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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Pop quiz!

Here's the beginning of an excellent article on how religious conservatives have the US government peddling a 'moral agenda' instead of providing accurate health care information.

For the past 15 years, Ruth Shaber, M.D., has been an ob-gyn in San Francisco for Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation's largest health maintenance organizations. She sees all types of women?union members, executives, waitresses. Most of them, Dr. Shaber says, have questions for her, including how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases, how to preserve their fertility, how to prevent breast and cervical cancer and whether the latest Internet health scare they've heard is really true.

Dr. Shaber tries hard to separate fact from fiction because, she says, "rumor and hearsay can start to seem real." In the past, she'd sometimes refer patients to government websites and printed fact sheets, or rely on those outlets to help create her own materials. Not anymore. "As a physician, I can no longer trust government sources," says Dr. Shaber. She is not a political activist or a conspiracy theorist; in addition to her own practice, she's Kaiser Permanente's director of women's health services for northern California and head of the HMO's Women's Health Research Institute. Yet this decidedly mainstream doctor and administrator says, "I no longer trust FDA decisions or materials generated [by the government]. Ten years ago, I would not have had to scrutinize government information. Now I don't feel comfortable giving it to my patients."

Such doctor mistrust represents a major change. For the past 100 years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been the world's premier government agency ensuring drug safety. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have similarly stellar track records. But recently, Dr. Shaber charges, the government has lost its most precious asset: credibility.

Quick! Identify the source of the article.

Give up? It's from the current issue of Glamour. Yes, that Glamour. And yes, my jaw dropped, too.

You can read the whole thing here. And you really should read it all. It's one of the best summaries I've seen of how right-wing Christian activists have taken control of the FDA, HHS, and other federal agencies that govern how the US medical system deals with women's health care issues.

Via Bitch Ph.d.

| | Posted by Magpie at 2:27 PM | Get permalink




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