Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Head to head

Should we consider a boycott of Israeli academic institutions? No

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39266.509016.AD (Published 19 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:125

Re: Royal Society of Medicine under attack by pro-Israel doctors

As someone who attended the meeting at the Royal Society of Medicine
on Religion, Spirituality and Mental Health on 9th October'07,I came to
hear the invited speakers address the topic advertised. The stated
objective of the session on the Role of Professionals in Conflict, was
Reflection and Reconciliation. Dr Summerfield effectively ignored the
agenda and gave an unbalanced political diatribe which was obviously well
practiced and in no way focussed on Religion, Spirituality or Mental
Health. There is plenty of opportunity for him to
express his views in our free society, but not by exploiting the good
offices of the Royal Society, which states in its charter that it is
apolitical. I also doubt if CPD points would have been awarded for his
presentation if the accreditors had reviewed it in advance. It is the
responsibility of all organisations to prevent their good offices being
abused and I commend the RSM for trying, although in the event, Dr
Summerfield's prejudices clearly outweighed any responsibility he felt
towards his audience.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

30 October 2007
Nicholas J Naftalin
Emeritus Consultant Gynaecologist
University Hospitals of Leicester NHST