Prevention -- How Misuse of a Concept Undercuts Its Worth
Goodman, Lenn E.
Goodman, Madeleine J.
Hastings Center Report. 1986 Apr; 16(2): 26-38.
Examples are cited to argue that some mass prevention programs have been oversold. The National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society's promotion of dietary changes to reduce cancer risk has spawned risky diets promoted by food faddists. Overuse of hysterectomy and estrogen replacement therapy and an overzealous swine flu immunization campaign have caused needless mortality and morbidity from complications. Promoting adolescent contraception as a means to reduce child abuse represents an overextension of the idea of preventive health measures into the nonmedical sphere, as do physicians' campaigns that amplify children's fears of nuclear disaster. Public confusion about the distinction between therapy and prevention has been fostered by groups soliciting funds for cancer research, while some health promotion campaigns have contributed to a blame-the-victim mentality and to the imputing of magical powers to certain prevention symbols. (KIE abstract)
Abortion; Adolescents; Cancer; Child Abuse; Children; Contraception; Diabetes; Diagnosis; Disease; Drugs; Education; Evaluation; Family Planning; Females; Food; Health; Health Education; Health Promotion; Heart Diseases; Immunization; Influenza; Information Dissemination; Illness; Mass Screening; Medicine; Morbidity; Mortality; Nuclear Warfare; Nutrition; Obligations of Society; Physicians; Preventive Medicine; Psychological Stress; Public Health; Research; Risk; Risks and Benefits; Self Induced Illness; Surgery;
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Goodman, Madeleine J.; Goodman, Lenn E. (1982-10)Mass screening programs to detect carriers of Tay Sachs disease in the American Jewish population are described and criticized from an ethical standpoint. Educational programs promoting screening often trigger long-lasting ...