Daily digest August 3 2015

Missed the news? Read our summary of the latest health stories here

New end of life care rules are 'worse than the death pathway'

End of life care guidelines are 'dangerous and wrong' and could be even more disastrous than the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) they replaced, an expert claims.

Professor Patrick Pullicino, a leading critic of the LCP, said the latest proposals from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence were ‘totally wrong and very misleading’ on the crucial subject of patient hydration, Mail Online reports.

He said: 'There is even a part there that says that withholding artificial nutrition does not hasten death - it is definitely going to. The whole area on hydration was so badly written.  It is so misleading and it is wrong.’

Read more on the Mail Online website

Healthy former nurse, 75, dies at assisted suicide clinic after deciding old age is 'awful'

A healthy former palliative care nurse ended her life at a Swiss euthanasia clinic after describing old age as ‘awful’, The Independent reports.

Gill Pharaoh, 75, died at the Lifecircle clinic in Basel, Switzerland. 

The nurse, who had written two books on how to care for older people, said her career had revealed to her the stark realities of growing old.  However, a spokesperson for the anti-assisted dying group, Care Not Killing, said that the case was deeply troubling and showed how little society values older people.

Read more on The Independent website

Dr Now: the smartphone app that puts you in touch with a GP – for a fee

A UK tech firm is offering video consultations with doctors via mobile phone, in a bid to repeat the success of British startup apps such as Hailo and Just Eat in which a taxi or a meal is a phone-tap away.

With the NHS under growing strain, Liverpool-based Dr Now is marketing its mobile app to tech-savvy people who do not want to wait for an appointment with a GP, as well as businesses looking to save sickness-related costs, The Guardian reports.

Led by Andrew Thornber, one of the startup’s four founders, it has recruited 250 doctors so far and picked up 300 active users since its launch on June 22.

Read more on The Guardian website

Pancreatic cancer breakthrough: urine test soon to be widely available

Pancreatic cancer breakthrough: urine test soon to be widely available
A urine test for pancreatic cancer could soon be widely available because of a breakthrough by British scientists, the Mirror reports.

Researchers have discovered that a combination of three proteins found at high levels in urine can detect early-stage pancreatic cancer.

A team at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, has shown the three-protein ‘signature’ can both identify the most common form of pancreatic cancer when it is still in its early stages, and distinguish between this cancer and chronic pancreatitis, which can be hard to tell apart.

Read more on the Mirror website


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