BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 18 November 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1320

Number of Russian abortions doubles: Despite the increasing availability of Western contraceptives, the number of abortions among Russian teenagers has doubled over the past four years. Over 3000 girls aged under 15 have abortions each year. In total there are three million abortions a year--twice the number of births.

Babies' feet should touch the end of the cot: The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths says that more babies could be saved from cot death if they slept with their feet touching the end of their cot as well as sleeping on their back. This would prevent them wriggling down under the bedding and getting overheated.

American pathologist attends 26th assisted suicide: Dr Jack Kevorkian, the American advocate of assisted suicide, has attended the death of a 58 year old Californian woman. Dr Kevorkian faces four charges of assisted suicide, which carries a sentence of up to five years in prison under a Michigan law.

Airborne particles do not affect healthy people: A report by the Department of Health in Britain says that there is no evidence that healthy people are likely to be affected by airborne particles but that there may be adverse effects for those who already have respiratory and cardiac disease.

New mental health act will improve care: The Mental Health (Patients in the Community) Act, which received the royal assent last week, will tighten up the provisions for returning patients to hospital if they go absent without leave and will introduce a new power of supervised discharge for patients who have been detained in hospital and, need special supervision in the community.

British health official warns of dysentery outbreak: Dr Chris Worth, director of public health for West Yorkshire Health Authority, said that Yorkshire Water's plans to introduce 24 hour cuts in its service could create a risk of infection, including dysentery, particularly among elderly people.

NHS hospital bureaucracy to be tackled: The UK health secretary, Mr Stephen Dorrell, has set up a task force headed by the chief executive of East Gloucestershire NHS Trust, Mr Jim Hammond, to identify unnecessary paperwork and waste in hospitals and to recommend ways of achieving better efficiency by next March.

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