Thursday, June 05, 2014

Yes, There Are Liberal Nut Bags Too

The single greatest source
for health care misinformation in America today is The Huffington Post.  


concretenprimroses said...

I agree with vaccinations. An article I read said that one reason people choose alternatives is that doctors don't take the time to really talk and understand people etc etc. A problem I see is that there are so many anecdotal reports of children, particularly babies, changing after being vaccinated that parents have paid attention. I'm not sure that research has addressed these incidents in a kind or even a fact based way. Instead the parents have been told "you don't know what you observed" or "it didn't happen." What the parents experienced was real, and telling them that they are stupid and didn't see what they saw is part of what created this whole mess.

PBurns said...

Your child has autism. Or Spina Bifida. Or is deaf. Or is blind. Or has an IQ of 95, or 75, or 55. Or perhaps your child slurs or stutters. Perhaps your child has a limp, or a twisted spine. Perhaps your kid has a ADD or OCD or is bipolar, or schitzo. Perhaps your kid has "oppositional defiance disorder" or a personality disorder.

Blame your own genetics?

Good Lord no! It must be the vaccine.

And think about it. How ODD that a child would change after a vaccine? It's only odd if you discount the fact that kids are changing all the time, from one moment to the next, week after week, month after month. If a kid is not changing, the kid is broken!

The simple truth is that most parents don't know their ass from their elbows. Most have never actually read a book about child care or development, and like the new dog owner who figures it will all be fine because they had a puppy as a kid (a dog they never took care of, trained, or paid for), they figure they are experts on kids because they themselves were children once.

No, a doctor does not have time to teach basic science and statistics to people who will not read a book on science and statistics on their own. And here's the thing: the people who want to believe in conspiracies are immune to information. In fact, they believe information from doctors and scientists is PROOF OF THE CONSPIRACY. "They want to keep the kids sick so they can sell them medicines..."

Robin said...

Wow, that's a pretty broad statement about the Huffington Post. You usually back up your words with at least a few facts.

PBurns said...

Here you go:

** HuffPost Health: A soon-to-be one-stop shop for quackery? >>

** The Huffington Post is crazy about your health: Why bogus treatments and crackpot medical theories dominate "The Internet Newspaper" >>

** Let me state very simply: HuffPo publishes dangerously ignorant dreck >>

** The Huffington Post‘s War on Medical Science: A Brief History >>

I could go on, but you have the Google too. Huff-Po is a basket case when it comes to health science.

wisconsin cur said...

Thank you.

I am a firm believer that it is the responsibility of each of us to police our own "nut bags."

I was originally optimistic, for example, when the NRA pushed back against open carry activists. The NRA had to ruin the moment by backing down.

This does not mean the two sides will always be able to come to a middle position but it might increase the odds. It would make it more likely that we could argue, debate, do political battle, on issues closer to the root disagreement.

That, in my mind, would be an improvement.

DancesWithSandyBottom said...

Re. the broad statement about HuffPo's health care posts: That's like saying THIS dog right here is THE dog with the longest tail in America today. Hard to prove. There are other notorious sources of misinformation about the health care / health sciences. But I take your point about HuffPo and do enjoy and appreciate your blog.

PBurns said...

Alexa places the Huffington post at #22 among the most visited sites in the U.S. See >>

This web site is visited by over 42 million "unique visits" a month, most of them in the U.S.

No print publication comes close to this for circulation (larger than AARP's Modern Maturity, the NY Times and all the science publications added together. >>

So yes, I think THIS dog has the longest tail when it comes to health care nonsense.

I am willing to entertain a longer one, but I honestly do not think it is out there.

Look at the top web sites in the US. >>

You see?

Huffington Post: #1 in health care malarkey.

concretenprimroses said...

I can't take credit or blame for my foster daughters genes. Twenty years ago at age 15 she was put on prozac because she reported being suicidal to a therapist. I noticed that she became more reckless in ways I had not seen before and, I thought, more suicidal. The psychiatrist didn't believe me and wouldn't listen to me and basically told me I had to do my own private study before he would change her medicine. I'm sure he thought I didn't know my ass from my elbow as you so eloquently put it. I was shocked because I worked in community mental health at the time and I was used to doctors believing me. I found out that being a mother, or in that role, gave a person absolutely no credibility with many professionals. Quite the opposite. Fortunately the agency listened to me and her medication and her psychiatrist were changed. 7 or 8 years later there were studies showing that adolescents often react this way to prozac. Did I know my ass from my elbow?
When parents are ignored and told that someone else who has seen their child for 5 minutes knows them better than they do, you shouldn't be surprised when that creates doubt. I accept the studies that vaccines don't cause autism. I realize the studies were probably done because of the anecdotal reports, so parents haven't been totally ignored. However if your child goes to the doctor and cries non stop for hours then never smiles again, (a friend of mine in my town 20 years ago), are you saying that you wouldn't want to know why? If you were told it didn't happen, what would you think then?
Fortunately with my little issue, someone did listen to me. I don't know what my reaction would have been if I was told I was lying or imagining things. Hard to know. Its possible that Bonnie would be dead tho. Decades later she still jokes if you want to see her go nuts, put her on prozac.
I stick to my point that telling parents they are stupid is part of what is creating this problem.

Richard Goth said...

The Huffpo is a wretched hive of quackery and woo
want proof?

PBurns said...

I have close family familiarity with a whole host of mental disorders and treatments of same (Bipolar, OCD, ADD, depression), but those issues are a bit different than VACCINES, are they not?

They are also different from AROMATHERAPY, CRYSTALS, contrived controversty over GMOS, and various kinds of woo sold by chaltans like Deepak Chopra.

There is also a world of difference between taking the advice of a single doctor (hence the age old advice of "get a second opinion") and ignoring 100 years of epidemiological evidence that vaccines have saved hundreds of millions of lives and that crystals are just stones, and that aromatherapy is a scheme for selling bad perfume.

For the record, I work on health care fraud issues and I am a "go to" person for major media on frauds dealing with a wide variety of drugs including drugs like Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Abilify, Wellbutrin, etc. The off-label marketing of these drugs to adolescents has been a major problem, but it is not as simple as "good" or "bad" (though the kickback issues are a little easier to deal with from a legal point of view). A fair number of 14-20 year olds kill themselves, many more are clinically depressed or have some other hard-to-diagnose mental disorder. At one time the only medication available was Prozac, but now we have about 20 other wrenches that fit a wider variety of nuts. That said, many people need nothing other than to get through it, and that is particularly true for adolescents where hormones and other brain chemicals are rising and falling like the Bay of Fundy. But is is always crystal clear? If you bring a suicidal child to a doctor, and he has only one medication that might help, is it wrong for him to try that medication? And if he does not try that medication, and the child kills herself, was he wrong to not give the medication? If your child was "zoned' for three months on a medication during a period in which, if untreated, he or she would have killed themselves, was the "zoning" a win or a lose?

Of course, if you have a child that does not do well on a medication you take the child off it and try something else if it is available. Or perhaps you decide "the cure is worse than the problem" and you learn to live with the problem. But does that mean that NO person should EVER be on that medication and that it's right to sell that message to the world? Of course not. To generalize from the EXPERIENCE of one person to create a RULE for all is crazy. But the anti-vaxxers are not even doing that. They are generalizing from NO DATA and false causality and/or NO EXPERIENCE and only FEAR to create a rule for all. It's like telling people they should never go outside because a bee sting once killed a child that was allergic to it. And actually, it IS true that bee stings kill more people in this country than any other wild animal. That said, getting outside into fresh air saves about a million times more lives every day than staying indoors. Now, does a doctor have the time to explain the difference between correlation and causality, anecdote and data, experience versus theory, evidence versus faith, and the fact that diseases transmitted by air indoors are more dangerous than bee stings, on average? No, many don't, which is why what doctor you choose is important, and why libraries and the internet were invented.

Charlotte Welcker said...

That lady reporter from the Daily Show forgot to take the apron off when she had her hair cut and colored earlier that day.