Informed decisions require balanced information

The more we look at issues in detail eg mainstream media, mainstream medicine, mainstream money and financial reportage, the more we become aware of the fact that things are a little one-sided. Dissent is ridiculed, rejected or simply ignored. Why doesn’t BBC ever devote any time to thoroughly and objectively exploring the theory of anthropogenic global warming? Could it be one of BBC’s incontrovertible topics.?

On a rare occasion BBC has looked into natural therapies. As I recall the outstanding success was Chinese acupuncture as applied under Traditional Chinese Medicine. This is not so revolutionary since many doctors now use some basic acupuncture techniques. Further discussion of alternative complementary therapies is not easy. There are laws about making claims of curing ailments etc. Effectively, this prevents open and objective mainstream media coverage of anything but conventional medicine. So is conventional medicine always right? Surprisingly, I came across the following report that states that deaths decreased during doctors’ strikes in the past. Of course we need to know all the facts involved here and it cannot be viewed as being generally true but it does demonstrate that we should not make assumptions:

Although non-conventional therapies are not up for discussion in mainstream media there are topics in conventional medicine that are also glossed over. One study, for instance, found chemotherapy to contribute just over 2 percent to improved survival in cancer patients. This claim cannot and should not be generalised but it shows that we need to obtain balanced information. What percentage of success defines a therapy as effective?

German mainstream media did not shy away from this story, it seems:

No-one’s suggesting that you throw away your pills and abandon your doctor. It’s not a witch hunt. However, I think it is reasonable to urge those with health issues to objectively investigate every possibility which might improve general health. No-one would claim that all alternative complementary therapies are helpful or suitable for everyone, this applies to conventional  therapies as well – your doctor may often need to adjust medication – but we need to obtain information to make informed decisions. Why is this information not supplied? Perhaps we are assumed to be incapable of making decisions because we have become so accustomed to the nanny state.

Mainstream media controls what we read or hear about. BBC brought us headline news when Dr Andrew Wakefield was struck off in the UK because he queried aspects of vaccination.  Dr Wakefield was not an opponent of vaccination, far from it. However, he listened to so many patients who were desperate for a doctor to take their concerns seriously and began to investigate matters. He now conducts further research in the US and it would appear that his comments have since been validated.

Anyone heard an update from the BBC on this one? Need I ask? Dr Wakefield explains the situation:

Parents have a right to hear all sides of things and then make an informed decision. Unquestioningly accepting a one-sided, biased view is not advisable.

This is not about trying to overthrow conventional information but simply stating a fact. We need balanced information. The more we question the better our choices. Those who find it too challenging to question “accepted” views can always opt for exclusive consumption of BBC news.


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