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In the wake of Wakefield, the take-away morning-after pill, and drink to stop Alzheimer’s



By Ian Quinn

Our roundup of health news headlines on Tuesday 25 May.

The demise of Dr Andrew Wakefield is the top health story in today’s papers.

After a GMC case lasting a record 217 days, the former consultant at the Royal Free hospital in North London and the man behind claims in the Lancet suggesting a link between MMR, bowel disease and autism, was struck off the medical register.

He is described variously as a rebel, a maverick, callous and dishonest, after being found guilty of more than 30 charges of misconduct.

The Guardian’s Chris Butler launches a furious attack on The Lancet for publishing the paper, way back in 1998, claiming it had been ‘seduced’ by dramatic claims that were ‘plainly bad science’.

According to Dr Jeremy Laurence, writing in The Independent, ‘medicine needs mavericks-but he was just wrong‘.

The Telegraph’s top line is the claim from Dr Wakefield himself that he has been struck off by the GMC to shield the Government from exposure of the truth. Some people never know when to give up.

Whilst it might not still be making headlines 12 years down the track, the decision by NICE to recommend that teenage girls and young women should be prescribed the morning-after pill to keep at home, in case of emergencies, has also provoked debate in the press.

The Daily Mail, not the greatest fan of NICE at the best of times, suggests that the decision will ‘spark outrage’.

There is some good news today, notably in the Telegraph which reports that drinking alcohol reduces the risks of Alzheimers

However, it also brings reports that drinking fizzy drinks can increase the risk of stroke, so best stick to the hard stuff.

Spotted a story we’ve missed? Let us know and we’ll update the digest throughout the day…

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