ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Studying Women Seeking Abortions

Abortion in Asia: Local Dilemmas, Global Politics edited by Andrea Whittaker, New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2013; pp xii + 253, Rs 895.

Clinical Trial Compensation: A Clarification

This is with reference to the article “Clinical Trial-Related Injury: Note on Formula to Determine Compensation” (EPW, 4 April 2015). We would like to clarify that we had submitted the article to EPW in May 2014. By April 2015, much has happened, and the compensation formula is no more in the draft...

On Open Defecation

Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey are appreciated for their holistic analysis of the issue of “Open Defecation in India” (EPW, 6 December 2014). However, there are certain issues which need further debate and scrutiny. The authors are aware of the issue of Western bias, when they state, “Is this not...

Clinical Trial-Related Injury

This article provides a detailed critique of the formulae to provide compensation to subjects of clinical trials who may suffer serious adverse effects during their participation. The present formulae used by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization display a lack of medical ethics and disregard the accepted norms.

Need for Protocols in Public Health

The deaths in Chhattisgarh during a state-sponsored family planning camp held in November 2014 show, yet again, that the lack of checklists and an ad hoc style of functioning can and does result in disaster. This article explains the need for standardisation and protocols in key government processes and talks about the pathetic conditions in which medicines and surgical supplies are procured in public hospitals as well as the failure of state agencies to detect and prohibit sale of substandard drugs.

Burden of Infectious Diseases

Diseases like the H1N1 flu pose major challenges because of the continuing neglect of public health.

Persistent, Complex and Unresolved Issues

Challenges in the provision, accessibility and corresponding treatment gaps in mental health services in India and other low- and middle-income countries have been the subject of considerable discussion in recent times. Moving away from frequently acknowledged macro concerns, a few recurring, persistent problems remain insufficiently analysed. This article aims to capture the complexity and distress caused by the co-occurrence and interrelatedness of poverty, mental ill health and homelessness. It examines the ramifications of this nexus in domains including health systems and access to healthcare, productive living and full participation, social attitudes and responsiveness, and the development of human resources and leadership in the social sector. It also discusses the failure to engage with these issues which results in greater vulnerability, distress and social defeat among the affected populations.

Contrived Confusions

Ethical dilemmas surrounding abortion, particularly the conflict between human and legal rights of a childbearing woman and the so-called rights of an unborn child, are quite legitimate. However, the pro-life activists should desist from treating a woman as mere receptacle for the unborn child, taking away her inalienable right to control her own body.

Healthcare

This letter is in response to the article by Meeta Rajivlochan, “Improving Healthcare Services at Reduced Prices” (EPW, 3 January 2015). I am not sure if laying down standards of healthcare is practical and implementable and whether any example of the same exists in other countries. However, the...

Bio-medicalisation and Gandhi's Vision of Health

Modern medicine has created a dichotomy: modern medicine on the one hand, and alternative systems on the other. This paper views this dichotomy and liminality in the context of Gandhi's vision of health. It delineates the elements and structural coordinates of this alternative healthcare system, and tries to understand how, over time, a synthesis has occurred between the epistemologies of Nature Cure and Modern Medicine. It also looks at how Gandhi's vision of health has undergone a change at two levels, that of "space" and structural relations. This paper also tries to understand how the archaeology of discourse and medical perception evolves, changes and coexists under the canvas of larger political-economic situations.

Haze and Smoke

We are killing our urban residents through the air they breathe.

National Health Policy 2015

Since independence, India's national health policies have been aspirational but the end results have been limited. The National Health Policy 2015, which is in the process of being finalised, should, in place of the earlier "broadband" approach, adopt a "narrow focus" on primary healthcare through the National Rural Health Mission. The latter has focused on primary healthcare and has shown visible results. A slew of suggestions as to how this can be done are made in this article.

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