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In brief

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 04 October 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:831

Labour's health changes: At the Labour party conference in Brighton, the health secretary, Frank Dobson, announced 42 pilot schemes covering six million people to test local commissioning of health provision as an alternative to the competitive internal market in the NHS. In addition, there is to be £50m ($80m) extra funding for the clinical teaching of medical staff.

Call for royal commission on euthanasia: The Liberal Democrats, at their party conference in Eastbourne, backed a review to look at the implications of changing the law to “permit doctors to accede openly to repeated requests from suffering and terminally ill patients to die instead of having to help them secretly as at present.”

Testicular tissue cells taken from child before cancer treatment: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in Britain approved the removal of testicular cells in a child who underwent a bone marrow transplant and received treatment that will make him sterile. The decision is the first of its kind and would pave the way for the removal and storage of testicular and ovarian tissue from prepubescent children.

Divorce has far reaching effects on children: A British longitudinal study that followed the lives of more than 11400 children born in 1958 found that children who grew up with both parents were on average better qualified and found better jobs. The poorer experience of children whose parents had divorced was mainly due, however, to financial hardship and other factors before the divorce. The study, for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, also found that women with divorced parents were almost twice as likely to become teenage mothers as women whose parents had stayed together.

BMJcorrespondent wins award: TheBMJ's legal correspondent, Clare Dyer, has been named as legal journalist of the year by the Bar Council.

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