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The ethics of boxing
  1. Charlotte Cowie
  1. Barbican Health, London

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    Editor,—I read the article on sport medicine and the ethics of boxing1 with disappointment this month. It rehearsed arguments that are already familiar to sports physicians faced with difficult decisions about how to approach boxing, without taking things further on. In addition, there are medical, social, and ethical points that are not fully addressed in the article.

    Medically, epidemiological studies have established that there are a number of popular sports in which the injury and mortality statistics are greater than in boxing. A ban or boycott in rugby, equestrianism, or formula one car racing has not been contemplated by the medical profession.

    Socially, the background of most doctors ensures that, unlike some other high risk sports, the cultural significance of boxing in some parts of our society is extremely poorly understood. Boxing represents a relatively safe and desirable alternative to other possible activities for some young people, and it is often the continuation …

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