Yesterday’s post was not really about Avastin, but about medical journalism and how patients’ voices are handled by the media.
L. Husten, writing on a Forbes blog, cried that the press fawned, inappropriately, over patients’ words at the FDA hearing last week, and that led him to wonder why and if journalists should pay attention to what people with illness have to say, even if their words go against the prevailing medical wisdom.
There’s a fair amount of controversy on this. For sake of better discussion in the future, I think it best to break it up into 3 distinct but inter-related issues:
1. About health care journalism and patients’ voices:
A general problem I perceive (and part of why I started blogging) is how traditional medical journalists use patients’ stories to make a point. What some of my journalism professors tried to teach me, and most editors I’ve dealt with clearly want, is for the reporter to find a person with an illness, as a lead, and then tell about the relevant news, and provide some expert commentary – with at least one person speaking on each “side” of the issue, of course – and then end the story with some bit about the patient and the future.
I argue that this form of medical journalism Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Medical Lessons*