The generally secular nature of our health services is what allows them to serve people of all faiths and none equally, and to welcome people of all faiths and none into the noble endeavour of healthcare. Secularism should be a professional standard, so that patient care not religious concerns always comes first.
We campaign to protect patients from the harm caused by the imposition on them of other people's religious values. We advocate for a secular approach to current major health issues. We are opposed to religious influences in medicine where these adversely affect the manner in which medical practice is performed. We support patient autonomy and challenge pro-religious discrimination particularly in those areas of medicine where reasonable personal choice is threatened.
We advocate for equal access to healthcare and associated NHS services for all patients and NHS staff irrespective of their religion or belief. We actively engage with healthcare regulatory and professional bodies.
We challenge excessive religious exemptions to efforts to increase opportunities for proselytization, religiously motivated pseudo-medicine, and plans to farm out healthcare to religious groups. In 2016 research from the Christian organisation Oasis found that 65% had no confidence in church groups running "Crucial social provisions such as healthcare" with only 2% of people expressing a lot of confidence. Healthcare services have always been supplemented by religious and non-religious voluntary organisations, and such work is more favoured when it is in a strictly supplementary role.
Secular Medical Forum
The Secular Medical Forum (SMF) provides expert and professional advice and opinion to the National Secular Society (NSS) on issues related to healthcare and provides a forum for anyone interested in the intersection of healthcare and secularism.
While you're here
Religious dogma shouldn't be interfering with your healthcare. Please consider a donation to help support our work in this area.