Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Lancet

The Lancet, which is the British equivalent of the New England Journal (i.e. a very prestigious general journal) has a certain annoying combination of anti-Americanism, provincialism and anti-market beliefs expressed in its editorials. The latter I find particularly amusing since articles in the Lancet are not made available free of charge on-line, only because otherwise no one would pay the ~$200/yr subscription.

So I was amused to see the following headline:
Health is the loser in the vote against Europe
above an editorial that went on to hysterically decry the fact that the lack of an EU constitution limits the ability of various advocacy groups (think anti-vaccine zealots and knife-banners) to influence laws (i.e. screw things up) across the EU as a whole, instead having to work country by country, as if no other more important issues were at stake (I am personally agnostic on the issue of an EU constitution). For example
By giving a legal grounding to the EU rhetoric that puts social values, such as health, on a par with the economic goals of the internal market, the Constitution creates a much safer environment for enhancing health policy-making at an EU level.
I am personally skeptical of anything that creates a safer environment for enhancing health policy level; it is too easy for people who think they know all the answers to screw things up.

Here are some typical Lancet editorial headlines:
Abortion drugs must become WHO essential medicines

The US National Children's Study must have more funds

Biotech quick-fixes will not end hunger in China

A tax to prevent the epidemic of lung cancer

Prostitutes are people too

You get the idea


At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Jason said...

Is agnostic equivalent to ignorant?

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Dr. Andy said...

In this case, no. I probably know as much about the pros and cons of the European constitution as the average European voting on it, maybe more. But without a direct stake, it is hard for me to conclude wheter it is a good idea



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