Reporting Scotland demonstrate how to fake a connection between NHS Tayside and Breast Cancer Deaths


Reporting Scotland returned tonight to their reporting on NHS Tayside’s treatment of breast cancer patients. The report contained no inaccuracies but through the sequencing of the information presented, created a causal connection not made by the Review Group report which they had supposedly based their presentation on. They said in an uninterrupted sequence:

  1. There’s further criticism tonight of a decision to give breast cancer patients in Tayside lower doses of drugs during chemotherapy than they would have received elsewhere in Scotland.
  2. A panel of experts has described the practice as close to being unacceptable.
  3. Fourteen of the patients involved have since died.

The very strong implication here is that these fourteen patients died because of the lower doses. The Review Group report absolutely does not say that or imply it in any way. Indeed, it says quite explicitly that of the 300 plus patients involved:

‘The overall assessment of the increased risk of recurrence within the treated cohort is extremely difficult to quantify but probably of the order of 1-2%. A risk of harm of 1-2%, allows an estimate that around 1 patient per year in NHS Tayside may have suffered an adverse outcome.’

 So, the Review Group has made only the smallest, most hesitant connection between the treatment and perhaps a single death from the 300 plus patients treated. The BBC with its Royal Charter to inform has clearly failed to do so and, disgracefully, has contributed to an uninformed and dangerous scare story which might, in itself, damage the mental health and thus prospects of hundreds of breast cancer patients being currently treated by NHS Tayside. I’d complain, again, but I’m tired of the unprofessional, undereducated stubbornness of those working in Reporting Scotland.



7 thoughts on “Reporting Scotland demonstrate how to fake a connection between NHS Tayside and Breast Cancer Deaths

  1. Alasdair Macdonald. April 16, 2019 / 10:24 pm

    Yes, I heard the report and thought that the juxtaposition of the bullet points you list were pushing viewers to the erroneous conclusion you have identified.

    I must disagree with your view that the BBC Scotland News and Current Affairs team are ‘uneducated dunderheids’. I think they are pretty thoroughly educated in the propaganda tasks they are employed to deliver. What I think we are seeing, increasingly, is any pretence at balance and objectivity. They are overtly against the Scottish Government. On GMS, Hayley Millar interviewed Mike Russell. She was aggressive, hectoring, persistently interrupting, talking over. At least twice to my knowledge when she interrupted Jackson Carlaw’s during his spell as acting leader, when he objected, she immediately apologised and never made any really challenging questions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BRIAN MACFARLANE April 17, 2019 / 6:22 am

      Always puzzled me why SNP operatives DON’T complain EVER despite extreme provocation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • diabloandco April 17, 2019 / 7:33 am

        Or say ‘unless you let me answer I will consider the interview terminated.’ and walk out.

        Goodness knows who has schooled them in ‘interview techniques ‘ but they should be out of a job – they could perhaps be working for the opposition!

        They have let the BBBC away with so much that the broadcaster feels it can and will say anything.


      • johnrobertson834 April 17, 2019 / 8:12 am

        its their strategy to appear cool, calm and competent.


  2. Robert Peffers April 17, 2019 / 8:11 am

    Well, diabloandco, most things have more than one way to look at things. In the case of SNP representatives on the 100% Westminster controlled broadcast medium and the SMSM just extrapolate your own conclusions across Scotland. The people of Scotland are not, (generally), stupid and most of us will also have noticed the Broadcasters and SMSM bias. So why bother doing other than allow the Westminster Propaganda Machine to consign itself in a majority of Scottish eyes and ears as biased trash propagating fake news? People know they are never going to get the true story from the likes of the BBC. When they broadcast the Scottish Weather reports most Scots look out the Window to get the real truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbara McEwen April 19, 2019 / 1:54 pm

    It shows they are running scared of the SNP and the majority of the people in Scotland

    Liked by 1 person

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