BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6987.1148 (Published 29 April 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1148

Around half the blindness in children in the developed world is genetically determined (Eye 1995;9:24-8). Advances in molecular genetics have made it possible to offer presymptomatic and prenatal diagnosis for some disorders, but surveys of affected families have shown that substantial numbers of potential parents would not want to terminate the pregnancy if the fetus was shown to be affected. Preimplantation selection seems likely to be more acceptable.

Australia has joined the United States as the second country to allow the patenting of medical methods and techniques (“Medical Journal of Australia” 1995;162:376-80). Fortunately for British doctors (and patients) this step is expressly forbidden by the European Patent Convention of 1973, so we may be spared the need to apply for a licence and pay a fee before learning a new surgical procedure.

Anastomosis of the ileal pouch to the anus has become accepted as the operation of choice for most patients with ulcerative colitis (Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 1995;38:286-9). Questioning of 26 men and 23 women treated by this technique in Copenhagen showed improvement in their quality of life and in particular in their libido and sexual activity. None of …

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