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Opinion: Ignore ads for ‘Life Line’ firm

A recent issue of the Independent included an advertising supplement from Life Line Screening. The flier presents one logical fallacy after another, beginning with a brief quote from a person indicating that her scan found a carotid artery blockage that she did not know about.
First, anecdotes do not constitute evidence. And if a patient has no symptoms, a carotid artery blockage is “probably not going to make a difference,” according to Harriet Hall, MD, a retired Air Force doctor (www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/ultrasound-screening-misleading-the-public).
Next, in large type, is the claim that “9 out of 10 doctors support these screenings.” There is no reference for this claim. But the next sentence, “Doctors who specialize in cardiology and vascular disease believe in preventive health screenings for people at risk” (emphasis mine) does have a reference — to “Ebiquity, July 2014.” It turns out that Ebiquity is not a journal that can be checked, but rather a marketing firm. And Life Line does not screen people at risk, it screens the general public. The text is obviously meant to deceive.
An Internet search will easily provide multiple sources critical of this company, such as NPR, the Washington Post, Science Based Medicine, the Minnesota Post, and many others.
Medicare and insurance do not pay for Life Line screenings. Save your money. Talk to your doctor.
Jerry Shedd
Ripton

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