Thursday, 27 February 2014

Medical research and it's publication

When will the media stop frightening the public or giving false hope to people.  Just because a piece of research is published in a specialist periodical does not mean it is correct.  Research is simply one small part of a process which may and I repeat may lead to a breakthrough in some  area or other.  Medical research is constantly producing results which the media seems to feel are appropriate to fill a few column inches or add a view minutes to the news when they are stuck for a story.  The one example I would draw attention to was the scandal over the   MMR vaccine.  This research produced by the discredited Andrew Wakefield was published for peer review and before any confirmation could be carried out the press were on it like bees to a honey pot. Unfortunately the results of this were not as harmless as bees eating at a honeypot.  People stopped getting their children vaccinated because of this mans discredited research.  It is still having repercussions and now he has scuttled off to the USA where he continues to peddle his insane ideas.  The press accepted no responsibility for this. They were the ones that did not check the facts before publishing and instead produced banner headlines saying the MMR vaccine caused autism. Areas of Wales and many parts of the rest of the country suffered badly with measles outbreaks.  I thought the mainstay of good journalism was to check your facts before publishing.  Now it seems publish and be damned.  Oh I forgot we have to sell newspapers and sensationalism sells papers