I hope there are no internal injuries. :
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The regulating body for Ontario physicians has backed off a controversial proposal that would have forced doctors to put aside their religious views when dealing with patients.
Protests from the Ontario Medical Association and numerous religious groups appear to have tempered the thinking of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
The new document, released on Wednesday, has removed provisions that would have potentially seen doctors face more misconduct charges for putting their own conscience before the convenience of patients.
For example, it could have applied to doctors who not only refuse to prescribe birth control pills, or do fertility treatments for same-sex couples, but also to those who refuse to offer referrals to doctors who do those things.
"Referring is just a way of sloughing off your responsibility," Rabbi Reuven Bulka of Congregation Machzikei Hadas in Ottawa, said last week. "If you're opposed to these things, referring is the same as taking part in the evil."
DUKE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Duke University Office of News & Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008
CONTACT: Camille Jackson
NEWS TIP: EXPERIMENTS SHOW MEDIA FACT-CHECKING COULD BACKFIRE, SAYS DUKE POLITICAL SCIENTIST
Note to editors: Nyhan can be reached at (919) 452-6451 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org" target=_blank. For more information about the experiment, go to www.duke.edu/~bjn3/nyhan-reifler.pdf (PDF).
With the presidential candidates trading accusations on television and in the press, journalists’ attempts to correct misinformation is unlikely to sway public perceptions, according to a series of experiments by a Duke University political scientist.
“What we found is that corrections are ineffective for the group most likely to have the misperception,” said Brendan Nyhan, a Ph.D. candidate in Duke’s political science department. “Even worse, we found that those people may actually end up believing in the misperception more strongly after hearing a correction.”
“Right now there is a national debate about accuracy in political ads and what the media’s role is,” Nyhan said. “A lot of people want more aggressive fact-checking. But even if the media were putting fact-checks into every article, the public’s beliefs might not change very much. The problem is that the people most likely to have the misperception will often reject the correction.”
In the experiments, two groups of volunteers were given the same mock news articles with a potentially misleading claim by a public figure. For one group, the misleading claim was followed by a correction. Results show that people predisposed to believe the claim were just as likely to continue believing it after reading the correction. In several cases, people who were predisposed to believe the claim and received the correction believed the misinformation more than those who did not receive the correction.
Nyhan and co-author Jason Reifler of Georgia State University expect to publish the paper next year after it completes professional review. The Washington Post reported on their research Monday.
“In the paper, we suggest motivated reasoning as an explanation for these results. People often counter-argue information that contradicts their predispositions. That may be what is happening here,” Nyhan said.
Using the 2004 campaign as an example, he said people may also forget the source of discredited information.
“If you heard a Swift Boat ad, you might have initially dismissed it as coming from a group that doesn’t support John Kerry,” Nyhan said. “Eventually, you could forget where that information came from, but still remember their largely discredited claims that Kerry lied about his war record.”
_ _ _ _
Note to broadcast editors: Duke provides an on-campus satellite uplink facility for live or pre-recorded television interviews. We are also equipped with ISDN connectivity for radio interviews. Broadcast reporters should contact the Office of Radio-TV Services at (919) 681-8067 to arrange an interview.
The image of a politically ascendant woman drawing strength from two allegedly incompatible female traits -- soaring personal ambition and reproductive selflessness -- challenges the self-righteous certainties of politically correct ideologues, fuming at the marketing implications of Ms. Palin's story.
This was evident last week in a declaration from the notionally disinterested Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada. Their executive vice-president, Dr. Andre Lalonde, worried aloud, with thinly veiled contempt for Ms. Palin, that "[Her decision to carry Trig to term] will have an implication for abortion issues in Canada."
His subsequent disclaimer that, "We offer the woman the choice ? We're coming down to a moral decision and we all know moral decisions are personal decisions," rings hollow.
For if Dr. Lalonde himself really believes "moral decisions are personal decisions," Ms. Palin would not have been held up for public chastisement.
More consequential hypocrisy was evident in a draft document by the College of Physicians and Surgeons Ontario (CPSO) on physicians' conscientious objection to performing, or even referring for, abortions. The document's thrust -- to be voted on this
week--is to threaten conscientious objectors with aggressive Human Rights Commission retaliation for failure to co-operate with abortion provision.
This is unconscionable, and the Ontario Medical Association, on behalf of its 25,000 members, quite rightly insists the initiative runs counter to the Charter's protection of freedom of religion.
Sure, reporters and pundits gnash their teeth and express deep disappointment at the direction of the GOP campaign. But openly ridiculing the GOP candidates as pols who can't be trusted to tell the truth, or portraying them as delusional? Not a chance. That's the type of mockery the press reserves exclusively for Democrats accused of bending the truth.