‘While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, they are not entitled to their own facts' (attributed to Daniel Patrick Moynihan). The President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists recently reiterated the College's determination to tackle institutional racism in psychiatry, as defined in the MacPherson Report (MacPherson, 1999). This reaction was prompted by a paper suggesting that racism was perhaps not the only explanation for ethnic differences in rates of psychosis and detention under the Mental Health Act 1983 (Singh & Burns, 2006). Although not providing a scientific criticism of the BMJ paper or any evidence to the contrary, the President stated that the paper risked setting ‘psychiatry back by 20 years’ (Hollins & Moodley 2006).
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