Medical doctors are used to people listening to them. Their words are rarely disputed and oftentimes even the most outlandish beliefs seem reasonable when spoken by a doctor. Case in point, Rep. Todd Akin’s comments about rape victims and pregnancy: “From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Try as I might, I can’t find any scientific evidence, even on the internet, that rape victims are able to send out ninja assassin eggs to kill rape sperm or deploy mini razors in their uterus to prevent egg implantation.
But, hey, if a doctor said it, it must be…right?
Every day woman are counseled by doctors that taking antibiotics will lessen the effectiveness of their birth control pill. The early data to support this only related to one antibiotic, rifampin. Even though rifampin is now rarely used, and there’s been no subsequent link between the use of other antibiotics and unwanted pregnancies, doctors and pharmacists still perpetuate this myth.
Hyper kid? Your doctor might recommend restricting sugar intake. As we’ve seen on shows like “Toddlers and Tiaras,” filling young children with pixie sticks and energy drinks turns exhausted, ill tempered children into enthusiastic dancers and runway walkers. Scientific research debunks the link between sugar and hyperactivity. Instead parents that believe sugar causes excess energy “see” the effect, even when there is none.
Wear glasses? Some doctors believe it’s because you spent too much time reading in dim light. Even though reading in dim light may strain eyes, it won’t damage your eyes. In fact, strain your eyes all you want on computers, sitting too close to the television, and not wearing your glasses when you need them. None of these will cause permanent damage.
I could go on with doctor misperceptions about using antibiotics, vaccination side effects, and even the use of thong panties, but I won’t. Possessing a medical degree and a title doesn’t automatically make someone intelligent and well informed. Doctors have as many crackpot, half-baked, and totally wrong ideas as the rest of us.
Too bad our representatives in Washington aren’t smart enough to figure that out.