Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.
The Winkler Country nurse case and the problem of physician accountability ((David Gorski) The doctor reported by the whistle blowing nurses in Texas had fallen deeply into pseudoscience but his misconduct had not resulted in any action by the hospital or the state medical board. Unfortunately, regulatory agencies tend to protect physicians instead of regulating them to protect the public.
Questioning Colonoscopy (Harriet Hall) Colonoscopy is considered the gold standard of colon cancer screening, but there is no evidence that colonoscopy actually reduces deaths from colon cancer. Dr. Hall reviews the pros and cons of the various screening tests.
The Early Course of Autism (Steven Novella) There is a growing consensus, supported by a new prospective study, that the clinical onset of autism is between 6 and 12 months of age. The facts contradict several of the claims made by those who think vaccines cause autism; in particular, the MMR vaccine is now clearly exonerated.
Longing for a past that never existed (Amy Tuteur) Alternative health proponents tout the benefits of a “natural” lifestyle and yearn for a mythical idealized past. Their beliefs are based on wishful thinking, not scientific or historical reality.
Autism Onset and the Vaccine Schedule – Revisited (Steven Novella) Dr. Novella corrects an error he made about the vaccine schedule in his previous article. He shows how J.B. Handley, writing at Age of Autism, seized on this error as a propaganda opportunity and used it to demonize Dr. Novella and to promote the vaccine/autism agenda with little regard for the scientific facts.
Rom Houben: Not communicating through facilitated communication (David Gorski) Dr. Laureys has admitted that he was wrong about Belgian coma patient Rom Houben’s alleged ability to communicate by facilitated communication. Testing clearly showed the communication was coming from the facilitator, not the patient. The Belgian skeptics’ group SKEPP was involved in the testing and confirmed once more that facilitated communication is a scam.