Intended for healthcare professionals


Psychiatrists urge royal college to tackle racism

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 03 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2657
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. London

Leading psychiatrists have taken the unusual step of criticising their own professional body for not doing enough to tackle racism in all of its forms, including overt behaviour and indirect bias in professional training and work practices.

In an open letter sent to the Royal College of Psychiatrists on 1 July, 175 psychiatrists in the UK have urged the body to overhaul its response to systemic racism and discrimination across the sector.1

The letter said that psychiatry had a questionable history that colluded with eugenic mass murder in Nazi Germany and that “labelled civil rights protesters and political dissidents as psychotic.”

“To this day we continue to disproportionately incarcerate black people and coerce them into treatment,” it said. “Moreover, if you are black, you are …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription