"People just dismiss me": the leading policeman challenging the War on Drugs
By Tim Wigmore - 19 December 14:28

The Chief Constable of Durham, Mike Barton, breaks the taboo on drugs.

A health worker treats a child with ebola in Sierra Leone. Photo: Francisco Leong/AFP/Getty Images
Warnings over collapse of health system in the wake of ebola in Sierra Leone
By Karl Blanchet and Sara Nam - 12 December 11:20

Prior to the outbreak there were signs of progress in the country’s public health operation, which are now under threat.

Carriers: mosquitoes at the Oswaldo Cruz foundation in Rio de Janeiro, on 2 October. Photo: Getty
I’d never heard of “chicken unga fever”. Had a new kind of bird flu hit Britain?
By Phil Whitaker - 05 December 16:59

Dr Phil Whitaker’s Health Matters column. 

A four-day-old baby in a hospital ward. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
What is the “best” way to give birth?
By Glosswitch - 04 December 14:37

Women should be able to make informed choices over their own labours, and not be brow-beaten with the idea of the “perfect birth”.

Why aren’t we more shocked that mentally ill people spend time in police cells because we lack beds?
By Glosswitch - 02 December 12:41

Wanting to care about mental illness is not the same as caring.

PrEP time: A large red ribbon hangs in Washington to mark World Aids Day. Photo: Flickr/Tim Evanson
Why HIV prevention meds should be available on the NHS now
By Will Nutland - 01 December 13:00

Pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis (PrEP) involves giving at-risk HIV-negative people a daily dose of HIV medication. Though controversial to some, it is proving highly effective in preventing infection and activists are calling for it to be rolled out immediately.

An anti-abortion protestor in Belfast in 2012. Photo: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty
It’s time Northern Ireland put an end to the climate of fear around abortion
By Grainne Teggart - 28 November 11:40

The proposal to impose ten-year jail sentences on any woman who has an abortion in a non-NHS clinic in Northern Ireland would plunge women’s rights into the dark ages.

Medical opinion: Atul Gawande's prose is as sharp as his scalpel. Photo: Erik Jacobs/NYT/Redux/Eyevine
Rock doc: surgeon and writer Atul Gawande on old age and dying
By Sophie McBain - 27 November 10:00

What should doctors do when the drugs won’t work? Often it’s easier to push one more treatment than to acknowledge that “people have priorities other than living longer”.

Photo: Hiii Fiii/Flickr
Brendan’s fits seemed like epilepsy, until we looked into his emotional life
By Phil Whitaker - 20 November 15:35

Dr Phil Whitaker’s Health Matters column. 

A child in India during World Toilet Day in New Delhi, 2012. Around 130 million households in India have no toilets. Photo: Getty
Choose your friends wisely – their friends could be bad for your health
By Helen Lewis - 06 November 10:00

A seriously ill patient’s condition affects not just their ­immediate family and friends but the next circle out, their children’s spouses, say, and the one after that, of those spouses’ friends.

Virtuous circle: West Africa needs to retain more of its trained medics. Photo: Kevin Sieff/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Ebola: how the west made things worse
By Desmond Cohen - 06 November 10:00

The severe shortage of medical staff in African countries is not simply a result of failures in government planning. One major contributing factor is the high demand for trained health workers in rich countries.

Pet love: a cat does a weekly visit to a Berlin care home to help in the treatment of patients with dementia. Photo: Getty
Would you want to know if you had dementia, even when there is no cure?
By Phil Whitaker - 06 November 10:00

Dr Phil Whitaker’s Health Matters column. 

Beds should be allocated according to need, not sex. Photo: Alden Chadwick on Flickr via Creative Commons
The Orchard psychiatric ward closure: women bear the cost of unchecked male dominance
By Glosswitch - 06 November 9:34

An important psychiatric unit in Lancaster has been closed to female patients – a move that is especially galling because we are so used to being told that segregation by sex is obsolete in these brave new postmodern times.

Fort Kent, Maine, where nurse Kaci Hickox has become the centre of a political controversy. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty
Ebola is the latest political battleground between America’s left and right
By David Millward - 31 October 12:21

The febrile atmosphere of the mid-term elections has turned the response to the disease into a way of playing politics.

Desperate: Liberian health workers at the NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres Ebola treatment centre in Monrovia, 18 October. Photo: Getty
Monrovia, the city at the heart of the ebola outbreak
By Clair MacDougall - 23 October 10:00

At least 200 health workers have been infected with ebola and 90 have died, according to the latest government figures, yet pay is modest. Last week they staged a two-day strike. 

Face off: Hong Kong residents wear Sars masks while watching a funeral procession. Photo: Getty
The plague index: which diseases could still cause chaos?
By Michael Barrett - 22 October 15:20

We defeated or tamed many fatal diseases in the 20th century but many remain a threat. Michael Barrett assesses the contenders for the next pandemic. 

An XXL size tag on a coat hanger. Photo: Getty
Why all new legislation should face an obesity test
By Julia Manning - 16 October 12:10

Obesity is not a future theoretical threat, it is a present catastrophe.

People walk past an ebola treatment centre in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: Getty
How translators can help stem the ebola crisis
By Lori Thicke - 14 October 13:16

Ignorance about ebola can be as fatal as bodily contact with an infected person. The problem is that most information about how to prevent ebola is not available in the languages understood by the people at risk.

Checking up baby: a doctor cares for a baby in a Paris hospital, 2013. Photo: Getty
The baby only had chickenpox. But then she suddenly stopped breathing
By Phil Whitaker - 09 October 10:00

Dr Phil Whitaker’s Health Matters column. 

We may not have a cure, but at least we can ensure that people can walk down the street without being feared or mocked. Photo: Getty
Schizophrenia is not a fatal illness, yet sufferers are still dying 20 years too soon
By Glosswitch - 06 October 10:42

We have to go beyond the well-meaning commitment to “combat stigma” and be willing to share our time – that extra twenty years we currently have to ourselves – even when we are unable to measure what this will mean.

Casualty of war: a Free Syria Army fighter is treated for minor injuries in 2012. Photo: Getty
The refugee was slowly being killed by his own scar tissue
By Phil Whitaker - 25 September 10:00

Dr Phil Whitaker’s Health Matters column.

Constant headaches often have a more prosaic basis than feared. Photo: Flickr/Sarah G
The woman was suffering from headaches and fearing the worst. Then I weighed her
By Phil Whitaker - 15 September 10:42

Dr Phil Whitaker’s Health Matters column. 

A rack of T-shirts. Photo: oatsy40 on Flickr, via Creative Commons
The Ex-Anorexic’s Guide to Shopping
By Harriet Williamson - 09 September 11:20

Even after an eating disorder is a thing of the past, an action as trivial as flipping through a rack of t-shirts can be difficult.

Mindfulness can be lovingly, painstakingly assaulting fruit. Photo: Getty
Mindfulness: the sexy cure-all for the nail-chewing ailments of my anxiety-ridden generation
By Eleanor Margolis - 05 September 10:43

Or, how I ended up plucking the seeds off a strawberry at six in the morning.

A football fan eats chips before a match. Photo: Getty
Thin people don’t just eat differently to fat people. They live completely different lives
By Helen Lewis - 01 September 10:12

One of the biggest lies about obesity is that it’s simply about eating too much and not doing enough exercise – problems are often far deeper rooted. 

Nurses wearing protective suits escort a man infected with the ebola virus to a hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, 25 August. Photo: Getty
Why releasing untested ebola drugs was the right thing to do
By Michael Brooks - 28 August 10:00

Drug trials rarely tell the whole story as many drugs have side effects that emerge only after deployment in the population at large. Yet unexpected effects can sometimes be surprisingly good.

Spread risk: a Monrovia classroom serves as a rudimentary isolation ward. Photo: John Moore/Getty
West Africa on a hope and a prayer: the desperate efforts to contain ebola
By Charlotte Lytton - 27 August 17:00

The 16 August attack on an ebola clinic in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, is a sign of just how deeply western medicine is mistrusted.

Richard Dawkins’ tweets have caused controversy yet again. Photo: Getty
Why Richard Dawkins’ “abort it and try again” comments about Down’s syndrome babies are so harmful
By Graham Duncan - 22 August 16:02

Parents receiving a pre-natal diagnosis of Down’s syndrome are faced with an awful dilemma and need our care and support. They do not need pseudo-morality and outdated stereotypes.

Glutton meets gourmet: our ideas about healthy eating are becoming ever more confused. Image: Valero Doval
Slightly overweight people live longer – so is it time to rethink our dietary advice?
By Julian Baggini - 21 August 11:50

One of the most unfortunate consequences of this constant revising of recommendations is the belief that no one knows what a good diet is. But look at the bigger picture and the consensus holds steady over time.

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