Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Editor's Choice

From health to climate there is disrespect at the heart of every crisis

BMJ 2021; 375 doi: (Published 11 November 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2735

Rapid Response:

Physician heal thyself?

Dear Editor

I also recall that the government introduced compulsory masking three days after Jenny Harries declared there was no strong evidence [1] and even the findings of the PHE Respiratory Panel published more than a year later (Abbasi note 4) [2,3] seems to be more an appeal to their own authority than a discussion of evidence. I am rather inclined to think on this occasion of the words of Richard Smith [4].

“Doctors have important roles to play in a pandemic—primarily in treating the sick and advising on prevention—but they cannot become rulers, and politicians cannot hide behind them. And we, the people, must never succumb to the idea that a world run by doctors would be a better world.”

If many ordinary citizens are neither comfortable with their doctors or their politicians latterly I am really not sure they are to blame.

[1] John Stone, ‘Re: The parliamentary committee report on covid-19 response - an urgent need to stop the politics of fear’ 21October 2021,

[2] Kamran Abbasi, ‘From health to climate there is disrespect at the heart of every crisis’, BMJ 2021; 375 doi: (Published 11 November 2021)

[3] UK Health Security Agency. The role of face coverings in mitigating the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus: statement from the Respiratory Evidence Panel. Oct 2021.


Competing interests:, an on-line daily journal, concerns itself with the potential environmental sources for the proliferation of autism, neurological impairment, immune dysfunction and chronic disease. I receive no payment as UK Editor. I also moderate comments for the on-line journal ‘The Defender’ for which I am paid. I am also a member of the UK Medical Freedom Alliance

12 November 2021
John Stone
UK Editor
London N22