By Mike Head:
One of the world’s most respected medical journals, the British-based Lancet, has published an editorial calling for the defeat of Australia’s Howard government in this year’s federal election because of the damage it is inflicting on public health and medical research.
The April 21 editorial, entitled “The Politics of Fear and Neglect,” is unprecedented.
The Lancet, a peer-reviewed journal published since 1823, has never before called for the removal of a government, although it has criticised the stance of the British and US governments in Iraq.
With a million readers online, the Lancet has an unparalleled scientific and medical reputation.
Many of the world’s leading research doctors are editorial consultants or subscribers.
The editors’ decision to intervene in the Australian election is a mark of the concern and disgust felt in the medical and scientific communities in Australia and internationally toward Canberra’s shameful record on indigenous health, medical science and environmental policy.