• Shock tactics

    The cruel con of post-trauma stress debriefing. Why it’s done, and why it doesn’t work. Nothing in his 22 years as a railwayman had prepared Geoff Howell for his gruesome discovery when he was called out one night to secure the scene of a suicide in a railway cutting near the racecourse in Albury’s northern suburbs. Read more >

  • Island of the damned – Japan confronts its shameful secret

    Japan’s island of the damned. How a nation exiled its lepers. The white-painted arched span, like a miniature version of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, is barely 100 metres long – but it took more than half a century to get it built. Read more >

  • AIDS spotlight turns on Japan’s dark secret

    How negligence killed Japan’s haemophiliacs. The curtain goes up this afternoon on a black drama which the organisers hope will expose to the world the tragedy of Japan’s hidden AIDS victims – the 1,800 people infected with the virus because the Government failed to stop the distribution of contaminated blood products. Read more >

  • Fake healers

    Fake healers. Why Australia’s $1 billion-a-year alternative medicine industry is ineffective and out of control. His doctor was afraid only drastic chemotherapy could save the little boy’s life. His parents were convinced the deadly cancer of the jaw could be cured by a gadget that delivers a minute electric current. Read more >

  • Shattered lives

    Copper 7. The killer IUD that destroyed the lives of thousands of women. To Sally Walker, doubled up in agony in the doctor’s surgery, the words were as bad as a death sentence: “The gynaecologist told me he would have to operate to remove my (fallopian) tubes. Read more >

  • Scandal rocks Japan over aids cover-up

    AIDS – the great medical cover-up. IT was some time in 1987 that Ichiro Tanaka began to feel unwell and was sent by his doctor for a check-up at a local hospital not far from Tokyo. Although he was only 23 and otherwise pretty fit, Ichiro was a hemophiliac – a hereditary condition effecting only males, in which the body does not produce the agent needed to make the blood clot. Read more >

  • Prescription for disaster

    A nation of pill-poppers. Why dodgy drugs are rampant in Japan. It’s hard to believe I’m still alive,” says Koei Nishino, a 74-year-old retired farmer from a little village called Chosei, some 80 kilometres from Tokyo. Five years ago, Mr Nishino had an operation for cancer of the spleen and stomach, but it wasn’t the cancer that almost killed him, it was the drug he was given to counter an outbreak of herpes. Read more >

  • A killer heart-valve that should never have been released

    The publicity pictures in the company magazine are just what you would expect of a high-tech plant in California’s mega-wealthy Orange County – workers in pristine masks and gowns, decontamination chambers, microscopes, micrometers, and a maze of other precision scientific equipment. Read more >

  • The dollars of detox

    A dodgy treatment for heroin addicts that makes its promoters rich. Doctors at Westmead Hospital could hardly believe the response – it was more the sort of crowd you would expect at a pop concert than a medical briefing. Read more >

Looking for something specific?

A fake cure for cancer that kills kids, Japan’s exiled lepers, the grim legacy of Minamata, defective artificial heart valves and much more.