Welcome to this, the fifth edition of Spectator Health. In this issue we have a powerful essay by Johann Hari telling the story of how our drug laws fail addicts. As a doctor, I have worked for years with drug addicts and still feel torn about how effective criminalising drugs really is, but I can’t quite bring myself to advocate decriminalisation. Hari’s argument gave me a lot to think about and I hope it will do the same for you.
As the summer approaches, Dr Justine Hextall writes about how to protect the skin from sun damage, in particular from infrared rays, which seem to be as damaging as ultraviolet from sunlight. Laura Freeman questions dairy intolerance, while in our cover piece Edzard Ernst praises the health benefits of garlic. We also have Suzy Lishman, president of the Royal College of Pathologists, providing an expert’s guide to autopsies, and of course all our usual columnists, including Tom Chivers, Theodore Dalrymple, Christine Webber and David Delvin, Ian Marber and Maureen Lipman.
We will soon launch the health portal on the Spectator website, which as well as the content of Spectator Health magazine will include regular blogs and news updates. We want this to become the go-to place for people to find information and sensible debate about health news and interesting advances in medicine.