I’m optimistic, because it looks as though, in my lifetime, BC treatment will be tailored to each patient. There’ll be less surgery and better drugs.
The other day, over lunch, I was reading the Sept 2011 issue of the Atlantic and came upon this image on p. 37. According to the not-so-fine print, this full-page broccoli fix is sponsored by MARS chocolate, North America, website listed: www.marshealthyliving.com So we can find out about nutrition from the company that manufactures M&M’s, Snickers, Twix, MilkyWay […]
(and, on bias in education) On the bus last week I was reading the latest New Yorker and came upon a short, front-end piece by Ian Frazier on Mary Jane Seacole, a Jamaican nurse who tended wounded soldiers in the Crimean War. As best as I can recall, I’d never heard before of Florence Nightingale’s […]
I must have been reading a magazine when Mashable reported on new findings about the news from the Pew Research Center. A December 2010 survey confirmed that Americans are turning away from newspapers and logging onto the Web. Among young people, the Internet exceeds TV as a news source: In 2010, for the first time, […]
So many others have written on Wakefield’s fraud, and considered the role of the press in perpetuating the notion that vaccines cause autism, I wasn’t going to cover it here on ML. But I do think there are a few instructive points from this “lesson” about medical communication and news:
1. People aren’t always rational in their decisions about health care. (This is an understatement.)
In some ways this seems like a pro-active, well-intentioned policy that could save lives. On the other hand, as discussed in the NEJM piece, the new screening policy raises a host of challenging issues:
* how will colleges inform minor players’ parents about results?
* how will the schools handle players’ privacy?…
…I think the answer is inherent in the goal of being engaged, and that has to do with the concept of patient autonomy – what’s essentially the capacity of a person to live and make decisions according to one’s own set of knowledge, goals and values.
Autonomy in medicine, which borders on the empowerment idea, can be an aim in itself, and therefore valuable regardless of any measured outcome.