Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7477.1296 (Published 25 November 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1296

It's not just aberrant sexual encounters between doctors and their patients that are frowned upon. The UK High Court recently heard the case of a senior, well respected general practitioner who had had an illicit affair with a patient. Despite the consensual nature of the affair, he was accused of and pleaded guilty to the charge of serious professional misconduct. The view was taken that sex between doctors and their patients can never be considered truly mutual, or based on an equal footing (UK Casebook 2004;12: 4).

We're entering the merry months of seasonal affective disorder, which is commonly followed by mild hypomania in the spring and summer. One hypothesis is that this pattern of hibernation is an adaptive evolutionary mechanism, which enhanced the likelihood of reproductive success for females living at temperate latitudes. Hypomania increases the likelihood of procreation, and becoming pregnant in the summer means giving birth in the spring, when babies would have a higher chance of survival (Medical Hypotheses 2004;63: 767-72).

Observations of what happens during another seasonal adjustment is found in Occupational and Environmental Medicine (2004;61: 893-8). In this case it's the effects on mortality and emergency hospital admissions during hot weather …

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