British Medical Journal Discussion

      Professionals Debate Bicycle Helmet Laws

      "Minerva is a keen cyclist but does not like wearing her helmet, so she was interested in a paper in the "Journal of Medical Ethics" (1996;22:41-5) arguing that helmets should not be made mandatory until their use has been shown to decrease the rate rather than just the number of head injuries. No one wants people to be deterred from cycling, with all its health benefits; this is another example of the difficulty of finding robust evidence on which to base decisions,"

      said Minerva, a regular contributor to the British Medical Journal. This comment initiated a discussion on bicycle helmet legislation in the letters section of the BMJ. (Full text)

      The following are direct links to the letters which make up the full discussion:

      [Note the comment by Pless and Davis, both health practitioners
      ".... data from Australia show a reduction in both cycling and injuries after the introduction of a helmet law. Precisely how such a law works matters little if the public health issue is to reduce head injuries."
      Is this the first shot across the bow in an attempt to ultimately ban cycling?]

August 1999
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