Interview: Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Health Select Committee

This article was originally published in Student BMJ magazine. An online version can be found on their website here. — Sarah Wollaston is a GP who wanted to make a difference. After graduating from King’s College London in 1986, she spent 23 years working in clinical medicine, first in paediatrics and then in general practice….

Assisted dying bill to prompt debate on right to die

This briefing article was originally published in Student BMJ, a magazine produced by the British Medical Journal for medical students. An online version can be found here. Should terminally ill patients be allowed to end their own lives? A bill on the right to allow terminally ill patients to end their own life under specific circumstances…

Immigration, the NHS and the ethics of international recruitment

This article was originally published on BMJ blogs, and can be found here. Last February, the UK Home Office announced changes to immigration rules that would mean non-EU nurses would not have their visa applications prioritised. The decision not to add nursing to the list of “shortage occupations” reflects the government’s belief that nursing posts can be…

The approval of ‘female Viagra’ is nothing short of a disaster

This article was originally published in the Spectator, and can be found here. Last week, the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first ever drug targeted to enhance libido in women. Media outlets churned out adoring articles; the licensing of flibanserin, or ‘female Viagra’ as it rapidly became known, was hailed as…

Jeremy Hunt’s seven day NHS proposals will do nothing to improve patient safety

The health secretary’s claims lack evidence and appear to be driven by a thirst for confrontation as much as any genuine concern for patient safety. Yesterday’s announcement that doctors would be forced to work weekends under plans for a ‘seven-day NHS’ ignited furious debate.Directly associating the 6,000 extra hospital deaths recorded during weekends with consultants’ working hours,…

Essay: entry to national competition on Public Health

This post contains my winning entry into a national essay competition co-hosted by the Festival of Public Health UK and Manchester Global Health Society. The competition was judged by four professors of Global Health including Professor Mukesh Kapila and Dr Arpana Verma. The award was presented at the University of Manchester’s 2015 Festival of Public Health UK…

Why you shouldn’t vote tactically in Oxford West & Abingdon

As constituents in Oxford West & Abingdon will know, a keystone of Liberal Democrat candidate Layla Moran’s campaign has been to encourage tactical voting from left-leaning voters in order to form a “coalition of the left”. The argument is based on previous election results which suggest the constituency is a two-horse race between incumbent Conservative MP Nicola Blackwood…

OUSU referendum: Why you should vote ‘No’ to compulsory sub fusc

This article was written for the Oxford Student newspaper after it was announced that the Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) were holding a referendum regarding the wearing of sub fusc (academic dress) in exams. The article can be found here, and was quoted in the national press. More information on the referendum can be found here. — State school…

Why it’s dishonest to claim that the NHS isn’t being privatised

To hold ideological support for the privatisation is one thing, but to pretend it isn’t happening is a far more insidious lie. Last week on BBC’s Question Time, the panellists were met with yet another question about NHS privatisation. The Times columnist Camilla Cavendish attacked the “misleading” use of the word “privatisation” and immediately asserted…

What determines sexual orientation?

Earlier this year, a project backed by the Wellcome Trust set out to find “the most important question about life that science needs to answer”. After much consultation with scientists and the public, the panel selected the question: “is sexuality genetic?” Indeed, the puzzle of what causes homosexuality is one which scientists are used to…