Should boxing be banned? Do the ever-so-obvious risks outweigh everyone's freedom to choose whether to expose oneself to these risks by taking up the sport? On an official level, the RCN in the UK has taken its stand--it does not! So has also the British Medical Association (BMA)--it does! With few exceptions, the responding nurses from Europe, America, and Australia in this month's column seem to agree with the official nursing standpoint in the UK, also emphasizing the importance that any person's choice not only should be free, but also informed. In the United States, where boxing perhaps has its strongest tradition and deepest roots, the whole issue hardly seems to be one of much realistic debate at all. In Australia, however, the debate seems to be similar to that in the UK. What would a total ban on boxing lead to? No more boxing and no more neurological consequences due to boxing? Doubtfully, boxing would probably continue anywhere where there is an interest for it, and a ban might actually increase the attraction to the sport for some people. In this scenario there is also a risk that the safety precautions would be seriously compromised. This month's question exemplifies an area in which it is very important for nurses to make a stand, on a personal as well as on a collective level. As indicated by several of this month's replies, the issue is probably not merely about boxing but also about to what extent people's choices should be controlled by bans and where the line should be drawn. To what extent are people competent to make their own decisions and where/when/how should "big brother" (in this case as represented by, among others, nursing as a profession) be allowed to step in? Anyone who has any further contributions or comments on this issue is welcome to contact me!
2000. Vol. 32, no 2, 126-128 p.