Mission

Doctors for Extinction Rebellion is a Doctors collective who, appreciating that Climate change is an impending public health catastrophe, have decided to publicly back Extinction Rebellion.

Why?

We have carefully considered our position. As a highly respected group of professionals, publicly backing a group which commits to breaking the law may seem like an unusual move, but we believe that the severity of the crisis is so great that such a decision is justified.

The strong, academic consensus from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has predicted catastrophe without unprecedented change.

Some of the more disturbing predictions suggest there is a 10% risk of 6 degrees of warming. Which has been described by one leading academic as “So extreme it's almost unimaginable”

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To put that into context: National Health Service targets recommend anyone with a risk of greater than 3% of having cancer be seen by a specialist within 2 weeks.

A doctor ignoring a level of risk this high would rightly be struck off for negligence.

The duties of a doctor

The “Duties of a doctor” are laid out in the Good Medical Practice Guidelines, written by our regulator the General Medical Council.

We refer to 2 of these statements:

You must take prompt action if you think that patient safety, dignity or comfort may be compromised.

You must make sure that your conduct justifies your patients’ trust in you and the public’s trust in the profession.

Our code of conduct compels us to act where we notice unacceptable risks to current and future patient health, and act promptly. We have noted that traditional techniques of writing academic papers and journal articles have not produced sufficient meaningful results to continue with them alone.

Therefore we must take a different approach.

 
 

What is Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion “is a socio-political movement which utilises nonviolent resistance to avert climate breakdown, halt biodiversity loss, and minimise the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse”

They have 3 demands:

1. Tell the Truth. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

[This was partially achieved on 1st May 2019, however Telling the Truth must be an ongoing process involving all government departments]

2. Act Now. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

3. Beyond Politics. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

Do you back all 3 demands?

In short, yes.

There are 100s of groups, each with their own agendas all fighting under the same banner as Extinction Rebellion, even though there may be low level disagreements on policy.

It is our opinion that remaining united gives a much better chance of success than forming another group.

An inconvenient change

We understand that individual members of the public have been and will be greatly inconvenienced, for which we are truly apologetic.

We also understand the difficult position the government has been put in. In some corners of society, the changes needed to avert disaster will be unpopular, and therefore the government has to very cautious how it approaches this situation.

This is where we come in. Our profession is held in high regard by the general public, so profound backing from us would go a long way to increasing support for the cause. This in turn will give the government a strong mandate to act as we feel it must, and empower those MPs who do take this seriously to take centre stage.

What have we done so far?

In the two weeks since forming we have attracted hundreds of doctors both in the UK and abroad, many of whom were willing to stand up and film themselves in support of Extinction Rebellion.

Some of our members have been successful within the profession:

On June 28th 2019: Newcastle Hospital Declared a Climate Emergency

On July 5th 2019: The Royal College of Emergency Medicine to Divest from Fossil Fuels, joining the BMA, RCGP and FFP.

We are currently actively planning Non Violent Direct Action (Civil Disobedience) in a secure online setting. We are also writing a book to outline Healthcare’s position on Climate change similar to Extinction Rebellion’s “This Is Not A Drill”. In addition there is a very active Healthcare Professional network organising, networking and planning online in order to ensure that we can have an effective role in what will be a decades long battle to protect ourselves and our environment.

How you can help?

Spread the word: Ideas

  1. Change your email signature to the following or similar:

    I’ve recently decided to support Extinction Rebellion, in keeping with the British Medical Journal I believe that we are in the middle of a public health crisis due to the rapid deterioration of our climate, and that government action has thus far been unacceptably weak. Please visit DoctorsforXR.com for more information and to see how you can help.

  2. Put up a poster in your practice or hospital, e.g. this one on diet from the Public Health Institute.

  3. Begin your next presentation at your practice or Grand Round with the 1 minute introduction video on this page.

Find us online

  1. Connect with us on social media at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

  2. Join the discussion: 250+ have already joined an online slack group to discuss how doctors, nurses and allied health professions can make an impact. Offline meetings are already happening.
    To join contact us at Admin@doctorsforXR.com from your organisational, NHS or doctors.org.uk email.