How Useful is Medical Screening?

Science tells us that medical screening sometimes saves lives — but can also lead to overdiagnosis, overtreatment and medical harm. Screening can produce false positives, finding disease that isn’t there; false negatives, missing signs of very real disease; or ambiguous information that confounds patient and doctor alike. Pap smears, mammograms, and PSA tests are among the screenings routinely administered in the US and in Europe in ways that contradict national recommendations. Full-body scans have become popular, but no medical entity recommends them for a healthy population. Genetic screening is an ethically complex minefield. What’s the risk of too much screening? Of too little?

Festival: Spotlight Health 2015

Watch and Listen: Medicine

From hip replacement to total knee reconstruction, bionics — or the convergence of biology and technology — is now a... See more
Innovations in technology can dramatically improve the health of people in developing countries. From solar-powered... See more
What are the regulatory and ethical issues, hopes, and economics of using cutting-edge technology to guide the... See more
Is happiness a skill? Modern neuroscientific research and the wisdom of ancient contemplative traditions converge in... See more
Doctor David Agus and Nobel Laureate physicist Murray Gell-Mann discuss a new approach to cancer.  See more
Drug companies have access that we don't, but is there a way to make pharmaceuticals readily available to the masses?... See more

Pages