for patients who have suspected or confirmed MDR TB. Of the 33 people who were added to the list, 28 were placed by public health departments in the United States. Fourteen of the 33 were placed on the list while they were outside of the country. Among its findings, the committee said federal officials failed to take early, aggressive action to prevent Speaker from traveling and that it took several hours for the DHS to place Speaker on Transportation Security Administration’s “no fly” list because of confusion over the fact that the man wasn’t considered a terrorism threat. Sep 18, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released a report detailing the first year of its public health “do not board” (DNB) list, a new tool designed to prohibit those with serious communicable diseases from flying into or out of the country. Two of the 33 people who were placed on the DNB list attempted to evade the air travel restriction, and both were detained by border officials and were taken to local hospitals for evaluation and treatment of TB. The CDC said it developed the DNB list in June 2007. The list is managed by the CDC and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), though it said the DHS defers public health decisions and actions to the CDC. “State and local health departments in the United States and other countries should be aware of this new public health tool,” the CDC said in the report, adding that the list is designed to provide a backup measure when local public health efforts aren’t strong enough to keep certain people who are contagious from boarding commercial flights. CDC. Federal air travel restrictions for public health purposes—United States, June 2007-May 2008. MMWR 2008 Sep 19;57(37):1009-12 [Full text] unaware of or likely to not comply with public health recommendations and medical treatment The list is not limited to the communicable diseases that are covered under quarantine and isolation laws, the CDC noted, though it has so far been used only in instances when people have suspected or confirmed TB.last_img read more

Penalties for big properties

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Mesut Ozil still part of Mikel Arteta’s plans for Arsenal this season after being axed against Man City

first_imgMesut Ozil still part of Mikel Arteta’s plans for Arsenal this season after being axed against Man City Comment Advertisement Ozil’s future at the Emirates is uncertain (Picture: Getty Images)Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has reportedly told Mesut Ozil that he remains part of his plans for the rest of the season, despite being axed against Manchester City over his lack of sharpness.The German was dropped from the Gunners’ 20-man squad as they fell to a 3-0 defeat to Pep Guardiola’s side at the Etihad Stadium.After the game, Spaniard Arteta insisted that the decision to leave Ozil at home was due to ‘tactical reasons’.However, according to the Daily Mail, the Arsenal boss called the midfielder to explain that he wasn’t sharp enough to play and wants to see more from him in training.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTDespite not featuring against City, the report states that Arteta still views Ozil as an important part of the team for their nine remaining fixtures this season. Advertisement The Gunners face Brighton next on Saturday (Picture: Getty Images)The 31-year-old’s future at the Emirates is looking increasingly uncertain with the club said to be looking to sell him this summer.Ozil’s contract is due to expire in 2021, meaning if a deal isn’t struck before then he could walk away for free in 12 months.Potential suitors would be unlikely to match his £350,000-a-week wages demands, so the club are now considering sending him out on loan and paying a portion of his earnings.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalThe Gunners will have the chance to rebound from their loss against City when they travel to Brighton on Saturday.With David Luiz’s red card on Wednesday night resulting in a two-game ban, Arteta is reportedly set to promote academy product Zech Medley to the first team as a defensive option.MORE: Charlie Nicholas urges Mikel Arteta to sell ten Arsenal stars including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang & David LuizMORE: Why the Arsenal board want Mesut Ozil to leave Arsenal this summerFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 20 Jun 2020 8:03 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link103Shareslast_img read more

Buyers snap up off-the-plan townhouses in ‘blue chip’ Everton Park

first_imgAn artist impressions of the bathroom inside one of the boutique townhouses at Mosaic Property Group’s new Silvergum development at Everton Park.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus23 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market23 hours ago HOME: An artist impressions of the living and dining area inside one of the boutique townhouses at Mosaic Property Group’s new Silvergum development at Everton Park.Construction of the 28 boutique townhouses has not even started yet but already 24 have been sold off the plan.Mosaic Property Group has commenced civil works at its Silvergum development in Everton Park, a suburb described by the developer as an emerging “blue-chip” location.One of Brisbane’s most tightly-held suburbs, Everton Park is undergoing a transformation, with townhouses and unit complexes rising beside family homes. Within 10km of the Brisbane CBD, Everton Park has well-established parks, shopping and entertainment options, is close to public transport and good schools, and is consistently in high demand. An artist impressions of the living and dining area inside one of the boutique townhouses at Mosaic Property Group’s new Silvergum development at Everton Park. An artist impressions of the dining area and patio at one of the boutique townhouses at Mosaic Property Group’s new Silvergum development at Everton Park.Mosaic Property Group managing director Brook Monahan said the company chose their markets carefully.“Everton Park may be an older suburb but its demographic is quite young, including families and professionals. Access to the city is also a prime consideration,” he said. “All these elements provide Everton Park with its growing standing as a blue-chip suburb. The quality of our product aside, the sales success we have achieved at Silvergum is probably the best indicator of the suburb’s appeal.” An artist impressions of the exterior of one of the boutique townhouses at Mosaic Property Group’s new Silvergum development at Everton Park.The median house price in Everton Park has grown by 28 per cent in five years and was $585,000 in July, according to CoreLogic.On average, residents hold on to houses in the area for 13.8 years, and when they do hit the market they are usually sold within 18 days.Mr Monahan said the company considered highly sought-after suburbs with limited or constrained supply to be “blue-chip locations”from a development perspective. “We avoid the inner 2km radius of the Brisbane CBD as a general rule due to the high supply of investment grade apartments,” he said.The Silvergum development is expected to be completed by September next year. Three-bedroom townhouses start from $580,000 and four-bedrooms from $650,000. They range in size from 238sq m to 337sq m.last_img read more

Home that feels like a holiday resort

first_imgThe property makes a bold statement on the hinterland block.With its sophisticated design, family-friendly features and sheer grandeur, the house took shape to well and truly make a statement. From the first step inside, the ocean sparkles visibly on the horizon, while river and hinterland views are on offer throughout.Natural light pours through the multiple, luxury living spaces, thanks to the home’s open design and large rooms. Light, bright and spacious.“The kids all have their own ensuite and living/study areas,” Mr Ross said of the couple’s children, aged between two and 13. ‘We’ve got the kids’ rooms, parents’ retreat, as well as the outside entertaining area. It all flows together well.” The ocean is visible from the first step inside.Mr Ross and his wife, Jane, worked with an architect to build the opulent residence for their family just on two years ago, moving from no. 16 on the same street. “We saw the block and saw the opportunity to build there,” Mr Ross said.“There isn’t any better location, and we wanted to have a very liveable home for our four kids and do the block justice.” More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North1 hour ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa21 hours agoThere’s a gas fireplace. The property at 36 Sunnycrest Drive, Terranora is for sale.WITH its sparkling infinity pool, luxurious spaces, coastal views and tennis court, this supersized sanctuary has many resort-style features. Developer and vendor Peter Ross is used to working on housing and home unit blocks, but he had not built a home like this before. Resort-style alfresco setting.Outside, the tranquil infinity pool is overlooked by a resort-style alfresco setting and an in-ground trampoline, all with views of the ocean from Surfers Paradise to Kingscliff. It’s accompanied by a pool house with a kitchenette, wet bar and full bathroom, and there’s also a tennis court to work up a sweat on before taking a dip. The sanctuary-style residence is bordered by manicured lawn, specifically designed by Mr Ross, a busy father of four, to be low-maintenance, “so you don’t have to spend forever on looking after it”. The perfect place to make a ‘racquet’.Now their children are getting older, the Ross’ are making a lifestyle change to move closer to Kirra and Coolangatta. “We spend a lot of time at the beach,” Mr Ross said.Not that the Terranora residence isn’t central.It lies just three minutes from local services, and Tweed City shopping is a short, 10-minute drive away.Terranora has been identified as a growing suburb, known for its outstanding views, while being close to shops, restaurants and beaches. Blackbutt timber finishes off the sleek flooring.The property also features a state-of-the-art entertainer’s kitchen and butler’s pantry, dual gas fireplaces, an integrated music system and office space. Timber and stone detailing sleekly finishes it all off. Soak up the views, then soak in the tub.last_img read more

Gold Coast mansion comes with beers on tap

first_imgThe Sorrento property at 19 Donegal Cres has two beer taps, making it the ultimate party house.A WEEKEND barbecue by the pool would not be complete without cracking open a few cold ones with mates.There would be no such worries moving into this Sorrento house.The waterfront mansion comes with not one but two beer taps in its outdoor entertainment areas, so you’d be able to keep the drinks coming.Owner Paul Nikolas said those who did not like the taste of beer need not worry as any beverage could be piped to the taps. MORE NEWS: Acreage estate set to strike a cord with buyers Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:27Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:27 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWhy Spring 2019 is a good time to sell01:27 MORE NEWS: This renovator is hotter than Pat Rafter’s housecenter_img There is plenty of space to entertain guests outside. The home’s floorplan is open and its style is sleek.“It caters for everyone,” he said.“It’s got a beer tap upstairs and down so whenever you’re thirsty, you’ve got access to alcohol.“I just thought for not much of an expense, it would be really cool.”The residence also has a feature display wine cellar so there are plenty of opportunities to wet your whistle.The luxurious residence is on the market with a $3.88 million price through Genc & Co’s Maria Genc and Jason Weddell.Mr Nikolas spent a year renovating the six-bedroom house to ensure it made the most of its position. The black kitchen was a daring move. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa9 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agoIt has some seriously cool street appeal as well.“It had minimal balconies, which I found weird because living on such amazing water there we couldn’t even really entertain,” he said.“Now I’ve made two massive balconies upstairs and downstairs.”Natural materials, including glass and wood, are featured throughout while black accents stand out from the white interior.The black kitchen with a cantilevered stone island bench was a risk that paid off.“I thought, ‘let’s give it a go, if worst comes to worst, let’s change the doors over’,” Mr Nikolas said.The residence is so luxurious it will be featured on TV show Million Dollar House Hunters Australia.last_img read more

One way to end violence against women? Married dads.

first_imgThe Washington Post 10 June 2014W. Bradford Wilcox, a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, directs the Home Economics Project at the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Family Studies. His most recent book is Gender and Parenthood: Biological and Social Scientific Perspectives and you can follow him on Twitter: @WilcoxNMP Robin Fretwell Wilson is the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law
 and Director of the Program in Family Law and Policy at the University of IllinoisThe dramatic social media response to the UC-Santa Barbara shooting, captured by the hashtag #YesAllWomen, underlined an important and unpleasant truth: across the United States, millions of girls and women have been abused, assaulted, or raped by men, and even more females fear that they will be subject to such an attack. As Sarah Kliff wrote in Vox: a “national survey of American women found that a slight majority (51.9 percent) reported experiencing physical violence at some point in their life.”This social media outpouring makes it clear that some men pose a real threat to the physical and psychic welfare of women and girls. But obscured in the public conversation about the violence against women is the fact that some other men are more likely to protect women, directly and indirectly, from the threat of male violence: married biological fathers. The bottom line is this: Married women are notably safer than their unmarried peers, and girls raised in a home with their married father are markedly less likely to be abused or assaulted than children living without their own father.Start with the threat that girls face from men. One of the most comprehensive portraits of sexual and physical abuse of girls (and boys) comes from the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect. As the figure above indicates, children are more likely to be abused when they do not live in a home with their married father. What’s more: girls and boys are significantly more likely to be abused when they are living in a cohabiting household with an unrelated adult—usually their mother’s boyfriend. Indeed, the report notes that “only 0.7 per 1,000 children living with two married biological parents were sexually abused, compared to 12.1 per 1,000 children living with a single parent who had an unmarried partner.” The results from this federal study are consistent with academic research (see here and here, as well) that indicates that “girls who are victimized are … more likely to have lived without their natural fathers,” and that the risk is especially high when a boyfriend or stepfather is in the picture.The risk of physical abuse also increases when a child lives without her father, once again, particularly when an unrelated boyfriend is in the home. A 2005 study published in Pediatrics found that  “[c]hildren residing in households with unrelated adults were nearly 50 times as likely to die of inflicted injuries than children residing with 2 biological parents.”Women are also safer in married homes. As the figure above (derived from a recent Department of Justice study) indicates, married women are the least likely to be victimized by an intimate partner. They are also less likely to be the victims of violent crime in general. Overall, another U.S. Department of Justice study found that never-married women are nearly four times more likely to be victims of violent crime, compared to married women. The bottom line is that married women are less likely to be raped, assaulted, or robbed than their unmarried peers.What’s going on here? Why are women safer when married and children safer when living with their married biological parents? For girls, the research tells us that marriage provides a measure of stability and commitment to the adults’ relationship, that married biological fathers are more likely to be attentive and engaged with their children because they expect the relationship to be enduring. As a consequence, unrelated males are less likely to have sustained interaction with children of the family when dad has a day-in-day-out presence in the home. More generally, the “emotional support and the supervision” that engaged fathers provide to their children can limit their vulnerability to potential predators, as David Finkelhor, director of the University of New Hampshire Crimes Against Children Research Center, has observed.For women, part of the story is about what social scientists call a “selection effect,” namely, women in healthy, safe relationships are more likely to select into marriage, and women in unhealthy, unsafe relationships often lack the power to demand marriage or the desire to marry. Of course, women in high conflict marriages are more likely to select into divorce.But marriage also seems to cause men to behave better. That’s because men tend to settle down after they marry, to be more attentive to the expectations of friends and kin, to be more faithful, and to be more committed to their partners—factors that minimize the risk of violence. What’s more: women who are married are more likely to live in safer neighborhoods, to have a partner who is watching out for their physical safety, and—for obvious reasons—to spend less time in settings that increase their risk of rape, robbery, and assaults.To be sure, it doesn’t take a viewing of “The Burning Bed” or “Safe Haven”to realize that married men can and do abuse or assault their wives or daughters. Marriage is no panacea when it comes to male violence. But married fathers are much less likely to resort to violence than men who are not tied by marriage or biology to a female. And, most fundamentally, for the girls and women in their lives, married fathers provide direct protection by watching out for the physical welfare of their wives and daughters, and indirect protection by increasing the odds they live in safe homes and are not exposed to men likely to pose a threat.So, women: if you’re the product of a good marriage, and feel safer as a consequence, lift a glass to dear old dad this Sunday.http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/06/10/the-best-way-to-end-violence-against-women-stop-taking-lovers-and-get-married/last_img read more

Margaret Wong: Abortion involves more than a mother’s body

first_imgNZ Herald 2 June 2016Margaret Wong is a practising midwife who has also been a neonatal intensive care nurse and Plunket nurse during the past 40 years.Family First Comment: A superb response to an awful earlier column by a ‘Lizzie Marvelly’“Instead, why don’t we put more resources into educating young women and men about how to respect their bodies and make better choices about their sexual behaviour? Let’s make sure women have the support they need when facing a difficult or unplanned pregnancy. And perhaps let’s also think about all those childless couples who would give anything for a child of their own if there were children available for adoption. But most importantly, let’s give women who are facing a difficult or unplanned pregnancy enough information about the risks to their future mental, physical and reproductive health, the development of their baby and the support available to them, so they can at least make an informed choice. And please do not ask health professionals who have spent their lives nurturing and protecting life to end the lives of viable babies.”#chooselifeLizzie Marvelly: It’s her body, it should be her choicehttp://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11646266#deadwrongLizzie Marvelly is right; every woman should be able to make her own choices. Certainly in New Zealand, we have more choices than in any other time in history. New Zealand is probably one of the easiest countries in the world to get an abortion, where two doctors only have to agree that continuing a pregnancy is a danger to a woman’s mental or physical health. When presented with a distraught woman, this is an easy decision for doctors who believe that abortion is the right solution for her.However, in a system where there is no independent counselling, very limited information given about the risks of this medical procedure or future health risks to the woman, and no cooling off period for a woman to go away and weigh up her choices (which may be to keep her baby or indeed to return for an abortion), what kind of “choice” are women really making? Surely any real choice is one that is fully informed? Indeed in health care delivery, informed consent is mandatory.Moreover, the “choice” to have an abortion always involves more than just the woman’s body, it also involves the life of the baby she is carrying.As Marvelly says, midwives are dedicated entirely to supporting women. We are also dedicated to making sure their babies are cared for during the pregnancy, birth and after birth for several weeks. Being responsible for assisting in bringing a new life into the world is the most incredible thing that anyone can be a part of. On the reverse side, caring for women who are having a miscarriage or stillbirth is the most tragic.Is Marvelly proposing that our laws should be changed to allow women to have abortions at any stage, for any reason? If I were faced with a woman who wanted an abortion beyond say 24 weeks gestation, possibly up to term, outside the exceptions in our current laws, simply because it was her “right to choose”, I know I could not take part in this procedure and I am not sure any of my midwifery, obstetric or neonatal colleagues could either. These are babies who would almost certainly survive with the assistance of our very skilled neonatologists and neonatal nurses.To think that in one hospital room there could be a woman having a premature birth, where the neonatal and maternity staff are doing everything to make sure that her baby has the optimum care, and in the next room there could be a woman having an abortion at the same gestation is nonsensical. Without the protection of the current law the baby in the second room would either have to be killed in utero or somehow killed just after or during an induced labour. Like the hundreds of midwives currently opposing such a law change in the UK, I really can’t imagine how anyone in this 21st century could be party to that scenario.Marvelly also noted that an abortion is a basic medical procedure, but this is not necessarily true. Not every woman can have an anaesthetic, go to sleep, then wake up and it is all over. Many have to be induced to go through labour and give birth. Induction has many risks for the woman at any gestation and is not done lightly.So before we all get on our soapboxes and demand abortion at any stage of pregnancy for any reason, “let’s be careful what we wish for”.Instead, why don’t we put more resources into educating young women and men about how to respect their bodies and make better choices about their sexual behaviour? Let’s make sure women have the support they need when facing a difficult or unplanned pregnancy. And perhaps let’s also think about all those childless couples who would give anything for a child of their own if there were children available for adoption.But most importantly, let’s give women who are facing a difficult or unplanned pregnancy enough information about the risks to their future mental, physical and reproductive health, the development of their baby and the support available to them, so they can at least make an informed choice. And please do not ask health professionals who have spent their lives nurturing and protecting life to end the lives of viable babies.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11648967last_img read more

Is ISIL spreading to Europe?

first_imgGeneral Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan army, warned that Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists running rampant in the North African state are set to infiltrate Europe and expand their reign of terror into the West.Haftar, who represents the army of Libya’s government that has received international recognition but was driven out of Tripoli by a rival government backed by Islamist militias, demanded the West supply his army with weapons to stave off the expanse of ISIS.This as European Union leaders are looking to back UN-brokered efforts to form a national unity government in conflict-torn Libya that may include a possible mission to help provide security.EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Friday, March 20, that her services are “planning all possible ways of supporting, even on the plan of security, a future national unity government.”last_img read more