Jun 27, 2010

Nadine Dorries Joins the Health Select Committee

Several people have expressed concern at the recent appointment of Nadine Dorries to the Health Select Committee. Below are some extracts from blogposts and articles written by some of those who were disappointed by the news.
Dorries is driven by ideology to the extent that she ignores evidence that does not suit her and uncritically promotes any evidence that does suit – whether this information is at all reliable or not. [From a post I wrote on the appointment on my blog Stuff And Nonsense.]

To put this comment in some context: Dorries has questioned the findings of a Science and Technology Select Committee inquiry into Scientific Evidence Relating to the Abortion Act 1967, but repeated uncritically the hand of hope hoax and dubious pre-term survival figures. The Skeptical Voter website also reports that Dorries has: claimed that the Trident nuclear weapon system cannot be classed as weapons of mass destruction; signed the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1240 calling for the positive recognition of NHS homeopathic hospitals; and warned that an embryo research bill could lead to a hybrid "humanzee".

Others have commented on the appointment and expressed their disappointment:
It may shock you to learn that Nadine Dorries is also on the committee. Dorries is no friend of rational thought, and has tirelessly campaigned to radically reduce the lower limit for abortion. Her honesty is perpetually in question, her expenses still under investigation in the new parliament. [An article by Adam Rutherford on the appointment of Tredinnick and Dorries.]

Nadine Dorries, putting her questionable grasp on human biology briefly to one side, was a member of the Science and Technology Select Committee in the 2009-2010 session. During that time the Committee held thirty-two meetings, Nadine Dorries attended none. [...]

Dorries is clearly more than happy to dismiss evidence which does not agree with her personal convictions. A dangerous trait to find in someone serving on a parliamentary health committee. [The 21st Floor]

Over the years, Dorries has issued a number of ill-founded claims about abortion. They include the fairytale "hand of hope" story that she helped to propagate across the web; the incorrect assertion that the NHS didn't carry out abortions after 16 weeks; the claim that charity Marie Stopes International supported her policy views; an attempt to dismiss scientific studies that disagreed with her view as "an "insult to the intelligence of the public"; and some rather dubious interpretations of opinion polls that led a frustrated Dawn Primarolo to exclaim that "The Honorable Lady has asserted many things to be facts that are not." [Martin Robbins writing in The Guardian.]

...the Health Select Committee probably isn't the most appropriate place for an MP who simply does not understand what constitutes evidence, particularly when it comes to the contentious issue of abortion. [Teek]

1 comment:

Jaybird said...

It is completely astonishing to me that Nadine Dorries and David Tredinnick have been appointed to the Health Select Committee.

Astonishing and terrifying.