Screening, health checks, ‘risk awareness’ etc – what’s in a name?

“Health checks” or “screening”—the intent and content are the same,’ writes Hazel Thornton, (BMJ Letters, 25 February 2015). ‘Nor does changing the name of the NHS breast screening programme’s age extension trial from a randomised controlled trial to an epidemiological study alter what is being inflicted on unsuspecting women to no benefit and great cost to them and the NHS coffers.’
She adds: ‘To promise evaluation (also used to justify not stopping the age extension trial) after blindly setting up a programme, using people as pawns to see how much they might benefit, disregarding how much they will be harmed, and expending tax payers resources is breathtakingly naive and arrogant, and totally unscientific.’
The NHS Breast Screening Programme is surely an example of the difficulties/impossibility of undoing an ineffective programme after it has been set up.
Hazel Thornton. NHS health checks are totally unscientific. BMJ 2015;350:h990
The full letter is well worth a read:


About bmitzi

Medical writer, author, artist. Cancer campaigner. Aiming always to improve health services and bring compassion into health care.
This entry was posted in Campaigns, clinical trials, Compassion in healthcare, healthcare modernisation, Over-medicalisation, Public safety, Screening and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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