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External Event - LAAG Talk by Dr Ed Presswood: Irrational Beliefs in Health Care

For those of you who missed Ed Presswood's CLHG talk last year or would like to hear him again there is an opportunity to do so courtesy of our friends at LAAG.




Dr Edward Presswood is a hospital doctor in North London. Throughout his medical practice he has been alarmed by the persistent intrusion of superstition and religion into the National Health Service. Increasingly aware of the harm caused by irrational beliefs, Edward calls for a rational NHS and a society that appreciates science.

The irrational practices in the NHS are well-intentioned but Edward suggests that they undermine the foundations upon which medicine stands. What superstitions does the NHS pander to? Should the NHS respect all of your beliefs? Should the hospital do everything it can to make you feel better? Should your taxes continue to fund irrational beliefs? Would you rather an expensive medication, or would having the cash actually make you feel better? All these questions will be discussed as Edward reveals how even numbering the hospital beds isn’t free from superstition.


More about the SMF:
"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" 

Latest News 
Secular doctors fear that new GMC guidance conflicts with the equality act. 
02 Apr 2013 

Secular doctors say new GMC guidance on personal belief and medical practice[i] effective from April 22nd will expose some children to serious harm. Referring to ritual male circumcision, doctors are now instructed that they ‘must include parents’ religious beliefs’[ii] when assessing the child’s best interests. Secular doctors are dismayed that the guidance will support doctors who defer to parents’ insistence that it is in a healthy child’s best interests to undergo forced genital cutting for no medical reason.


We meet upstairs (through door marked 'Restaurant). Though these Wednesday events are usually structured debates/discussions, they are nevertheless fairly informal; so the bar is usually open upstairs and feel free to order food and have it during the talk/discussion if you wish ( simple food but pretty good we've been told).

18:30: NEWER PEOPLE MEET & GREET All members (new & 'veteran') welcome but this half hour will be dedicated for our newer members to meet, socialise, to discuss their thoughts etc. Great to get some regulars along as well, to help welcome our new friends!

19:00- 19:20 Arrival for all, social chat, get drinks/ order food if you like, and get seated.

We start the discussion promptly at 19:30. As a courtesy to others, please try to turn up well BEFORE 19:30 to allow time for buying drinks etc.  - if at all possible :-) . If a late arrival can't be helped, no worries, just come in quietly :-)

'Official' end time for discussion is between 9 and 9:30pm, but this is flexible if people want to continue with the discussion; usually we have some social time afterwards till 10:30 (until the pub throws us out!)

The £2 fee either goes towards costs of running the group, including prizes etc, or towards specific campaigns and causes. The latter are specified on the appropriate events page.

Join or login to comment.

  • Steve C.

    sorry about the number of e's

    July 9, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      All those e's - it's hard to imagine they're all for personal use ;-)

      July 9, 2013

  • Steve C.

    sorry I can't join you but work gets in the way again.
    Edward is always impressiveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, so enjoy

    July 9, 2013

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