If Steroids Are Cheating, Why Isn't LASIK?

from the questions-questions-questions dept

theodp writes “A month ago, Mark McGwire was hauled before Congress and lambasted as a cheater for using a legal, performance-enhancing steroid precursor when he broke the single-season HR record. A week ago, Tiger Woods was celebrated for winning the Masters, aided by superior vision acquired through laser surgery. Slate asks: What’s the difference?

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Comments on “If Steroids Are Cheating, Why Isn't LASIK?”

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dorpus says:

It is

Federal law enforcement agencies will not hire anyone who has had their vision corrected with LASIK.

The military won’t hire anyone with health problems of any kind either. It’s rather ironic that the two of them produce so many maimed people anyway. Apparently, it’s not good for their image to have one-eyed generals or FBI agents changing their colostomy bags in public.

Nathan says:

Re: It is

Actually that’s not true.

LASIK surgery will restrict you from certain job categories, (with the restrictions shrinking each year as a larger body of research is gathered on the long term effects of such a procedure).

Also the military allows for PRK surgery for many of its members as well.


Mark Murphy says:

No Subject Given

  1. LASIK isn’t illegal. Steroid use (outside a physician’s prescription and care) is.
  2. Steroids are believed to cause a wider array of health problems than is LASIK, which is part of the reason why people want to keep kids off steroids.
  3. Steroids are easier to deal on the black market (ever try to hide a LASIK machine inside a trenchcoat?)

The issue with steroids isn’t that performance-enhancing techniques are intrinsically bad ? if they were, we’d have to ban multivitamins, Nike, and coaches. Steroids, rightly or wrongly, have fallen on the “evil” side of a line, which is why they’re being targeted.

kevin says:

Re: Re: you're confusing illegals...

steroids, the kind they’re talking about, are and have been illegal outside a physician’s prescription and care. Then and now. They are not over the counter or something you can just order from a supply company. you need a doctor to prescribe them. they are a controlled substance, and it is illegal to posess them outside of a doctor’s prescription.

they were legal in baseball until last year. that’s the difference. Actually they were illegal before that, just no testing.

lasik review (user link) says:

Re: Agree With you.

Hi Mark Murphy, i have same opinion like as you. I think if the healing periods are very long after lasik due to post operative infections, please stop using steriod. Because it increase infections also. So, i think everybody should know more about LASIK before undergoing surgery by reading lasik testimonials or reviews, like as icon lasik denver reviews. It help you to make good decision for lasik laser eye surgery.

DV Henkel-Wallace says:

who cares?

The whole idea of these rules is dumb anyway. The rules as to what are an acceptable pole-vaulter pole, or baseball bat are controlled. How about the shoes used?

In fact why not go back to the Olympics and have athletes compete in the nude? Probably would improve ratings too, since other than snooker and bowling the athletes tend to be buff. Of course this would make certain “sports” like curling, skiing, yachting and cycling rather tough.

Greg Andrew says:

No Subject Given

Steroids are illegal in this country, but not in other countries. Many baseball players from outside America undoubtedly used steroids in a way that was perfectly legal. So the legal/ilegal distinction is irrelevant. Furthermore, sports regulations and society’s law are two entirely differents things for two diifferent realms. If Pete Rose had committed murder instead of gambling on baseball games, he would be in the Hall of Fame today.

Steroids and lasik are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using medicine to increase performance. Over the next century, there will be many ways to enhance sports performance with drugs and surgery. And, for the sports, whether these methods are legal or illegal is besides the point; the problem is that they will artificially boost athletic performance.

Skott Klebe (user link) says:

This will all have to change someday...

…or eventually we will have to ask athletes to forego beneficial, career- or life-extending treatments in the cause of the precious integrity of our entertainments. I’m not talking about steroids, which are legally controlled substances for their harmful side-effects (as well as their potential abuse.

Look, I’m a computer guy relatively dependent on vision to do my job. Someday I may need laser surgery to prolong my career, or increase my comfort in pursuing it, or even to increase my productivity. I certainly would expect to be able to obtain it.

LASIK is one of a class of treatments that are designed to relieve prevalent, normal health conditions, and are so successful at their task that they help the patient exceed prior performance levels. In the future, there may be medications that forestall loss of muscle or bone mass, speed of reflex response, that are routinely prescribed for everyone in the same way that, say Rogaine is for loss of hair. Are athletes to be denied ordinary health care for the sake of our entertainments? Will we deny them the care we ourselves trust to be available?

We already do, actually – tested athletes have to forego all sorts of normal comforts, like cold medication and coffee. Someday, we’re going to have to come to grips with our perceptions on these matters.

dr David Coward says:

Re: This will all have to change someday...

you are very poorly informed. LASIK is riddled with problems. Some claim that it may be very good for them, but on further probing they demonstrate signs and symptoms that are consistent with complications. Many complications appear to be minimal, especially in young patients, but with age they worsen. Especially dry eyes, which unless you have had a moderate case, seems like a small matter.

Go to sites like LASIK disaster dot com. Or search LASIK and problems. This may help you see the truth. Tiger may have had a good outcome, hopefully it stays… good for him.

LASIK does help your vision, with this i agree, how much it helps depends on the patient. With some patients, it makes them see worse. LASIK does not however correct the root cause that led to myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism in the first place, thus you may find yourself back in glasses or contacts in 3-10yrs post procedure, with dry eyes, and a host of other long-term pitfalls.

Mark Harrison says:

not really the same thing

as far as i understand it LASIK is used to correct eye sight so that they can see with normal 20/20 vision.
If steroids where used to replace muscle lost due to some accident that made a big loss of muscle in an area then thats understandable.
But normally there uses to achieve a greater muscle mass then normally achievable, increasing the performance above the norm.
LASIK does not increases your eye sight above normal, its no gonna make you see further then anyone else with 20/20 vision.
If LASIK is not allowed then you gonna make them not be able to use glasses too?

Mike (user link) says:

No comparision!

How can someone claim that LASIK could be illegal. and that too comparing it to STEROIDS. NO match. Hell of a difference. A lot of people are wary about LASIK due to the slight chances of its going wrong. But with expert hands and experience this risk can be reduced to minimal. I think such expert surgeons must be given certain certificates to make them stand out in the crowd. Which will gain public trust and people with myopia or other vision problems will come forward to go for it with little hesitation.

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