inafoxhole (inafoxhole) wrote,

Credulity and religion

I recently received a letter that I've included here in two PDFs. Letter page 1 and Letter page 2. There are several things about this letter that disturbs me.

Firstly, notice how these "medical screenings" are taking place at a church and not at a medical establishment? (There are two churches by the name of Discovery Church in the city, so I'm not sure which one.)

Secondly, notice how the letter, even before it says 'hello', it has grim statistics about deaths from heart attacks? It even admits that it's frightening. And notice the Christian code word: The "GOOD NEWS"? And how it's all bold and all caps?

Notice further how they talk about doctors not ordering these tests because the person isn't having symptoms? And then they go on to blame insurance companies for not paying for them?

This problem is that insurance companies won't pay for them, not necessarily because they are money-grubbing profiteers, because they do pay for tests like mammograms and colonoscopies which have been shown to prevent more diseases when they take place. Doctors don't order them, and insurance companies won't pay for tests without symptoms, because many tests have relatively high rates of false positives when there are no symptoms. And they generate more false positives than they catch genuine diseases.

And don't be fooled by all those letters after the name of the signator. They are essentially just certifications for operating the scanning equipment. They do not qualify her as a medical professional.

Some of the conditions they say they are looking for aren't terribly common:

AAA's [abdominal aortic aneurysms] affect 6-9% of men over 65 years of age. They are twice as common in men than in women.

Notice how there is nothing in this letter about when age becomes a risk factor? This was sent to someone nowhere close to being 65. (Truthfully, I'm about half that age.)

Just another example of false concern praying upon the gullible and credulous. And religion encourages them not to think critically or to ask the kinds of questions that prevent them from being taken advantage of.

And who do you think will be there to comfort them when they find out they're "sick"? Why the church of course!
Tags: christians, links, quackery

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