In brief

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 01 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2908

Why US doctors don’t perform abortions: A US study has found that doctors trained to provide abortions do not do so because of formal or informal policies of their private group practices, employers, and hospitals ( Some restrictions had not been made clear when the doctors sought employment, and some of them found that their agreements with their practices prohibited them from providing abortions in other settings.

Dutch call for public debate on who should be able to help elderly die: A campaign to change Dutch law to allow people other than doctors to help elderly people commit suicide has handed in a 116 871 signature petition to parliament, almost three times the number needed to trigger a parliamentary debate under a “citizens’ initiative” law. The action was timed to come just before the general election on 9 June (BMJ 2010;340:c1045).

One in five Europeans have quit smoking: Almost a third (29%) of European citizens smoke cigarettes, cigars, or a pipe; 49% have never smoked; and 22% have given up tobacco, according to a new Eurobarometer survey for the European Commission. Across the 27 member EU, 38% of respondents allow smoking in the home and 16% in the family car. Around a quarter of citizens are exposed to tobacco smoke at work.

Donaldson joins patient safety agency: Professor Liam Donaldson, who stepped down as chief medical officer for England at the end of May, has been appointed chairman of National Patient Safety Agency. “Quality and safety of health care has been a passion of mine for over 25 years,” he said.

Men’s skin cancer deaths have doubled in 30 years: Figures from Cancer Research UK show that rates of death from malignant melanoma in men have doubled over the past 30 years. More than 1100 (3.1/100 000) men died from the disease in 2008 compared with fewer than 400 (1.5/100 000) in 1979, says the charity. Death rates in men over 65 have more than trebled during this time.


Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2908

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