This article invokes Habermas's ideal speech situation to analyze the controversy surrounding a recent study of pain relief for women in labor. Using Habermas's concepts, the authors argue that distortion of scientific and medical information originated in the New England Journal of Medicine article that first reported the study's results. Thus, their analysis aims to complicate the assumption that such distortion starts only with public reporting and to expose the ways that scientific or medical research from the beginning can be reported to either facilitate or preclude public debate and understanding of complex issues.
- Communication ethics
- Media coverage of science and health
- Media studies
- Medical research
- Rhetoric of science and medicine