Health News – 13 Jan 2015

Overview

  • A Perth inquest is examining the death of a 68-year-old woman who died after she had two teeth removed by a dentist. Myo Moriaty bled to death the day after the procedure in December 2010.
  • Doctors are warning against the New South Wales Government relaxing its lockout laws, citing a huge reduction in drug and alcohol-related injuries.
  • Voluntary euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke is taking on a new challenge – a stand-up comedy show alongside a terminally ill partner.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 13th January 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-12/wa-woman-dies-after-two-teeth-removed/6012858

A Perth inquest is examining the death of a 68-year-old woman who died after she had two teeth removed by a dentist.

Myo Moriaty bled to death the day after the procedure in December 2010.

In an opening address, counsel assisting the coroner Kate Ellson said Mrs Moriaty “had a history of valvular heart disease” and was required to take “anticoagulant medication every day, and to have her blood tested regularly”.

Ms Ellson said the medication was included on a list Mrs Moriaty provided to the dentist in 2009, although she did not undergo the procedure until the following year.

The inquest was told she was given antibiotics before the treatment, which involved the removal of two teeth and the filling of three others.

The dentist also provided her with a prescription for further antibiotics after Mrs Moriaty expressed concern about developing an infection.

Mrs Moriaty returned to her home, but the next day she was found her unconscious by her daughter.

Ms Ellson said the inquest would examine what the dentist knew of Mrs Moriaty’s risk of bleeding before the procedure and whether her treatment was managed appropriately.

The inquest is set down for two days.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-12/doctors-warn-against-relaxing-nsw-lockout-laws-as-injuries-drop/6012042

Doctors are warning against the New South Wales Government relaxing its lockout laws, citing a huge reduction in drug and alcohol-related injuries.

Clinicians and physicians at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital said the past 12 months had been their best in a long time, with less extreme drug and alcohol-related injuries than they had seen in the past.

Not only do they think the Government’s lockout laws led the change, but some would also like to see the scope widened to include other problem areas.

Neurosurgeon Mark Winder said the hospital’s emergency room was once over-run every weekend.

“[There were] a lot of head injuries, a lot of drug and alcohol-induced injuries which [were] associated with violence … varying from minor grazes to concussions to major injuries – terrible injuries – with regards to haemorrhages which required urgent surgical intervention,” Dr Winder said.

But he said the situation was improving, linking the noticeable decrease in the number of alcohol-related injuries to the lockout laws.

The laws require 1:30am lockouts and 3:00am last drinks across a designated Sydney CBD entertainment precinct, including part of Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, The Rocks and Kings Cross.

The laws have been controversial since their introduction last February, with some businesses reporting large drops in patronage and profits.

They were not enforced on New Year’s Eve in a move that divided opinions.

Mr Hall praised the Government’s swift action in implementing the laws and said it would be a very rash move to relax the laws in the future, regardless of pressure from business owners, the Australian Hotels Association and alcohol retailers.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-12/euthanasia-advocate-philip-nitschke-comedy-career/6011942

Voluntary euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke is taking on a new challenge – a stand-up comedy show alongside a terminally ill partner.

The Darwin-based 67-year-old will take to the stage at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, teaming up with UK comedian Mel Moon, who has been diagnosed with a tumour, for a show tentatively titled Dying Laughing.

Mr Nitschke said a career in making people laugh was always an option if his battles with medical authorities “go badly”, which they did earlier in January when his appeal to overturn his suspension from practising medicine was rejected.

He was suspended in July last year after admitting in an ABC interview to supporting 45-year-old Perth man Nigel Brayley’s decision to take his own life despite knowing he was not terminally ill.

Mr Nitschke became the Australian face of the “right-to-die” movement after helping four people end their lives under the Northern Territory’s Rights Of The Terminally Ill Act (ROTI), which came into being in 1995 before being shutdown by a federal government intervention 11 months later.

Enraged by what he described as the “insufferably arrogant, paternalistic attitude” of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) opposition to the ROTI Act, Mr Nitschke went on to form Exit International, which brands itself as a “leading end-of-life choices information and advocacy organisation”.

It was through Exit International Mr Nitschke met Ms Moon, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011.

He said, despite the topic, there was often much dark humour in discussions about ending one’s own life, especially among older people.

His said he hoped the show with Ms Moon not only got audience laughing, but got them fired up for a change in euthanasia laws.

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