Original broadcast date: July 5, 2009
The general principle in science and medicine is to challenge claims and research findings in order to evaluate its veracity and repeatability. It takes evidence, solid evidence as the fuel for debate and contrarian viewpoints, not opinion based on anecdotal evidence.
To wit, the news that Oprah Winfrey is bankrolling ex-Playboy playmate Jenny McCarthy to broadcast her opinions about the dangers of vaccines is one of many instances where critical appraisal of data is being subjugated by celebrity opinion.
In an article originally published on the web site Science-Based Medicine, and an abridged version in the June 7, 2009 edition of the Toronto Star, Dr. David Gorski comments on anti–vaccine advocacy, bioidentical hormone claims, pseudoscience, alternative medicine, the law of unintended consequences, the logical fallacies that are used to support them and what he calls the Oprah-fication of medicine.
- David H. Gorski, MD, PhD, FACS, Program Leader, Breast Cancer Biology Program
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Associate Professor of Surgery
Wayne State University School of Medicine