The blogger and the author of Bad Science, Dr Ben Goldacre, himself a defendant in a lengthy and costly legal case, explores the battle to keep libel out of science and what it might mean for us and the future of medical research if that battle is lost.
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In this programme, as part of the Generations Apart, which launches on the 8th August on Radio 4, Ben Goldacre, medic and author of the Bad Science Column, explores the past, present and future of longitudinal research.
In a sweary episode, we begin by talking about the peculiarities of those who threaten to sue Goldacre for libel, and the way quacks will create misleading statistics. Then via Nick’s desire for robot doctors, we discuss whether doctors are obliged to tell the truth to their patients, how new technology may change the role of doctors in diagnosis, and the potential for conflicts of interest depending upon how doctors are paid. And Nick lets John speak after the first half hour.
We ponder the potential privatisation of the NHS, and the impact that may have on patients and doctors, what happens when you privatise blood donation, and in turn, the nature of an altruistic act. We ask what doctors should be doing with drugs they know don’t perform better than placebo, even if they appear to help patients.
Medic and author Ben Goldacre explores the idea of evidence-based policy and asks if it can ever become a reality in the UK.