Send As SMS

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


In the U.S.A., an obscure act of congress called the Data Quality Act, or the Information Quality Act, has been the cause of a number of precedent making lawsuits. The bill was passed as a rider without any debate. Its purpose was to “ensure the quality, objectivity, utility and integrity of information disseminated by federal agencies.” It has left the door open for anyone with an agenda to launch lawsuits that call this information into question.

Foe example, it is now possible for tobacco companies to challenge public health information about the dangers of smoking, or oil companies to suppress information about the dangers posed by green house gasses.

The Salt Group, an industry organization, launched one such lawsuit after the New England Journal of Medicine published a paper showing that reducing salt in the diet could help reduce blood pressure. Another spurious lawsuit was file by a user of medical marijuana. He believes that the government has suppressed information about the medical benefits of marijuana.

Other such lawsuits could be waiting in the wings, and could affect any group or organization that contributes to the public health. This quite possibly could include mental health agencies and pharmaceutical companies.

Source: Scientific American


Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) has become an epidemic in the Canadian Armed Forces. Military doctors and psychologists have been deluged in PTSD cases. Veterans Canada has pegged the number of cases as 10 percent, while the Military Ombudsman says 20 percent is a more accurate figure. In addition to soldiers in active service there are also approximately 8,400 veterans in Canada drawing a pension due to PTSD. Many of these fought in Korea and World War Two.

Many doctors are now questioning the veracity of the PTSD diagnosis. The prevailing perception of this disorder is that the patient is “scarred for life” with no hope of even a partial recovery. Not everyone who has experienced a trauma necessarily has the disorder, for many it is a temporary condition that will improve over time.

Many cases of PTSD may have been caused by counseling and therapy being provided too soon after the traumatic experience. This can often reinforce the memory of the trauma, impressing the details of the event in the long-term memory.

Source: The Globe and Mail


Post a Comment

<< Home