Health and Medicine

Rape: Through a glass darkly - Mind Matters

Michael Corballis Oct 01, 2019

The following is a summary notice of a talk given to an academic audience in my university (the author and location shall be nameless): In this paper I seek to uncover law’s ontological force as it reveals itself in the rape trial. It is common for survivors of sexual violence to refer to their interaction with the criminal justice system … Read More

Not forgetting the benefits to youth and non-smokers – an example from increases in tobacco taxes - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Sep 09, 2019

Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Richard Edwards, Prof Janet Hoek Tobacco control’s focus on supporting smokers to quit, thus reducing the harm they face (e.g., via appropriately regulated access to e-cigarettes) remains important. However, we need to do more to protect youth and non-smokers from the burden of tobacco. In this blog we use the issue of tobacco tax increases … Read More

Why are vaccinated people getting measles? - Diplomatic Immunity

Helen Petousis Harris Sep 04, 2019

Here is a very quick and over simplified explanation about why some of the cases of measles are fully vaccinated (epidemiologists look away!). The vaccine is not 100% protective. One dose is around 92% and two doses around 98%. Generally, things look like this pie chart, assuming the vaccine is potent and the patients relatively healthy. Most cases occur in … Read More

Measles: NOT a “benign childhood disease” - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Sep 02, 2019

Pretty much everyone in NZ should be aware by now that the country is facing its biggest measles outbreak in years, with Counties Manukau being particularly hard-hit. Here’s the data for the week ending August 23rd, from ESR’s Public Health Surveillance page: This hasn’t stopped those opposed to vaccination plague enthusiasts pushing all their usual tropes, … Read More

Meat, Health, Hospitals, and Sustainability - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Aug 26, 2019

Prof John Potter Achieving healthier diets that are also sustainable is increasingly in the news. In this blog, I look at the case for reducing the amount of meat in hospital meals and gently remind our dietitian colleagues not to let their dietary advice get out of date. Over-consumption of meat is costing us. Our health, our healthcare system, and … Read More

Why is there a rip-roaring measles outbreak in NZ? - Diplomatic Immunity

Helen Petousis Harris Aug 21, 2019

As with many countries around the world, NZ is experiencing the worst measles outbreak in over 20 years. Welcome back to the dark ages. This was predictable,  entirely preventable, and the government were warned. If this outbreak is not stamped out by March next year NZ will lose its hard-earned measles elimination status. There are four reasons for this – … Read More

Cheesecake Files: Machine learning heart attacks - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Aug 21, 2019

“Machine learning” rates very high on the buzz-word scale, right up there with “nano-technology” and “blockchain”. Like most buzz it is more noise than substance. However, every now and again it looks like there might be something in the noise that bites. This episode of the Cheesecake Files1 is about testing an algorithm (another buzz word) developed through a … Read More

Will we be less healthy because of climate change? - Climate: Explained

Guest Author Aug 15, 2019

Climate: Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Do you expect an increase in health issues due to the effects of climate change? – a question from … Read More

Authentic resistance or authentic distortion? - Diplomatic Immunity

Helen Petousis Harris Aug 05, 2019

Authentic resistance appears to be a two woman army advocating that the body’s natural immune system is all that is required to keep healthy. They assert that parents must make an informed decision about vaccines based on information from the medical literature. On the latter point we agree. The Resistance is holding seminars around the country on “Informed consent and … Read More

What can we learn from Healthy Housing Initiatives? New evidence from the Wellington Well Homes scheme - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Jul 17, 2019

Elinor Chisholm, Nevil Pierse, Cheryl Davies, Philippa Howden-Chapman We know that poor housing conditions result in ill health for many New Zealanders, and we know which interventions are required to ensure good quality housing that supports health. Healthy Housing Initiatives intervene to improve the homes of kids who are hospitalised for illnesses that could be related to poor housing conditions. Read More