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Not if you pick the evidence.

September 28, 2009

Has anyone else noticed that every single column written by Mark Lemstra ends with “The question is: Do we have the will to proceed with evidence-based policies?”

immunization

wealth creation and education

pills for heart disease

drug costs

aboriginal suicides

smoking

knee surgery

Here’s the problem with evidence-based policies:  someone has to pick the evidence to base the policies on.  If you pick only studies which support your predetermined agenda, then you will easily be able to justify the preplanned policies.  Comprehensive reviews which consider all available evidence including unpublished studies are best.  Even then, the “evidence” can be wrong and we can make mistakes.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Gunit permalink
    November 12, 2009 12:40 pm

    Yeah, Lemstra is not too original in this aspect. You would think that one of his Masters or Piled higher and Deeper (PhD) degree would have helped him on this front.

    In his recent article “Fortitude needed to tackle high STI incidence” he attacks his old emplyer, the Saskatoon Health Region, and closes with the ever unanswered question, that I will not repeat hear. He talks about “suspected cases” but we do not know what suspected cases refers to, and moreover, how a policy will help him out of his puzzlement. He does grow tiresome, and some new shtick would be appreciated. I imagine most people skip his article, or ignore his question altogether. I think he shoulc take a journalism or communications class on how to write an effective article.

    http://www2.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/forum/story.html?id=45b9efa7-1f6c-43b5-be44-f1e9b78f4f4d&p=2

  2. Michele permalink*
    November 12, 2009 9:22 pm

    I read the entire newspaper and I completely missed this column. Either its placement at the top of the last page is in my blind spot or I’ve just begun to block him out.

    Off to read the column now …

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