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Jeopardy! Apologizes After Medical Clue Causes Outrage

The show called the term outdated and inaccurate
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2021 1:52 PM CDT

(Newser) – This Latin phrase acknowledging an error translates to "my fault." What is mea culpa? Jeopardy! had to offer one, with an apology, after using an unusual and outdated term for a serious condition. The clue was "Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is also known as Grinch syndrome because this organ is too small," and the answer was the heart. But POTS syndrome, which affects a few million Americans, some who came down with it due to COVID, does not come from a structurally abnormal heart, USA Today reports. Viewers were quick to point out the error, which besides being inaccurate was a little, well, Grinch-like about the disability. Dysautonomia International called the clue “offensive.” The nonprofit said, in a tweet, “Can you imagine Jeopardy making light of cancer or MS patients with a "funny" name for their debilitating health condition?”

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Jeopardy! tweeted an apology, calling the term outdated and inaccurate, which Dysautonomia International accepted with their own tweet. Former child star Mara Wilson of Mrs. Doubtfire fame, who has POTS, also pointed out the error. “It's also just not true! It was based on one doctor's contentious theory proposed more than ten years ago,” she tweeted. "Disappointed to see @Jeopardy spreading medical misinformation.” She pointed out that test after test has show that her heart is normal. It’s not the first time Twitter has come for Jeopardy over lazy science—the show was heavily criticized for bringing in Dr. Oz, whose track record isn’t exactly perfect, as a guest host. (Read more Jeopardy stories.)

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