West studied medicine, and has worked in hospitals, as a GP, and as General Manager for Shropshire Health Authority. He currently works part-time as a GP.
Skeptical Voter Questionnaire Response
1. Do you support the use of public funds to provide unproven alternative "treatments" such as homeopathy? No.
2. Should schools be allowed to teach creationism as an equivalent theory to evolution? No.
3. Do you believe that religious belief should be legally protected from ridicule? No.
4. Should an independent government adviser whose views in their area of expertise conflict with government policy be able to express those views publicly without fear of being sacked? Yes.
5. Should Sharia law be allowed as an alternative system within UK law? Slightly trickier. Sharia courts are currently allowed as a form of arbitration, in civil cases where both parties agree to resolve their dispute under these rules. I don't see a big problem with this, but then I don't see this as an alternative to UK Law, more an adjunct. I would not support the suggestion that religious customs or codes should in any way replace, or take precedence over UK law.
6. Do you agree that testing on animals (within strict criteria) is a necessary part of the development of medicines? Yes.
7. Should policy-makers trust scientific evidence even when it appears counter-intuitive? Yes, as long as the evidence is solid, and as long as it is not being used to support claims it does not necessarily support. I can, however understand that both politicians and others may find it difficult to accept something that they feel to be counterintuitive.
8. Do you think that abortion time limits should always be determined by the current scientific and medical consensus? Almost! I think that abortion time limits should always be informed and guided by the current scientific and medical consensus. I also think that policy makers should make decisions on rational grounds not emotional grounds. However, I do acknowledge that politicians need to take cognisance of public opinion, and there is sometimes a fine balance between leading and following. As to the specifics I believe that the current limit of 24 weeks is reasonable and does not need modifying.
9. Should religious leaders be entitled to vote in the House of Lords? I believe the House of Lords should be elected. Religious leaders would be welcome to vote if elected!
10. Do you support the reform of English and Welsh libel law to allow a stronger 'public interest' defence? Yes.
When asked on Twitter about his stance on homeopathy, West replied "I think the NHS should concentrate resouces on treatments that have been shown to work."
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