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French study finds higher incidence in elderly people who have had operations

Abortion: The right to choose an abortion - in your lunch break

Thirty years since it was legalised in Britain, the debate still rages about abortion, and to have one or not can still be one of the most difficult decisions a woman can face. But if she decides to go ahead, there is another important choice. Which type of abortion - under general or local anaesthetic, or by taking the "morning after" pill? By Nicole Veash

Abortion: `It was important to get on with my life as quickly as possible'

Louise Singleton, 30, is a district nurse who lives in London with her four-year-old daughter. Last week she had an abortion under local anaesthetic at a Marie Stopes day-care centre. She was seven weeks pregnant.

Health: Does this man understand something about back pain that nobody else knows?

As anyone with back trouble knows, all cures, or even half-cures, are gratefully received. Chloe Leland's story of vertebral discs and one man's belief that you don't need them.

The ice man painteth

Tuesday's book

The human condition: The first cut is the deepest

Scarring and branding is the body modifier's way of saying I love you. Hero Brown reports

The Investment Column: Chiroscience still seeking a partner

In these jittery times in the UK biotech sector where share prices plunge on a whiff of bad news, no one wants to disappoint. So Chiroscience was treading carefully yesterday, following the announcement of its interim results. The market has been impatient for it to announce a marketing partner for its lead product, levobupivacaine, a local, long-acting anaesthetic.

Snoring causes such distress that sufferers are resorting to surgery that may be neither helpful or necessary

At least one third of Britain's estimated ten million snorers are female. Women tend not to seek treatment however, often because they are too embarrassed -and also, specialists think, because their (male) partners sleep more soundly, and are less likely to complain. (Men are more prone to snoring, it is thought, because of their sex hormones: more of their body fat is around the neck).

Letter: Midwives are professionals as much as obstetricians

One of the charges brought against Ann Kelly, the Dublin midwife, is that she failed to send mothers to hospital where labour lasted more than 12 hours. Dublin obstetricians have been obsessed with length of labour since Keiran O'Driscoll and Declan Meagher's book Active Management of Labour was published in 1980. This advocated 12-hour deliveries to reduce pressure on maternity beds. All women were to have the waters broken on admission and slow labours were to bespeeded up with drugs.

Prozac, opium and myrrh: the ancient arts of anaesthesia are unlocked

A medieval hospital that straddled the main highway between England and Scotland has yielded the secrets of its extensive pharmacopoeia showing that centuries-old treatments offered to the casualties of war between the two countries have never been bettered by modern medicine.

`But the most amazing thing is that nearly half of all doctors who get struck off are accepted back'

Morning, Mr Hudson. I've come to change your catheter.

Ohmeda sale to net BOC pounds 1bn

BOC, the world's second largest industrial gases group, is tipped to strengthen its position in the continental European gas market with a big acquisition, following the planned sale of its health business, Ohmeda, announced yesterday. Analysts said Ohmeda, which makes surgical anaesthetic gases, could fetch up to pounds 1bn.

Smiths to bid for BOC disposal

Smiths Industries, the UK engineer, is planning a bid for BOC's US inhaled gases and plastics business, Ohmeda, in a deal which could be worth as much as pounds 1bn. Alan Thomson, finance director of Smiths, said yesterday that the group would be prepared to issue paper to fund the acquisition.

Leading Article: Out to lunch and out of place

A Woman's right to abortion in specified circumstances is sanctioned by law in this country. Not everyone is happy with that, and so, maybe rightly, there is a permanent (and frequently intemperate) debate on the issue. Any new application of the law, or any advance in medical technology, is subject to fierce scrutiny by the media, urged on by a vociferous "pro- life" lobby. Which makes it all the more astonishing that the charity Marie Stopes International has committed such a public relations blunder in describing its new day-care centres as offering "a minor procedure that could quite easily be completed during a working woman's lunchtime break". Not only is such language guaranteed to offend deeply held beliefs, it is also patronisingly cheery to the "working women" MSI believes it is championing. Women will welcome a simpler and faster procedure requiring only local anaesthesia, but they will not, we are certain, be popping out of the office in a spare moment to have a termination. Abortion will remain a serious and, for some women, agonising decision.

Fury over `lunch-hour abortions'

Pro-life campaigners were last night calling for an investigation into a charity offering a walk-in termination service aimed to fit into a woman's lunch hour.

Big freeze at Pompeii

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