Wednesday, October 21, 2009


kinda weird how they didn't bother to quantify the harms and benefits

"Comments are no longer being accepted."   dang,   I signed up just to comment on this story;  there were already 206 when I first looked after just half a day and now they shut it down.  Interesting 

oh wait it's ok this one got in;  it's pretty accurate 

Of every 2000 women screened with mammos (per Cochrane):

200 will have false positives, with resulting worries and potentially mutilating surgeries

10 will be diagnosed but their outcomes are the same whether they were screened or not. Likely, they all feel they were helped, even though data shows their outcomes are neutral.

1 will have her life prolonged

Overall, 200 women are harmed for every one that is helped. I think your opinion on the benefit of screening depends on whether you are one of the 200 or the 1 (or think you are the 1).

Is it worth harming 200 women to help 1? That's the question.

Screening is a value judgment. How many people is it ok to harm to help the one?

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