BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6940.1380 (Published 21 May 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1380

Doubts about the quality of informed consent prompted the American Food and Drug Administration to halt a trial of a new cardiopulmonary resuscitation technique after only half of the patients had been enrolled. The available results, reported in JAMA (1994;271:1405-11), show a slightly better outcome from active compression-decompression with a hand held plunger applied to the chest. The authors call for bigger trials, but they give no answer to the problem of obtaining informed consent from moribund patients or their distressed relatives.

The long term prognosis for patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome who initially respond to treatment is good, says a report in the “Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry” (1994;57:617-21). Patients who declined treatment in the study - cognitive behavioural therapy with antidepressants when appropriate - were less likely to recover, as were those with more somatic disorders at the time of diagnosis, more fatigue, and a psychiatric history.

Female genital mutilation presents health professionals in developed countries with a dilemma (Archives of Disease in Childhood 1994;70: 441-4). What is legally a clear case of child abuse is still, to the communities that practise it, a …

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