Dr. Oz, made famous by his TV show about health and weight loss was accosted by Congress because other people and companies are using His name in promotion of “miracle” pills and products for weight loss.
In the video associated with this story, you can hear Dr. Oz explain that the mistake he made was not giving advice but rather not giving more specific advice. Because he never actually endorsed a product or company but spoke more in generalities, this opened the market for companies out there to make a buck from desperate people. Instead he claims that what he should have done is made exact recommendations for products and companies that he knows are legitimate.
Then a smug committee person said that he’s not doing enough to “police” the issue and instead sort of accused him of being “part of the problem.”
And all of this is in the name of consumer protection.
It may seem like a really silly thing, but this chaps my hide, fires me up, boils my stew and a slew of other euphemisms that basically mean I want to yell and throw stuff.
People who invest a great deal of their time and energy to investigate the best solutions for health who have any advice to help others, and especially medical doctors have to be gun-shy about making recommendations because they might be a) sued by people who tried their suggestion but failed, b) hit with a cease and desist by any number of regulators or c) called upon by Congress to be responsible for other people’s errors in judgement and rapacious scams.
You can’t find any beauty reviewer on YouTube, or nutrition expert who doesn’t say, “consult your doctor before you…” This Cover Your Ass (CYA) approach to health discussion is absurd as it places the burden of responsibility for sound choices not on the individual consumer, but rather on the people who are trying to actually do good rather than only make a profit.
Dr. Oz is actually the victim here. First, companies are using his likeness illegally. Second,He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t make exact recommendations from people. And third, he’s getting an unfair amount of crap from our government.
Why this matters:
1) As someone who’s a big fan of making a profit by doing good, this pisses me off because with regulators attacking either way, it discourages people from doing anything. And this could actually result in less information that people want and need.
2) This a clear demonstration of the country’s turn to blaming everyone and everything else before taking personal responsibility. With health care being an increasingly public matter, more and more of this crap will continue.
Heaven forbid a consumer be required to do their own homework before purchasing a pill. Heaven forbid a consumer research weight loss on their own in conjunction with seeking expert advice to devise their own plan for it. Heaven forbid people actually work to achieve something that is difficult.
No, we need to put the burden of responsibility on third parties because they have a famous name and a position of influence. And at the same time, we can’t let that person really do their job and make solid recommendations because they might be wrong for a small percent of the population and cause some damage.
3) This opens the door for more lawsuits and regulation. By setting a precedent that one person has to answer for the bad behavior of others whose real responsibility it is, you can except that more and more eager grifters will try and sue anyone who makes a recommendation to help someone be healthier.