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Science on Trial : The Clash of Medical Evidence and the Law in the Breast Implant Case - Marcia Angell

Science on Trial

The Clash of Medical Evidence and the Law in the Breast Implant Case

Paperback Published: 17th November 1997
ISBN: 9780393316728
Number Of Pages: 268

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When the FDA banned silicone gel-filled breast implants in 1992, it was responding to mounting concerns that they caused autoimmune and connective tissue disease. The ban triggered a torrent of litigation, as women by the thousands sued breast-implant manufacturers. Sympathetic juries awarded huge damages, leading to a $4.25 billion class-action settlement that still wasn't large enough to cover all the claims. Shockingly, rigorous scientific studies of breast implants then began to show that there is no significant link between breast implants and disease. Why were the courts and the public so certain that breast implants were dangerous when medical researchers were not? The answer to this question reveals important differences in the way science, the law, and the public regard evidence - and not just in the breast-implant controversy. As our society becomes ever more dependent, at all levels, on science and technology, misconceptions about scientific evidence become an increasing danger to the public good - with consequences that extend far beyond the question of whether silicone gel-filled breast implants are safe.

Industry Reviews

[A] sober and rigorous examination of the controversy over silicone breast implants . . . an important statement, not just about silicone implants, but about other matters at the intersection of law, science, and opinion. [Dr. Angell's] book is . . . a warning that rationality, like much else in the fragile porcelain of society, can be weakened by lack of vigilance.

Prefacep. 9
Acknowledgmentsp. 15
The Breast Implant Story: Once Over Lightlyp. 19
Breast Implants: What They Are and Who Has Themp. 33
The FDA Ban on Implants: Regulation in Modern Americap. 50
The Rush to Court: Litigation and More Litigationp. 69
Scientific Evidence: What It Is and Where It Comes Fromp. 90
Science in the Courtroom: Opinions without Evidencep. 111
Greed and Corruption: All That Free Moneyp. 133
Americans and Health News: The Alarm of the Dayp. 154
Breast Implants and the Rejection of Science: Other Ways of Knowingp. 177
Where We Stand ... and for How Longp. 192
Notesp. 211
Indexp. 247
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780393316728
ISBN-10: 0393316726
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 268
Published: 17th November 1997
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.85 x 13.97  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.28
Edition Number: 1