BMJ 1998; 317 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7157.548 (Published 22 August 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:548

Minerva was surprised to read that some American doctors sell corner shop products from their surgeries. A report from the council of ethical and judicial affairs of the American Medical Association warns against this because turning a surgery into a bazaar demeans medicine and interferes with the trusting doctor-patient relationship (JAMA1998;280:563). The council does allow the sale of Girl Scout cookies and tickets for hospital charity balls, but only under strictly controlled circumstances.

People who care for a schizophrenic relative at home need ongoing support from mental health services and a commitment that other options are available if everything falls apart (British Journal of Psychiatry 1998;173:139-44). In a longitudinal study of people with schizophrenia living at home only half were still there 15 years later. About one fifth were in institutional care and another fifth lived alone. Their carers had substantial levels of psychological distress at both ends of the study, sacrificing their own mental health for a chance of a better life for their loved one.

In March this year 128 French men and women were infected with Trichinella, a parasite usually found in wild boar or pigs that graze with them. The source of the outbreak was traced to horsemeat imported from Poland (Eurosurveillance 1998;3:83-90). A similar outbreak …

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