We Are Sunshine

HEADLINE STORY: Finding proper balance when it comes to health care

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

NOV. 24, 2009 — “We are on the verge of becoming a scientifically illiterate country.”

— Dr. Nancy Snyderman, chief medical editor of NBC News, as interviewed on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Nov. 22. Snyderman believes that American health care costs are increasing because medical decisions are being made for emotional reasons rather than scientific-based reasons.

2009-11-24-quote-of-the-week-copy.jpgMeet the Press was exploring a new government study that showed that breast cancer screenings for women in their 40s may do more harm than good. The new study showed that for every 1,904 screenings one life is saved, but then 1,000 false-positive breast cancer diagnoses occur to save that one life, which creates a dilemma on whether or not the tests should be recommended for everyone.

The concept that emotion is clouding scientific judgment is exactly the indoor tanning community’s contention as anti-sun lobbying groups have used emotion to cloud the science about UV light — attempting to convince the public that any UV is harmful, that chemical sunscreen should be worn daily and that indoor tanning is inherently harmful.

“The concept of ‘scientific illiteracy’ is what has created so much unnecessary confusion about UV exposure,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy said. “When it is obvious that humans were intended to get UV to make vitamin D, and that proper balance is what’s required, there are those who are profiting from teaching UV avoidance, and they have perpetuated emotional stories rather than balance, science-based stories.”