Posts Tagged ‘debate’

Do Abortions Affect Women Negatively? Experts Debate

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

by Leigh Ann Otte

Have you been watching the Republican presidential debates? Or are you waiting for the big guns in the fall?

During every heated election cycle, some of the most contentious issues are related to health care. Should we have universal health care? What do we do about Medicare? Should abortions be legal?

We’ve held our own debates on these issues, skipping the politicians and going straight to medical experts. For this week, though, we go beyond the usual talking points—the normal election-cycle questions—and delve into a less-discussed issue related to a commonly debated topic: abortion.

There’s plenty of discussion about whether it should be legal. But some other aspects don’t get a lot of air time. So, to deepen understanding about the topic, we asked our debaters to answer a seemingly simple question: Does abortion cause long-term negative effects? Believe it or not, there’s disagreement over the answer. Some say it can lead to medical and psychological problems. Others say it doesn’t. In our debate, a pro-life ob-gyn and a pro-choice one give us their take.

What’s the most important issue to you this election cycle? Does it have to do with health care, or is that on the back burner for you right now?

Feel healthy. Live well. Smile. With our free, upbeat health newsletter.

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of and a freelance writer specializing in health and aging. This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

Violent Movies, Violent Kids: Some Researchers Question the Claims

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

by Leigh Ann Otte

Media violence often leads to real-world violence in children and teens. Right? After all, both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics say so.

Yet many people still aren’t convinced—including some psychologists and researchers. Jonathan L. Freedman, author of  Media Violence and Its Effect on Aggression, has said study results are “overstated.” And associate professor Christopher J. Ferguson, Ph.D., of Texas A&M International University, says he’s found that family situations and a child’s personality are usually to blame, not the media.

We decided to host a written debate on the topic, so you could see what each side contends and decide for yourself. We asked Dr. Ferguson to argue his side against psychologist Keith D. Kanner, Ph.D., who believes the studies clearly indicate a connection. Here’s what they had to say.

What do you think? You can chime in at the end of the article or under this blog post.

Feel healthy. Live well. Smile. With our free, upbeat health newsletter!

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of and a freelance health writer. This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

Embryonic Stem-Cell Research: Get the Facts Behind the Opinions

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

by Leigh Ann Otte

Embryonic stem-cell research has been in the news lately. But how much do you really know about it? Where do embryonic stem cells come from? Why do many researchers want them when there are also adult stem cells? And what’s a stem-cell line?

We’ve published a quick Q&A to fill you in on the basics, and a more in-depth debate between two experts. Each expert weighs the facts and forms a different opinion. We’re interested: where do you stand?

Subscribe here to our free health newsletter: what doctors really want you to know.

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of and a freelance writer, editor and blogger.

Should Medical Marijuana Be Legal? Experts Debate, on National Pot Smoking Day.

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

by Leigh Ann Otte

Today, 4/20, is National Pot Smoking Day. Yeah, it’s unofficial. But around the country, people will be smoking marijuana at 4:20 p.m.

So we thought this would be the perfect moment to examine a different side of this illegal drug: the medical one.


Universal health-care debate rages—on our Web site!

Monday, March 29th, 2010

by Leigh Ann Otte

Our universal health-care debates consistently rank as two of the most popular articles on the site. But when the bill passed last week, the comments section lit up like crazy.

People seem to need an outlet—somewhere to rant or rave, rather than just listen to the pundits do it. At the beginning, the comments were so, um, passionate? that we had to bleep quite a few naughty words. Now, though the bleeping has slowed, the fire remains.

Have you felt the need to vent about your feelings on universal health care—positive or negative? How have you done it? Did it make you feel better?

You can check out the debates here:

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of

Obama’s health care plan. Doctors debate

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

By far our most popular web article has been the pros and cons of universal health care originally printed in our January/February 2008 print edition.  Now that we know a little more about what the Obama administration is planning, we asked the debaters to follow up with their thoughts.

Universal health-care debate: why vs. costs — a doctor’s opinion

Monday, January 19th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

The debate over universal health care should get hot and heavy this year.  By far, our most popular article is “Doctors Debate Universal Health Care Pros and Cons.”  Check it out and join the discussion.  Two things are certain:  No one has a surefire answer, and no matter what happens, it’s going to affect your pocketbook.

We will be in a great experiment, with us as guinea pigs.  Sure, they have universal health care in other countries, but in no nation so vast and diverse as ours. And what is universal health care anyway?  To me, it just means everyone has health care.  Everyone wants that.  The debate is how to implement it–and can we afford it. (more…)

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