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A letter to the Editor supporting freedom for boxers to engage in their sport, published in The Australian on 30 May 1991, p.10

Ms Wendy McCarthy, the Chair of the National Better Health Program, suggests that a ban on boxing 'should be introduced without delay' (Letters, The Weekend Australian, 25-26 May 1991, p.16). In so doing, she has deftly, though perhaps inadvertently, highlighted a major problem in modern society.

That problem is not the obvious health consequences of boxing, nor is it the $1 billion a year in sports injuries. The problem is determining who is responsible for any individual's behaviour -- good or ill.

The National Better Health Program's view would appear to be that an individual cannot be trusted to make his or her own decisions; that it's better to prohibit dangerous sports than to allow that a person may accept the possibility of injury in return for the rewards derived from participation.

If two competent adults wish to engage in fisticuffs in the formal setting of a boxing match (so that there is no threat of escalation to riot) then that, surely, is their business alone.

© 1991 - Stephen Dawson