After years of lobbying by his supporters, Dr Henry
Morgentaler, the man responsible for the Supreme Court's
1988 decision to overturn laws restricting access to
abortion services, has finally been welcomed into the
Order of Canada. The Conservative government quickly
distanced itself from the decision, which was immediately
decried by the Catholic Church and right-wing activists
across the country.
strikes down cloning law
A national ban on human cloning and the embryo trade
has been axed by a Quebec court. Its 53-page judgement,
released mid-June, found that federal cloning laws interfered
with provincial powers over healthcare, and should be
considered a health matter not a criminal justice issue.
It's unclear if other provinces will take up the issue,
though, since none have spoken up about the decision.
physician's painting graces 'Anne-iversary' stamp
To celebrate the centenary of Anne of Green Gables'
publication, Canada Post has selected Newfoundland MD
Christopher Kovacs's painting of Anne's legendary home
on PEI to grace a new 52˘ stamp. A clinical scientist
at Memorial University by day, during his off hours
Dr Kovacs wields a brush to capture the landscapes of
Canada's east coast on canvas.
paroxetine data probed
The FDA may not have known what it was doing when it
approved the antidepressant paroxetine, suggests an
ongoing US Department of Justice investigation into
whether drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline obscured and
withheld data proving the increased risk of suicide
for patients on the drug. A similar inquiry in Britain
early this year found GSK has withheld negative data
on the drug as early as 1989.
surgery cuts cancer risk by 80%
The connection between obesity and several types of
cancer is well established. Does it then follow that
the risk would be reduced if patients lost weight? Yes,
says new research from McGill University presented last
month at the annual meeting of the American Society
for Metabolic and Bariatric Society that shows that
cancer risks in the morbidly obese drop by 80% when
they have bariatric surgery which shaves off 67% of
their excess weight. And it's particularly effective
in cutting colon and breast cancers.
Rx catches crook
To catch a thief targeting and ripping
off pharmacies, Manchester police infused a painkiller
with a high-tech ingredient a GPS tracking bug.
When the cops picked up the electronic trail left by
the souped-up bottle of hydrocodone, it led them straight
to the alleged crook, 41-year-old Frederick Faunce.
As well as stealing the bait bottle, police suspect
him of the other drug store heists.
med boosts tPA stroke treatment
An antidote to brain bleeds, an unwanted effect of the
stroke treatment tPA, has been found in an unexp-ected
place: the leukemia drug imat-inib. The research was
published in Nature Medicine June 22. While tPA
excels at breaking down blood clots, it also causes
the blood-brain barrier to become porous, raising the
risk of bleeding. Imatinib prevents the latter effect.