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The Maurice Ellis lecture for 1986. The responsibility of emergency medicine towards the prevention of road accidents.
  1. W H Rutherford


    It is argued that doctors who work in accident and emergency departments should play their part in road accident prevention. It is suggested that this might be done in the field of research, by direct action, through education of the public and by influencing legislation. Examples are given of both small and simple, and major national research projects based in accident and emergency departments. The type of direct action envisaged is modelled on the work of Dr Hayle Hadeson in preventing accidents to children. Examples of the education of the public are drawn from publicity work in the seat-belt campaign, and experiences of lobbying members of parliament in relation to seat-belt legislation are described. The relative under-funding of trauma research compared with cancer of heart disease research is seen as a measure of society's lack of interest in accident prevention, and colleagues unchallenged to do more to alter this situation.

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