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Bridge of Death - Suicides at the Golden Gate

Written by Denise Oliveri.

golden-gate-bridgeSan Franciso's Golden Gate Bridge is not only known as the most photographed structure in the USA but also for it's more intriguing title as the most popular site for suicide jumps in the world. Over 1,200 people have travelled to this location to take their own lives since the bridge opened in 1937. In fact, the rate of suicide is rising and, as Denise Oliveri reports, officials are struggling to stop the frenzy.

The drop from the Golden Gate Bridge is approximately 260 feet. It takes a quick four seconds to drop from the deck of the bridge to the waters below, and at a speed of 75 mph it is almost always an instant death. With such a fast impact many jumpers are convinced they won't feel a thing, making the idea of suicide more tolerable at this location.

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Can revision resources be adapted for primary learning?

Written by Seema Biswas, Sananda Haldar and Natasha Wiggins.

lecture-theatre-miniFew of us would attempt to prepare for an exam without practising past papers or leafing through revision resources. For some of us, relishing the smallest book we can find that gives us all the information we need as concisely as possible while time is at a premium, revision resources as primary learning resources are quite appealing.

They are concise, clearly relevant - since many are based on past exams, and we hope, factually correct and up-to-date. In this article we look at the evolution of revision materials and ponder the questions "should we be using these routinely for primary learning? Can they be adapted for learning from first principles? "

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The role of orthopaedic surgeons in world health

Written by John Williams.

orthopaedicsWorld health has traditionally been the remit of epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists. The global morbidity and mortality rates associated with infections such as HIV1 and malaria2 are undisputedly high, and the organisations and strategies to combat them reflect this1,2,3. Yet the burden of orthopaedic diseases is comparable to that of communicable diseases4, although there is a marked scarcity of similarly comprehensive international efforts to reduce their impact.

The World Health Organisation quantifies burden of disease using disability adjusted life years5. Worldwide, injury accounts for 12% of all DALYs lost – a striking figure when compared to those for tuberculosis (2.5%), HIV (6%) and cancer (6%)6. There were an estimated 9 million osteoporotic fractures globally in the year 2000, projected to increase by 310% and 240% in men and women respectively by 20507.

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The Killer Net - pro-suicide websites

Written by Michelle Connolly.

escape-buttonPeople searching the web for suicide help are more likely to find sites encouraging them rather than offering support, says a study published in the BMJ. Many professionals are now supporting calls for sites like these to be banned in the UK. Michelle Connolly looks at the rise of pro-suicide websites, the people who use them and arguments for their existence.

Type in some simple suicide-related search terms into four popular search engines and the results will show sites like 'Alt Suicide Holiday', 'Satan Service' and 'suicidemethods.net'. Even academic discussion groups are occasionally 'hijacked' as a forum for pro-sucicide discussion. 'Alt Suicide Holiday' was initially established as a newsgroup in the late 1980s to discuss why suicides increase during holiday periods but has since evolved into a pro-suicide site.

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Making it crystal clear - The myth of methamphetamine

Written by Ashley McKimm.

methamphetamineIn 2006 the UN issued a global warning for a drug that threatened both the developed and developing world. A drug they said would push health resources to their limits. They called it the "biggest drug crisis worldwide".

Two years later methamphetamine is virtually absent from the UK and global use is falling. Ashley McKimm investigates if the fear over methamphetamine was just a myth or if the drug remains a threat to UK healthcare.

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