Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 28 April to 4 May 2021

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 06 May 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1128

Assisted dying

Hancock asks for data on suicide in terminally ill people

MPs and campaigners welcomed a request from England’s health secretary, Matt Hancock, for more data on suicides by terminally ill people and the possible effect that the ban on assisted dying is having on these cases. Hancock made the pledge to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Choice at the End of Life in light of new figures from the Office for National Statistics, which suggest that one suicide in seven is by someone with experience of cancer or neurological, heart, or lung disease. (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.n1107)

Legal news

Spire failed to tell patients of poor treatment

The private hospital group Spire Healthcare pleaded guilty to breaching the duty of candour in failing to give four patients prompt explanations about their inadequate treatment by a consultant orthopaedic surgeon. This was the first case to be brought by the Care Quality Commission against a private healthcare provider for breaching the duty of candour. Spire was fined £5000 (€5760; $6925) and ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge, as well as £14 984 in costs, at Leeds Magistrates Court.


Body weight is linked to risk of severe disease

A study based on more than 6.9 million people living in England, including more than 20 000 covid-19 patients …

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