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Doctors complain over Miranda Kerr's appointment as hospital ambassador

The Guardian The Guardian 30/09/2016 Calla Wahlquist

© AAP Image/Seafolly Doctors at Sydney’s Royal Hospital for Women have reportedly complained to the board about the decision to appoint supermodel Miranda Kerr ambassador because she has been associated with views promoting a more “natural” approach.

Kerr was appointed an ambassador of the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation in December and, in a large photo on the foundation’s homepage, invites visitors to “join me and save a baby today.”

In the accompanying video, Kerr explains that she was born premature and encourages people to donate to pay for more humidicribs, saying, “as a mother, I know every baby’s life is worth it.”

She is one of the most recognisable faces in Australia, but news website Mamamia has reported that Kerr’s appointment caused concern among the medical community, with some writing to the hospital board to complain and others reportedly withdrawing financial support for the foundation.

The main cause for concern, other than the fact that LA-based Kerr has no apparent connection to the hospital, is her reported association with anti-science views including, recently, an apparent endorsement of a book on “holistic” childcare by chiropractor and anti-vaccine advocate Jennifer Barham-Floreani.

The book is at the centre of an anti-vaccine furore in Australia and is reportedly promoted by chiropractors as a way to flout rules preventing them from advising parents not to vaccinate their children.

Kerr has also been criticised for comments she made in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar after the birth of her son in 2011, in which she said children born after an epidural looked “a little bit drugged up”.

“I was like ‘well, I don’t want that.’ I wanted to give him the best possible start in life I could,” she said.

Professor John Dwyer, president of Friends of Science in Medicine, told Mamamia that Kerr’s “scientifically naive” opinions made her an interesting choice.

“She supports a whole of pseudo-scientific concepts and she’s the face of a foundation raising money for an academic, prestigious, orthodox medical hospital,” Dwyer said.

Guardian Australia has contacted the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation for comment.

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