Patel is the Pershing Square Professor of Global Health at Harvard Medical School and is affiliated with the Public Health Foundation of India and Sangath
The recent passage of the so-called ‘love jihad’ laws in three states of the country, imposing harsh penalties on ‘forced conversions’ under the pretext of marriage, represents a new and daunting challenge to love in India.
If there is one thing that the pandemic should have taught us, it must be to wait in line, patiently, with at least six feet in between. No matter when you get the jab, our victory is assured.
Marijuana has a long and colourful history of use in India, dating back at least two millennia and the laws criminalising its use were imposed by foreigners.
Imagine if all the effort and resources spent attacking one another could be turned towards building a compassionate society and fixing the ills which are making us all sick.
While science-informed policies are an aspiration, we also need to appreciate their limitations and assumptions to ensure that such policies do not lead to avoidable harms and promise unrealistic results.
Mental health problems were already a major contributor to the burden of illness in India before the pandemic, with a third of all female and a quarter of all male suicide deaths in the world occurring in this country.
One must wonder whether, given there was no evidence of widespread community transmission, we might have staved off the worst without a sledge-hammer approach, which no country at the stage of the epidemic we are in has imposed.
All comparisons between COVID-19 and TB end with the superficial observation that they are both deadly respiratory tract infections.
There were often clear pre-existing signals of disturbances in their behaviour or environments, but with a complete absence of any scaffolding to help them deal with these challenges when it mattered most.
We remember youth as the one period in which we were inspired by hope for our own future, and for our community. As a miasma of fear descends upon Kashmir, imagine the impact this would have on the minds of children and young people already damaged by two decades of conflict.
As we mature into adulthood and older age, it is our social relationships, not the number but their quality, which will determine how long we live and the quality of these years of life.
The discovery of the placebo response to these common surgical procedures adds to the mountain of evidence that hope is a major driver of recovery in response to many medical procedures. Hope is not, as it were, all in our minds. Thanks to novel neuro-imaging technologies.
A new report shows how rising mental ill health is causing mounting disabilities, early deaths and fuelling cycles of poverty.
Stunting due to hunger also holds back the prospects of an entire generation.
The medical legitimisation of prejudice was a major contributor to the stigma against homosexuality.
We should celebrate that young people are choosing to get married later in life, but reject the notion that this delay has any bearing on when consenting adults choose to engage in romance or sex.
Oppressive social norms are behind rising suicides among the youth.
To improve educational outcomes, policy must address deprivations in early years of children’s lives.
The medical sector needs to think about why it is seen in poor light — by patients and government.
India is one of the most unequal countries in the world — the richest 1 per cent own 60 per cent of its wealth
It has not harnessed its economic success to secure better health for its citizens
We need to ask why India is one of the most harrowing places in the world to be a pedestrian, driver or passenger.
It is a poor policy option. Alcohol abuse is a public health, not moral, problem.
Budget 2016 is disappointing for India’s health. It will not cut the burden of catastrophic out-of-pocket expenditure.
Healthcare in India is a leading cause of poverty. The medical profession must own its share of the blame