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Nov 15 2012

The Secular Medical Forum

Ok I’ve found a good thing. We shouldn’t need it, but since we do, it’s a good thing that it exists. The Secular Medical Forum.

The Secular Medical Forum campaigns for a secular approach to current major health issues.

We are opposed to religious influences in Medicine where these affect the manner in which medical practice is performed. We campaign to protect patients from the harm caused by the imposition of religious values and activities on people who do not share the same values and beliefs.

The SMF directs itself to the improvement of the human condition. SMF members do not recognise the assumed authority of religious bodies and we challenge their traditional privileges in healthcare service provision or decision-making.

It commented on the death of Savita Halappanavar.

The Secular Medical Forum believes that this death could have been prevented if Ireland’s law on abortion focused upon the need of vulnerable patients, rather than upon Catholic doctrine.  The SMF believes that healthcare should be provided free from the intrusion of religion.  Bioethics is hindered, not helped, by relying upon religious sentiments.

The SMF is aware that women around the world suffer due to the imposition of religious beliefs which takes away their autonomy over their own bodies.  If this case had occurred in the United Kingdom, it would have been legal for Mrs Halappanavar to have a safe abortion.  However in the UK there is the continual threat to abortion rights by religious groups who wish to inflict their particular beliefs upon other people.  The SMF defends the right of religious people to hold their beliefs; however, patients must remain free from unwelcome religious interference.

The SMF hopes that Ireland’s abortion laws are reformed so that this tragedy is not repeated.

I wonder if the US has an equivalent organization. It certainly needs one.

4 comments

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  1. 1
    AsqJames

    Well we need it because we also have the Christian Medical Fellowship, which is…well you can guess.

    A quick scan of their website didn’t detect any comment on Savita’s death yet, but there’s quite a lot of the usual BS about abortion.

  2. 2
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Ophelia:
    Thanks for the link to the Surgical Medical Forum. I agree with their assessment that religious beliefs were a strong factor in the decision not to save Savita’s life. That is inexcusable.

    ****
    I also noticed they had some other interesting topics that I’ve seen discussed here at FtB.

  3. 3
    eveningperson

    Antony Lempert, Chair of the SMF, is giving a talk in Bishops Castle, Shropshire, next week – I’m hoping to be there:

    http://www.youcaxton.co.uk/?p=1486

    “The third YouCaxton lecture is scheduled for 7.00 pm Tuesday 20th November at the YouCaxton Shop in Bishop’s Castle. Dr. Anthony Lempert, Chair of the U.K. Secular Medical Forum, will be discussing what is lost to medical practice through the influence of religion and he will consider how religious belief distorts current accepted attitudes to medical care. His talk draws on some of the many narratives of secular thought and opinion – the stories of blasphemers, witches, heretics, infidels and apostates – which have been lost or minimised in popular discourse, and relates this back to our own time and to the influence of religion in society.”

  4. 4
    mikmik

    Hey, where did my world go to? I initially thought, “Fricken religion busybodies.”

    WTexactF happened that a science has to form a secular discussion? We didn’t have this shit 40 and more years ago; I don’t think there’s been a problem for 3 – 4 hundred years!

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