What should I believe? A sampling of news stories

Studies which don’t hold up under new scrutiny is one of the breaking stories in the New York Times. It turns out that some of the key studies that have defined our views on human behavior don’t have sufficient evidence to back them up. Some psychologists say that reproducing those studies constitutes an attack. Other researchers claim that all scientific studies must be reproducible, whether or not the questions may be perceived as an attack. Nonetheless, if the studies are completely retracted, modern psychology and the accompanying beliefs that that science has given to society at large may be wrong.

Modern Healthcare came out their list of the most influential people in healthcare for 2015. The person who topped the list is somewhat surprising. Of course the subtext in this story is the question of ACA and whether you think that it is important. I know many people that still have no health insurance, despite the fact that ACA has been how Massachusetts operates for many years. How important is ACA, and what are the advantages and disadvantages? What do you believe?

And lastly, laws were tightened significantly in three states regarding vaccination policies around all but homeschooled students. Vaccinations are a thorny subject, any way you look at it. Does regulation which requires you to get a doctor’s note to get out of vaccinations restrict your fundamental rights? Or is herd immunity more important than the slight risks that accompany vaccinations?

I will tell you what I think. Blatantly. Flat-out. Until we get more information on those papers, I am withholding judgement. If a study is to claim the adjective scientific, then it must be reproducible, or it may be an error to call it science. There is a reason that nursing and medicine is given the umbrella term healthcare, and not science. Healthcare is not scientific. It is not reproducible.

As for ACA, I think it is a clumsy attempt to guarantee the laudable goal that everyone should have access to healthcare. In the instances that I have encountered, ACA doesn’t work. So how important is the swing vote on the King vs. Burwell case? Does everyone have a right (which means that somebody has an obligation to provide it) to healthcare? I would give a qualified yes, but I don’t necessarily think that it is the government’s job to provide it.

Vaccinations. Oh, I hate that question. Because it depends. If you just had a baby, and are not letting that baby go to daycare, and are breastfeeding, I wouldn’t worry about vaccinations immediately. However, if that baby/small child is going to day care, I would consider vaccinations important.  I delayed vaccinations for my children. They are up to date, but I didn’t follow the usual timetable because I stayed home with my kids so their exposure to infection was limited.

So that is what I think. What do you think? And most importantly, why do you have that opinion? Are the beliefs that both you and I have without foundation? Are we living our life according to lies?

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