Not everybody was loving the big push to inoculate an entire demographic with drug maker Merck's human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil. Not because they were necessarily anti-vaccine (an entirely different story) but because Merck was coming on so strong in a cause to stop a virus that's nowhere near as problematic to population health as, say, polio.
In a detailed feature called...
The New York Times ran a piece Aug. 13 quoting plastic surgeons who claim the plastic surgery boom is generating an unanticipated benefit to overall health. Vanity, it appears, is a powerful motivator encouraging die-hard smokers to butt out.
Smokers have a higher incidence of negative side effects from surgery (poor healing, trouble under anaesthesia), prompting docs to deny smokers that eye lift unless they quit.
Considering how much money is at stake for physicians offering elective cosmetic surgery (especially in the U.S.), I'm not sure that I would take this notion without a small grain of salt. There are probably more effective (and less invasive) ways to quit smoking than a tummy tuck. But it is an interesting social phenomenon, and a nice hook to capture an important story in and of itself - the explosive growth of plastic surgery.
Full article is here
Just as the debate over whether Canada should allow Direct-To-Consumer-Advertising of prescription medicines on television rages on, scientists released this week another peer-reviewed study that concludes DTCA is bad medicine.
The study, conducted partially in Toronto, compared sales patterns of a cholesterol drug in the United States and Canada. The U.S. allows DTCA over the airwaves while Canada restricts the form it can take. CanWest Global is currently challenging Canada's DTCA ban in the courts, hoping to eliminate it and allow Canadian broadcasters to air the same sorts of ads seen in the U.S.
A good Canadian Press review, published in The Toronto Star, outlines the latest research here, with the study due out in a forthcoming issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The Post won in the public service category for a exposing the mistreatment of war veterans at Walter Reed Hospital, generating a national outcry in the United States. Journalists Anne Hull and Dana Priest, along with photographer Michel du Cille were honored for The Wounded Warrior at Home: The Walter Reed Series
Toxic ingredients found in medicines and other products imported from China was the topic of a series by New York Times' Walt Bogdanich and Jane Hooker. The series "A Toxic Pipeline" won in the investigative category.
The series Kids at Risk by staff at the Chicago Tribune exposed faulty government oversight of the safety of carseats, toys and cribs and prompted massive recalls and calls to improve regulations.
Source: Harvard World Health News
New breakthroughs, radical treatment options, the costs and benefits of a new piece of technology: all of these events fall on the desks of daily news reporters in all markets and regardless of their beat or specialization. With that in mind, the American Medical Writers Association journal published guidelines in 1999 to help journalists who don’t have a background in science to better navigate a health science story.
Guyatt, G. et al. (1999) A journalist’s guide to writing health stories. AMWA Journal. 14(1):32-42.
Health and Medical Journalism
edited by MEREDITH LEVINE
This section looks at how the media covers health and medical issues and debates. It also provides tools for journalists to better evaluate health and medical research, practice and policy.
Meredith Levine is a lecturer at University of Western Ontario, after having worked as a producer at CBC National Radio Current Affairs for over a decade. Her research focuses primarily on journalism ethics, health care ethics, patient preferences and values, and communication and disability.
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This is very interesting. But perhaps you've overstated the case. Truth is indeed a defense...1 day 3 hours ago
Peter Worthington would have known that there is a venerable tradition of journalists writing...5 days 21 hours ago
I like this. It's very important to see the closeness of public relations and journalism....6 days 1 hour ago