CDC Helps Out Medical Dramas

Posted on April 26, 2007

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is now helping out some of the medical dramas on TV get their facts straight. Apparently there have been some episodes where the facts were totally wrong. And that makes the CDC very grumpy.

NBC News is reporting that the CDC and three other government agencies help fund the Hollywood, Health & Society program at the University of Southern California. The program is run by a former CDC employee, Vicki Beck. The program connects writers with experts from the CDC and elsewhere.

The NBC News story mentions a Numbers episode about human organs being traded on the black market. Apparently health officials hate this and say it is an urban myth. NBC News says the experts claim "there is no black market in organs in the United States, and dramatizing the idea may dissuade Americans from becoming organ donors."

The Numbers episode, called "Harvest," aired in January 2006 and ended up providing information about how the national organ matching program works. A survey conducted after the show found 10% of surveyed viewers decided to become donors after watching the episode.

We saw that episode -- it was a good one. But we still believe that meeting a hot woman in a bar could result in waking up in a tub of ice, missing a kidney. It could happen.

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