By Christian John Lillis
I have been struggling with a certain degree of cognitive dissonance following the announcement this winter of a study in the New England Journal of Medicine on the efficacy of fecal transplants as a therapy for clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections. While the study is the first to demonstrate the effectiveness of fecal transplants in treating recurrent C. diff infections (15 of the 16 patients in the group were cured versus 4 of 13 in a comparison group), much of the press attention to the report reinforces the taboo of discussing our bowel movements.
The highly regarded New York Times’ cover story was titled “When Pills Fail, This, er, Option Provides a Cure“. Other articles about the study referred to the procedure as “icky”, “poop” and “as effective as they are disgusting”.
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