Following informal discussions at the AGM of the National Secular Society in November 2006, the Secular Medical Forum was established the following month.
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.
Our main objective is to limit the harm done to patients by the imposition of other people’s religious views on them. We seek to present a secular opinion on present-day medical and health care practices throughout the UK. We are naturally not opposed to physicians and nurses holding religious views – which may inspire them. But, we believe that these personal opinions must not adversely influence how they care for their patients.