Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Medicine United States

Survey Finds Nearly 50% In US Believe In Medical Conspiracy Theories 395

cold fjord writes in with some bad news for the people using water fluoridation to pacify the public and install a new world government. "About half of American adults believe in at least one medical conspiracy theory, according to new survey results. (paywalled, first page viewable) Some conspiracy theories have much more traction than others ... three times as many people believe U.S. regulators prevent people from getting natural cures as believe that a U.S. spy agency infected a large number of African Americans with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). J. Eric Oliver, the study's lead author from University of Chicago, said people may believe in conspiracy theories because they're easier to understand than complex medical information. ... Some 49 percent of the survey participants agreed with at least one of the conspiracies. In fact, in addition to the 37 percent of respondents who fully agreed that U.S. regulators are suppressing access to natural cures, less than a third were willing to say they actively disagreed with the theory. — One of the conspiracy theories, that the U.S. created HIV, was created for an active disinformation campaign by the Soviet Union against the U.S. as a form of political warfare during the Cold War, and still gets repeated."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Survey Finds Nearly 50% In US Believe In Medical Conspiracy Theories

Comments Filter:
  • by ShadowRangerRIT ( 1301549 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @08:26PM (#46529611)

    They weren't deliberately infected, they weren't soldiers, (they were sharecroppers, and they were provided with free medical cares, meals and burial insurance as compensation), and for the first decade of the study, there was no verified cure for syphilis [] (the efficacy of penicillin wasn't verified until the 1940s; the study began in 1932). It's hard to blame the architects of the study for studying an incurable disease to chart its progress, though obviously their successors lacked any moral compass.

    The facts of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment were bad enough, but you're making it seem even worse. This is the part of the problem. Actual malfeasance gets exaggerated even further; it changes from failure to take action (treat patients like they should have) to deliberate malevolence (intentionally infecting patients). If you reinterpret the world as one in which everything is explained by deliberate malice, of course you'll believe in conspiracy theories.

    Sadly, in this particular case, despite being completely off base about Tuskegee, there were in fact acts of active evil perpetrated in Guatemala []. Unlike Tuskegee, the experiments weren't on U.S. citizens, only lasted three years, not forty, and the subjects were treated for the conditions they were infected with (though some still died). Doesn't excuse it, but again, it's not a good basis for proving the existence of long term, actively malevolent policies.

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @08:46PM (#46529791)

    Hundreds of Black soldiers at Tuskegee during WWII were deliberately infected with Syphilis

    No they weren't. What acutally happened [] is bad enough. You don't have to embellish it with made up nonsense. No one was deliberately infected. They were just left untreated. They were mostly sharecroppers (farmers). They were not soldiers. The study began in 1932, nearly a decade before WWII. At the time, penicillin was still experimental, and not used to treat syphilis. There was no effective treatment before antibiotics became available after 1943, so at least when the study was conceived, it was not quite as unethical as it appears in hindsight, since there weren't a lot of good treatment options at the time anyway. Leaving the subjects untreated until 1972 was, of course, appallingly unethical.

  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:5, Informative)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @09:25PM (#46530065) Journal

    Now who said anything about children "dying in droves due to not being vaccinated"? But there are some very troubling statistics. Like the outbreak in measles in NY, and polio being on the rise. Kids dying of whooping cough which hasn't happened for decades.

    I don't know if you're old enough to remember polio. It was a disease that crippled thousands of young kids and because of vaccination was wiped out until these knuckleheads decided they didn't want to vaccinate their kids.

    Here's an assignment. Look up "herd immunity". Read about it and come back here and tell us what you've learned. I know you want to be well-informed on this subject, and herd mentality is why refusing to vaccinate your kids is a hostile act toward the rest of us.

  • by ShadowRangerRIT ( 1301549 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @09:35PM (#46530141)

    They weren't deliberately infected, they weren't soldiers,

    Everyone knows the Tuskegee Blacks were in the military. They were airmen.

    You're confusing the Tuskegee airmen [] with the Tuskegee syphilis experiments. They have nothing in common besides being trained (the airmen) and conducted (the experiments) in proximity to Tuskegee, AL. Tuskegee is an almost exclusively Black/African American city, so most things that are associated with Tuskegee are also associated with black people.

    (they were sharecroppers, and they were provided with free medical cares,

    What good is "medical care" when there's a deliberate lie about the care?

    If you read another sentence or two, you'd note that there was no verified treatment for syphilis for the first decade of the experiments. Providing palliative care to those with incurable diseases is a net good; there are legitimate philosophical arguments over how much information a doctor should provide when the information cannot be understood or acted upon in a meaningful way.

    Clearly this was unethical, but recall, this was Jim Crow era. A lot of people considered black people sub-human. Sure, the doctors didn't tell them they had syphilis. But the South made it nigh impossible for them to vote, hold elected office, get a meaningful education, buy property, use public services, receive a fair trial, etc. We were kind of awful in general; the Tuskegee experiments weren't that much more awful when compared to everything else we did.

  • by rs79 ( 71822 ) <> on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @10:05PM (#46530377) Homepage

    Revealed: secret plan to push'happy' pills []

    Big Pharma Could Win International Price Monopoly, Unlimited Profits in 'Free Trade' Deal []

    US patent moves are 'profoundly bad' in leaked TPP treaty []

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed free trade agreement under negotiation between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. Leaked documents show the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is pressuring TPP countries to expand pharmaceutical monopoly protections and trade away access to medicines. []

    The medical industry the third-leading cause of death in the United States; after heart disease and cancer. []

    Big Pharma Shamelessly Shills Dangerous Bone Drugs You Don't Need []

    The H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic: Manipulating the Data to Justify a Worldwide Public Health Emergency []

    "Somewhere in Rayong or Chon Buri on the coast of Thailand, a young woman may at this very moment be baring her arm for a shot of an experimental Aids vaccine that many of the leading scientists in the field say categorically has no hope at all of working.

    She will be one of 16,000 volunteers recruited for the second large-scale Aids vaccine trial, a $119m exercise many scientists believe is a farce." []

    Fraud has become so endemic in this country that it's woven its way into America’s DNA. 2). Big Pharma Fraud. []

    Drug Makers New Targets for U.S. Fraud Inquiries, Report Says
    http://prescriptions.blogs.nyt... []

    Merck drew up a "hit list" of doctors that needed to be "neutralized" because they criticized the now banned drug Vioxx. []

    Merck invents its own journal to publish bogus research findings to promote it's own products. []

    Why Aren't These Fraudulent Papers Retracted? []

    Doubts about Johns Hopkins research have gone unanswered, scientist says []

    A National Survey of Physician–Industry Relationships []

  • Re: Jenny McCarthy (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wootery ( 1087023 ) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @06:53AM (#46532227)

    No. You were factually wrong, and AC corrected you. You clearly do not understand herd immunity []. Your immune system does not exist in a vacuum.

    These [] two [] comments make the same correction, and quite rightly.

    If John Doe decides not to get vaccinated and you get vaccinated, how are you at risk? John gets polio and you do not, there is no issue.

    This is wrong. You absolutely are affected by an increased number of potential carriers. I don't care to be the fourth person to try to explain herd immunity, though - please, just go and read the Wikipedia article [].

    If you wish to argue that it is a real dilemma lets see your arguments. If you can't, then I am correct.

    Now that's just beautiful [].

  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:4, Informative)

    by Agent0013 ( 828350 ) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @09:13AM (#46533007) Journal

    Weed was not supressed because it's a natural cure. Thus it's irrelevant in this case. Weed has been supressed for completely different reasons.

    I'm not sure if you actually know what the real reasons for the suppression of weed is. The paper did not want the compitition from a much faster growing and better producing plant to take away their business. Hemp makes the best paper from what I have read, and can be used for clothing also so I bet the cotton growers were worried also. It was also very easy to vilify as it was smoked at the time by those "dirty Mexicans". The public service propaganda at the time was about how taking a single puff on a joint would cause teens to go insane and run around shooting people or jumping off bridges to their death. I don't think you can get much more ridiculous.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.