Author Archives: churchc

Nanotechnology found in popular foods, despite repeated denials by regulator

Brisbane Times Esther Han 17 September 2015

For many years, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand has claimed there is “little evidence” of nanotechnology in food because no company had applied for approval. It has therefore not tested for nor regulated the use of nanoparticles.​   Frustrated at the inertia, environment group Friends of the Earth commissioned tests that found potentially harmful nanoparticles of titanium dioxide and silica in 14 popular products

FSANZ said it has recently engaged a leading toxicologist to undertake a review of nanotechnology in food and expects the report at the end of this year.

Read more

Journal of Clinical Microbiology – Early edition articles – 9 September 2015


Water Research – Contents Pages

Table of Contents  |   Volume 84, Pages 1-378 (1 November 2015)

Request a copy of an article (QH Staff only)

Successful international collaboration improves family donation conversations resulting in increased organ donation.

Transplant Proc. 2014 Jul-Aug;46(6):2058-65. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2014.06.027.


Australian donation leaders recognized that to increase organ donation outcomes, health professionals conducting family donation conversations (FDCs) required support and specialist training. An international training institute with programs based on proven results was engaged to create and implement a customized training program to influence change in FDC practice and culture. The goal was to increase donation rates by developing and implementing a customized, self-sustaining training program to enhance FDC practices of health professionals. Other goals included providing training and communications skills to lead FDC, supporting families in making decisions, and influencing health professionals to adopt FDC practices.


To gain support and determine program suitability, two 1-day pilot training sessions were provided to 45 Australian donation leaders in 2011. Training was further customized with an emphasis on creating changes to achieve and sustain desired results. A comprehensive national training plan was implemented over 18 months. Twenty-six 2-day FDC training workshops were held in 8 cities (646 participants). Program evaluations and debriefings showed distinct shifts in perspectives and an enthusiasm to implement new processes. In 2012 to 2013, an instructor program was developed to transition training facilitation. The training institute remains involved in development and training to build and sustain skill and expertise.


There was a 58% increase in organ donors in Australia from 2009 to 2013 (data reflect 2013 Australian end-of-year organ donation information). This represents a 36% increase in organ donors (2009-2011); the remaining 22% increase was achieved in the 2 years since the FDC training was implemented in Australia (2011-2013).


Improved skills training in the conduct of FDCs seem to have contributed to improved donation outcomes in national identification, request, and consent rates. The integration of another organization’s process poses distinct challenges; thoughtful collaboration, sensitive to cultural aspects and family care, communication, and donation practices, can result in successful customized training that shifts perspectives, provides new skills, and achieves and sustains an increase in organ donation rates.

Request a copy of the article (QH Staff only)

Islamic founding principles on organ transplantation and the evolution of Islamic scholarly opinions on the subject.

Transplant Proc. 2014 Jul-Aug;46(6):2043-5. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2014.06.018.


Muslims constitute about one-fourth of the human population, and a significant fraction of the organ recipients identify themselves as Muslims. A large fraction of the Muslim population is devout but unclear regarding the religious principles on organ donation and transplantation and is dependent on scholars’ and imams’ opinions.


The Qur’an, the authentic Prophetic Traditions, and expert opinions on the subject were investigated.


The sources of the Islamic founding principles on organ donation and transplantation are the Qur’an, the Prophetic Traditions, Usulul Fiqh or expert opinions based on the Qur’an and Traditions, and Maslaha or the principles of public interest deduced by the scholars. Some Muslim scholars, mostly from the Indian subcontinent, opine that live organ donation, extraction of organs from dead persons, and transplantation are prohibited. Many Arab scholars and Muslim scholars settled in the western hemisphere opine that live organ donation, organ extraction from dead persons, and transplantation are permitted, but organ donation must be a voluntary act of charity. Of late, the Iranian imams/scholars have recognized that the national government may acquire live donor organs for a uniform compensation and equitably distribute the acquired organs to patients with failing organs.


The current Islamic working principles on transplantation medicine are nonuniform, transitory, and somewhat detached from the bulk of the population. How such heterogeneity is affecting transplantation medicine, and organ donation in particular, among Muslim populations warrants further investigation.

Request a copy of the article (QH Staff only)

Communication with family after loss, in the context of transplantology.

Transplant Proc. 2014 Jul-Aug;46(6):2036-9. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2014.06.016.


Cooperation with a patient is a joint venture, based on a division of power and authority. Its character is not hierarchical. It assumes that this power is based on knowledge and experience, which is the opposite of power based on role or position. The good doctor-patient relationship affects a range of factors, including the healing process, the possibility of understanding the causes of a disease and its treatment and in a broader perspective, trust in the health service, which can in turn have a positive influence on public attitudes to organ donation. Because consent is presumed in Poland, there is no family consent requirement for organ donation of a deceased family member. In practice, however, medical professionals usually strive to get consent from family members, and in cases of refusal, they will not harvest. The aim of our study was to answer the following questions: (1) Does the way in which care was provided for the still-alive patient, as well as the relationship between the doctor and the patient’s family, influence the family’s decision to agree to the harvest of the dead patient’s organs? (2) Does previous experience with healthcare institutions and personnel influence their decision to agree to organ donation?


Research was conducted on a group of 173 people, using a questionnaire comprising 18 questions.


Obtained results show that 34% of people are satisfied with the level of medical care. The majority claim that doctors treat them without due care. Thirty-eight percent believe that doctors are capable of stopping therapy in order to get organs for transplantation.


It is necessary to recognize the correlation between a correct doctor-patient relationship, gaining trust, and how reliable a doctor’s opinions are. A patient’s conviction that he or she is well treated may lead to regaining the belief in the straightforwardness of the doctor’s opinion, and less dissatisfaction with and less criticism of medical care.

Request a copy of the article (QH Staff only)

The use of psychoactive prescription drugs among DUI suspects

Drug and Alcohol Dependence Available online 8 August 2015;  doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.07.1195


The study seeks to increase understanding of the use of psychoactive prescription drugs among persons suspected of driving under the influence (DUI). We studied whether the use of prescribed psychoactive medication was associated with DUI, and examined the difference in the use of prescription drugs between DUI recidivists and those arrested only once.


In this register-based study, persons suspected of DUI (n = 29 470) were drawn from the Register of DUI suspects, and an age- and gender-matched reference population (n = 30 043) was drawn from the Finnish general population. Data on prescription drug use was obtained by linkage to the National Prescription Register. The associations of DUI arrest and use of psychoactive prescription drugs in different DUI groups (findings for alcohol only, prescription drugs, prescription drugs and alcohol, illicit drugs) were estimated by using mixed-effect logistic regression.


The use of psychoactive prescription drugs and DUI appeared to be strongly associated, with DUI suspects significantly more likely to use psychoactive prescription drugs compared to the reference population. Gender differences existed, with the use of benzodiazepines being more common among female DUI suspects. Moreover, DUI recidivists were more likely to use psychoactive prescription drugs compared to those arrested only once.


In addition to alcohol and/or illicit drug use, a significant proportion of DUI suspects were using psychoactive prescription drugs. When prescribing psychoactive medication, especially benzodiazepines, physicians are challenged to screen for possible substance use problems and also to monitor for patients’ alcohol or illicit drug use while being medicated.

Request a copy of the article (QH Staff only)