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 They do not need pseudo-morality and outdated stereotypes.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.

Researchers into genetic surgery in Philadelphia developing a technique to eliminate HIV from cells. Photo: Getty
Why DNA testing isn’t always best for customising medical treatment
By George Gillett - 21 August 10:00

Greater understanding of the genetic causes of illness suggests that this method of categorisation might not be the most accurate.

A medication produced by Pfizer, who announced profits of £1.3bn last year. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
NHS drugs, Aristotle and health economics: the problem of quantifying the value of life
By George Gillett - 18 August 11:05

In light of the news that new cancer medications won’t be made available to NHS patients, it’s worth exploring the difficulties of drug commissioning.

Two heads aren’t better than one: even the most sophisticated antidepressants seem unequal to the challenge of curing our modern malaise
Shrinking horizons: can science offer new answers to mental illness?
By Lisa Appignanesi - 14 August 15:00

It is clear that the NHS and the rise of scientific medicine in the west count among the greatest achievements of the postwar years. But can doctors really be the providers of all our goods?

Bug's life: a woman tends to a shelf full of cockroaches in jars in a lab, c.1955. Photo: Getty
The patient complained of insects crawling on her skin. Then she handed me a glass jar
By Phil Whitaker - 14 August 10:00

The “matchbox sign” describes the tendency of a particular sort of patient to bring spurious evidence in a small container to show the doctor.

A few things that are much scarier than Ebola
By Sophie McBain - 13 August 15:00

When it comes to public health, we're often afraid of the wrong things - and this can have truly nasty side-effects.

NHS staff at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
The UK’s mental health care is in crisis – the next government must act urgently
By George Gillett - 01 August 10:59

Mentally ill patients forced to travel hundreds of miles for treatment, forcible sectioning in order to get beds and medical students begging for greater teaching on psychiatry: we're not getting it right

Under pressure: the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham has seen a surge in patients at A&E. Photo: Getty
Jacqui Smith: “The NHS model isn’t broken but it needs urgent attention and support”
By Jacqui Smith - 30 July 11:43

The former home secretary on trouble in A&E – plus the triumph of all-women shortlists and the joys of summer caravanning.

Generation Ritalin: between 10 and 30% of students are estimated to have taken ADHD medication. Photo Getty
Revising on Ritalin: the students who use ADHD meds
By Ajit Niranjan - 24 July 13:00

Between 10 and 30 per cent of British university students have taken pills such as Modafinil and Ritalin to improve their memory and heighten their concentration.

 Bottles of antibiotics line a shelf at a Publix Supermarket pharmacy August 7, 2007 in Miami, Florida. Photo: Getty Images
What next, when the drugs won’t work?
By Zac Goldsmith - 08 July 17:06

The government has made progress on the urgent crisis of antimicrobial resistance, but sustained public pressure is still needed, says Zac Goldsmith.

A smear test can trap a survivor in unstoppable and violent memories. Photo: Getty
Why rape survivors often refuse cervical smears - even if it risks their lives
By Pavan Amara - 08 July 15:29

Cervical smear tests aren’t just stressful for rape survivors – they can trigger powerful flashbacks and violent memories. But avoiding a test can mean preserving your mental health at the risk of your physical well-being.

The Supreme Court in Washington DC. Photo: Getty
The Hobby Lobby decision was a victory for women’s rights
By Andrew Koppelman - 01 July 14:32

The Supreme Court has found a solution that is good for women and good for religious liberty.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt. Photo: Getty
Diagnosing cancer: why shaming and blaming GPs isn’t about improving patient safety
By Jonathon Tomlinson - 01 July 13:58

Cancer very often presents in ways we don’t expect. Creating a culture of fear around diagnosis isn’t a good thing.

Photo: Getty
Is your GP a buzzer or a meeter? Sometimes, a diagnosis starts in the waiting room
By Phil Whitaker - 19 June 10:58

Sometimes, just going to greet a patient can make all the difference.

Lost in India: passengers on an Indian railway platform. Photo: Getty
Why did a man wake up on an Indian train platform with no idea who he was?
By Philip Maughan - 19 June 10:00

When David Stuart MacLean woke up in India with amnesia he assumed he was an addict who had overdosed. In fact, the only chemical he’d been taking was the prescribed antimalarial drug Lariam.  

The pills can solve your problem, while not really solving it at all. Photo: Getty
What happens when you go to the doctor and say you can’t get an erection
By David Vernon - 17 June 9:18

It is estimated that only a third of men with erectile dysfunction seek treatment. This is what happens if you do.

In some Pacific Islands as many as one in three adults have type 2 diabetes. Photo: Getty.
Where's the public outrage at the diabetes epidemic?
By Sophie McBain - 12 June 14:55

Worldwide, diabetes kills almost as many people a year as HIV/Aids, and the number of cases of Type 2 diabetes is set to increase by 50 per cent in the next decade. Why is so little being done to contain the epidemic? 

No expense spared: a dachshund gets ear acupuncture at a Japanese vet's: Photo: Getty
Should you shell out for a dog’s MRI scan when there are queues at the local food bank?
By John Brooke - 05 June 10:00

Money determines which procedures and treatments are carried out. I tend to discourage clients from spending ridiculous sums on their animals.

Sense of duty: Martin Bromiley founded the Clinical Human Factors Group to bring change to the NHS. Photo: Muir Vidler
How mistakes can save lives: one man’s mission to revolutionise the NHS
By Ian Leslie - 04 June 10:00

After the death of his wife following a minor operation, airline pilot Martin Bromiley set out to change the way medicine is practised in the UK  – by using his knowledge of plane crashes. 

The message for women is that being fat isn't just unhealthy – it's shameful. Photo: Mason Masteka
Fat-shaming women doesn’t make us any slimmer
By Glosswitch - 03 June 10:47

Over the past few decades the ideal female body, as depicted in adverts and on film and TV, has got thinner and thinner, yet the average woman has got fatter and fatter.

Brenda was troubled by shadows in broad daylight. Photo: Getty
The tragic tale of a holiday never taken
By Phil Whitaker - 23 May 12:49

A swift death and antimacassars that turned into faceless people meant that Aubrey and Brenda never got to take the holiday they craved.

Best of British: the NHS was celebrated at the Olympics Opening Ceremony. But is there still a white bias for doctors? Photo: Getty
White GPs have a far higher exam pass rate than black or Asian ones
By Phil Whitaker - 08 May 13:22

In his Health Matters column, Dr Phil Whitaker discusses how the Royal College of GPs came under attack for possible discrimination. 

Some of the midwives and patients from the fifth series of One Born Every Minute. Photo: Phil Fisk
One Born Every Minute is the opium of the masses
By Myriam Francois-Cerrah - 22 April 15:25

Like millions of others, I love Channel 4’s maternity documentary. But it is feeding us an overly rosy view of an NHS suffering from staff shortages and cutbacks.

Vintage cereal boxes: breakfast cereals have been especially implicated in childhood obesity. Photo: Getty
How the lessons of the long war on tobacco can help us shape up on our new front line: obesity
By Phil Whitaker - 17 April 17:00

The NHS is gradually waking up to the need to provide structured support to people keen to lose weight, just like smoking cessation services.

Breaking the silence: why we should be talking about male eating disorders
By Ashley Cowburn - 16 April 16:00

An eating disorder doesn’t consider your gender. It is indiscriminate.

Young women in Somalia take part in a discussion on FGM, February 2014. Photo: Getty
Zero-tolerance on FGM doesn’t have to be an attack on multiculturalism
By Reema Patel - 11 April 16:45

The problem is that many feel they have to pick a side. But we know that cultures are not as fixed and unchanging as powerful advocates within them may like to make out.

Passing out ceremony: an Irish guard faints on St Patrick’s Day Parade, Aldershot 2012. Photo: Getty
I thought the man had only passed out until he mentioned the severe stomach pain
By Phil Whitaker - 04 April 12:00

Sometimes things are not as they first seem, recalls Dr Phil Whitaker about the time when a simple faint turned out to be an aneurysm. 

2 in 3 smokers wish they could stop and 9 in 10 wish they had never started. Photo: Getty
Why we should ban the sale of cigarettes to people born after the year 2000
By Tim Crocker-Buqué - 28 March 12:21

Someone who starts smoking at age 15 is three times more likely to die of tobacco related cancer than someone who starts in their mid-20s.

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