Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Another ad hominem attack on guideline writers

This one, predictably, is from the New York Times. Typical of other ad hominem attacks on authors for their financial interests, this one is intellectually empty---devoid of any direct criticism of the science.

And here’s a choice quote from the piece:

“If you want the public to really believe in the guidelines, why not have a committee that is conflict-free?”

Does that ever miss the point. Guidelines are for the people making clinical decisions for individual patients---the health care professionals, not the public. Guideline development is not a popularity contest.

That quote also illustrates the intellectual laziness I alluded to earlier---the idea that guidelines are out there to be believed or not believed based on the litmus test of financial ties. Belief based medicine??? Whatever happened to critical appraisal and examination of primary evidence?

More from Tom Sullivan at the Policy and Medicine blog.