Politicizing Science

Physorg.com has a good example in An unconscionable conscience rule. The title alone bespeaks judgment of a personal sort and not measure that is misrepresented. Consider the lead:

Doctors take an oath to put their patients’ interests first. A new Bush administration rule will change that. The so-called “conscience rule” is one of a host of last-minute regulatory changes being made in the waning hours of President George W. Bush’s tenure in office.

This is loaded.

The “oath” is probably the Hippocratic and it reads quite differently than promoting a patients’ interests as their opinions and desires. Then there is the ad hominem where the President must be named and associated with negative factors.

The politics here are about abortion and patients rights and the opinion is loaded with unsupported a priori assumptions.

It is one thing to disagree about abortion, about the extent of patient rights in medical care, or even about a rule allowing medical personal to act on their conscience, but it is entirely another thing to present such an opinion as a factual judgment.

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