Author: posabilitymagazine

Down’s syndrome patient challenges resuscitation order

A man with Down’s syndrome is suing an NHS trust over a hospital’s decision to issue a do-not-resuscitate order giving his disability as one of the reasons. The instruction not to attempt resuscitation in the event of a cardiac or respiratory arrest was issued without his family’s knowledge. Their lawyers describe the order as “blatant discrimination”. East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust says it complied fully with guidance from professional bodies. The family of the man, who can be identified only as AWA because of a court order, remained unaware of the do-not-resuscitate (DNR) decision until he had returned from hospital to his care home. The DNR form, issued while he was in hospital in Margate a year ago, was listed as an indefinite decision, meaning it would cover the duration of his stay in hospital, with no provision for review. Continue reading the main story The reasons given were “Down’s syndrome, unable to swallow (Peg [percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy] fed), bed bound, learning difficulties”. AWA, 51, has dementia and was having a special tube fitted to help him with feeding. The form says there was no discussion with his next of kin because they were “unavailable”, but the family say they visited him in hospital “virtually every day” – and a carer from his home sometimes attended too. One of AWA’s close relatives, who is pursuing the legal...

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Private firms’ role in creation of disability assessment regime

This week the sixth International Forum on Disability Management, IFDM 2012, takes place at Imperial College London. It is sponsored by some of the world’s largest medical insurance companies, Unum among them, and speakers include DWP chief medical adviser Dr Bill Gunyeon and Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, formerly DWP chief medical adviser and director of the Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research at Cardiff University, which was sponsored by Unum from its inception in 2003 until 2009. Unum’s website states that during this sponsorship period “a series of papers was published, identifying the range of factors that determine why some people become long-term absentees”. The Cardiff papers advocated a “biopsychosocial model” of disability which Unum says “informed its approach to medical underwriting”. It is the same approach upon which the current Atos work capability assessment (WCA) is based. Concomitantly, the company were advising the UK government on welfare reform. On 4 September, during an emergency debate on Atos and the WCA held in parliament, Labour MP Kevin Brennan demanded to know if DWP minister Chris Grayling was as concerned as he was “that Atos’s chief medical officer is one Professor Michael O’Donnell, who was previously employed as chief medical officer by the American insurance company, Unum, which was described by the insurance commissioner for California, John Garamendi, as an ‘outlaw company’ that has operated in an unlawful fashion for...

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New iPhone 5 release date, news and features

Although widely expected, there was no iPhone 5 in 2011, though the company did announce the iPhone 4S. So it was surely high time for a total revision of the iPhone, and with an Apple event taking place today, 12 September, we were expecting to see the iPhone 5 break cover.  techradar And that’s exactly what we saw. Read on for links to all the key iPhone 5 stories. iPhone 5 launch A few days ago, Apple finally got round to sending journalists an invite to the launch of its new handset, with the iPhone 5 launch officially pegged...

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Deaf gerbils ‘hear again’ after stem cell cure

UK researchers say they have taken a huge step forward in treating deafness after stem cells were used to restore hearing in animals for the first time. Hearing partially improved when nerves in the ear, which pass sounds into the brain, were rebuilt in gerbils – a UK study in the journal Nature reports. Getting the same improvement in people would be a shift from being unable to hear traffic to hearing a conversation. However, treating humans is still a distant prospect. If you want to listen to the radio or have a chat with a friend your ear...

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Hand-Bikes at Dawn

On 20th April 2013, a small group of disabled riders will attempt to scale Cadair Idris, one of the tallest mountains in Snowdonia, using specially designed mountain bikes. The bikes, which are pedalled by hand rather than by foot, have especially low gears which will be essential on the steep and rocky upper slopes of the mountain. During the 10-hour epic, the riders will be assisted by a team of climbing specialists who will help them negotiate the difficult stone chutes approaching the summit, and a team of MTB experts will form a guard of honour for the rapid...

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