Saturday, January 29, 2011

Do not argue with physicians

A NY Times op-ed complains that some people are not persuaded by this:
The evidence against the original article and its author, a British medical researcher named Andrew Wakefield, is damning. Among other things, he is said to have received payment for his research from a lawyer involved in a suit against a vaccine manufacturer; in response, Britain’s General Medical Council struck him from the medical register last May.
I am not either, for reasons noted here. I don't know why Wakefield receiving payment would be so persuasive. The leading vaccine advocates at the CDC like Paul Offit have received millions from the vaccine industry. Silencing Wakefield just suggests that knowledge is being suppressed. When people claim to be experts and give fallacious arguments like this, then I wonder whether they have any good arguments.

The paper printed several response letters, including this:
It always astounds me that these same individuals don’t argue with architects regarding building materials, or airline pilots on how to fly a plane or with doctors on most other aspects of medical care, but they feel that they know best when it comes to disease prevention.
Ben Z. Katz
It astounds me whenever a physician wants to argue with me about anything. His job is to advise the patient so that he can make his own medical decisions. If he is arguing, then he has abandoned his proper role as a physician.

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