Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 27 September to 3 October

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 05 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4563


Ireland to vote on abortion law in 2018

The Irish government is to hold a referendum on whether to relax its abortion law. Voters will be asked to decide whether to change the Irish constitution, which allows abortion only if the mother’s life is in danger. A woman convicted of having an illegal abortion faces up to 14 years in jail. However, women are allowed to travel abroad for termination. If the referendum goes ahead it would be held in May or June, weeks before Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Ireland.

Breast cancer

Women with disabilities miss out on screening

Women with disabilities are a third less likely to take part in breast cancer screening and a quarter less likely to take part in bowel cancer screening than women without a disability, said research published in the British Journal of Cancer.1 The study found that women in England with disabilities that affected eyesight, mobility, and their ability to look after themselves were least likely to take party in cancer screening. And lack of access to a car increased the likelihood of women with a disability missing breast screening.

Progress in outcomes is “stalling,” charity warns

Falling uptake in screening, delayed treatment, and a shortage of diagnosticians are leading to a “worrying plateau in progress” in breast cancer outcomes, said the UK charity Breast Cancer Now. Its report highlighted that 72.1% of eligible women took up screening in 2015-16, down from …

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