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Another Reason To Fear Them

January 14, 2011

On today’s episode of “Inroads in Science: Still No Cure for Cancer”, we bring you an article in Discover Magazine that says that clowns are apparently a leading cause of pregnancy.  I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, it would not surprise me to learn that Deb either made that up or, once again, has misinterpreted a critical piece of statistical information. But you’d be wrong. Sort of.

According to the study, women who were trying to conceive through in vitro fertilization and had been visited by a “medical clown” after the procedure were

"Slide down, please."

almost twice as likely to conceive as the control group, who presumably were not left to weep hysterically.

Let’s think about this for a second. You’ve just undergone a stressful procedure involving hormones and mysterious medical devices, you’re left to lie on a table in the most vulnerable position known to womanhood, and in comes some bozo — literally– in a white jacket, urging you to honk his horn. Statistically speaking, I’m not surprised these women became pregnant. I’m surprised there weren’t more clown deaths.

Dr. Shevach Friedler, the leader of this study, is a mime aficionado himself — one of the first things everyone looks for in a fertility specialist — and touts his clown innovation as “one of the least hazardous interventions in our field.”

For the women, maybe. I just hope the clowns are getting hazard pay.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Kathie Halpern permalink
    May 11, 2012 8:47 PM

    And when she’s in labor, the obstetrical nurse will say “I think she’s clowning…”

  2. March 15, 2011 3:21 PM

    Ok, seriously. A WARNING would have been nice. I would not have clicked on “read more” had I known there would be a picture of the most evil clown that ever existed. Jeez.

    • debamlen permalink
      April 25, 2011 9:34 PM

      I didn’t think the column would be complete without a photo of my gynecologist, Heidi.

  3. John from Wantagh permalink
    February 17, 2011 12:46 AM

    Ahem, ahem. As a semi-retired clown, and a full-time hospital social worker, I can speak to the verifiable therapeuticity of humor in the medical setting. Whether or not that is what happened to these subjects in this study… hey, can you imagine what the funding discussion was like when this was first proposed?

    Anyway, my point is, medicine is still an art, and just because, say, doctors ended the practice of bloodletting (not so many years ago, as a matter of fact) because of, well, a wide lack of medical evidence that it works, doesn’t mean that we have to dispose of what I practice, its 21st century equivalent, or “stress-letting,” with a touch of humor now and then. I’ve seen the results myself on cardiac monitors to know it works. I also know that if one is not careful in the practice of bedside mirth, one can cause an overdose in the patient!

    And yes, semi-retired clown just means it’s been awhile between gigs!

  4. Fikink permalink
    January 15, 2011 11:06 AM

    Imagine the possibilities!

  5. January 14, 2011 11:20 PM

    What I *really* want to know is: how does one even begin to think of this as an experiment to begin with? I want to be there next time one of these guys goes: “Hey Joe, do you think seeing a clown would make these women get pregnant faster?”
    I would also like to nominate “clown-induced conception” for Phrase of the Year.


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