Wednesday, February 08, 2006

After taking the cake

Over at Larvatus Prodeo a well-known anti-abortion blogger has posted a link to an article about the death of an American teenager after taking RU-486. There is no gloss but the message of the link is clearly meant to be "someone died after taking it, therefore it should be banned". The flaw in logic here is obvious, since there's no necessary 'therefore' about it, and most of the rest of the commenters on the thread make the point that if one's concern about RU-486 really is its safety, then the control of the drug by the TGA ought to be supported rather than opposed.

The link, in the ninth comment on this thread, is titled 'Teen dies after abortion drug'.

If one were to take the implied logic of this post to its logical conclusion, think what could come of such headlines as the following:

Patient dies after taking cancer treatment

Infant dies after taking polio drops

Man dies after taking Viagra

Man dies after taking part in 100m race

Boy dies after taking ride at Disney World

Motorcyclist dies after taking sharp turn

Teenager dies after taking mother’s car

Ban them! Ban them all!


Jennifer said...

The thing that really annoys me about this kind of comment (did you see the full page ad to the same effect in the Australian today?) is the lack of comparison. Is RU486 safer than surgical abortion (even with the deaths)? If so, then it's an improvement!

From everything I have read it's about the same risk, so all you're doing is changing how some (not many - apparently there have been 8 in the entire world according to the ad in the Australian) deaths occur.

Since the proper comparison is pregnancy and birth, which is, of course, much riskier, it's a stupid argument anyway.

Ms Smack said...

Useless trivia: I bought a copy of both "Disgrace" and "the life and times of michael kay" both written by Cootze. (sp)

AND, he is now living in Adelaide.


Pavlov's Cat said...

Not useless trivia at all -- 'Disgrace' is a fantastic novel, if you can stand how depressing it is. Yes, he lives in the Adelaide Hills and rides his bike up and down them a lot, as you can if you're a disgustingly fit 63-year-old vegetarian.

I bet I know whose side he's on in all this.

(NB he's spelt Coetzee.)

Hammy said...

You're absolutely right. Panadol is the example I always think of which is easily fatal and commonly used for suicide.

That aside (and I reiterate that I support the Private Members Bill), it's noteworthy that the TGA is funded by the pharmaceutical companies so perhaps it's not the best regulatory body.

That said, neither is Abbott.

elsewhere said...

I'm sure there was a Health report on this very issue within the last couple of months but i can't find it on their site. i think American research demonstrated a slightly higher but nevertheless negligible rate of deaths associated with RU486, and most of them were in California! The difference was something like 4 in every 10,000 as opposed to 2 in every 10,000 -- i.e. too negligible to draw any conclusions about (and there would be contextual factors to take into account with both surgical and RU496 abortions). My initial instinctive reaction to this debate was: surely a non-surgical option is likely to have fewer risks than a surgical option, (there's the administration of gen anaesthetic for starters). But even contraceptive options in this country are behind other countries...

Kate said...

This list of stuff to ban is just getting longer and longer, isn't it?

Lucy Tartan said...

Disgrace is the book your post about volunteering at the animal refuge made me think about, irrationally.