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Monday, September 14, 2009

TV Health News Harmful to Health

UPDATE: September 22 -
Mainstream Media Miss the Point on Swine Flu Vaccine
The Associated Press is reporting on a study that indicates about half of all health workers, including doctors, would reject the swine flu vaccine due to concerns about its effectiveness, side effects and safety. The AP emphasizes the risk of doctors and nurses spreading swine flu if they don’t get vaccinated. We’d like to suggest a different thrust for this particular story, that doctors and nurses don’t think the swine flu vaccine is either safe or effective!

Health workers are not like everyone else. They have knowledge about health and illness that the general public lacks. They are trained to diagnose and treat disease. So when they reject a course of action, everyone should pay attention. Doctors and nurses do more good by acting according to their consciences and their training than by blindly parroting the will of government or BigPharma. Why should health workers — or anyone, really — be obliged to do something they believe is both harmful and useless?

Health workers aren’t just rejecting the swine flu vaccine. Almost two thirds of health care workers in the United States also reject the seasonal flu vaccine. The percentage is even higher in the United Kingdom. What do most of these professionals do to prepare for flu? Nothing. That’s right, nothing. Why? Could it be because the best way to deal with a virus is to let your immune system fight it off? Could it be because flu vaccines and pharmaceuticals do nothing to strengthen the immune system so it can do its job? Perhaps the rest of us could learn something from health professionals’ approach. From AAHF

I regularly read a health journalism report that grades news articles and reports by a list of standards. The report is operated by a journalism professional who is also an educator in the field.

Recently he notified list members that his organization would no longer evaluate TV health news because of the consistent poor level of reporting.

You might want to weigh the value of what you see and hear from broadcast media.
Network TV morning health news segments may be harmful to your health 08/03/09

By reviewing health news coverage every day, we are able to see big pictures of clear patterns unfolding that the casual day-to-day news consumer may miss.

One picture is quite clear. The morning health news segments on ABC, CBS and NBC do the following regularly:

Unquestioningly promote new drugs and new technologies
Feed the “worried well” by raising unrealistic expectations of unproven technologies that may produce more harm than good
Fail to ask tough questions
Make any discussion of health care reform that much more difficult

1 comment:

Dr. Josh Axe said...

How ironic, and how true.
There is so much media hype out there every day. It's so important that people take charge of their own health, make a health plan and learn how to build health instead of manage sickness.