DISCLAIMER: This is not a political article. Yes, it contains news related to politics, however, this article is meant to educate and be helpful by pointing out the potential impact for all of our well-beings – both individually and collectively. Within the facts that follow, should any opinion or statements that are taken or are personal opinion be found offensive, I urge you play through. It’s all part of the fun. Seriously though, I hope you read this in the spirit in which it was written – to be educational, enlightening, and helpful. Apologies for any misinterpretation. I have no agenda in this article beyond our well-being. That said, I hope we can all lighten up and focus on our health and the health of our children which can be impacted by law, policy and regulation. However, I’m not addressing those things as much as I am censorship as it relates to healthcare. Bottom line, it’s much easier to just read this article than have me pre-qualify its intentions. As always, I’m wishing you and yours health and happiness.
PS The George Carlin video contains language some may find offensive. If you click on his video below and are offended, what can I say except, it’s George Carlin! What did you expect!!!
THE WASHINGTON POST – December 15, 2017:
This past Friday (12/15), The Washington Post reported that the current administration handed down a mandate to officials at our Nation’s top public health agency the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) largest division, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as its vast array of specialized divisions. The mandate prohibits the CDC from utilizing the words, “vulnerable,” “science-based,” “fetus,” “transgender,” “diversity,” “entitlement,” and most worrisome, “evidence-based.”
It’s important to note that the mandate to not utilize these words applied to their use in official documents being prepared for next year’s CDC budget. It’s not clear at this time whether the administration is seeking to prevent the HHS or CDC from utilizing these words in other documents and the multitude of useful information provided to the general public as well as the clinicians that treat them.
For the terms “science-based” and “evidence-based” an alternative phrase was given. The suggestion was that instead of “science-based” or “evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.” No other alternative words or phrases have been provided.
Policy analysts at the CDC were advised of the above during a 90 minute meeting on Thursday at the CDC’s headquarters in Atlanta by senior CDC officials who oversee the budget. The post cited multiple attendees of this meeting as well as many lower level workers, who got the internal message following the meeting.
IDEOLOGY INFLUENCING CENSORSHIP:
It’s a matter of ideology. To quote Chris Rock, “That’s right! I said it!” Ideology and science aren’t two words that really go together.
That reminds me of a dirty joke which it would be inappropriate to repeat here as it’s “science based,” automatically making this “diverse,” group of readers who we know are “vulnerable,” and likely include a “transgender,” “fetus” who will, due to their “entitlement,” repeat the joke as is shown through “evidence based” studies of such a “fetus.”
Looking for a comedy writer?
Hit me up and turn me loose!
By Saturday, the administration was reportedly backpedaling, and the HHS was doing public relations to quell the outrage from the Washington Post’s report. Matt Lloyd, the HHS’s Spokesman, told the media, “The assertion that HHS has ‘banned words’ is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process. HHS will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans. HHS also strongly encourages the use of outcome and evidence data in program evaluations and budget decisions.”
In those statements lies the non-denial denial. Lloyd didn’t say that the CDC didn’t receive a mandate not to utilize the above words, but rather stated that their receiving ‘banned words’ is a mischaracterization. He didn’t say that the HHS will continue to use the best science-based or evidence-based data, rather he said the HHS will continue to use the best ‘scientific evidence available.’
Once the government tells a key agency like the CDC not to use utterly legitimate words, there is cause for concern. Take the term, “evidence-based.” This term is at the foundation for many findings published in peer-reviewed scientific and academic journals, textbooks, professional treatment guidelines and even in government regulations.
TREND OF CENSORSHIP & MANDATED WORDS / PHRASES:
As Dr. Arthur Caplan, Professor of Bioethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center points out, there’s a similarity which is difficult to ignore between the government’s mandate regarding these seven-forbidden-words and its previous attempts to eliminate other words from documents from another governmental department crucial to the well being of Americans, the Department of Agriculture. Those words or phrases included and focused on “climate change” and “climate change adaptation,” and the alternatives suggested and utilized in documents from that Department were “weather extremes” and “resilience to weather extremes.”
Although I don’t want to focus on the Department of Agriculture as my focus typically lies with matters of health, I would be remiss not to mention the above as matters of food availability, quality, and how the potential effects of climate change (regardless of why) could be cataclysmic, even for those of the opinion that the undeniable rise in temperature is part of a long history of cycles on this planet. Well, so are civilization ending cataclysmic events which are being increasingly discovered.
There’s a great deal of information both scholarly and otherwise indicating multiple cataclysmic events throughout the known historical existence of our planet. If you want to go for a journey down the rabbit hole, this topic including ancient civilizations and megalith findings, go to YouTube and we’ll see you in about 5 years. Point being, forget for a minute the why of climate change – if I wanted a debate I would post something about those who believe certain facts to be false. I’m not getting into it with those groups. If you can’t guess which opinion based, super-aggressive groups to which I’m referring, take a peak at Twitter and look for certain criteria such as a lack of spirited debate, a presence of extraordinarily vicious comments including death threats in the interactions, and oh yeah, there’s often many sentiments and interactions with a complete and total absence of common sense.
But I regress. We’re talking about words that have years of scientific use conveying to other scientists and more very comprehensible ideas, findings, and conclusions without having to make such papers, reports, articles and more even longer than they. are. Why change terms like “climate change” when used to acknowledge the fact that there is recorded changes in climate over the past century? Especially if there is not a discussion included regarding the why. It’s merely a fact that the temperature of record has steadily increased over the past century. While we’re at it, why change language like “evidence based” when clinicians like myself more and more rely on evidence based practice to address a multitude of issues people face? It’s a quick way of stating that the use of a certain technique, treatment modality, theoretical framework and more has been utilized successfully and there is proof to show that it was done so.
The term “fetus” has been used scientifically within the HHS and CDC to help formulate and make advancements on prenatal care creating successful pregnancies in cases where not too long ago, such high-risk pregnancies were doomed, crushing perceptive parents and resulting in an identified major reason for the eventual divorce of such couples. We’re not discussing abortion or the point at which life begins. This is not the place for that discussion.
With the advancements in medicine and bio-technologies, are we now headed in the direction of those brilliant scientists who have and those that are and will develop life saving procedures, medications, lifestyle changes and more to now assure while executing challenging experiments and advanced biochemistry and mathematical calculations to assure they don’t accidentally use the term “diversity” even when discussing chemicals. This is a big time WTF and scary interpretation of long utilized and effectively utilized scientific vernacular. It’s not like we’re talking about a political platform.
The list of words that I’m much more interested in is George Carlin’s bit about the 7 words you cannot say on television. Not only does Carlin demonstrate common sense, but sh*t, that’s a h*ll of a lot more f*&king funny to discuss.
Caplan, A.L. (2017, December 18). Censoring the CDC Is Scary and Crazy, Says Ethicist. Medscape. Retrieved from https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/890240
Noack, R. (2017, December 18). It’s not just Trump’s administration that bans words. European nations have done it, too. The Washington Post. Retrieved from
Sun, L.H. & Eilperin, J. (2017, December 15). CDC gets list of forbidden words: Fetus, transgender, diversity. The Washington Post. Retrieved from