Hope lies in informed struggle
Regressive policies dominate this issue, whether it is the new Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, the compulsory notification of TB, or the virtual ban on the use of Oxytocin, a life-saving drug during childbirth. Amidst the confusion, hope lies in the fruition of dogged and informed protest and campaigning. This has been borne out in the court verdict against Sec 377 of the Indian Penal Code, as being discriminatory and violative of fundamental rights, against the Oxytocin ban, and in the ongoing debates on subjects from medical implants to talcum powder. There is also hope in the reforms instituted by some universities in medical education, as explained in an editorial; though much work needs to be done.
Another inspiring trend is that of doctors innovating to save lives and not simply for profit. We feature an exciting intervention in rabies control where costly medicines made death a certainty in low resource areas. This intervention has since gained worldwide acceptance. A discussion on the issue considers the odds against and what remains to be done.
An author shares with us a tryst with Oscillopsia, a persistent yet obscure condition, a theme reflected in our cover image by an artist struggling to make sense of her own experience of debilitating disease. Emotive and creative expressions and book reviews enrich this issue.
Cover credit: Study 3.1, 3.2: Cervical Thoracic Spine, Serigraph, of Essentially Normal Studies by Devika Sundar. Through this series, Devika explores 8 years of her own diagnostic medical reports and scans to screen and trace conflicts of invisibility, physicality and bodily experience; while critiquing a medical environment that categorizes judgments of normality and abnormality in reference to complex invisible illnesses, using standardised scans and tests.Thank you, Reviewers!
We are grateful to our reviewers for the dedicated work they put into working on and improving submissions. Besides our internal reviewers, we thank the following external reviewers for their support during the year 2018-19:
Alok Sarin, Amita Pitre, Angus Dawson, Anindita Majumdar, Anjali Nair, Anoop Thekkuveetil, Anuradha Rose, Arun Bhatt, Bevin Vijayan, Biju Soman, Calvin Wai Loon Ho, Charles Davis J, Chinu Srinivasan, David Healy, Denny John, Dheeraj Kattula, Douglas Wassenaar, Gayathri Prabhu, Jacob John, Jacob Leveridge, Jagadeesh Narayan Reddy, James Welsh, Jaya Sagade, Jayanta Bhattacharya, Jigeshu Divatia, Jing-Bao Nie, Ketki Ranade, KS Jacob, Lars Jorgensen, Luke Juran, Malu Mohan, Manickam Ponnaiah, Margaret Whitstock, Monica Sakhrani, Muhammad Fayyaz, Nandini Kumar, Naveen Kumar C, Navjeevan Singh, Neha Madhiwala, Nilangi Sardeshpande, Nithya Gogtay, Rajiv Sarin, Rakesh PS, Rakhal Gaitonde, Raman Kutty, Ravi Prasad Varma, Ravindra Ghooi, Rishi Goyal, Rukshan Mehta, Ruth Macklin, Saima Iqbal, Sangeeta Rege, Sanjay Nagral, Santosh Vijaykumar, Satendra Singh, Saumil Dholakia, Savitha D, Somashekhar Nimbalkar, Soumitra Pathare, Sudarshini Subramaniam, Sujith Chandy, Sunu Thomas, Supriya Subramani, Usha Raman, Upreet Dhaliwal, Varalakshmi Elango, Vineeta Bal, Vivek Divan, Vrinda Marwah, Zhang Long.