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Patrick Ball rubbishes Lancet study September 19, 2010

Posted by dissident93 in Iraq mortality.

Patrick Ball is one of the “experts” whose work (on Guatemala) has often been cited in support of the Lancet 2006 study on Iraqi deaths (even though it has little relevance to the situation in Iraq). He was even quoted in some PR for the Lancet study.

But… apparently the various criticisms of the Lancet study (by AAPOR, several peer-reviewed studies, etc) have filtered through, as Ball recently wrote:

First, I want to be clear that I have no interest in defending the Burnham et al. [Lancet 2006] estimates. The flaws in that study are now well known. (Patrick Ball, 28/4/10)

(Incidentally, I recommend the comments thread from which this is taken. Patrick Ball is critical of Iraq Body Count as well as the Lancet 2006 study, and his research on Guatemala is often cited by critics of IBC. But it’s very limited, based on small samples of press reporting specific to Guatemala – a handful of newspapers only; no news wires or anything comparable to IBC’s coverage, or to the situation in Iraq. I think the comment from Josh Dougherty completely demolishes Patrick Ball’s over-generalisations with regard to media coverage in Iraq, and media bias generally).

Note: the title of this blog entry uses the term “rubbishes” in a special sense. I’ve adopted this from my friends at Medialens who use it to characterise any criticism, substantial or trivial, real, implied or imagined, of the Lancet/ORB Iraq studies. (Recent example: a Medialens follower wrote that a piece I’d written “rubbished” the Lancet/ORB studies, when I’d merely listed peer-reviewed studies critical of those studies.