Sunday, June 13, 2010

Religious Bias and Medical Regulation by Dr Helen Bright

Anthropological research has already shown that human societies change. For example. early societies could have been matrilineal, with descent traced through mothers. Some were matrilineal and matrilocal, with mother-child bond the primary unit of social organisation.
Primatology research has shown that not all monkeys are the same in terms of their gender relationships. While some groups are characterized by male aggression and competition, others have females who are able to resist, protect themselves and their offspring.
Smutts (1995) found that social organisation of male dominance and violence in primate species has following factors:
1. Few and weak female alliances, with little support from kin
2. Female competitive strategies that reinforce male control
3. Elaboration of male alliances in organising attacks on females
4. Strongly hierarchical social structure among males
5. Male control of food resources in a confined area, limiting female mobility
It is so hard not to see the parallels in present day medical regulation. We have not moved that far from some monkeys, it seems to me.
In 1954 Taylor (G. R. Taylor "Modern Morality" Chapter 15 Sex in History) wrote about attitudes to gender as linked to political orientation in that "matrist" attitudes favour egalitarian relationships, cooperation and tolerance, while "patrist" attitudes favour social hierarchy, competition and punitive policies. Patrist attitudes can be held by women and men can have matrist attitudes.
Today, in human societies where women have higher social status (eg Nordic group) are known to have less social inequality, less mental illness, less crime, less teenage pregnancy and decreased early mortality rate.
UK medical regulation has not addressed religious bias as one of the root causes of gender inequality, injustice in professional regulation, and increased mortality.
There is no process of assessing religious bias by medical regulators other than occasional declaration by those compelled to do so by law (bias against freemasons while others are allowed to hide). Fitness to Practice Panellistsat the General Medical Council could be e.g. complete misogynists, religious fanatics, have anti-science stance, and there is no punishment for those who abused their position of trust. There has been apathy and lack of creative thinking, closure of ranks and growth of illusional crops of multi-faithism solely for the protection of a hierarchical structure and power.
Read this article on apparent bias and religious case where justices were screened contrary to the General Medical Council view that anything goes as long as it can read and write. As if we did not know, as doctors, that even very demented people can read without remembering what they read or what it meant:

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