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Wanting to die is 'not a weakness,' says peer

The assisted dying bill is being debated in the House of Lords.
The assisted dying bill is being debated in the House of Lords. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Shadow leader of the House of Lords Baroness Royall of Blaisdon said wanting to die was "not a weakness" as the debate on assisted dying continues.

The Labour peer, whose late husband had cancer, said: "For me the goal must be to allow people who are suffering at the end of their life to choose to die.

"This I believe is a matter of compassion and human dignity."

Assisted dying bill 'stacked round with safeguards'

The assisted suicide bill was "stacked round with safeguards" to prevent a sick or elderly relatives from being "pushed into death", one campaigner told Good Morning Britain.

Prue Leith, who lost her brother to bone cancer, said she was "not asking for euthanasia" but wanted to give the terminally ill the option of a peaceful death.

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Statin guidelines 'impact already overstretched GPs'

The British Medical Association (BMA) criticised plans to give more of the adult population anti-cholesterol medicine as it recommendations did not consider the effect they would have on "already overstretched GPs".

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA's General Practitioner's Committee, said:

While the majority of Nice's guidance is useful we continue to have concerns over the recommendation to reduce the threshold for the use of Statins in patients with a low risk of cardiovascular disease.

In making their decision Nice have failed to take the current pressures on general practice into account, and the further impact this will have on already overstretched GPs and those patients, especially older patients, requiring treatment for other illnesses.

– Dr Chaand Nagpaul

Nice hit out at 'ludicrous' statin controversy

A health chief has hit out at suggestions lowering the threshold for statin use, dubbing accusations of over medicalisation as "ludicrous'.

Professor Mark Baker, director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at Nice, said:

I must remind you that nobody gets onto our guideline groups if they have any significant vested interest, especially a financial interest.

No-one was appointed to our group who had anything to gain from the content of the guidance.

Statins are safe and effective and now they are cheaper it is a good deal for more people to have access to them under the NHS. Doctors have been giving statins to 'well people' since Nice first produced guidance on this in 2006.

We are now recommending the threshold is reduced further. The overwhelming body of evidence supports their use, even in people at low risk of cardiovascular disease.

The effectiveness of these medicines is now well proven and their cost has fallen.

– Professor Mark Baker

Almost '40% of adult population' eligible for statins

Two in every five adults in England could be offered medicine in the hope of preventing heart attacks and strokes, according to fresh guidelines.

Read: Scientists find cholesterol 'link' to Alzheimer's

Statins
Statins may cut the risk of some serious, long-term health problems, such as a stroke. Credit: PA

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) opened to door for millions more to qualify for the cholesterol-reducing drugs on the NHS by making those with a lower risk of heart disease and strokes eligible.

This lower threshold could see an additional 4.5 million offered the drugs, bringing the total of all eligible people to 17 million, Nice said.

Statins are currently on offer to those with a 20% risk of developing cardiovascular disease within a decade. However, Nice wants to see those with a 10% risk offered the drug.

Read: Protein 'fights cholesterol drugs'

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Over half of bread 'contains pesticides'

Pesticide residue was found in almost two thirds of bread products in the UK, according to a report based on Government figures.

Bread
Studies had shown that even very low doses of certain pesticides ingested regularly and in combination with other chemicals could have Credit: PA

The amount has more than doubled in bread products with 63% found in bread products last year, where as only 28% was found to contain pesticide residue in 2001.

The study by the Pesticide Action Network (Pan) UK and the Organic Naturally Different campaign said some 7% of the organic samples - three out of 42 products tested - contained a single residue, while none contained multiple residues.

Pan UK said the most likely explanation for this was cross-contamination from non-organic crops, either during production or storage.

New measures to crack down on failing care homes

Ministers have brought in new rules which could force care homes to shut down if they are not caring for residents properly.

Read: 'Special measures' planned for care homes

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is extending the "special measures system" - which is currently used for hospitals and schools - to include care homes in order to protect vulnerable people after a series of scandals.

Health correspondent Catherine Jones reports.

Warning: This report contains distressing images.

Read more: Health Secretary says 'far too many' failing care homes

Hunt: 'Far too many' failing care homes

The Health Secretary has said there are "far too many" failing care homes.

Jeremy Hunt said that he would not want his mother, father or grandparents to live in a number of care facilities in England as he announced new measures to tackle failing care homes.

Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary
Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary

There are many excellent home care providers and many outstanding care homes in this country but there are still too many where I would personally not want my mother or my father or grandparents to live in.

The public have been really shocked by stories of abuse and neglect and we need to give the public confidence that when these things happen they will be spotted quickly and acted on.

– Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary.

Mr Gove said Ofsted-style ratings would be given to care homes and care services and those that are labelled 'inadequate' could be put into special measures or even shut down.

Read: 'Special measures' planned for all care homes.

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