Intended for healthcare professionals

Medicopolitical Digest

BMA launches consultation on Helsinki DeclarationAccident departments are not used properlyPCGs and PCTs will have advantagesHealth secretary asked to look at workforce crisisManaged clinical networks move ahead in Scotland

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 08 May 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1293

BMA launches consultation on Helsinki Declaration

The BMA has launched a wide consultation among doctors, researchers, and the public over revisions to the Declaration of Helsinki on biomedical research involving human subjects. The 1964 declaration is one of the World Medical Association's key documents and includes the international benchmark against which research projects on patients should be judged. It is built on the principles established by the Nuremberg Code and evidence, from the Nuremberg trials, of widespread Nazi experiments on people without their consent during the second world war.

Accident departments are not used properly

An audit carried out by the Doctor Patient Partnership (DPP) over the Easter bank holiday as part of Health Alert 2000 found that more than one in three patients who attended accident and emergency departments with minor ailments believed that they should be seen in hospital rather than visiting their GP, pharmacist, or treating themselves at home. Over half the patients had not attempted to contact their surgery.

According to the doctors and nurses who took part in the audit 70% of the patients should …

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