Reviews Minerva


BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 23 June 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1554

Queue jumping in health care has reached new levels. A novel system of living organ donation in Boston allows you to donate a healthy kidney to a stranger, in return for bumping your loved one to the head of the line of people waiting for a cadaver kidney. Ethicists and transplant surgeons are being forced to redraw the boundary between asking for a reasonable sacrifice and offering a quid pro quo (Washington Post 9 June 2001).

The UK “care in the community” programme for mentally ill patients has enjoyed its fair share of criticism. A systematic review of community mental health team management in severe mental illness claims that this approach is superior to standard care in promoting greater acceptance of treatment. The authors say it may also reduce hospital admissions, avoid deaths by suicide, and reduce overall costs. Any endorsement of the community approach clearly depends on sufficient skills being available within the teams to provide optimal interventions (British Journal of Psychiatry 2001;178:497-502).

After careful deliberation, a London health authority has completed the task of identifying programmes that may reduce the incidence of domestic and racial violence. Their invitation to attend the launch of its “domestic violence tool” leaves Minerva wondering if devotees of health service jargon take themselves too seriously.

The burden …

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