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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Secular Medical Forum

The the Secular Medical Forum was established following informal discussions at the AGM of the National Secular Society in November 2006.

With Dr. Michael Irwin, a retired GP and a former Medical Director of the United Nations, as the first Co-ordinator, a group of physicians and nurses (also NSS members) drafted statements on a variety of subjects (ranging from physician-assisted suicide to HIV/AIDS, and from abortion to stem-cell research) during January and February 2007.

The main objective of the SMF is to present a secular opinion on present-day medical and health care practices throughout the UK. The SMF is not opposed to physicians and nurses holding religious views - which may inspire them. But, they believe that these personal opinions must not influence how they care for their patients.

The SMF is opposed to religious influences in Medicine where these adversely affect the manner in which medical practice is performed. They 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.

Membership of the Secular Medical Forum is open to all health care professionals in the UK and their respective students. Non health care professionals are welcome to join the SMF as associate members.

Visit the Secular Medical Forum website