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Independents' Day

Buckets of Coke, striking doctors and fresh hope for the paralysed

A round-up of the health news headlines on Friday 1 June

Fancy a bucket of Coca Cola? The days of finding one on the streets of New York could be over, as City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is planning to ban the sale of sugary drinks over 16oz.

In the latest effort to combat obesity, any food establishment caught selling oversized fizzy drinks will be fined $200, though this won't apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks or alcoholic beverages and drinks sold in grocery or convenience stores will also be fine-free.


Thousands of doctors will ‘defy' the BMA's order to strike- even if they voted ‘yes' in the ballot - says the Daily Mail this morning. The strike, it says, has been ‘widely condemned' by politicians, the public…. and many doctors! 8,360 BMA members voted against industrial action, and there are at least another 50,000 doctors who are not members of the union.

Doctors interviewed by the paper who voted for strike action said they felt regret. Others feared losing the public's confidence and felt it would be difficult, especially for junior doctors, to differentiate between what is ‘urgent' work and what isn't. One ear nose and throat specialist said he thought the strike was unlikely to have an effect on his colleagues because ‘surgeons aren't very good at not working'.


Doctors were being slammed in The Telegraph too, for ignoring the wishes of patients who do not want to be resuscitated.

585 acutely ill patients who ended up having a cardiac arrest were reviewed byThe National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death, who found that CPR  had been given to 52 patients who had clearly expressed they did not want it, having clearly become the ‘default' setting.

The report also said a third of the cardiac arrests could have been prevented, with staff failing to spot the warning signs.


But paralysed patients were given fresh hope this morning, with a study which is being dubbed ‘The World Cup' of neuro-rehabilitation.

Researchers based in Zurich ‘regrew' nerves linking the spinal cord to the brain, so that after two weeks paralysed rats were able to walk, climb stairs, and run.

Lead scientist Professor Gregoire Courtine said human trials for patients with spinal injuries could begin next year.

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