Our Untrusted Professions: Another One Bites The Dust…Or Should.

Come to think of it, Mr. Gower would have put poison in a boy's medicine if it hadn't been for George Bailey...

America’s trust crisis, which has seen virtually all its institutions decline precipitously in public trust, hasn’t left the professions unscathed. Far from it: Gallups’ annual poll of the public’s regard for the professions, the most recent of which was released last December, showed accountants trusted by only 43% of the public (abysmal for a profession whose only mission is to accurately determine the truth and to relay it—funeral directors are trusted more), journalists at just 26% (which is more than they deserve), bankers at 25%, lawyers at an insulting 19% (for a profession that includes honesty as a core ethical requirement), business executives slightly less at 18% (but no lower than those champions of the 99%, labor leaders, also at 18%). Stockbrokers, who figure to have fallen even lower after Greg Smith’s anti-Goldman Sachs diatribe, came in at a “can’t be trusted to deliver the water bill payment” 12%, and then we’re really in the pits of utter distrust, with lobbyists, used car salesmen, and members of Congress, all tied for last place at 7%.

In contrast, one of the professions that always is on top of the list or near it is pharmacists. In 2011, the friendly neighborhood druggist scored a trust rate of 73%, better than doctors and second only to the perennial champs of the last decade, nurses.

Well, all that trust in pharmacists appears to be misplaced. Continue reading

Obama, Sibelius and Plan B: Bad Science, Bad Ethics, Bad Policy

After FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg advocated that all women of child-bearing age be allowed to buy Plan B, the so-called “morning after pill,” without a prescription, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sibelius overruled the FDA with President Obama’s imprimatur. Sibelius said..

“After careful consideration of the FDA Summary Review, I have concluded that the data, submitted by Teva [the Plan B manufacturer], do not conclusively establish that Plan B One-Step should be made available over the counter for all girls of reproductive age. The average age of the onset of menstruation for girls in the United States is 12.4 years. However, about ten percent of girls are physically capable of bearing children by 11.1 years of age. It is common knowledge that there are significant cognitive and behavioral differences between older adolescent girls and the youngest girls of reproductive age. If the application were approved, the product would be available, without prescription, for all girls of reproductive age.”

What’s going on here? What’s going on here is that the Administration wants to avoid a direct clash with those who regard human life as being created from the moment of conception. Sibelius’s implies without saying that a pill that ends an unwarranted pregnancy within 72 hours is an abortion pill, or at least she is crafting HHS policy for the pleasure of those who believe this. No science supports the contention that a fertilized egg that has yet to travel to the uterus—what Plan B prevents— is a human being; the position is a moral/religious one that exists independently of science. Continue reading