Comment

Caesarean section and evolution

In December 2016, a BBC News item (Briggs, 2016) summarised an academic article by a team of Austrian theoretical biologists with the headline: ‘Caesarean births “affecting human evolution”’

Plastics, pregnancy and precaution

In 1967's The Graduate, Mr McGuire advises Dustin Hoffman's character Benjamin on career prospects: ‘I just want to say one word to you Just one word… Plastics’ McGuire was right; Wilcox et al (2015)...

Preterm birth and maternity leave

According to the UK charity Bliss (2014: 4): ‘There are 78 000 babies born too soon, too small or too sick in Britain each year’ Apart from the parental fear and anxiety accompanying a premature...

Homebirth and the regulator: An abrogation of responsibility

In 2006, following considerable lobbying and consultation, the Mid wifery Committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) updated guidance on the responsibility of a midwife to attend a homebirth...

Ethics of egg freezing

In September 2016, Samantha Jefferies, the 42-year-old widow of a Falklands war veteran, won a High Court case enabling her to keep frozen embryos that she and her husband had created (BBC News, 2016)...

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 is, to put it simply, ‘essential for life’ (Kenny and Tidy, 2016)

Alcohol, pregnancy and the precautionary principle

Philosopher Mary Midgley (1992: 3) observed: ‘As the gap between professional science and everyday thinking widens, it gets increasingly hard to work out in what sense most of us can be said to be...

Optimum care for disabled women

This summer, as the Paralympics GB team soared to success with 147 medals in Rio, a report (Hall et al, 2016) was published which highlights that there is a long way to go in improving attitudes...

Working to put clean water at the heart of health care

Nearly 3 years after giving birth to my daughter, I'm still haunted by the memory of bleeding heavily, alone with my newborn, just 10 days later As I waited, anxiously and in pain, for an ambulance,...

Initiative empowers pregnant women to know when to seek help

MAMA Academy is a pregnancy charity empowering women and midwives to help more babies arrive safely We educate expectant mothers on how to keep healthy, and when they should call their midwife for...

Conscientious objection

According to Holroyd (1971: 628), in March 1916 the author Lytton Strachey attended a tribunal, seeking exemption from conscription on the grounds of conscientious objection (CO) He was asked by a...

Time for UK water companies to stop swinging the lead

Lead is a naturally occurring toxic metal that can harm human health (US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 2016) Fetuses, infants and children are especially vulnerable; low levels of exposure...

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