Doctors blame media for scaring patients off vaginal mesh implants

The Guardian, 6 October 2017
Author: Melissa Davey
“Inaccurate media reporting about vaginal mesh implants and the lawsuits associated with them has caused patients to become fearful of mesh procedures that may be essential to improving their health, New Zealand general surgeon Dr Steven Kelly says.”
Find article here.

Australian academics seek to challenge ‘web of avarice’ in scientific publishing

The Guardian, 14 August 2015
Author: Melissa Davey
“The academic publishing industry is a “gigantic web of avarice and selfishness”, an eminent public health professor has said, as Australian academics seek to challenge the domination of a few publishing houses over scientific research. A study published in the Journal of Internet Medical Research last year found that 13% of peer-reviewed medical and science articles indexed by the online archive PubMed could be accessed free. The rest were behind a paywall and required a subscription or a fee to access the full research paper.”
Find article here.

Thousands quit cholesterol meds after viewing “unbalanced” TV program

SMH, 15 June 2015
Author: Harriet Alexander
“An ABC science show that controversially claimed cholesterol medication was “toxic” resulted in 60,000 people not taking their medication, potentially increasing their chances of heart attack or stroke. A University of Sydney study into the impact of the Catalyst program recorded a marked change in the use of statins directly after the two-part series was aired in October 2013. The program claimed the causal link between saturated fat, cholesterol and heart disease was “the biggest myth in history” and that cholesterol medication was toxic. It was slammed by cardiologists and medicine safety experts, who said it downplayed a body of evidence showing that cholesterol medication was effective.”
Find article here.

What Causes Someone To Fake Cancer On The Internet?

Huffington Post, 23 April 2015
Author: Erin Schumaker
“Belle Gibson, the Australian Instagram star who claimed diet and lifestyle changes cured her terminal cancer – landing a book deal and an award-winning app as a result – admitted this week that she faked her cancer diagnosis. Australian media outlets note The Weekly’s speculation that Gibson might suffer from a psychological disorder known as factitious syndrome, a disorder in which an individual either creates or behaves as if she has physical or emotional symptoms of an illness.
Find article here.

Is It Fair to Ask the Internet to Pay Your Hospital Bill?

The Atlantic, 12 March 2015
Author: Cari Romm
“Sites like YouCaring, GoFundMe, and Indiegogo Life cumulatively host thousands of pages set up by people looking for help with medical expenses, from cancer treatment to in-vitro fertilization (IVF). These crowdfunding pages are a place for family and friends to help out and receive updates on the status of a loved one’s health—but they’re also a place where strangers can log on and make a donation to someone they’ve never met before.”
Find article here.

Dallas Ebola Nurse Slams Hospital, Claims They Used Her For PR

Huffington Post, 1 March 2015
Author: Jon Herskovitz, Lisa Maria Garza
“The first person infected with Ebola in the United States, nurse Nina Pham, said she was used for publicity purposes by her hospital, which also invaded her privacy and did not properly train her, the Dallas Morning News reported on Sunday.”
Find article here.

Is exaggeration in academic press releases related to investigators’ conflicts of interests?

BMJ 2015;350:h137
Author: Vercellini, P, Vigano, P, Somigliana, E
“Dissemination of scientific information by news media may influence patients and doctors’ decisions, so exaggerated interpretations in news stories could have harmful or costly effects. Sumner and colleagues found that exaggeration in science news was associated with inaccuracies in academic medical centres’ press releases.”
Find extract here.