One of the most annoying things we face as people with chronic illnesses is people who decide they know how to cure us, while having no idea what we are going through. People who don’t realize how condescending their advice ends up being, and frequently how wrong or even dangerous it is. The constant need to give advice or to become the recipient of every single article on the subject of our conditions is something a lot of us put up with, if not actively struggle against.
Most of the time, the urge is spurred on by good intentions. So it gets me particularly angry when it is the failure of science reporting that is the cause of the most recent flood of misinformation being pushed my way.
In the last two months, Crohn’s Disease has trended on Facebook twice: once to brag that a vaccine against Crohn’s has been discovered (it hadn’t) and once to let everyone that they’ve discovered what causes Crohn’s (they haven’t).
In both cases, the articles were written in a way that suggests that the authors (or their editors) had no real understanding of science. That or they willingly inflated a story knowing it was fraudulent, and supported their claims with information that appears significant when it isn’t.
Continue reading “Crohn’s cause by Evil Eye; Cured by Unicorn Tears”
If you pay attention to either science or woo journalism surrounding medicine and health, you’ve probably come across someone using a statistic regarding yearly diagnosing rates of various disorders.
One well-known example is the statistic bandied about by anti-vaxxers: that the rate of autism diagnoses have risen since the implementation of regular childhood vaccinations. This is used as proof that vaccines must cause autism. The same thing however can be said for the number of cars per household in the United States. By this logic, owning vehicles can cause autism.
Similarly, a recent article discussing a potential crohn’s vaccine discussed the rising rates of crohn’s diagnoses as proof that the condition was linked to a bacteria found in cattle. Interestingly enough the same statistic is used as proof for the theory that crohn’s is caused by historical poverty leading to a need for higher immune systems which are overpowered for our more sterile society.
Increased number of diagnoses in the last severalyears have been used to discredit the existence of depression, anxiety, ADHD, and many other mental health issues. As proof of an overmedicating society.
Continue reading “The Lie of More Diagnoses”
Guest post by America Yamaguchi
[CN: sexual assault]
“Female-bodied” is a term that is endlessly harmful.
It reduces cisgender women to their uterus. While childbearing is a massively important component of patriarchal harm, it goes far beyond that. It is also harmful to insist that childbearing or a uterus is what makes a woman a woman, both to trans people of all genders, and to cisgender women who are infertile for any reason. It compounds a major source of psychological distress to cis women who cannot have children. By the standards of “female-bodied” to mean the uterine body plan, a cisgender woman who is missing any aspect or has a dysfunction by any part, is bound to feel like less of a woman. Thus, this term directly attacks the womanhood of a variety of cis women as well as trans women.
Continue reading “What’s the Harm in “Female-Bodied”?”
Please note that this post is a repost from our old blog. The Ottawa Cancer Foundation retracted the invitation to Jenny McCarthy in part due to a twitter campaign #dropjenny.
In 1998 Andrew Wakefield published a fraudulent paper linking autism to the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine. What followed was a growing movement of scared parents who began avoiding getting their kids vaccinated for fear that they would become autistic. For years scientists could not repeat the results found by Wakefield. Finally in 2004, Wakefield was found to have a conflict of interest in favour of finding a link between the vaccine and autism. In May of 2010, Andrew Wakefield was found guilty by the General Medical Council and was struck of the medical register and banned from practicing medicine.
The rumour campaign against vaccines was picked up by Jenny McCarthy, an actress with no scientific or medical background. She became the mouthpiece for the supposed controversy, despite the fact that there was no scientific basis for any of the claims she made. Despite this, her fame allowed her greater publicity. She used her son’s supposed autism* to gain sympathy, and to tug at the heartstrings of worried parents everywhere. Hordes of new parents opted against vaccines. Not just the MMR, but others as well. Parents began sending pox pops to one another, and holding chicken pox parties. Adults who had previously had their vaccines, opted against getting their regular boosters.
Continue reading “Who Could it Hurt”