BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d5450 (Published 31 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5450

Whistleblowing in the medical world has a “tortured history,” especially in the UK’s National Health Service (JRSM 2011;104:278-82, doi:10.1258/jrsm.2011.110034). The term itself is English and derives from police blowing their whistles to alert colleagues and the public when they see a crime being committed and need assistance. In debating whether whistleblowing puts the patient’s or the profession’s interests at stake, the authors of this article—all whistleblowers themselves—ask “which doctor would you prefer for your relatives or yourself? A doctor that is prepared to report poor care to improve…outcome, or one that is not prepared to do so regardless of the consequences?”

WHO guidelines recommend broad spectrum antibiotics for children with severe acute malnutrition, but supporting evidence is scant. A systematic review identified just two randomised controlled trials, one “before and after” study, and two retrospective reports on clinical efficacy, together with 18 pharmacokinetic studies. The quality of the trials was poor …

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