Jim Todd, asks us to consider that Sanjay Gupta, medical rock star of the media, may not be the best choice for Surgeon General:
CNN reports that Sanjay Gupta, who has actively promoted facilitated communication as a valid and useful communication method, is being considered for United States Surgeon General.
This is indeed a concern. Randi and others have railed for years against the nonsense that is facilitated communication, or FC, which involves a practitioner grabbing the hand of a non-communicative patient, and "facilitating" their pointing out words to make sentences.
As far as developmental disabilities are concerned, Gupta seems not to understand the depth of his ignorance. Real people suffer real harm because of his advocacy of autism pseudoscience and his promotion of ersatz experts over real scientists.
Hank Schlinger, Ph.d copied us on the following missive:
Dear Obama Transition Team,
I am writing to express my strong opposition to Dr. Sanjay Gupta for U.S. Surgeon general.
Dr. Gupta has actively promoted facilitated communication (FC) as a valid communication method for people with autism. FC has been thoroughly discredited scientifically, a fact which Dr. Gupta refuses to accept, opting instead for anecdotes and personal observation as evidence of its validity.
The job of Surgeon General of the United States is too important to be offered to someone who has consistently promoted a pseudoscientific technique that has harmed so many children and their families.
Hank goes to suggest:
Another way to express your concern about the possible nomination of Sanjay Gupta to Surgeon General is to go to Paul Krugman's blog in (the January 6) N. Y. TImes and post a comment about Gupta's endorsement of facilitated communication, which has caused harm to countless children and their families.
There are 228 posts as of this writing, and many of them are very interesting.