Did you read BBC recently? “A professional singer, Alama Kante, has sung through surgery to remove a tumour from her throat, so surgeons could avoid damaging her vocal cords.” Scary!
The doctor helpfully explained “The pain of such an operation is intolerable if you are fully awake. Only hypnosis enables you to stand it,”. Wow, they operated on a fully conscious patient! This is ground breaking research, this is really a landmark in the scientific literature. What I find interesting, and actually offensive though, is that this patient was under local anesthesia. Surgery that is routinely performed worldwide. But! It was the hypnosis that made it possible…
So why am I being sarcastic? Why am I even offended? Several reasons:
This surgeon relied on the experience and recorded knowledge of countless other surgeons and researchers to perform this doubtless challenging operation. But does he thank pharmacology or lidocaine for his achievement? No. He thanks hypnosis. Again, interesting that C sections are performed under local anesthesia. But, no hypnosis…
What makes me angry though, is the mindless regurgitation by BBC. Many political issues warrant both sides being heard (something often abused). In the this case ? No. Cheap web clicks are prioritized.
Why complain? Why make a fuss? Research is research and media is media, right?
I think its about time scientists become more vocal about the things they know. About climate change, about stem cell therapies and about vaccinations. Time is running out, not only for the questions at hand, but mainly for the trust of the public.