Public health and people’s rights
Do epidemics of infectious diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) justify forced quarantine? Do doctors have the right to refuse treatment to patients if they believe they are inadequately protected from contracting a fatal infection? These questions are discussed in the editorial on the SARS panic and in the controversy about whether doctors are obliged to treat people regardless of their HIV status.
Does abortion research help women? A writer suggests that some research published in Indian medical journals adds little to the body of knowledge, and may be at the cost of the woman’s own health.
The Law Commission has published a Consultation Paper on methods of execution, suggesting that lethal injection is preferable to hanging. This has direct implications for doctors. The commission has called for a public discussion on the subject. We carry a summary of the Law Commission’s report and invite readers to take part in an important debate.