Top surgeon tells Limmud of campaign to have him struck off

By Leon Symons, December 30, 2009

One of Britain’s leading cancer surgeons has told a conference how his support for the Israel Medical Association sparked a campaign to have him struck off by the General Medical Council (GMC).

Professor Michael Baum told a packed session at the annual Limmud conference at Warwick University that colleagues — including Jews — in the medical profession had turned on him after he challenged the accusation made by some that the Israel Medical Association (IMA) was complicit in the torture of Palestinian prisoners.


Thalidomide victims win cash payout

By Marcus Dysch, December 23, 2009

Two Jewish Thalidomide victims have welcomed the success of a long-running campaign which will see the government paying sufferers £20 million in compensation.

Guy Tweedy and Nick Dobrick had called for greater recognition for sufferers for seven years.

The Department of Health has now agreed to spread the payment to the Thalidomide Trust over a three-year period. The charity will share the money between Britain’s 463 surviving Thalidomide victims.


Irish girl gets vital surgery in Israel

By Ruth Eglash, December 23, 2009

The prognosis was grim last year for Rachel Casey, an Irish two-year-old with Downs Syndrome who was born with hundreds of holes in her heart. Her local physician had not managed to operate successfully, and her options were running out.

“She had been very sick,” recalled her father, Gerry, 40.

“Her heart was described as being like ‘Swiss Cheese’, and her doctor said that if she was not operated on quickly, the chance to close the holes would pass.”


Health insurance firm owes families hundreds

By James Martin, December 17, 2009

Policy-holders owed hundreds of pounds in claims have not received payouts on their medical cash plans since January.

Simplyhealth, which has taken over the HSA medical insurance group, promised “to settle on valid claims as quickly as possible” in August after admitting that customers had been given “limited information” about the status of their claims since the HSA began its claims investigations in January.


Fruit diet cured my husband of cancer

By Anthea Gerrie, December 10, 2009

It was a legacy she never expected to put to the test. But when her husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer, Paula Davis felt instinctively that her grandfather’s dietary cure was the best bet for his survival.

“Conventional treatments can have unpleasant side effects like impotence and incontinence; it was Brian’s body, and he felt a treatment aiming to rid the body of disease through diet was a saner approach,” says the granddaughter of Dr Max Gerson.


Stalker to be sent for psychiatric testing

By Leon Symons, December 3, 2009

A man who persistently stalked a young mother has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment before a judge determines his sentence.

Elliot Fogel, 34, formerly of Edgware but now living in Isleworth, appeared at Wood Green Crown Court on Monday for sentencing. At an earlier hearing, he pleaded guilty to storing material on his computer that broke an indefinite restraining order banning him from any contact with the mother, Claire Waxman.

The material included 40,000 searches for Mrs Waxman on Google; her wedding picture, which appeared on his desktop; and her new home address.


Academic: Doctors who circumcise should be struck off

By Leon Symons, December 3, 2009

Critics have rounded on an academic who has warned that doctors could be guilty of negligence and be breaking the Human Rights Act for performing circumcisions for anything other than medical reasons.

Dr David Shaw, an expert in medical ethics at Glasgow University, called for the General Medical Council (GMC) and the British Medical Association (BMA) to tighten up the advice they give doctors about circumcision.


Why hitting the bottle might just save you

By Alex Kasriel, December 3, 2009

Go to a typical Jewish wedding and it is the smoked salmon station — not the bar — where the queue normally forms. In other words, Jews are not known for their love of booze.

They may pride themselves on this remarkable restraint (or sheer lack of interest) but it might be that they are actually doing themselves a disservice by avoiding alcohol.

A recent Spanish study — one of the largest of its kind on the subject and commissioned by the Basque Public Health Department — found that the more you drink, the less chance you have of developing heart disease.


Wiggling can make you well

By Lara Lewington, November 19, 2009

If the idea of wiggling your hips and shaking your bootie in a room full of people fills you with dread, what you are about to read may change your mind. You see, there are good reasons why belly dancing classes have grown in popularity with British women. Forget hours of pounding on the treadmill or turning up at Legs, Tums and Bums — belly dancing not only gets us girls toned in all the right places, but is also said to have some surprising health benefits — including improving the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome, boosting sex drive and aiding digestion.


Rabbis' dismay as transplant rules change

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 12, 2009

Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman has dismayed the Israeli medical community and many rabbis by announcing that organ transplants are to be allowed only after the donor’s heart has stopped beating.

His decision contradicted a recent agreement between rabbis and doctors that said that transplants could be carried out following brain death.

Mr Litzman, of the United Torah Judaism party, made his position clear in a letter to a medical conference last week.