Intended for healthcare professionals

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Feature EU Referendum and Health

Why doctors should vote to remain in the EU on 23 June

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 14 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3302

Rapid Response:

Re: Why doctors should vote to remain in the EU on 23 June

Bravo to the BMJ for acknowledging the arguments are all on one side in the referendum debate. To be a remainer is a no-brainer.

From Stephen Hawking to Barack Obama, from the Bank of England to the International Monetary Fund, to remain in Europe is the logical conclusion of nearly all those with some expert knowledge and credibility. The leave camp's line-up is somewhat less impressive, to say the least.

It’s a pity that the BBC can’t follow the BMJ’s example. Their coverage is surely a case of ‘false balance’ a well recognised pitfall whereby equal weight is given to sensible ideas and opposing crackpot notions, in a bid to seem impartial.

The BBC gives us plenty of informative programmes about evolution and Darwinism without subjecting us to equal amounts of creationism. They enlighten us about the weather and climate change without feeling obliged to give equivalent airtime to climate change deniers. So why do they give a platform to these Europe–deniers who, after all, can already shout their strident messages through the megaphone of the Sun newspaper?

What we need is a few Attenborough style documentaries, impassioned pleas for the survival of the EU, which is now a threatened species.

There is a new anti-German sentiment circulating, reminiscent of the world wars. Let us not forget that the Germans are our brothers, one of the most tolerant and educated peoples on earth. Like us, they are probably fed up with the remote bureaucrats in Brussels, but together we can surely effect improvements.

What would solve our problems? A new threat – possibly a deadly virus, averted by a team of European researchers, led by Great Britain. The threat unites us against a common enemy, and immigrants are seen as our friends again – they are probably part of the research team. Or maybe a new drug, effective against hyperbole and bias, having been trialled on tabloid editors. But with only days to go, it better arrive quickly.

Competing interests: No competing interests

18 June 2016
John R. King
Retired psychiatrist
Redditch, Worcestershire