By Ken Reed

“Health professionals should call for ending public school tackle football programs.”

So reads the first sentence of an editorial that will be published in the January 2016 issue of the American Journal of Bioethics, one of the country’s leading medical ethics publications.

The editorial by Dr. Steven H. Miles, M.D., and Dr. Shailendra Prasad says public schools should end their football programs because of the high prevalence of concussions.

Miles and Prasad point out that an initial football concussion increases the risk of a subsequent concussion three or four fold, adding that:

“The brain is an irreplaceable organ, the health of which is foundational for the ability to learn, socialize and for fully realizing life’s physical and vocational opportunities.”

The authors believe “primordial prevention” is needed. Primordial prevention remediates “environmental, economic, social and behavioral conditions, cultural patterns of living known to increase the risk of disease.”

“For health care professionals, primordial prevention might commend ending support for football in public schools,” conclude the authors.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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