Medical Misinformation and Paranoia

A good discussion of the uncertainties that create anxieties.

This is an essay from the ACSH on why there is so much disinformation and mistrust out there.

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4 responses to “Medical Misinformation and Paranoia

  1. The Wakefield study is a prime example of why trust in science and medicine is at an “all-time low”. It’s a clear-cut, proven example of the type of pharmaceutical/MD/Lawyer/Media corruption that causes people to question mainstream medicine. Doctor Wakefield is not a unique, one-of-a-kind conman. His brand of quackery has been with us for millennia, and will continue to plague the world into the foreseeable future. As long as there are bad lawyers looking to create a profitable lawsuit, bad companies looking to discredit their competition, and bad media outlets willing to sensationalize alarmist news for ratings, there will be bad doctors that are more than willing to take the paycheck. It doesn’t matter whether their involvement is as deep as Doctor Wakefield’s or simply lending their respectability to an advertisement. The end result is the same. Anyone who is willing to take someone’s word just because the letters “MD” appear after their name runs the risk of being made a fool

    The ACSH article calls people out for buying “conspiracy theories” while ignoring the fact that the Wakefield MMR/autism connection WAS a conspiracy borne out by a member of the medical community, published in a peer-reviewed journal, paid for by misappropriated tax dollars, for the financial benefit of a lawyer, a doctor, and a vaccine manufacturer. They can try to distance themselves and point fingers all they want but in the end, it was mainstream medicine that created the vaccine/autism myth.

    The real question is why more people aren’t capable of looking past the hype and alarmism to read the real data beneath the abstract and make a determination for their selves. For that I look to my favorite conspiracy theory, the dumbing down of public schools. There is no reason a high school student couldn’t be taught to catch the glaring shortcomings in the Wakefield paper. The fact that the paper was published in the Lancet is proof enough that the flaws in the system go far beyond Wakefield’s personal crimes.

  2. Still waiting for the stress lawsuits to start over all the fear mongering and its effect on people’s health.

  3. If you follow the “studies” and resulting panic, for five years you will see any number of reversals on any one subject (salt, coffee, fats, meat, wheat, etc.). I have no confidence in any of it.

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