To End Infectious Disease, We Must Cure Our Societal Ills

Wars, Politics, and the Anti-Vaccine Movement Plague Global Efforts to Stop Epidemics

It once was stated that “man’s weakness is not achieving victories, but in taking advantage of them.” Indeed, this is the case for global infection control. Throughout history we have so far eradicated only a single major infectious disease threat, a feat accomplished through the leadership of Dr. D.A. Henderson, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 87.

Beginning in 1966, Henderson led a global effort based at the World Health Organization (WHO) to accelerate smallpox vaccinations. In an extraordinary campaign that required vaccinating people in the poorest and …

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Long Before It Was Groovy, LSD Was a Medicine and a Weapon

How the Positive Side of Psychedelic Drugs Got Lost in the Mayhem of the 1960s

In the fall of 1965, a 33-year-old father of three named Arthur King—a patient in the alcoholics ward at Baltimore’s Spring Grove Hospital—swallowed an LSD pill and lay back on …

The Painful Truth About America’s Opioid Addiction

Our Craving for Comfort and Our Broken Health Care System Are Fueling a Deadly Epidemic

Lisa Girion, a Reuters top news editor for the Americas and the moderator of a Zócalo/UCLA panel on America’s opioid addiction problem, opened the discussion with some startling statistics. “Over …

The Chicago Physician Who Understood the Paradox of Radiation

Emil Herman Grubbe Discovered That X-Rays Could Cure, but He Was Right for the Wrong Reasons

Radiation is a paradox. On the one hand, it’s a lifesaving tool. As powerful energy that can pass through solid matter, it’s often used in medicine for everything from diagnostic …

National Oversight or Not, All Health Care, Like All Politics, Is Local

Leaders of Britain’s NHS and America’s Mayo Clinic Enviously Eye Each Other’s Domains

At first glance, America’s fragmented, private health care delivery system and Britain’s state-run National Health Service have little in common. But both nations’ contrasting approaches to caring for their populations …

Is Universal Health Care an Impossible Fantasy?

It’s Difficult to Imagine a Single-Payer System That’s Both Politically and Practically Viable in America

For more than a century, America has argued about how to share the costs of health care. Drawing from new government-sponsored insurance programs in Germany and England, Progressive reformers made …