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MedWorm: Medical Law



MedWorm.com provides a medical RSS filtering service. Over 7000 RSS medical sources are combined and output via different filters. This feed contains the latest news and research in Medical Law



Last Build Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2016 17:25:26 +0100

 



The Wall Street Journal, Climate Change Denial, and the Galileo Gambit

Mon, 28 Mar 2016 13:28:00 +0100

Fossil fuel companies have been misleading the public and policymakers about the risks of their products for decades. These corporations should obviously be held accountable. It's odd that we aren't able to discuss this straightforwardly. After all, accountability is common for other industries. When companies mislead the public about the health effects of the drugs they market, for instance, we hold them accountable. Similarly, when asbestos manufacturers misled the public about the cancers their product caused, they were held accountable. When Enron misled its customers and shareholders, it was held accountable. And when we learned that Volkswagen cheated consumers by secretly embedding an emissions control "kill switch" in it's diesel vehicles, citizens and government officials swung i...

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Andrew Wakefield, Disgraced Anti-Vax Doctor, Returns With A Documentary At Tribeca Film Fest

Fri, 25 Mar 2016 18:04:09 +0100

Andrew Wakefield is back in the news, thanks to a new, controversial documentary set to premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival in New York. The film, directed by Wakefield himself, claims that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention orchestrated a conspiracy to cover up the "true" reason for America's rising autism diagnosis rates: vaccines.  This is a widely and soundly discredited assertion. Studies from the independent, non-profit Institute of Medicine, the World Health Organization and the CDC have all found that there is no link between receiving vaccines and developing autism spectrum disorder. Instead, what these studies demonstrate is that vaccines are overwhelmingly safe, with very rare cases of side effects, and that they protect children f...



March 23, 2016: Federal Jury Convicts Destrehan Woman in Scheme to Sell Illegal and Mislabelled Diet Pills

Thu, 24 Mar 2016 18:27:00 +0100

(Source: Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) Press Releases)



March 23, 2016: Detroit-Area Physician Sentenced to 45 Months in Prison for Role in $5.7 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

Thu, 24 Mar 2016 16:19:00 +0100

(Source: Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) Press Releases)



Lawsuit brings 'I'm sorry' medical laws to forefront

Thu, 24 Mar 2016 15:35:22 +0100

Last May, surgeons at Yale New Haven Hospital removed the wrong body part from Deborah Craven. Now she's suing -- but, her lawyer says, not because of the mistake. (Source: WDSU.com - Health)



Sierra Leone: Female Lawyer Wants Abortion Included As a Right in the New Constitution

Wed, 23 Mar 2016 18:04:07 +0100

[Concord] Female Barrister and Solicitor Mariama Dumbuya (Ms) has appealed to her fellow campaigners to continue to push for the passing of the Safe Abortion Act into law notwithstanding the possibility of its inclusion in a referendum. (Source: AllAfrica News: Pregnancy and Childbirth)

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Projecting Risk: The Importance of the HCR‐20 Risk Management Scale in Predicting Outcomes with Forensic Patients

Tue, 22 Mar 2016 23:00:00 +0100

Abstract The present study evaluates data from 116 forensic inpatients who underwent violent risk assessments, which included the Historical, Clinical, Risk‐20 (HCR‐20), from 2006 to 2013 as part of an opportunity to be conditionally discharged from state forensic facilities. Of the 116 inpatients, 58 were never released, 39 were released and returned to a hospital, and 19 were released and never returned. Results from analyses of variance and multinomial logistic regression found the risk management (R) scale of the HCR‐20 successfully predicted group membership in that higher scores were associated with a greater likelihood of not being released from a forensic facility or returning to a forensic facility after release. The results of this study indicate that clinicians should cons...



Validation of the sex estimation method elaborated by Schutkowski in the Granada Osteological Collection of identified infant and young children: Analysis of the controversy between the different ways of analyzing and interpreting the results

Mon, 21 Mar 2016 23:00:00 +0100

This study tested the characteristics of the ilium and jaw proposed by Schutkowski in 1993 for estimation of sex in subadults. The study sample consisted of 109 boys and 76 girls, ranging in age from 5 months of gestation to 6 years, from the identified osteological collection of Granada (Spain). For the analysis and interpretation of the results, we have proposed changes from previous studies because we believe they raised methodological errors relating to the calculation of probabilities of success and sex distribution in the sample. The results showed correct assignment probabilities much lower than those obtained by Schutkowski as well as by other authors. The best results were obtained with the angle and depth of the sciatic notch, with 0.73 and 0.80 probability of correct assignmen...



Elevation of NT-proBNP and cardiac troponins in sepsis-related deaths: a forensic perspective

Mon, 21 Mar 2016 23:00:00 +0100

Abstract In the present study, the levels of NT-proBNP, troponin T, and troponin I were measured in postmortem serum from femoral blood in a series of sepsis-related fatalities that had undergone forensic autopsies. We aimed to assess whether a possible increase in the concentrations of these biomarkers was correlated to macroscopic or microscopic observations that suggest myocardial damage or cardiac dysfunction. Two study groups were retrospectively formed, a sepsis-related fatalities group and a control group. Both groups consisted of 16 forensic autopsy cases. Unenhanced computed tomography scan, autopsy, histological, toxicological, microbiological, and biochemical analyses were performed for all cases in both groups. Levels of procalcitonin, C-reactive protein, NT-proBNP, tr...



The Courts and Child Protection Social Work in England: Tail Wags Dog?

Mon, 21 Mar 2016 23:00:00 +0100

In England, the problem of excessive delay in court proceedings about children is long-standing, and there have been numerous initiatives over the years to tackle it. Under the 2014 Children and Families Act, there is now a statutory limit of twenty-six weeks for care proceedings (with provision for longer where justified). If this is to be achieved, the quality of the work that local authorities undertake with children and families before proceedings are started will be more important than ever, and the courts will have to take due account of it. This paper draws on research into the formal ‘pre-proceedings process’ in England and Wales, to assess the prospects for the new approach. The research was undertaken in 2010–12, and involved a file survey, observation of pre-pr...



LifeWatch loses $19m decision to Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

Mon, 21 Mar 2016 20:47:44 +0100

LifeWatch (SWX:LIFE) said today that an arbitrator from the Interanational Centre for Dispute Resolution ruled against the firm and in favor of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield to the tune of $18.7 million. The decision was in relation to a payment for ACT elemetry monitoring services, LifeWatch said. The arbitrator in the case found LifeWatch liable for damages for the years 2009-2010 in the approximate amount of $18.7 million plus 6% per annum simple pre-judement interest from January 2013. “The arbitrator’s verdict is surprising, and extremely disappointing. That said, while our lawyers vigorously pursue all our legal options, the company itself remains fully focused on its mission to provide high quality services to all patients, bring to market our new technologies and s...

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U.S. News & World Report's 2017 Best Graduate Schools Rankings

Mon, 21 Mar 2016 20:44:45 +0100

This article was originally published by U.S. News & World Report. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. (Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post)



March 18, 2016: Bookkeeper for Online Pharmacy Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Money Laundering

Mon, 21 Mar 2016 15:12:00 +0100

(Source: Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) Press Releases)



Illicit drugs? How Brexit risks legal limbo for medicines

Mon, 21 Mar 2016 14:12:54 +0100

LONDON (Reuters) - A British vote to leave the European Union would threaten some prescription medicines with regulatory limbo, posing a legal headache for drugmakers, according to lawyers and industry officials. (Source: Reuters: Health)



Indian court extends relief to pharma firms in drug ban case

Mon, 21 Mar 2016 13:11:44 +0100

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An Indian court restrained the government from enforcing a ban on hundreds of drugs for another week on Monday until it has heard petitions from drugmakers challenging the order, a lawyer representing some of the firms said. (Source: Reuters: Health)

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'Swifter action needed' on blood victims

Mon, 21 Mar 2016 00:13:30 +0100

The only recommendation of the inquiry into contaminated blood products has still not been implemented, according to lawyers representing victims. (Source: BBC News | Health | UK Edition)



Biden picks leukemia survivor, a former Gore aide, to head cancer moonshot

Fri, 18 Mar 2016 22:12:29 +0100

Greg Simon was on his way to visit a friend in San Francisco in 2014 when he called his doctor to get the results of a long-overdue physical. Your cholesterol and PSA tests are fine, his doctor said. But, he added, you have leukemia. The good news -- sort of -- for Simon, a lawyer with […] (Source: Washington Post: To Your Health)



He won his own battle against cancer. Biden just picked him to lead a war

Fri, 18 Mar 2016 22:12:29 +0100

Greg Simon was on his way to visit a friend in San Francisco in 2014 when he called his doctor to get the results of a long-overdue physical. Your cholesterol and PSA tests are fine, his doctor said. But, he added, you have leukemia. The good news -- sort of -- for Simon, a lawyer with […] (Source: Washington Post: To Your Health)



Lawyer Tormenting Scientists Revealed Working for Coal Company

Fri, 18 Mar 2016 21:32:32 +0100

Chris Horner, a DC-based lawyer, climate change denier and Fox News regular, is also being paid as a "Regulatory Counsel" for the coal company, Alpha Natural Resources, according to bankruptcy filings reviewed by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). Horner's repeated filing of lawsuits against leading U.S. climate scientists has been described as "harassment." Alpha funding for Horner was first reported by Lee Fang, writing for the Intercept in August 2015 from earlier bankruptcy filings, although his role as Counsel was unknown until now. Horner's role as Regulatory Counsel for Alpha is described in a declaration that he signed, and which was filed with the bankruptcy court on January 11, 2016. Another document shows that funding from Alpha to Horner has continued through to at lea...



MassDevice.com +5 | The top 5 medtech stories for March 18, 2016

Fri, 18 Mar 2016 20:00:05 +0100

Say hello to MassDevice +5, a bite-sized view of the top five medtech stories of the day. This feature of MassDevice.com’s coverage highlights our 5 biggest and most influential stories from the day’s news to make sure you’re up to date on the headlines that continue to shape the medical device industry. Get this in your inbox everyday by subscribing to our newsletters.   5. Pavmed extends $6m IPO Pavmed said earlier this week it will extend its heavily reduced $6 million IPO an additional 45 days. The IPO was dramatically reduced in January, with the company announcing that it planned to float a reduced 1.2 million shares at $5 a piece. Pavmed expects the IPO to bring in $5.4 million after sales commissions but before expenses. The offering includes an 800,000-sha...



Trial for Alberta parents whose toddler died from meningitis resumes after lawyers' dispute

Fri, 18 Mar 2016 15:25:42 +0100

The trial of parents charged in their young son's death will resume today in Lethbridge after it was abruptly adjourned Thursday over a dispute between the Crown and defence counsel. (Source: CBC | Health)



Lawyer for Turing Said He Warned Against Drug Price Increase

Fri, 18 Mar 2016 00:03:18 +0100

The lawyer, Howard Dorfman, told a Senate panel that he told Martin Shkreli that the move would negatively affect Turing’s business and reputation. (Source: NYT Health)



Incomplete professional identity goals override moral concerns

Fri, 18 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

Publication date: Available online 17 March 2016 Source:Journal of Experimental Social Psychology Author(s): Michael K. Marquardt, Ana P. Gantman, Peter M. Gollwitzer, Gabriele Oettingen According to self-completion theory (SCT; Wicklund & Gollwitzer, 1982), people committed to identity goals (e.g., being a lawyer or a business manager) strive for goal attainment by collecting indicators of completeness (e.g., relevant achievements). When the completeness of an identity goal becomes threatened, people are driven to engage in self-symbolizing to compensate. In two studies, we found that committed individuals endorsed immoral behaviors displayed by professional businessmen (Study 1) and lawyers (Study 2) after having received bogus negative feedback about their aptitude for the...



Jury slaps Johnson & Johnson with $500m verdict in Pinnacle hip bellwether

Thu, 17 Mar 2016 17:57:49 +0100

UPDATED March 18, 2016, with additional comment from DePuy, plaintiffs’ and defendant’s attorneys. A Texas federal jury today slapped Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics with a $500 million judgment in favor of a quintet of plaintiffs who said the metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip implant caused their injuries. After a 2-month trial, jurors found that the Ultamet metal-on-metal version of the Pinnacle hips were defectively designed and that DePuy failed to warn patients about the risks. Jurors awarded about $130 million in total compensatory damages and about $360 million in punitive damages, said plaintiffs’ lead trial lawyer Mark Lanier. “There are thousands of these cases, and J&J needs to get responsible,” Lanier said. The 1s...

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Lawyer: Turing execs warned Shkreli against price hike

Thu, 17 Mar 2016 14:01:05 +0100

WASHINGTON (AP) — The former top lawyer for Turing Pharmaceuticals says he and other executives warned Martin Shkreli against the drastic price hike that triggered a national backlash against the company and its 32-year-old CEO. (Source: U.S. News - Health)



Erratum to: Blood or spores? A cautionary note on interpreting cellular debris on human skeletal remains

Thu, 17 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

(Source: International Journal of Legal Medicine)



Fatal toxicity index of medicinal drugs based on a comprehensive toxicology database

Thu, 17 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

In this study, we assessed the FTI of medicinal drugs in 3 years (2005, 2009, and 2013) in Finland. As the measure of drug consumption, we used the number of defined daily doses (DDD) per population in each year. There were 70 medicinal drugs in Finland for which the mean FTI expressed as the number of deaths per million DDD over the three study years was higher or equal to 0.1. The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification system was used for the classification of the active ingredients of medicinal drugs according to the organ or system which they act on. Of these 70 drugs, 55 drugs (78.6 %) acted on the nervous system (denoted by ATC code N), 11 (15.7 %) on the cardiovascular system (C), three (4.3 %) on the alimentary tract and metabolism (A), and one (1.4 %) on the mus...



Genetic distribution of 15 autosomal STR markers in the Punjabi population of Pakistan

Thu, 17 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

Abstract Genetic diversity of 15 autosomal short tandem repeat (STR) loci was evaluated in 713 unrelated individual samples of a Punjabi population of Pakistan. These loci were scrutinized to establish allelic frequencies and statistical parameters of forensic and paternity interests. A total of 165 alleles were observed with the corresponding allele frequencies ranging from 0.001 to 0.446. D2S1338 was found as the most informative locus while TPOX (0.611) was the least discriminating locus. The combined power of discrimination (CPD), the combined probability of exclusion (CPE), and cumulative probability of matching (CPM) were found equaled to 0.999999999999999998606227424808, 0.999995777557989, and 1.37543 × 10–18, respectively. All the loci followed the Hardy–Weinberg ...



Tongue protrusion in burned bodies

Thu, 17 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

Abstract Protrusion of the tongue is a common, though often neglected finding in fire fatalities. According to a study recently published by Bernitz et al., it is an indicator of vital burning. This statement has been doubted repeatedly. Retrospective analysis of 61 fire fatalities from our own autopsy material did not show any statistically significant increased incidence of tongue protrusion in deaths with vital exposure to heat. Similarly, there was no correlation with the degree of destruction by the fire in general or the extent of cervical burning. Further prospective studies seem to be necessary also with regard to the pathophysiological processes. (Source: International Journal of Legal Medicine)

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Evidence for the Continued Use of Medieval Medical Prescriptions in the Sixteenth Century: A Fifteenth-Century Remedy Book and its Later Owner.

Wed, 16 Mar 2016 13:35:02 +0100

This article examines a fifteenth-century remedy book, Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson c. 299, and describes its collection of 314 medieval medical prescriptions. The recipes are organised broadly from head to toe, and often several remedies are offered for the same complaint. Some individual recipes are transcribed with modern English translations. The few non-recipe texts are also noted. The difference between a remedy book and a leechbook is explained, and this manuscript is situated in relation to other known examples of late medieval medical anthologies. The particular feature that distinguishes Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson c. 299 from other similar volumes is the evidence that it continued to be used during the sixteenth century. This usage was of two kinds. Firstly, t...



Boston Scientific, Mayo Clinic reveal hush-hush development program

Wed, 16 Mar 2016 12:41:33 +0100

Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) and Mayo Clinic today revealed a 3-year-old development program that has about a dozen new products in the pipeline, including a centering catheter for replacement heart valves and a heart failure application for the Precision Spectra spinal cord stimulator. Four of the roughly 12 products in the hush-hush program, reportedly winnowed from a field of 50 initial ideas, are expected to reach the 1st-in-human trial stage this year. A Boston Scientific executive said the repeal of the medical device tax this year allowed it to take its spend on the program into the multi-million-dollar range. Boston Scientific and Mayo Clinic are only unveiling 2 of the devices they’re working on. One is the centering catheter, designed to position a guidewire in the ce...



Jury Awards Residents $4.24M For Groundwater Contamination From Fracking Wells

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:08 +0100

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal jury in Pennsylvania on March 10 awarded $4.24 million to residents who contended that a hydraulic fracturing company is liable for contaminating their groundwater (Nolen Scott Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, No. 09-2284, M.D. Pa.). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Emerging Toxic Torts Legal News)



Groups: Supreme Court Should Hear MTBE Case; 'Trial By Formula' Unconstitutional

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:08 +0100

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Numerous groups filed eight amicus curiae briefs on Feb. 22 telling the U.S. Supreme Court that it should grant Exxon Mobil Corp.'s petition for writ of certiorari as it appeals the New Hampshire Supreme Court decision ruling that the company should pay $236 million to clean up contamination caused by the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) but overturning the trial court judge's decision to place $195 million of the award in a trust (Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al. v. State of New Hampshire, No.15-933, U.S. Sup). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Emerging Toxic Torts Legal News)



Class Sues State Of Michigan, Its Governor And Others For Flint Water Crisis

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:08 +0100

DETROIT - A purported class of Flint, Mich., residents on March 7 filed a lawsuit in Michigan federal court against the governor, the state, state officials and city employees, seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief for alleged violations of federal laws pertaining to safe drinking water connected to the lead water crisis in Flint (Myia McMillian, et al. v. Gov. Richard Dale Snyder, et al., No. 16-10796, E.D. Mich.). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Emerging Toxic Torts Legal News)

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Lawmaker: Michigan Gov. Snyder Should Resign; Email Shows Early Knowledge Of Flint

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:08 +0100

LANSING, Mich. - The Democratic Leader of the Michigan House of Representatives on March 2 called on Gov. Rick Snyder to resign in light of developments related to the water crisis in Flint, and a new email released by the Michigan Democratic Party indicates that the governor had knowledge of the Flint water crisis as early as February 2015. (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Emerging Toxic Torts Legal News)



8th Circuit: Man Not Entitled To New Trial In Popcorn Lung Injury Case

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:08 +0100

ST. LOUIS - A panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 4 affirmed a district court's decision and concluded that a new trial is not warranted in a personal injury case brought by a man who contends that his exposure to diacetyl from microwave popcorn resulted in his respiratory illness (David Stults, et al. v. International Flavors, Etc., et al., No. 14-3658, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 4181). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Emerging Toxic Torts Legal News)



DuPont C8 Injury Plaintiff: Experts 'Well-Credentialed;' Dismissal Is Improper

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:08 +0100

COLUMBUS, Ohio - One of the plaintiffs who sued E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. in Ohio federal court alleging that the company is liable for personal injuries from exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) on March 7 filed a brief contending that DuPont's motion for summary judgment should be denied because the plaintiff has proffered "valid, reliable, and admissible expert opinions" from well-credentialed physicians (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C-8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Emerging Toxic Torts Legal News)



3rd Circuit Clerk: Paulsboro Appeals Denied For Not Proceeding In A Timely Manner

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:08 +0100

PHILADELPHIA - The clerk of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 3 issued an order dismissing a group of plaintiffs in the Paulsboro, N.J., train derailment litigation, indicating that the plaintiffs had failed to prosecute their cases in a timely manner (In Re: Paulsboro Train Derailment Cases, Nos. 15-3881, 15-3882, 15-3883, 15-3884, 15-3885, 15-4036, 15-4037, and 15-4038, 3rd Cir.). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Emerging Toxic Torts Legal News)



Judge Says Consolidated Lead Paint Case Ready To Proceed To Discovery Phase

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:08 +0100

MILWAUKEE - The federal judge in Wisconsin presiding over eight lead paint poisoning lawsuits on March 7 issued an order granting the plaintiffs' motion for a hearing on discovery, ruling that the case is ready to proceed now that the issue of jurisdiction has been resolved. A status hearing has been set for April 1 (Glenn Burton Jr. v. American Cyanamid Company, et al., No. 07-0303; Ravon Owens v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0441; Ernest Gibson v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0864; Brionn Stokes v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0865; Cesar Sifuentes v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 10-0075; Maniya Allen v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 11-0055, Deziree Valoe v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 11- 0425; Dijonae Trammell v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 14-1423, E.D. Wis.)....

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30 Schools In Newark, N.J., Have Elevated Lead Levels In Their Water, Mayor Says

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:08 +0100

NEWARK, N.J. - The mayor of Newark on March 9 issued an open letter on the city's website telling residents that "nearly half of the schools" in the city have elevated levels of lead in the water used for water fountains and sinks. (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Emerging Toxic Torts Legal News)



Judge: PPG May Sue Landfill Operator In Groundwater Contamination Case

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:08 +0100

PITTSBURGH - The federal judge in Pennsylvania presiding over a groundwater contamination lawsuit on Feb. 25 denied a motion for reconsideration of his decision to allow PPG Industries to file a third-party complaint, ruling that the evidence indicated that PPG should be permitted to sue the operator of a landfill where it disposed of its waste (PennEnvironment, et al. v. PPG Industries Inc., et al., No. 12-342, W.D. Pa.). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Emerging Toxic Torts Legal News)



Judge Grants Plaintiff's Motion To Dismiss Tainted Groundwater Lawsuit

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:08 +0100

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - A federal judge in North Carolina on March 3 granted a plaintiff's motion to voluntarily dismiss his groundwater contamination lawsuit against a group of manufacturers on grounds that the companies would not be prejudiced, concluding that the plaintiff was not guilty of excessive delay or lack of diligence in bringing his case (Thomas H. Price v. U.S. Gear Tools Inc., et al., No. 15-00033, W.D. N.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27139). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Emerging Toxic Torts Legal News)



Judge Denies 8 Motions To Bar Expert Testimony In GE Pollution Liability Suit

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:08 +0100

UTICA, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on March 3 denied eight motions to exclude various experts regarding liability and cleanup practices in environmental lawsuits between a town, county, water authority and General Electric Co. (GE) (Town of Halfmoon and County of Saratoga v. General Electric Co., No. 09-228; Saratoga County Water Authority v. General Electric Co., No. 11-6, N.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26888). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Emerging Toxic Torts Legal News)



Judge Partially Bars Expert From Testifying In Toxic Dumping Lawsuit

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:08 +0100

NEW CASTLE, Del. - In a lawsuit against power plant operators for their alleged unlawful dumping of toxic coal ash waste, an expert may not testify as to concentrations and dispersion of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a Delaware judge ruled Feb. 26, granting in part a motion to exclude (Anajai Calcano Pallano, et al., v. The AES Corp., et al., No. N09C-11-021 JRJ, Del. Super., New Castle Co.; 2016 Del. Super. LEXIS 101). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Emerging Toxic Torts Legal News)

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Magistrate Judge Orders City To Conduct Final Search For Documents

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:08 +0100

FRESNO, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge in California on Feb. 23 ordered the city of Visalia, Calif., to conduct a final search for documents that are responsive to a plaintiffs' claims that the city's sewer system contributed to perchloroethylene (PCE) contamination in a nearby plume in order to stop the city's piecemeal production of information (Viola Coppola, et al. v. Gregory Smith, et al., No. 1:11-cv-01257, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22066). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Emerging Toxic Torts Legal News)



Administrative Record Supports 'Own Occupation' Evaluation, Panel Determines

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:06 +0100

ST. LOUIS - Because an administrative record supports a disability insurer's analysis of a claimant's "own occupation," the insurer did not abuse its discretion in discontinuing long-term disability benefits, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said March 4 (Gwendolyn Whitley v. Standard Insurance Co., No. 15-1524, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 4102). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Disability Insurance Legal News)



Denial Of Benefits Was Arbitrary And Capricious, Illinois Federal Judge Says

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:06 +0100

CHICAGO - A disability insurer's denial of benefits was arbitrary and capricious because the insurer failed to adequately explain why and how it concluded that the claimant was unable to perform the duties of her occupation for 180 continuous days as required by the plan at issue, an Illinois federal judge said March 7 (Cheri Green v. Sun Life Assurance Co., No. 14-4095, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28419). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Disability Insurance Legal News)



Termination Of Benefits Was Reasonable Based On Evidence, Federal Judge Says

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:06 +0100

ST. LOUIS - A disability insurer did not abuse its discretion in terminating a claimant's short-term disability benefits because the insurer's decision was reasonable based on the available medical evidence and medical opinions, a Missouri federal judge said March 7 (Lisa Jones v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-338, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28503). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Disability Insurance Legal News)



Denial Was Not Supported By Substantial Evidence, Federal Judge Finds

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:06 +0100

GREENVILLE, S.C. - Because substantial evidence did not exist to support a disability insurer's denial of long-term benefits, the insurer should have conducted a complete functional capacity evaluation (FCE) or an independent medical examination (IME) of the disability claimant, a South Carolina federal judge said Feb. 8 in remanding the claimant's suit for a full review (Ralph J. Tortora v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co., No. 15-2471, D. S.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14884). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Disability Insurance Legal News)

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Insurer Did Not Consider All Factors Before Terminating Benefits, Federal Judge Says

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:06 +0100

HARRISON, Ark. - A disability insurer abused its discretion in terminating a claimant's long-term disability (LTD) benefits because the insurer failed to consider that the claimant's dependence on pain medication prevented her from working in the nursing field even if the nursing job was a sedentary position, an Arkansas federal judge said March 7 (Brenda K. Mackey v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, No. 15-3004, W.D. Ark.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28623). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Disability Insurance Legal News)



Arbitrary-And-Capricious Standard Of Review Applies, Connecticut Federal Judge Says

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:06 +0100

HARTFORD, Conn. - Because a disability insurer was properly appointed with fiduciary authority under an employer's disability plan to conduct an administrative appeal review of the denial of a disability benefits claim, an arbitrary-and-capricious standard of review must be applied, a Connecticut federal judge said March 9 in granting the plan's motion for partial summary judgment (Jennifer Dwinnell v. Federal Express Long Term Disability Plan, et al., No. 14-1439, D. Conn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29963). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Disability Insurance Legal News)



Claimant Was Deprived Of Ability To File 2nd-Level Appeal, 10th Circuit Says

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:06 +0100

DENVER - A disability insurer's failure to notify a claimant of its denial of an administrative appeal deprived the claimant of the ability to pursue a second-level administrative appeal and submit additional medical evidence in support of a disability claim, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Feb. 17 in vacating and remanding a District Court's ruling (Allen Messick v. McKesson Corp., et al., No.15-4019, 10th Cir.). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Disability Insurance Legal News)



Disability Insurer Urges High Court To Review Decision On Internal Appeal Deadline

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:06 +0100

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court should grant a disability insurer's petition for review because the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling regarding the deadline for an internal appeal conflicts with other circuits and "poses a serious threat to the entire scheme of ERISA," the disability insurer argues in its Feb. 22 response in support of its petition for review (Andre LeGras v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-439, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 833). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Disability Insurance Legal News)



Insured's Claims In Bad Faith Suit Preempted By ERISA, Judge Rules

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:06 +0100

NEW YORK - Dismissal of all state law claims in an insurance bad faith lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in New York ruled March 1, because an insured's claims against her long-term disability insurance provider are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) (Elizabeth Boey Chau, M.D. v. Hartford Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-8484, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25135). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Disability Insurance Legal News)

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New York Federal Judge: Bad Faith, Breach Of Contract Claims Preempted By ERISA

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:06 +0100

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Feb. 9 dismissed breach of contract, bad faith and negligence claims asserted against a disability insurer, finding that the claims are clearly preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Marta I. Murphy a/k/a Marta L. Murphy v. First Unum Life Insurance Co., No. 15-820, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15525). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Disability Insurance Legal News)



Claimant Failed To File Suit Within 3-Year Limitations Period, Panel Affirms

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:06 +0100

RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Circuit of Appeals on Feb. 17 affirmed that a disability claimant's suit was properly dismissed because the claimant failed to file suit within the applicable three-year limitations period (Deborah A. Hyatt v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 14-2305, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 2676). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Disability Insurance Legal News)



Judge Denies Motion To Strike In Insurance Bad Faith Lawsuit

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:06 +0100

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Feb. 18 denied an insurer's motion to strike in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insurer has failed to state any viable reason for doing so (Mojdeh Hariri-Vijeh v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 15-3195, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20627). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Disability Insurance Legal News)



Insured Properly Pleads Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims, Judge Rules

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:06 +0100

LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Feb. 4 denied an insurer's motion to dismiss an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured has properly pleaded his claims "and the legal basis for those claims" in his complaint (Nicholas Thanos, M.D. v. Unum Life Insurance Co., No. 15-7902, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14460). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Disability Insurance Legal News)



Wisconsin Federal Judge Denies Motion To Conduct Additional Discovery

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:06 +0100

MADISON, Wis. - Because a disability claimant failed to allege specific conduct showing that a plan administrator had a conflict of interest when evaluating his claim, a Wisconsin federal judge on March 4 denied his motion to conduct additional discovery regarding the claim denial (Matthew Marth v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-496, W.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27664). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Disability Insurance Legal News)

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Disability Benefits Suit Transferred To Different Federal District In Kentucky

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:07:06 +0100

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on March 7 transferred a disability claimant's suit to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky because the balance of factors weigh in favor of transfer and the claimant did not object to the transfer (Ralph W. Turner v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 16-20, W.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28550). (Source: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Disability Insurance Legal News)



Lawyers consider judicial review of consultation on community pharmacy

Tue, 15 Mar 2016 11:42:00 +0100

Lawyers have given health minister Alistair Burt a deadline of 4pm on 18 March 2016 to respond to claims that the consultation on proposed cuts to the pharmacy budget in England is illegal and should be abandoned. (Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal)



Military 'invisibility cloaks' could breach Geneva conventions

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 12:23:51 +0100

Leading military lawyer says refinements of technology already used on stealth bombers could breach international laws“Invisibility cloaks” and other future advances in military camouflage techniques could violate the Geneva conventions, a top military lawyer has warned.Refinements of technologies that are already used on stealth bombers could breach compliance with international laws regulating armed conflict if equipment is disguised or soldiers’ weapons are hidden, according to Bill Boothby, a former air commodore and deputy director of RAF legal services. Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)



Tanzania: TAWLA Calls for Information Dissemination on Abortions

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 11:57:56 +0100

[Daily News] Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA) has called on health stakeholders including journalists to disseminate information on reproductive health right and unsafe abortion in order to save women's lives in the country. (Source: AllAfrica News: Pregnancy and Childbirth)



Does zero really mean nothing?—first experiences with the new PowerQuant TM system in comparison to established real-time quantification kits

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

Abstract DNA quantification is an important step in the molecular genetic analysis of a forensic sample, hopefully providing reliable data on DNA content for a subsequent generation of reproducible STR profiles for identification. For several years, this quantification has usually been done by real-time PCR protocols and meanwhile a variety of assays are commercially available from different companies. The newest one is the PowerQuantTM assay by Promega Inc. which is advertised with the promise that a determined DNA concentration of 0 ng/μl in a forensic sample guarantees the impossibility to achieve true STR results, thus allowing to exclude such samples from STR analysis to save time and money. Thus, the goal of this study was to thoroughly verify the quantification step with ...

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Detection of a G>C single nucleotide polymorphism within a repetitive DNA sequence by high-resolution DNA melting

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

In this study, high-resolution DNA melting (HRM) is compared to minisequencing and Sanger sequencing as to determine the most suitable method for detection of a G to C mutation within a repetitive DNA sequence, the STR system DXS10161. It shows an ATG/ATC polymorphism surrounded by a variable number of (TATC) and (ATCT) motifs. Neutral base changes like G:C to C:G result in very low differences in the melting temperature (T m) of the PCR amplicons. By enhanced resolution of fluorescence vs. temperature in HRM, the technique showed to be suitable for detecting a G to C transversion in this repetitive DNA sequence context. Compared to minisequencing, HRM is more time- and cost-effective. Results were confirmed by Sanger sequencing. (Source: International Journal of Legal Medici...



Decreased mRNA levels of cardiac Cx43 and ZO1 in sudden cardiac death related to coronary atherosclerosis: a pilot study

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

Abstract Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is the most frequent cause of sudden unexplained death in forensic practice. The most common cause of SCD is coronary artery disease related to coronary atherosclerosis. Previous study suggested the possible application of connexin 43 (Cx43) and zonula occludens-1 (ZO1) immunostaining in the early diagnosis of myocardial ischemia. However, there appears to be insufficient data with regard to their mRNA levels. The present study investigated the cardiac mRNA levels of Cx43 and ZO1, using forensic autopsy materials consisting of 41 control cases without any disease or structural abnormality of the heart (group 1), 32 deaths due to acute ischemic heart disease related to coronary atherosclerosis without apparent myocardial necrosis (group 2), and 2...



Third molar maturity index (I 3M ) for assessing age of majority in a black African population in Botswana

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

Abstract Assessment of legal age, also known as age of majority, is a controversial issue as there are few body biomarkers or evidence during late adolescence differentiating a subject from being a minor or adult. The third molar was recognized as a suitable site for age examination in late adolescence. We analyzed the development of the left mandibular third molar by the third molar maturity index (I3M) and a specific cut-off value of I3M = 0.08, established by Cameriere et al. in 2008 and used it for discriminating between minors and adult black Africans from Gaborone, Botswana. A final sample of panoramic radiographs (OPTs) of 1294 people (582 males and 712 females) aged between 13 and 23 years was evaluated. The real age decreased as I3M gradually increased. There was no ...



Candidate gene variants of the immune system and sudden infant death syndrome

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

Conclusion Our study did not replicate published associations of IL10 variants with SIDS. However, the evidence for two independent MBL2 variants in the combined analysis of two large series seems consistent with the hypothesis that infection may play a role in SIDS pathogenesis. (Source: International Journal of Legal Medicine)



Legal Assessments of Child Victims of Human Trafficking for Sexual Purposes

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

The present study investigated how Swedish district court judges assessed child victims' credibility and the reliability of their testimony in cases of alleged human trafficking for sexual purposes. Court files from 12 different cases, involving 16 alleged child victims (aged 13–17 years old), all of them girls, were qualitatively analyzed with particular attention paid to how the judges described credibility and reliability. Results indicated that, although the judges' assessments to a large extent were based on the Swedish Supreme Court's criteria for credibility and reliability, they were applied somewhat arbitrarily and subjectively. They were also applied as if obvious and grounded on shared experiences, although their meaning was never explored. The way that credibility was assesse...

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New Frontiers for Conditional Release: Applying Lessons Learned from Other Offenders with Mental Illness

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

This article describes the challenges faced by persons on conditional release as well as the gaps in extant conditional release literature. Then, five evidence‐based models for the supervision and/or treatment of probationers and parolees with mental illness are applied to a theoretical conditionally released population (mental health courts, forensic assertive community treatment teams, the risk–need–responsivity model, informed supervision practices, and HOPE probation). Benefits and limitations are noted, and recommendations for such crossover are given. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. (Source: Behavioral Sciences and the Law)



From Prison to the Community: The AB109 Experience in Los Angeles County

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

California's Assembly Bill (AB) 109, commonly referred to as “realignment,” resulted from two major class action lawsuits, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that inadequate medical and mental health care in the California state prisons was a violation of inmates’ Eighth Amendment rights protecting them from cruel and unusual punishment. These deficiencies were attributed to state prison overcrowding. California responded by enacting new legislation, AB109, which allowed transfer of responsibility for low‐level offenders from the state to local counties. This qualitative pilot study used semi‐structured interviews to examine the experiences of 10 mentally ill individuals on AB109 probation in Los Angeles County, including their experiences with community mental health services...



Using Dynamic Risk to Enhance Conditional Release Decisions in Prisoners to Improve Their Outcomes

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

This article highlights how decision accuracy at several key stages of the offender's release and supervision process could be further enhanced by the inclusion of dynamic factors. In cases where the timing of release is discretionary and not legislated, the utilization of a validated decision framework can improve transparency and potentially reduce decision errors. In cases where release is by statute, there is still merit in using dynamic risk assessment and case analysis to inform the assignment of release conditions, thereby attending to re‐entry and public safety considerations. Finally, preliminary results from a recent study are presented to highlight the fact that community supervision outcomes may be improved by incorporating changes in dynamic risk into case planning and risk ...



Loss of the trpc4 gene is associated with a reduction in cocaine self-administration and reduced spontaneous ventral tegmental area dopamine neuronal activity, without deficits in learning for natural rewards.

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

Authors: Klipec WD, Burrow KR, O'Neill C, Cao JL, Lawyer CR, Ostertag E, Fowler M, Bachtell RK, Illig KR, Cooper DC Abstract Among the canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC) channels, the TRPC4 non-selective cation channel is one of the most abundantly expressed subtypes within mammalian corticolimbic brain regions, but its functional and behavioral role is unknown. To identify a function for TRPC4 channels we compared the performance of rats with a genetic knockout of the trpc4 gene (trpc4 KO) to wild-type (WT) controls on the acquisition of simple and complex learning for natural rewards, and on cocaine self-administration (SA). Despite the abundant distribution of TRPC4 channels through the corticolimbic brain regions, we found trpc4 KO rats exhibited normal learning in Y...



Lawyer Offers Five Facts To Know Before Starting A Marijuana Business

Sat, 12 Mar 2016 16:40:00 +0100

As a lawyer for the Cannabis industry, Steve Schain says he helps entrepreneurs, 'dodge landmines' and hold onto their revenue. (Source: Forbes.com Healthcare News)

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March 8, 2016: Cincinnati Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Importing Drugs into U.S.

Fri, 11 Mar 2016 16:32:00 +0100

(Source: Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) Press Releases)



India dismisses suits against drug regulators, whistleblower says

Fri, 11 Mar 2016 08:44:31 +0100

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's Supreme Court has refused to hear two lawsuits filed by one of the country's best-known whistleblowers which accused drugs and health regulators of failing to enforce safety standards, the whistleblower and his lawyer said on Friday. (Source: Reuters: Health)



India's top court declines lawsuits against drug regulators: activist

Fri, 11 Mar 2016 07:30:46 +0100

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's Supreme Court has refused to hear two lawsuits filed by one of India's best-known whistleblowers against the drugs and health regulators accusing them of failing to enforce safety rules, the activist and his lawyer said. (Source: Reuters: Health)



Volume 25 Issue 02

Thu, 10 Mar 2016 11:07:05 +0100

Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, Volume 25 Issue 02The Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics is designed to address the challenges of biology, medicine and healthcare and to meet the needs of professionals serving on healthcare ethics committees in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and rehabilitation centres. The aim of the journal is to serve as the international forum for the wide range of serious and urgent issues faced by members of healthcare ethics committees, physicians, nurses, social workers, clergy, lawyers and community representatives (Source: Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics)



Erratum to: Post-mortem whole-exome sequencing (WES) with a focus on cardiac disease-associated genes in five young sudden unexplained death (SUD) cases

Thu, 10 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

(Source: International Journal of Legal Medicine)

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Codeine-spiked beer in a date rape case?

Thu, 10 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

Abstract A case of suspected drug-facilitated sexual assault, involving codeine and acetaminophen, possibly mixed in beer, was recently addressed at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. To examine the case, a small study was performed, spiking beer with preparations containing codeine and acetaminophen and observing the concentrations, appearance, and taste of the solutions. The study revealed the majority of the preparations to be quickly soluble in beer, achieving high concentrations, but at the expense of strong taste and drastic visible changes in the beer. (Source: International Journal of Legal Medicine)



A novel method for pair-matching using three-dimensional digital models of bone: mesh-to-mesh value comparison

Thu, 10 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

This study investigates a new method for pair-matching, a common individualization technique, which uses digital three-dimensional models of bone: mesh-to-mesh value comparison (MVC). The MVC method digitally compares the entire three-dimensional geometry of two bones at once to produce a single value to indicate their similarity. Two different versions of this method, one manual and the other automated, were created and then tested for how well they accurately pair-matched humeri. Each version was assessed using sensitivity and specificity. The manual mesh-to-mesh value comparison method was 100 % sensitive and 100 % specific. The automated mesh-to-mesh value comparison method was 95 % sensitive and 60 % specific. Our results indicate that the mesh-to-mesh value comparison method over...



BMA legal challenge over junior doctor contract 'bound to fail' says government

Wed, 09 Mar 2016 07:56:00 +0100

A legal claim by the BMA to have the junior doctors contract imposition ruled unlawful is 'misconceived' and 'bound to fail', government lawyers said as the first of three 48-hour strikes began. (Source: GP Online News)



March 7, 2016: Tehachapi Doctor Sentenced to 6 Months in Prison for Defrauding Patients and Insurers by Implanting Unapproved IUDs

Tue, 08 Mar 2016 19:26:00 +0100

(Source: Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) Press Releases)



March 4, 2016: First of Seven Defendants Who Operated Illegal Online Pharmacy Sentenced to Prison

Tue, 08 Mar 2016 18:18:00 +0100

(Source: Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) Press Releases)

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Government lawyers say BMA judicial review 'bound to fail'

Tue, 08 Mar 2016 17:08:00 +0100

The government’s lawyers have said the British Medical Association’s bid for a judicial review against plans to impose a new junior doctors’ contract is “bound to fail”. (Source: HSJ)



Exploring the relationship between criminogenic risk assessment and mental health court program completion.

Tue, 08 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100

This study seeks to better understand how criminogenic risk affects outcomes in a mental health court. Specifically, we explore if high criminogenic risk is associated with failure to complete mental health court. Our subjects are participants of a municipal mental health court (MHC) who completed the Level of Services Inventory-Revised (LSI-R) upon entry to the program (N=146). We used binary logistic regression to determine the association between termination from the program with the total LSI-R. Our findings suggest that, net of prior criminal history, time in the program and clinical services received, high criminogenic risk/need is associated with failure to complete mental health court. In addition to providing clinical services, our findings suggest the need for MHCs to include cri...



Oregon Supreme Court Ruling Prohibits Hospital from Refusing a Sell Order.

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 03:50:03 +0100

Authors: Chien J, Mobbs KE Abstract In a recent decision involving a capital murder case, Oregon State Hospital v. Butts, the Oregon Supreme Court conducted a mandamus hearing to ascertain whether Oregon State Hospital (OSH) had a legal duty to comply with a Sell order from a county trial court to provide antipsychotic medications to an incompetent defendant, despite its belief, as an institution, that medication was not clinically indicated. The case is reviewed and important implications, including the court's being granted the ability to circumvent the medical decision-making process, are discussed. PMID: 26944751 [PubMed - in process] (Source: Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law)



Rediscovering the Concept of Asylum for Persons with Serious Mental Illness.

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 03:50:03 +0100

Authors: Lamb HR, Weinberger LE Abstract Treating persons with serious mental illness is a complex and challenging endeavor. One intervention that has received little attention in recent years is the need for asylum. Asylum means a sanctuary, a place that lowers levels of stress and provides protection, safety, security, and social support, as well as an array of treatment services. The concept of "asylum" may have lost favor because it was equated with the abysmal conditions found in the state psychiatric hospitals of the past. Among the reasons persons with serious mental illness have been arrested and incarcerated is society's failure to provide adequate levels of asylum. With the release of tens of thousands of mentally ill inmates from state and federal jails and prisons, it i...



Assessing Adaptive Functioning in Death Penalty Cases after Hall and DSM-5.

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 03:50:03 +0100

Authors: Hagan LD, Drogin EY, Guilmette TJ Abstract DSM-5 and Hall v. Florida (2014) have dramatically refocused attention on the assessment of adaptive functioning in death penalty cases. In this article, we address strategies for assessing the adaptive functioning of defendants who seek exemption from capital punishment pursuant to Atkins v. Virginia (2002). In particular, we assert that evaluations of adaptive functioning should address assets as well as deficits; seek to identify credible and reliable evidence concerning the developmental period and across the lifespan; distinguish incapacity from the mere absence of adaptive behavior; adhere faithfully to test manual instructions for using standardized measures of adaptive functioning; and account for potential bias on the par...

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Comparison of Certification and Recertification Examinee Performance on Multiple-Choice Items in Forensic Psychiatry.

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 03:50:03 +0100

Authors: Juul D, Vollmer J, Shen L, Faulkner LR Abstract Research on the association between age and performance on tests of medical knowledge has generally shown an inverse relationship, which is of concern because of the positive association between measures of knowledge and measures of clinical performance. Because the certification and maintenance of certification (MOC) examinations in the subspecialty of forensic psychiatry draw on a common item bank, performance of the two groups of examinees on the same items could be compared. In addition, the relationship between age and test performance was analyzed. Performance on items administered to certification and MOC examinees did not differ significantly, and the mean amount of time spent on each item was similar for the two grou...



Clozapine's Effect on Recidivism Among Offenders with Mental Disorders.

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 03:50:03 +0100

This article is the report of a community follow-up study of a matched control of those treated with clozapine (n = 41) and those treated with other antipsychotics (n = 21). Rates of reoffending behavior in the general, nonviolent, violent, and sexual categories were calculated after two years of follow-up. Although not statistically significant, the two-year criminal conviction rates of those treated with other antipsychotics in all offense categories except sexual reoffending were two-fold higher than in those treated with clozapine. The time from release to the first offense and crime-free time in the community were significantly longer in the clozapine group. By prolonging the time it takes from release to first offense, clozapine confers additional crime-reduction advantages. PMI...



Minors and Sexting: Legal Implications.

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 03:50:03 +0100

Authors: Lorang MR, McNiel DE, Binder RL Abstract Sexting is the sending or forwarding of sexually explicit photographs or videos of the sender or someone known to the sender via cell phone. It has become common practice among young people, as cell phones are being given to adolescents at ever younger ages. Youths often send messages without giving appropriate thought to the content of the images. In studies on the subject, rates of minors who have sent sexual images range from 4 to 25 percent, depending on the age of the youths surveyed, the content of the messages and other factors. Because transferring and viewing sexually explicit material when the subject is a minor can be considered child pornography, there can be serious legal consequences. Several states have enacted legisl...



MMPI-2 Item Endorsements in Dissociative Identity Disorder vs. Simulators.

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 03:50:03 +0100

Authors: Brand BL, Chasson GS, Palermo CA, Donato FM, Rhodes KP, Voorhees EF Abstract Elevated scores on some MMPI-2 (Minnesota Multiphasic Inventory-2) validity scales are common among patients with dissociative identity disorder (DID), which raises questions about the validity of their responses. Such patients show elevated scores on atypical answers (F), F-psychopathology (Fp), atypical answers in the second half of the test (FB), schizophrenia (Sc), and depression (D) scales, with Fp showing the greatest utility in distinguishing them from coached and uncoached DID simulators. In the current study, we investigated the items on the MMPI-2 F, Fp, FB, Sc, and D scales that were most and least commonly endorsed by participants with DID in our 2014 study and compared these responses...



Between Belief and Delusion: Cult Members and the Insanity Plea.

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 03:50:03 +0100

Authors: Holoyda B, Newman W Abstract Cults are charismatic groups defined by members' adherence to a set of beliefs and teachings that differ from those of mainstream religions. Cult beliefs may appear unusual or bizarre to those outside of the organization, which can make it difficult for an outsider to know whether a belief is cult-related or delusional. In accordance with these beliefs, or at the behest of a charismatic leader, some cult members may participate in violent crimes such as murder and later attempt to plead not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI). It is therefore necessary for forensic experts who evaluate cult members to understand how the court has responded to such individuals and their beliefs when they mount a defense of NGRI for murder. Based on a review of e...

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Experience and Opinions of Forensic Psychiatrists Regarding PTSD in Criminal Cases.

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 03:50:03 +0100

Authors: Cohen ZE, Appelbaum PS Abstract By the end of 2014, 1.5 million veterans of the Second Iraq and Afghan wars were to have returned home, up to 35 percent with PTSD. The potential use of PTSD as the basis for legal claims in criminal defense is therefore a pressing problem. Using a Web-based survey, we examined the experiences and attitudes of members of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL) regarding PTSD in the criminal forensic setting. Of 238 respondents, 50 percent had been involved in a criminal case involving PTSD, 41 percent in the previous year. Eighty-six percent of cases involved violent crime and 40 percent homicides. Forty-two percent of defendants were soldiers in active service or veterans, of whom 89 percent had had combat exposure, mostly in ...



At a Loss for Words: Nosological Impotence in the Search for Justice.

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 03:50:03 +0100

Authors: Weiss KJ Abstract The assessment and trial of Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik, including disparate opinions about his sanity, raise questions about distinguishing "bad" from "mad." Although he was ultimately found criminally responsible, the tenacity and pervasiveness of his beliefs suggested delusional thinking. The author reflects on the difficulty psychiatrists have with nomenclature generally and on the application of imprecise classification to criminal justice. Ideally, a classification system should "carve nature at its joints." Barring that, psychiatry needs operational definitions to appreciate the differences between idiosyncratic, psychotic thinking, and shared subcultural beliefs or ideologies. The concept of extreme overvalued belief provides a basis fo...



Anders Breivik: Extreme Beliefs Mistaken for Psychosis.

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 03:50:03 +0100

Authors: Rahman T, Resnick PJ, Harry B Abstract The case of Anders Breivik, who committed mass murder in Norway in 2011, stirred controversy among forensic mental health experts. His bizarrely composed compendium and references to himself as the "Knights Templar" raised concerns that he had a psychotic mental illness. Beliefs such as Mr. Breivik's that precede odd, unusual, or extremely violent behavior present a unique challenge to the forensic evaluator, who sometimes struggles to understand those beliefs. Psychotic disorder frequently is invoked to characterize odd, unusual, or extreme beliefs, with a classification that has evolved over time. However, the important concept of overvalued idea, largely ignored in American psychiatry, may better characterize these beliefs in some ...



The Mock Trial: Revisiting a Valuable Training Strategy.

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 03:50:03 +0100

Authors: Glancy GD Abstract The number of forensic psychiatrists has increased dramatically over the past 40 years. With this welcome development has also come some challenges for educating future generations of practitioners, specifically the greater demands on training programs and the need to divide practice hours among a larger pool of individuals. Junior trainees and experienced practitioners alike can benefit by supplementing work experience with well-designed, theoretically informed simulations. In this article, the theoretical perspectives of simulation, deliberate practice, and experiential education are discussed and linked to the design of mock trials, a form of simulation used to teach the essential skill of expert testimony. My argument is that, by explicitly linking t...



The Prison Rape Elimination Act and Correctional Psychiatrists.

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 03:50:03 +0100

Authors: Downer AV, Trestman RL PMID: 26944739 [PubMed - in process] (Source: Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law)

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Stakeholder Involvement in Forensic Psychiatry: The Brazilian Experience.

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 03:50:03 +0100

Authors: Costa M PMID: 26944738 [PubMed - in process] (Source: Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law)