Health

Trying to ban legal highs? Expect a bad trip

Keep an eye on the government’s ban on legal highs. The Conservative ­manifesto pledged to outlaw all the horrible chemicals…

27 May 2015

The white-knuckle terror of being driven by a dopehead

‘Hidden menace of the drivers high on drugs,’ says the headline in today’s Daily Mail, revealing that – according to…

25 May 2015

A sugar tax is simply a tax on the poor

Why is it that whenever anyone proposes a tax on the wealthy all hell breaks loose, but when someone proposes…

22 May 2015

A tax on sugar won’t work, as the shipwreck of the Danish ‘fat tax’ shows

Bad ideas die hard in the world of ‘public health’, especially when the government can make money out of them.…

22 May 2015

Cameron’s seven-day GP service is a mad promise straight out of ‘Yes, Prime Minister’

I love the series Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister for many reasons, among them the timeless, elegant dialogue that can…

21 May 2015

Ten years on, the public health puritans who predicted 24-hour drinking look like idiots

One of the many old temperance beliefs that linger on in the field of ‘public health’ is known as availability…

20 May 2015

Dying Without Dignity: a report on end-of-life care that shames the NHS

The name says it all. ‘Dying Without Dignity’ is the parliamentary health ombudsman’s report into over 300 complaints of the neglect of…

Jonny Wilkinson

Worried about your weight? Check your waistline, not the bathroom scales

If you’ve glanced at a newspaper in the last few months you’ll have noticed that obesity is public health enemy number…

What should Jeremy Hunt do next to the NHS?

The Tories barely talked about the NHS during the election campaign. It was an area of Labour strength, and one…

19 May 2015

Horrible diseases are being ‘edited out’ of the human body

Some exciting news about the future of medicine was announced today. Unfortunately, you really need a degree in biochemistry –…

Hormone ‘halves risk of premature birth,’ says the Mail. But its report is wildly inaccurate

As a gynaecologist, I was appalled to read this story about a supposedly ‘groundbreaking’ treatment to stop premature births in the…

18 May 2015

Why GPs are the London cabbies of the NHS

GPs are the very personification of the description ‘jack of all trades, master of none’. Following so-called ‘specialist’ training, they emerge…

18 May 2015

New gene therapy for heart disease and diabetes: how will hypochondriacs react?

The drugs giant AstraZeneca (AZ) has signed a deal with heart researchers in Canada which pushes forward the project to…

Boston bomber sentenced to death. But can they find the right drugs to kill him?

The Boston bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was today sentenced to death by lethal injection. The jury reached the decision in the city…

15 May 2015

Obesity isn’t a ‘disease’, whatever the American Medical Association may think

This week, The Guardian informed us, a study revealed the ‘scale of the British public’s denial about weight problems’. Data…

15 May 2015

Prince Charles’s letters reveal the extent of his lobbying for dangerous ‘alternative medicine’

The age of enlightenment was a beautiful thing. People cast aside dogma and authority. They started to think for themselves.…

14 May 2015

Charles’s ‘spider letters’: The Guardian falls for the pseudoscience of graphology

The Prince of Wales’s ‘spider letters’ are out today – his letters to government ministers written or annotated in his distinctive…

13 May 2015

‘Binge Britain’ has ended. Get over it

A certain amount of amnesia is required if you are to believe everything the ‘public health’ lobby tells you. Alcohol…

13 May 2015

I used to have Asperger’s. Now I’m autistic, according to ‘experts’. I don’t believe it

Autism is being diagnosed all over the place right now. There’s been an explosion in the number of cases, we’re told. This…

12 May 2015

Porn and video games: more hysteria about ‘rewiring brains’

Here we go again. What effect do you think watching porn and video games have on young men? Yup, they…

11 May 2015

Ignore the latest fad theory. The ‘secret’ of weight loss is to eat fewer calories than you burn

Before I got sidetracked by bogus obesity predictions, I was discussing the equally bogus controversy about whether physical inactivity is…

11 May 2015

Check up

  The hidden perils of dining out For many, eating out is associated with a treat. According to a new…

9 May 2015

A cure for what ails you?

I’d better declare a conflict of interest straight away: I am rather taken by anything to do with garlic, have…

Illustration by David Humphries

Junk policy

In 1982 a doctor called John Marks walked into a grey little GP surgery in the Wirral, in the drizzly…

9 May 2015

The bureaucrats’ boom

Is it time to put a halt on professional management ruining our public services?

9 May 2015
Heads up: even among older people the brain can form new pathways

Get your balance back

I don’t remember with any clarity the first time I fell, just a sudden awareness that rather than being perpendicular to…

9 May 2015