Tuesday Night Television Controversy Part I: Veronica Mars

Tuesday night television hit a couple of controversial subjects tonight. Think Progress caught a significant error in the online description for Veronica Mars. The show’s description states that a classmate hires Veronica after someone “secretly slipped her the morning after pill, causing her to have a miscarriage.” Amanda at Think Progress was justifiably concerned that young women watching the show would receive the false impression that Plan B, commonly referred to as the morning after pill, causes miscarriages when its effect is actually to reduce the risk of abortion by up to 89%. Plan B works by delaying or preventing ovulation, interfering with fertilization, and it may inhibit implantation by altering the lining of the uterus. It has no effect once the process of implantation has begun and does not cause miscarriages.

The show itself was more accurate than the web description. I have not seen the shown yet, but those who have watched and commented report that the show made it clear that RU-486 was used and not Plan B. Hopefully the on-line description will also be corrected to prevent misconceptions (no pun intended).

While I didn’t get to my recording of Veronica Mars tonight, I did catch the earlier hour on CW. There was a less controversial medical error on Gilmore Girls as Richard Gilmore had a Myocardial Infarction. Richard first received underwent a cardiac catheterization and subsequently was rushed for emergency bypass surgery. Both were done by the same physician when in reality a cardiologist would have handled the initial work up, including cath, and a cardiac surgeon would be consulted if surgery was found to be necessary. (Also on this episode, Richard looked remarkably well so soon after the surgery, and they sure are turning Christopher into a jerk.)

The blurring of specialties is not uncommon for television. I also didn’t get to Tuesday’s episode of House yet, but if I did I’m sure that I would have seen House and his staff perform procedures done by a wide variety of specialties in a hospital which appears to be limited to House’s group, an Oncologist, and a Physician/Administrator.

While I didn’t get to Veronica Mars or House, besides Gilmore Girls we did watch Boston Legal. To be continued.

More discussion of Veronica Mars at Feministing, Reproductive Rights Blog, Bitch Ph.D. and Echidne of the Snakes.

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