22 June, 2004

Respecting quality of life

According to new research into chemical residue found in the dust collecting on computers and other electronics devices, the PC that you're using to read this story could pose a long-term threat to your health (CNet News 2004-06-03).

A woman severely ill with multiple sclerosis has won the right to prevent local authority carers intervening to save her life. She made a living will expressly refusing all life-prolonging treatment when she realised her condition would deteriorate to the point where she was entirely dependent on carers (Telegraph 2004-05-28).

The producers of junk food are to to be banned from advertising during children's television programmes in an attempt by the Government to reduce obesity in the young (Telegraph 2004-05-30).

South Africa
The fine for the sale of tobacco products to minors has increased from R10 000 to R50 000 for a first offence, Minister of Health Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said (Mail & Guardian 2004-05-31).

Smoking inflames poverty in poor countries as people sacrifice food and education for cigarettes, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday, urging governments to implement stricter tobacco rules (Business Report 2004-05-31).

The latest report from the Surgeon General further expands the list of smoking-related diseases ; for the first time, the number of Americans who have quit smoking edges out number who still smoke (New York Times 2004-05-28).

The Institute of Medicine report last month was the final in a series of investigations into vaccine safety. It was meant to answer concerns about whether vaccines or the mercury-based preservatives in them can cause autism. The panel of experts said there was no evidence to link vaccines with autism and urged researchers to look elsewhere. However, several members of Congress who believe that vaccines can cause autism in children criticised an official report meant to lay such fears to rest, saying they do not believe the findings (IOL 2004-06-03).

South Korea
A South Korean court ordered a woman to pay her husband 50-million won (about R280 000) in compensation for having a baby with another man (IOL 2004-05-31).


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