Here are some
people and places to visit
on this website,
highlighting this tangled story
of good science/bad science... an embattled legal system...
and hundreds of thousands of
anxious, worried women.
What happened to make
the breast implant controversy the
largest legal action in history?
NEWSLETTERS of women's
support groups are worth a read to understand the
continuing fears and
activism of many
who had silicone
gel-filled implants between 1962
and 1992 (roughly one
You might also want a briefing on
the AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES many women believe
they contracted from
And don't stop here--
the CLOSING ARGUMENTS in Gladys
Laas' 1994 trial are significant and show the challenges of being a juror in a trial like this.
While Laas' lawyers and
that she was poisoned by a new
(read some doctors' PUBLISHED WRITINGS on this)
Dow Corning's lawyer argued the lack of
any sound scientific findings to support
a link between implants and systemic disease.
The jury awarded Laas $5.2 million.
Why has science become suspect for
these women and for the juries
who sided with them?
This may be the most remarkable
feature of this story--
the willingness of plaintiffs,
lawyers and juries to dismiss
serious SCIENTIFIC STUDIES
(read the abstracts) as
"flawed" and "bought by Dow Corning."
In her BOOK "Science on Trial: The Clash
of Medical Evidence and the Law in the
Breast Implant Case," Marcia Angell, M.D.
argues that this not only shows a high
level of cynicism with American institutions,
it also presents real problems. If science
is no longer trusted as the way
of getting answers to important
questions, then courts and the media
may forge public policy
unconstrained by empirical evidence.
For a completely different view on this, check out "Beware: P.R. Implants in News Coverage" in EXTRA!, the magazine of FAIR.
Finally, two more links worth exploring:
SILICONE - it's at the heart
of this controversy. But what exactly is it?
And, the legal system - it's been
stunned by the upsurge in mass injury
lawsuits. Legal READINGS takes you
into this issue and
the debate over how juries and judges
should evaluate a
"Breast Implants on Trial"
Associate Producer--Kathy Boisvert
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