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A promising new journal

We have just received Volume 1, No. 1 of Medical Issues. This is the bulletin of the Medical Action Forum based in Madras. Dr. Thomas George is a key figure in the production of this journal. He is familiar to our readers through his thought- provoking letters that have graced our correspondence columns. We are not provided the names of the local editors.

The journal seeks to provide a forum for debate on all matters medical but with particular reference to how we can understand the fall of our profession from grace and take steps to re- establish ourselves as the patients’ friends, philosophers and guides.

The first essay, ‘Political heart disease’, deals with the manner in which those close to the rulers of the state evade the due process of law with the help of medical doctors. (Coincidentally, we have discussed the same topic in this issue.) Dr. Arjun Rajagopalan writes on doctors and the Consumers Protection Act – very much in the news at present. Dr. Thomas George, in his inimitable manner, writes on ‘Medical education – business as usual’ – highlighting commerce in the education of our future medicine men.

This modest journal can be obtained by writing to Medical Issues, B4/6 TNHB Rental Quarters, Padipadu Nagar, Annanagar Western Extension, Madras 600101. The annual subscription is Rs. l00/-. Those wishing to write for the journal should send their letters to Vidyasagar, Flat 7, Sivan Villa, 10 U S Nagar, Padi, Madras 600050 or fax (044)626 6289.

Ethics and the nurses

A conference on ethical and legal problems faced by nurses was held at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Melbourne on 13 October 1995. The proceedings of the conference have been published under the title ‘Impossible demands: ethical and legal quandaries for nurses’.

The book has four parts. The first part, entitled ‘Nursing in context’ features Dr. Helga Kuhse’s essay ‘Nursing, women and ethics’. Other essays deal with industrial considerations and health policy. The second section, ‘Nurses caring for the dying’ discusses their work in nursing homes, conflicts in deciding on whose autonomy is to be respected, when cardio- pulmonary resuscitation should be stopped or desisted from, and the extent to which the dictates of conscience should be governed by obligations to the rights of the patient. The third part deals with the legal quandaries and the concluding segment discusses patient advocacy and the moral nature of the work of the nurse.

Copies are available from the Resource Officer, Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia at a cost of Australian $15.00 each.

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