1-1banner
 
medpundit
 

 
Commentary on medical news by a practicing physician.
 

 
Google
  • Epocrates MedSearch Drug Lookup




  • MASTER BLOGS





    "When many cures are offered for a disease, it means the disease is not curable" -Anton Chekhov




    ''Once you tell people there's a cure for something, the more likely they are to pressure doctors to prescribe it.''
    -Robert Ehrlich, drug advertising executive.




    "Opinions are like sphincters, everyone has one." - Chris Rangel



    email: medpundit-at-ameritech.net

    or if that doesn't work try:

    medpundit-at-en.com



    Medpundit RSS


    Quirky Museums and Fun Stuff


    Who is medpundit?


    Tech Central Station Columns



    Book Reviews:
    Read the Review

    Read the Review

    Read the Review

    More Reviews

    Second Hand Book Reviews

    Review


    Medical Blogs

    rangelMD

    DB's Medical Rants

    Family Medicine Notes

    Grunt Doc

    richard[WINTERS]

    code:theWebSocket

    Psychscape

    Code Blog: Tales of a Nurse

    Feet First

    Tales of Hoffman

    The Eyes Have It

    medmusings

    SOAP Notes

    Obels

    Cut-to -Cure

    Black Triangle

    CodeBlueBlog

    Medlogs

    Kevin, M.D

    The Lingual Nerve

    Galen's Log

    EchoJournal

    Shrinkette

    Doctor Mental

    Blogborygmi

    JournalClub

    Finestkind Clinic and Fish Market

    The Examining Room of Dr. Charles

    Chronicles of a Medical Mad House

    .PARALLEL UNIVERSES.

    SoundPractice

    Medgadget
    Health Facts and Fears

    Health Policy Blogs

    The Health Care Blog

    HealthLawProf Blog

    Facts & Fears

    Personal Favorites

    The Glittering Eye

    Day by Day

    BioEdge

    The Business Word Inc.

    Point of Law

    In the Pipeline

    Cronaca

    Tim Blair

    Jane Galt

    The Truth Laid Bear

    Jim Miller

    No Watermelons Allowed

    Winds of Change

    Science Blog

    A Chequer-Board of Night and Days

    Arts & Letters Daily

    Tech Central Station

    Blogcritics

    Overlawyered.com

    Quackwatch

    Junkscience

    The Skeptic's Dictionary



    Recommended Reading

    The Doctor Stories by William Carlos Williams


    Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82 by Elizabeth Fenn


    Intoxicated by My Illness by Anatole Broyard


    Raising the Dead by Richard Selzer


    Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy


    The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks


    The Sea and Poison by Shusaku Endo


    A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich




    MEDICAL LINKS

    familydoctor.org

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    General Health Info

    Travel Advice from the CDC

    NIH Medical Library Info

     



    button

    Thursday, February 08, 2007

    The Slant: When I read the first sentence of the conclusion to this study last night:

    Many physicians do not consider themselves obligated to disclose information about or refer patients for legal but morally controversial medical procedures.

    I knew that this is how today's headlines would read:

    Doctors keep options from patients
    Many won't divulge treatment information for religious reasons


    A disturbing number of doctors do not feel obligated to tell patients about medical options they oppose morally, such as abortion and teen birth control, and believe they have no duty to refer people elsewhere for such treatments, researchers say.


    Both the study and the subsequent newspaper story belie the headline and the conclusion:

    On the basis of our results, we estimate that most physicians believe that it is ethically permissible for doctors to explain their moral objections to patients (63%). Most also believe that physicians are obligated to present all options (86%) and to refer the patient to another clinician who does not object to the requested procedure (71%). (Boldness mine)

    So how on earth did they justify scewing their conclusion to the opposite impression? Do researchers take classes in graduate school on how to get their papers recognized by the media? Let's face it, when the eyes read "many" the mind thinks "majority," and in all likelihood the authors knew that. If they had given their paper an honest concluding sentence it would have read "Most physicians consider themselves obligated to disclose information about or refer patients for legal but morally controversial medical procedures."

    But then, that wouldn't have gotten anyone's attention, would it?
     

    posted by Sydney on 2/08/2007 08:54:00 AM 5 comments

    5 Comments:

    Well said.

    By Blogger DrWes, at 12:51 PM  

    "Many" is one of those words that writers should avoid because it is more likely to confuse readers than to enlighten them. Still, if the 18% of docs who said they feel no obligation to refer patients to a doctor who will provide the controversial service is an accurate representation of the country's physicians well that adds up to "many," doesn it?

    I would write, "More than 1 in 8 doctors believes ..."

    By Blogger Kevin B. O'Reilly, at 2:17 PM  

    If you were standing in a room of 100 people and 18 people expressed a certain opinion, you would be hard pressed to call that "many."

    By Blogger sydney, at 2:28 PM  

    The news has to be bad news, or it's not news. I don't know why events are reported that way, but it certainly contributes to a sense of the world going to hell in a handbasket when it isn't.

    For example, when's the last time the media reported the Dow Jones hit another all-time high and the S & P 500 has fully recovered as well? In fact, because December 29 ended down from December 28, the headline was "Stocks end down in 2006!"

    By Anonymous danie, at 3:32 PM  

    18 percent is basically 1 in 5. When it comes to displaying basic ethics, i.e., giving a patient a full, honest overview of their options, 1 in 5 IS ``many.'' It doesn't say ``most'' -- which would be wrong -- but ``many.'' What if 1 in 5 Toyota Camry's had their breaks fail? Or 1 in 5 Happy Meals contained botulism? That's ``many.''

    By Blogger Tracy, at 4:25 PM  

    Post a Comment

    This page is powered by Blogger, the easy way to update your web site.

    Main Page

    Ads

    Home   |   Archives

    Copyright 2006