Petr Skrabanek (October 27, 1940 – June 21, 1994) was a doctor, a professor of medicine, and an author of several books and numerous articles. At the time of his death The Times explained, "From his base at Trinity College, Dublin a stream of scientific papers and articles exposed the claims of public health doctors, epidemiologists, dietary evangelists and others that many diseases were preventable. This was not a popular message and he evoked strong antipathy in certain circles which was more than offset by the respect of his many admirers around the world."
Born October 27, 1940 in Náchod, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, he studied chemistry entering Charles University in Prague in 1957. Following his studies he was a researcher at the Institute for Toxicology and Forensic Medicine in Prague graduating in 1962. He then became the head of the Toxicology Department in the Institute for Forensic Medicine, Purkyně University in Brno.
In 1963 he studied medicine at Purkyně University and in 1967 was selected to spend a month in Galway Regional Hospital. He returned to Ireland with his wife Vera in July 1968. Soon after, he was admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland to finish his medical studies qualifying for practice in 1970. For the next four years he worked in neurology in various Dublin hospitals. He left this post in 1975 to join the Endocrine Oncology Research team in the Mater Hospital as a Senior Research Fellow and became involved in research into the neurotransmitter substance P.
In 1984, he joined the Department of Community Health in Trinity College with a grant from the Wellcome Foundation. From this position he "immediately began to establish his position as an original, cogent, and fearless critic, particularly in relation to preventive medicine." With the rise of his celebrity, he was "rapidly promoted from lecturer to senior lecturer and finally to associate professor." Before he died, he became a Fellow of Trinity College and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland.
The Irish Medical Times wrote, "His several hundred publications demonstrated his breadth of scholarship and ability to communicate .with learned and popular publications in a number of languages... As a teacher Professor Skrabanek is irreplaceable." On his work the British Medical Journal stated "With the spirit of European iconoclasm he kept the medical evangelists in their hot boxes... He was a good scientist, as his work on substance P testifies, but this was not to be his métier. Rather he chose to take the broader intellectual view of a profession in disarray, a profession in need of careful watching."
In 2005 the president of the Dutch anti quackery organisation Vereniging tegen de Kwakzalverij", Cees Renkens, wrote that Skrabanek was one of the first to warn for the dangers of 'randomised clinical trials of absurd claims' and pleaded for the 'demarcation of the absurd'."
- Skrabanek P, James McCormick J. Follies and Fallacies in Medicine. Third Edition. Eastbourne (UK): Tarragon Press; 1998. ISBN 1-870781-09-0
- Skrabanek P. The Death of Humane Medicine and the Rise of Coercive Healthism. Suffolk (UK): The Social Affairs Unit; 1994. ISBN 978-0-907631-59-0.
- Skrabanek P, Gibney MJ, Le Fanu J. Who Needs Who?: Three Views. Social Affairs Unit (1995) ISBN 0-907631-49-5
- Disease mongering
- False positive
- Screening (medicine)
- The Times, Monday, June 27, 1994
- Harding, Fred (2006). Breast Cancer: Cause, Prevention, Cure. Tekline Publishing. p. 307. ISBN 9780955422102.
- Tom O'Dowd, Irish Medical Times, July 1, 1994
- Eoin O'Brien, British Medical Journal, Vol. 309, 16 July 1994
- (in Dutch) Renkens, C., Kerkroof. Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde; Studenteneditie, Jaargang 8 (december 2005) nr. 4
- Skrabanek revelled in debunking conventional thinking British Medical Journal
- Skrabanek dedicated his life to generating scepticism British Medical Journal
- Review of False Premises, False Promises by Oxford Journals
- Alternative treatments in reproductive medicine: much ado about nothing by Oxford Journals
- Night Joyce of a Thousand Tiers writings by Petr Skrabanek on the work of James Joyce
- Healthwatch News Letter on Skrabanek Foundation
- Propagation of the Absurd: demarcation of the Absurd revisited (PDF) by The Medical Journal of Australia