Tuesday, 19 October 2010


C.A.G.E. has often commented how scientific studies reported by the mainstream media either contradict each other or are not coherent with what we observe in our day to day life to a point where we are now so confused about what is good or bad for us we just don’t pay notice anymore.

Those of us who totally ignore the medical findings that we read or hear, are probably the ones with the right attitude observes Dr. John Ioannidis who has spent his career challenging his peers.

The following article and Dr. Ioannidis’ paper itself (linked below), lucidly explain what makes today’s medical studies so unreliable. Whether it has to do with conflicts of interest because of the funding, the scientists’ ardent desire to be published in a respected medical journal and gain recognition, the insatiable appetite to get more funding, the cozy relationship between the authors and the peer reviewers, the false findings that become infectious and are carried over from study to study, or the disproved results of flawed studies that are still touted as factual, are some of the main reasons why, in Dr. Ioannidis’ expert opinion, medical studies should not be given much credence.

The medical and scientific communities have been given too much latitude for far too long.’University and government research overseers rarely step in to directly enforce research quality, and when they do, the science community goes ballistic over the outside interference,’’ the author of the article tells us. This is quite alarming especially that it deals with our well-being, our medication, our life and our death. Have we come to the point that since the scientific community doesn’t show any encouraging signs to discipline its members and that the government has no particular interest to step in, that we will have to rely only on our common sense and instinct to separate falsehoods from truth? How can we rely on such sloppy science to establish sound public health policies?

Regrettably, even when the more informed of us attempt to engage in meaningful discussions with our doctor, specialists and the medical community in general, we are often dismissed either as arrogant know-it-alls or conspiracy theorists who spend too much time on the internet. This must never stop us nevertheless from keeping the medical community in check. If each and every single one of us asked the right questions to the right authorities, we are bound to eventually see some improvement in the way they deal with our lives.

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