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The Role Of Medical Expert Witnesses: The Goudge Inquiry

The role of a medical expert witness needs to be strictly defined and carefully controlled during legal proceedings and physicians need to be aware of their role, states an analysis of the Goudge Inquiry into pediatric forensic pathology published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). The Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology by Justice Stephen Goudge looked into the flawed expert testimony of Ontario pathologist Dr. Charles Smith which has been linked to several miscarriages of justice, including the wrongful conviction of Sherry Sherret-Robinson that was overturned by the Ontario Court of Appeal in December 2009. "Several commentators have suggested that, when the adversarial system is working as it should, our courts are a robust forum for highlighting matters of scientific controversy, " write the authors.

Arab Americans Experienced Adverse Health Effects In The Sept. 11, 2001, Aftermath

Researchers discovered adverse health effects of perceived post-Sept. 11 abuse and discrimination, including increased psychological distress, lower levels of happiness and poorer perceptions of health status, in the greater Detroit Arab community. The new study assessed the prevalence of perceived abuse and discrimination among Arab American adults after Sept. 11, 2001, and associations between abuse or discrimination and psychological distress, level of happiness and health status. Researchers obtained their data through a face-to-face survey administered in 2003 to a representative, population-based sample of Arab American adults residing in the greater Detroit area.

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Swine Influenza Daily Update: 29 December 2009, Wales

A daily update on swine flu issued by the National Public Health Service for Wales. Spread and extent of the outbreak (information as at 5pm on 28 December) The NPHS influenza surveillance scheme, which records reports of diagnoses of flu from more than 300 GP practices across Wales, shows that the rate of influenza consultation is decreasing. Further detail can be found on the NPHS website The report from 23 December estimates there were 21.5 cases of a flu-like illness diagnosed by GPs out of every 100, 000 people in Wales - this is the equivalent of 645 people in Wales contacting their GPs in the last seven days with flu like symptoms. Not all of these people will have swine flu and not everyone with flu like symptoms will contact their GP.

New Support Tools Point Way To Better Health Policymaking

A comprehensive review of evidence-informed health policymaking was recently launched in BioMed Central's journal Health Research Policy and Systems. This free supplement, entitled 'SUPPORT tools for evidence-informed health policymaking' provides an essential reference and set of tools that can be used by those involved in finding and using research evidence to support evidence-informed health policymaking. The series addresses four broad areas, including: supporting evidence-informed policymaking; identifying needs for research evidence; finding and assessing research evidence; and, going from research evidence to decisions The supplement contains 17 support tools from renowned experts in the field.

Ottawa Citizen Examines Water, Sanitation In East Africa

A series of articles by Ottawa Citizen reporter Chris Cobb examines water and sanitation in East Africa. Cobb received a Kaiser Family Foundation Mini Fellowship for these reports. Summaries appear below. An Ottawa Citizen article examines Canada-based charity WaterCan's projects in East Africa. "This year, WaterCan has worked with local African partners to retro-fit more than 50 schools [in] Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania - and has just launched a major Christmas funding drive to expand their work in schools next year. In the past two years, the charity has spent more than $2 million on school and community water and sanitation projects, " according to the article.

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Swine Influenza Daily Update: 24 December 2009, Wales

A daily update on swine flu issued by the National Public Health Service for Wales. Spread and extent of the outbreak (information as at 5pm on 23 December) The NPHS influenza surveillance scheme, which records reports of diagnoses of flu from more than 300 GP practices across Wales, shows that the rate of influenza consultation is decreasing. Further detail can be found on the NPHS website: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=457&pid=38241 The report from 22 December estimates there were 22.0 cases of a flu-like illness diagnosed by GPs out of every 100, 000 people in Wales - this is the equivalent of 660 people in Wales contacting their GPs in the last seven days with flu like symptoms.

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