A commentary by J D Faccinetti cofounder– In this day and age of hyper communications, internet speed, ultra-connected populations, and copious amounts of easily accessible content, bad information is rampant. That’s a problem. A big problem. Bad or misleading information is not only the purview of the media unfortunate proliferation of spun news, and the manipulation of data, facts, truth, and lies. It is also particularly troublesome in the science and medical world where personal bias and beliefs that fly in direct contradiction to proven science, have a way of making their way into the “WebSphere” and taken as factual even though there isn’t an iota of scientific proof to back them up. Regardless of your political leanings, you have to be concerned with these trends.
Recently Dr. Blevins shared an interesting medical ethics article from MEDPAGE TODAY. The article’s author, David C. Rettew, MD, talks about the latitude physicians have in providing medical advice and the assumption people make that this advice is always backed by proven science.
The article mentions Dr. Joe Schwarcz, Director of the McGill Office for Science and Society in Montreal, Quebec, who talks about “separating sense from nonsense.” According to the article, this view represents a “growing number of individuals and organizations that are becoming increasingly concerned with the vast amount of misinformation that is being disseminated by various types of healthcare professionals, often to promote miracle cures for everything from autism to obesity.” “Their main weapon to fight bad information: good information, which is posted online, sent out into social media, and delivered live at lectures and conferences,” writes Dr. Rettew.
Other people like Timothy Caufield are calling for independent bodies to regulate healthcare claims. This article from CBC Canada – Researcher wants oversight of alternative health care to ensure ‘science-based’ practices provides a very good perspective into false claims.
There is an excellent case being made here for the support of organizations and publications like Pituitary World News and others dedicated to informing using traditional accepted scientific approaches to pituitary disorders. These organizations can fight miss or misleading information with reliable scientifically sound information. As Dr. Rettew writes, “Like it or not, the burden may continue to fall on individual watchdog organizations and public complaints to expose health-related opinions and recommendations that may sound technical and valid but are devoid of any actual scientific support.”
Just in case you didn’t see it in our Facebook feed, here’s the article.
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