Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Plugging the Competition

If you get tired of me, you might want to check out the blog at PLoS Medicine. In this entry, Virginia Barbour cogitates on "What are the "fundamental unanswered questions in medicine?" She gets props from me because her proposals are social and political, rather than biomedical quandaries: how are we going to pay for the high tech care that people in rich countries have come to think is their right? Why don't we invest proportionately in the diseases of the poor countries? Why are so many people willing to trust "alternative" treatments for which there is no evidence, while distrusting well established, safe and effective interventions like vaccination? Why don't people get more upset about the death toll from motor vehicles? [And, I might add, other important causes of premature death such as gun violence, while they are very worried about unlikely or far less severe problems such as terrorism.] Etc.

Not surprisingly, the first commenter is disappointed and wants to propose biomedical questions. In my view, at the present state of socio-medical development, these are far less important. When it comes to medicine, we need to let our wisdom catch up with our knowledge.

Also, check out Counterspin, a new addition to my blogroll.

1 comment:

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