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Tuesday, 26 February 2008

THE TROUBLE WITH MEDICAL JOURNALS

This link will take you to a November 2007 interview on One on One on CBC Newsworld, where Peter Mansbridge interviews Richard Smith former editor of the British Medical Journal.

It deals with much of the same qualms we have with the biases of epidemiology and the conflict of interest of the pharmaceutical industry funding the various epidemiological studies. Although we understand what Dr. Smith explains about studies varying from researcher to researcher and that science is constantly experimenting, we consider that it is a serious problem for policy to be based on such approximate and biased ''science''.

Furthermore we fully agree with Dr. Smith when he suggests that the media be a little more selective of what they publish and that some investigative journalism before publishing a press release, is a practice that should be guiding all health journalists. The public is increasingly losing faith in medicine and science and this certainly cannot be good news for anybody’s health and well-being. It is high time that some integrity and honesty is restored both in the research and the publishing of health news.

Dr. Smith clearly points out to us that medical news are a big industry and we should be as critical of anything we read about health as we are on every other type of news, by developing the skill to carefully analyze the financial and political agendas behind such news instead of accepting them at face value. Who better than the former chief of editor of one of the most respected medical journals to offer such advice!

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