Published: 7th December 2011
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has published a 'vitriolic rant' against religion and its role in medicine.
In the article 'Secularism needs a distinctive medical voice' Colin Brewer, a director at the Secular Medical Forum, writes that we should 'laugh' at teachings on the sanctity of life.
Brewer, who's been struck off the medical register by the General Medical Council, says holy texts are 'unreliable' for guiding life and medicine.
He writes: 'Text worshippers are inherently unwilling to re-examine old dogmas...' and questions the traditional Christian positions on physician assisted suicide, abortion, PVS and embryo stem cell research.
The 900 word one page article, which appeared in the BMJ's 'personal view' column, claims to be 'not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed'.
Dr Peter Saunders, Chief Executive of the Christian Medical Fellowship, responds:
'The BMJ's decision to publish such a vitriolic rant is questionable and essentially amounts to an advertorial for Brewer's organisation.
'Brewer neglects to mention that Christian doctors motivated by Jesus Christ's teaching and example have been profoundly influential in shaping healthcare's history.
'Christians remain active in all fields of medicine today but particularly in AIDS care and education, drug rehabilitation, child health, palliative care, relief of poverty and in service to the developing world.
'In a recent survey, to which over 1,000 members of Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) responded, 230 respondents had served long term in 48 countries around the world, 74% with a mission or church organization, and 459 had made short term visits (<6 months) to 98 countries, most commonly to train and teach.
'Although respecting the authority of the Bible, CMF's 4,000 doctor and 1,000 medical student members are not 'text worshippers' but rather, like 2.3 billion other of the world's inhabitants, worship God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, who we believe revealed himself in the historical person of Jesus Christ.'
Philippa Taylor (CMF Head of Public Policy) 020 7234 9664
Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668
Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225
Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 5,000 doctors, 900medical and nursing students and 300 nurses and midwives as members in all branches of medicine, nursing and midwifery. A registered charity, it is linked to over 100 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.
CMF exists to unite Christian healthcare professionals to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.