Populist radical right a threat to core values of medicine and public health

June 1, 2017, SAGE

The populist radical right is a threat to core values of medicine and public health, even within a functioning democratic system, according to a commentary published today by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. In his paper, political scientist Professor Scott Greer, who specialises in researching the politics of health policies of the European Union, attempts to explain what the rising tide of the right in Europe and the United States will mean for medicine and public health.

Greer, Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, describes how in the UK the country's only important populist radical right party has substantially shaped the agenda of British politics, almost entirely through the adoption of UKIP positions by bigger mainstream parties.

Populism, he says, sits badly with the evidence-based style of , citing comments made by Mike Pence, the new United States Vice President, who has endorsed 'gay conversion' therapy that purports to make patients heterosexual and has said that 'smoking doesn't kill'.

Greer says: "Populist radical right parties are not naturally inclined to collective financing of healthcare services or taking regulatory public health measures." Instead, he says, the effect of 'welfare chauvinism' on health access is likely to be exclusionary, reducing benefits for migrants or others whom they consider outside the people of their populism.

Since World War II, public health and medicine in many countries has developed strong commitments to both human rights and vulnerable populations. Greer warns medical and public health professionals to be very careful about working with radical right parties and governments. "Any elective affinity between authoritarianism and public health would probably undermine our commitments to ", he says, and urges the medical and public health community to remain focused on promoting broadly egalitarian social policy, including the defence of health programmes.

Explore further: Scorecard shows public health goals could suffer under Trump presidency

More information: Medicine, public health and the populist radical right, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, doi.org/10.1177/0141076817712250

Related Stories

Scorecard shows public health goals could suffer under Trump presidency

January 19, 2017
Speculation abounds on what a Donald Trump presidency will mean to the future of public health, particularly health care coverage.

BC's drug plan deductibles do not lower drug use for some seniors

May 15, 2017
Adding a modest 2% income-based deductible for prescription drugs did not appear to deter some seniors from filling prescriptions, found a study of British Columbia's public drug plan published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association ...

The NHS is far safer inside the European Union, argues public health expert

May 4, 2016
The NHS is far safer inside the European Union, argues a leading public health expert in The BMJ today.

Recommended for you

Poor sleep triggers viral loneliness and social rejection

August 14, 2018
Poor sleep can literally kill your social life. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that sleep-deprived people feel lonelier and less inclined to engage with others, avoiding close contact in ...

Mixing energy drinks with alcohol could enhance the negative effects of binge drinking

August 14, 2018
A key ingredient of energy drinks could be exacerbating some of the negative effects of binge drinking according to a new study.

New study finds fake, low-quality medicines prevalent in the developing world

August 10, 2018
A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that substandard and falsified medicines, including medicines to treat malaria, are a serious problem in much of the world. In low- and middle-income ...

Insurance status tied to higher self-perceived poor/fair health

August 9, 2018
(HealthDay)—Underinsured and never insured adults are more likely than adequately insured adults to report poor/fair health and frequent mental distress (FMD), according to a study published online July 19 in the U.S. Centers ...

Giving kids plates with segments and pictures caused them to eat more vegetables

August 8, 2018
A pair of researchers at the University of Colorado has found that preschool kids ate more vegetables when presented with segmented plates with pictures of fruits and vegetables on them. In their paper published in JAMA Pediatrics, ...

Carbon dioxide levels on flight deck affect airline pilot performance

August 8, 2018
Commercial airline pilots were significantly better at performing advanced maneuvers in a flight simulator when carbon dioxide (CO2) levels on the flight deck (cockpit) were 700 parts per million (ppm) and 1500 ppm than when ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Jun 03, 2017
@fraudulent bubba the pseudoscience cult "oxymoronic" quack
Homosexuality can be terminated by oral intake of 250mg of healthy adult male facial skin surface lipid pheromone
epic logic fail
1- if this were true then most homosexual males participating in osculation would never be homosexual

2- there isn't a single scientific reference you can produce that supports this claim
and before you push more bullsh*t pseudoscience: i've been asking for references and you've not been able to provide a single one

3- pseudoscience is dangerous when you push a known blatantly false claim (aka - LIE), especially when you claim a medical background and your so-called cure is psychotropic per your own admission, which is regulated in your state

you're a fraud

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.