Medical practice: defendants and prisoners.
It is argued in this paper that a doctor cannot serve two masters. The work of the prison medical officer is examined and it is shown that his dual allegiance to the state and to those individuals who are under his care results in activities which largely favour the former. The World Health Organisation prescribes a system of health ethics which indicates, in qualitative terms, the responsibility of each state for health provisions. In contrast, the World Medical Association acts as both promulgator and guardian of a code of medical ethics which determines the responsibilities of the doctor to his patient. In the historical sense medical practitioners have always emphasized the sanctity of the relationship with their patients and the doctor's role as an expert witness is shown to have centered around this bond. The development of medical services in prisons has focused more on the partnership between doctor and institution. Imprisonment in itself could be seen as prejudicial to health as are disciplinary methods which are more obviously detrimental. The involvement of medical practitioners in such procedures is discussed in the light of their role as the prisoner's personal physician. (+info)
Special medical examination program reform proposal in Korea.
We are at a time when reform in the special medical examination program in keeping with the changing times is desperately needed because the common perception of workers, employers, and medical examination facilities is "special medical examination is merely ritualistic and unproductive." Therefore, we have tried to set forth the basic structure for reforming the special medical examination program by taking a close look at the management status of the current program and analyzing its problems. The specifics of the special medical examination program reform proposal consist of three parts such as the types, health evaluation based on occupational medicine, and the interval, subject selection, items and procedure. Pre-placement medical examination and non-periodic medical examinations-as-necessary are introduced newly. Health evaluation based on occupational medicine consists of classification of health status, evaluation of work suitability, and post-examination measure. Details regarding the medical examination interval, subject selection, items and procedure were changed. (+info)
The present state and future prospects of occupational health in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is a relatively young and developing country. At the present time, like in most developing countries, a clear demarcation between occupational health care and general medical care is difficult to be recognized in Bangladesh. Occupational health is a fairly new field, as the country is undergoing industrialization and occupational health activities are operated by several ministries, such as Labour, Health, Industry and Transport. Legal foundations of the occupational health-care system based on British India and Pakistani era, were adopted and amended by the Government of Bangladesh after the liberation of the country in 1971. Most of the Labour laws have been rectified by the Government of Bangladesh according to the ILO Conventions. Reconsideration of the occupational health service system avoiding duplication for the 'occupational health' component in several ministries might be helpful to achieve the successful provision of an occupational health service in the developing Bangladesh. (+info)
Health status during the transition in Central and Eastern Europe: development in reverse?
This paper reports on a study of the cross-national trends in health status during the economic transition and associated health sector reforms in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The central premise is that before long-run gains in health status are realized, the transition towards a market economy and adoption of democratic forms of government should lead to short-run deterioration as a result of: (i) reduction in real income and widening income disparities; (ii) stress and stress-related behaviour; (iii) lax regulation of environmental and occupational risks; and (iv) breakdown in basic health services. Analysis focused on three broad indicators of health status: life expectancy at birth, infant mortality rate and the probability of dying between the ages of 15 and 65 years, shown by the notation '50q15'. The study revealed significant new information about health status and the health sector which could not have been obtained without a proper cross-national study. Infant mortality rates in former socialist economies (FSE) follow the global trend, declining as per capita income rises. However, rates are lower than would be predicted given their income levels. Despite declining infant mortality, life expectancy at birth in the former socialist economies decreases as per capita income rises, in marked contrast to global trends. This is because rising income level is associated with greater probability of death between the ages of 15 and 65: the wealthier the society, the less healthy is its population, particularly for its males. Causes of death in the FSE follow global trends: higher death rates due to infectious and parasitic diseases in poorer countries, and higher death rates due to chronic diseases in wealthier countries. However, age-standardized death rates for chronic diseases generally associated with unhealthy lifestyles and environmental risk factors are very high when compared with wealthier established market economies (EME). Policies and procedures which alter the effectiveness of health services have had a demonstrable but mixed impact on health status during the early phase of transition. Effective preventive health strategies must be formulated and implemented to reverse the adverse trends observed in Central and Eastern Europe. (+info)
Consumer hazards of plastics.
The modern consumer is exposed to a wide variety of plastic and rubber products in his day to day life: at home, work, school, shopping, recreation and play, and transport. A large variety of toxic sequellae have resulted from untoward exposures by many different routes: oral, dermal, inhalation, and parenteral. Toxic change may result from the plastic itself, migration of unbound components and additives, chemical decomposition or toxic pyrolysis products. The type of damage may involve acute poisoning, chronic organ damage, reproductive disorders, and carcinogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic episodes. Typical examples for all routes are cited along with the activites of Canadian regulatory agencies to reduce both the incidence and severity of plastic-induced disease. (+info)
Racial bias in federal nutrition policy, Part II: Weak guidelines take a disproportionate toll.
Many diet-related chronic diseases take a disproportionate toll among members of racial minorities. Research shows the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and heart disease is higher among various ethnic groups compared with whites. The Guidelines and the Food Guide Pyramid, however, promote the use of multiple servings of meats and dairy products each day and do not encourage replacing these foods with vegetables, legumes, fruits, and grains. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage a 30% caloric reduction in fat intake and make no provision for further reductions for those who wish to minimize health risks. Abundant evidence has shown that regular exercise combined with diets lower in fat and richer in plant products than is encouraged by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are associated with reduced risk of these chronic conditions. While ineffective Dietary Guidelines potentially put all Americans at unnecessary risk, this is particularly true for those groups hardest hit by chronic disease. (+info)
Abandonment of terminally ill patients in the Byzantine era. An ancient tradition?
Our research on the texts of the Byzantine historians and chroniclers revealed an apparently curious phenomenon, namely, the abandonment of terminally ill emperors by their physicians when the latter realised that they could not offer any further treatment. This attitude tallies with the mentality of the ancient Greek physicians, who even in Hippocratic times thought the treatment and care of the terminally ill to be a challenge to nature and hubris to the gods. Nevertheless, it is a very curious attitude in the light of the concepts of the Christian Byzantine physicians who, according to the doctrines of the Christian religion, should have been imbued with the spirit of philanthropy and love for their fellowmen. The meticulous analysis of three examples of abandonment of Byzantine emperors, and especially that of Alexius I Comnenus, by their physicians reveals that this custom, following ancient pagan ethics, in those times took on a ritualised form without any significant or real content. (+info)
Health sector development: from aid coordination to resource management.
Aid coordination has assumed a prominent place on health policy agendas. This paper synthesizes the findings of research undertaken to explore the changing practices of aid coordination across a number of countries. It begins by reviewing the key issues giving rise to increased attention to aid coordination in the health sector. The second section describes, assesses and compares the strengths and weaknesses of the dominant mechanisms or instruments which were found to be employed to coordinate health sector aid in the case studies. From this analysis, four factors become clear. First, in many countries, coordination mechanisms have been introduced as a part of an incremental process of trying out different approaches--there is no one model that stands out at any one time. Secondly, some instruments function largely for consultation, predominantly coordinating inputs, while others are more directive and operational, and are used to manage inputs, processes and outputs. Third, many of the mechanisms have not excelled, although, fourth, it is difficult to judge the effectiveness or impact of aid coordination. It is therefore argued that concern with the effectiveness of aid coordination arrangements must give way to a broader analysis of the processes, outputs and outcomes governing the use of both external and domestic resources, focusing on institutional characteristics, the distribution and nature of influence among the actors, and the interests which they pursue through the aid regime. These factors varied considerably across the countries indicating that aid management is context dependent and subject to continuing changes. Finally, the paper looks at the findings in the light of the introduction of sector-wide approaches. (+info)