National Physicians Alliance

Committed to Advancing the Core Values of the Medical Profession:

Service, Integrity, and Advocacy



National Physicians Alliance Statement on CDC Word Ban

Posted by Becky Martin, NPA Advocacy Director December 18, 2017 at 11:49 AM

The National Physicians Alliance considers the Trump administration’s banning of certain words by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) officials in agency documents as contrary to its mission of serving the public health. Open, honest discourse is integral to science and advancements in the prevention and treatment of disease.

This type of censorship is antithetical to the work of of science and medicine and will not lead to better public health for our country or our patients.

Disallowing physicians and scientists to say words such as “fetus” makes it hard to understand how serious diseases like the Zika virus, which affect fetuses, would even be discussed. Banning the word “transgender” lends government support to the wrongful dismissal by some to the rights of this group of people. And, not letting researchers use the term “evidence-based” is frankly incomprehensible as “evidence-based medicine and policies” is exactly what we need to further advance our health care system.

The home page of the CDC displays a “Pledge to the American People.” Banning words goes directly against the integrity of the agency and the tenets of that pledge, including that all public health decisions be based “on the highest quality scientific data”.

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