Monday, May 14, 2007

Some Good Stuff on the Radio

I have had my radio on. Let me suggest some listening to you, shows that are, I think, of interest for the medical and moral issues they reflect.

The first is “81 Words,” an episode of “This American Life.” It recounts the events that led to the change by the American Psychiatric Association of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), eliminating homosexuality as a diagnostic category. Alix Spiegel tells a story that includes personal reminiscences from many who were involved, and the personal encounters, as well as the research information, that led to the change. I In recounting the history, she raises important moral and medical issues, and shows how prejudice can affect the premises and outcomes of scientific research. First aired in 2002 and broadcast again this weekend, it’s an hour well worth hearing and considering.

The second was a segment on NPR this past Friday on “Talk of the Nation – Science Friday.” In the second hour, the major topic was health care reform. In addition to social policy experts, the participants included a physician, and a corporate CEO whose company is a part of the Coalition to Advance Healthcare Reform. They make reference to the experiments in Massachusetts and California, and to various options. What most struck me about the conversation was how broadly they addressed the issue in 36 minutes, and how clear they were about personal and political problems caused by our human tendency to want what we want, right now, and at no cost. Again, this is well worth a listen.

Both programs speak to important moral and political issues to which the Episcopal Church has spoken. The first program could be particularly important in the life of the Anglican Communion. Take some time, and especially those like me who are auditory learners, and let these add content for your consideration.

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