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Dacca, Bangladesh, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, April 1977. 41 p.Reports on a survey conducted to identify the formal and informal opinion leaders as perceived by the people of Bangladesh, and to assess their attitude towards family planning. Findings indicate that the contraception practice rate among opinion leaders is significantly higher than the average, and it is recommended that specific orientation and training in the skills of interpersonal and group communication be arranged for them to effect a transfer of motivation to the people in their locality. Also established is the fact that obstacles to family planning due to religious belief is more a function of the leaders' perception of people's attitude than a function of reality. Opinion leaders fail to identify population as the root problem, so that family planning education should be structured around the felt problems of food, unemployment, poverty, and so forth. The need for a greater degree of husband-wife communication about family planning is indicated, as well as a change in the traditional status of women. A family planning program with an incentive-disincentive aspect should be deemphasized. Finally, the survey reveals that the local leadership is not yet ready to take major responsibility in family planning communication.
Towards a more rational regulation of the development of new medicines. Report of a European Workshop held in Sestri Levante, Italy, September 28-30, 1976.
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY. 1977; 11(3):233-8.A Group of European scientists held a workshop in Sestri Levante, Italy, September 28-30, 1976, proposing a more rational approach towards regulation and development of new medicines. The dual theme of the workshop was the influence of regulatory agencies on new medicines, and discussions on current medical research and discoveries. The scientists, while acknowledging the importance of regulatory agencies with regard to public safety and welfare, did question the agencies' objectives; they admit these objectives are well intended, but may, with the passage of time, have become too cumbersome. The group also suggests regulation may be interfering with the development of new medicines that could prove helpful to patients. These speculations are highlighted in detail, and reasons are given scientifically, administratively, and politically, why these interferences occur. Offered too are methods regulatory agencies could employ to alter this situation in favor of patients and communities as a whole. The report concludes that the public should be made aware that medicines are not, nor can they be, 100% safe. Public education is the only rational approach towards the development of new medicines.
Critic. 1977 Spring; 14-25.The lack of acceptance of the Catholic Church's teachings on birth control on the part of the devout laity of the church raises the possibility that the teachings are wrong, i.e., they do not reflect Catholic truth as manifested through the sense of the faithful. According to a study conducted by the National Opinion Research Center, 87% of the Catholics in the US do not accept the church's position on birth control. Catholic tradition supports the position that infallible Catholic truths can emerge from the sense of the faithful, i.e., that God speaks through the faithful. The church is, therefore, confronted with a dilemma. The leadership, claiming divine guidance, is at odds with the sense of the faithful. Conservative elements in the church dismiss the dilemma by claiming that only those who accept the teachings of the church are true Catholics. Many church leaders believe that the dilemma stems from inadequate pastoral work. They maintain that more intensive pastoral work will eventually convince the laity of the validity of the teachings. Another explanation should at least be considered. Perhaps the teachings are wrong. Perhaps they were arrived at through inappropriate means. This possibility is explored using sociological knowledge about the decision making process in voluntary organization and the study of the historical reception of Catholic teaching by Father Pere Congar. The church can be viewed as a voluntary organization since membership is optional. In a voluntary organization the function of a leader is to promote consensual decision making. Divine guidance is, in reality, the process of promoting a consensus. The leader draws the truth, the Word of God, out of the sense of the faithful. The church is infallible not because it has automatic access to a set of right answers, but because it has the capacity to identify inadequate answers and to work until it has drawn out the truth from the faithful. Furthermore, the work of Father Congar demonstrates that histoircally the council of the church has become effective only after it has been received and accepted by the whole church. If it is not accepted it is eventually abandoned. In summary, ecclesiastical authority may be viewed, not as some automatically given addition ot the Word of God, but as the spiritual discernment of the sense of God in the total community of the faithful. If this argument is applicable to infallible truths then it should also be applicable to the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church, including the birth control encyclical, i.e., the Humanae Vitae.
London, Birth Control Trust, 1977 Mar. 24 p.This booklet is an attempt to explore the following and other questions relating to advertising and contraception: would the commercial advertising of contraceptives be felt offensive and embarrassing on the part of a large section of the public; are the codes of consumer protection applied consistently at the moment or is sex already being sold through the media; have the Independent Broadcasting Authority and the Advertising Standards Authority of Great Britain the right to "protect" the public from information of medically beneficial products while condoning the advertising of harmful products. In January 1970 the Independent Broadcasting Authority amended its code of advertising standards and practices to allow the advertising of "official or officially sponsored family planning services," but contraceptives and pregnancy testing services are still classified with such products as "smoking cures, products for the treatment of hemorrhoids, slimming clinics and clinics for the treatment of hair and scalp" as unacceptable products. Contraception and thus sex is classified as either a dubious activity or one that requires medical sanction or treatment. Under the British Code of Advertising Practice, the advertising of contraceptive methods is permitted but whether these include statements or visual presentations that would be offensive to the standards of decency prevailing among the public is left to the discretion of the Code of Advertising Practice Committee. The IBA protects the public from embarrassment at the mention of birth control, but sexual excitement and men and women as sexual objects are not excluded from the screens, newspapers, and magazines. When the approach to sex is not covert, when sexual matters are viewed decently, honestly, and truthfully that one is in danger of coming into conflict with the authorities. Nowhere can this be more clearly seen as in the problems experienced by the Marie Stopes Memorial Clinic, Brook Advisory Centres, and the Pregnancy Advisory Service when it tried to advertise in public transport. The advertisement was turned down on the basis that "unmarried" and "birth control" would be offensive to a large number of the traveling public. A National Opinion Survey in 1972 found that 60% of the British public thought the government should spend money on national education and publicity campaigns for birth control. Possibly the real reason for not allowing contraceptive advertising is commercial. Higher usage of contraception means few people, and less people means fewer consumers.
[The value of permanence in marriage among white and Indian women] Die waarde van permanensie in die huwelik by Blanke en Indiervroue.
Pretoria, South Africa, South African Human Sciences Research Council, Institute for Sociological, Demographic and Criminological Research, 1977. 17, iii p. (Research Finding/Navorsingsbevinding S-N-83)Using data from two surveys, the author measures attitudes toward divorce in general, toward remarriage, and toward specific reasons for divorce among Afrikaans-speaking white women and Indian women in South Africa (SUMMARY IN ENG) (ANNOTATION)
[The migrant worker's views of the migrant labor system with reference to some aspects of possible harm to the migrant worker, his family, and the community from which he comes] Die trekarbeider se siening van die trekarbeidstelsel met verwysing na enkele aspekte van moontlike benadeling van die trekarbeider, sy gesin en die gemeenskap waaruit hy afkomstig is
Research Finding/Navorsingsbevinding. South African Human Sciences Research Council. Institute for Sociological, Demographic and Criminological ResearchPretoria, South Africa, 1977. (S-N-105) iv, 47, 111 p.Results are presented from a 1976 study of migrant workers' views on the migrant labor system in South Africa. "Attention [is] also devoted to some aspects of possible harm to the migrant labourer, his family and the community from which he comes. The study was conducted among Transkei citizens in the migrant labourer communities of Port Elizabeth and Pretoria." (SUMMARY IN ENG) (EXCERPT)
[The opinion of the former migrant worker regarding the migrant labor system and related aspects] Die mening van die gewese trekarbeider insake die trekarbeidstelsel en aanverwante aspekte.
Pretoria, South Africa, South African Human Sciences Research Council, Institute for Sociological, Demographic and Criminological Research, 1977. v, 47, iii p. (Research Finding/Navorsingsbevinding S-N-106)Results are presented from a 1976 survey of the opinions of former migrant workers regarding the migrant labor system in South Africa and related topics such as the effect of this system on marriage. Data are for 601 respondents in three Transkei districts (SUMMARY IN ENG) (ANNOTATION)
Social Biology. 1977 Winter; 24(4):267-280.Until recently it appeared as if oral contraception greatly reduced the costs of fertility control. The advantages of effectiveness and the convenience of this method in preference to coitus-related contraception led to the dramatic increase in oral contraceptive (OC) use during the 1960s in the U.S. The trend in the 1970s is different. OC use has leveled off, and suspicions have arisen that the net costs to women of using this form of birth control are higher than was previously believed. Discontinuation rates by women who have been on OCs have increased despite major improvement in the chemistry of the OC in recent years. In view of the evidence concerning the apparent risks to health associated with OCs, the current trend is not surprising. The range of major diseases for which the relative risk is higher among OC users seems to be broadening, and, as a consequence, the cumulative absolute risk overall of these diseases may be very much higher than was believed when only selected thromboembolic entities seemed to be involved. In order to obtain the public's view about the safety of OCs, 1500 voting age adults have been questioned in national surveys since 1966. 34% of the respondents in 1976 said that they believed the OC to be safe, but 47% of this group meant that it is as safe as aspirin. 34% ranked it as being somewhat less safe than aspirin. Their answers indicate that over time there had been increasing anxiety about the safety of the OC, but no general sense of panic. Even among those who felt it is unsafe, only a minority are willing to label it as "really dangerous."