Month: February 2016

Are the recommended childhood vaccine schedules evidence-based?

We write about vaccines a lot here at SBM, and for a very good reason. Of all the medical interventions devised by the brains of humans, arguably vaccines have saved more lives and prevented more disability than any other medical treatment. When it comes to infectious disease, vaccination is the ultimate in preventive medicine, at least for diseases for which vaccines can...

/ February 29, 2016

Reporting results from clinical trials is vital for science-based medicine

Real medicine is built on high quality data. That’s one lesson I learned through my rehabilitation as a former naturopath. I can assure you that this principle does not apply to naturopathy or any of the other types of alternative medicine, which are mostly based on anachronistic traditions, magical thinking, and poor academic integrity. I now know that real medicine incorporates any...

/ February 28, 2016

Chiropractic and the Newborn Baby

I had the pleasure of speaking on the topic of chiropractic and the newborn baby earlier this week at a meeting of the Boston Skeptics. There is a video of the talk online for anyone interested in learning more. And if you haven’t yet, please read yesterday’s post on chiropractic and babies by Sam Homola. My introduction to pediatric chiropractic Although I was...

/ February 27, 2016

Subluxation Correction: A Chiropractic Treatment for Babies

My article “Pediatric Chiropractic Care: The Subluxation Question and Referral Risk” was published in the 2016 February issue of the journal Bioethics. The abstract summarizes the message of the article: Chiropractors commonly treat children for a variety of ailments by manipulating the spine to correct a “vertebral subluxation” or a “vertebral subluxation complex” alleged to be a cause of disease. Such treatment...

/ February 26, 2016

Genomic testing at your pharmacy: Ready for prime time?

Despite science’s ability to develop sophisticated and targeted new drugs, predicting the effect of a drug in an individual is still maddeningly difficult. Not every drug works for everyone that takes it. Similarly, the very same drug can be well tolerated in some, but can cause intolerable side effects in others. So-called “targeted therapies” were supposed to improve our accuracy, by focusing...

/ February 25, 2016

Air Pollution and Public Health

Public health measures are those not aimed at individuals but at society as a whole, or subgroups within society. Physicians are charged not only with promoting the health of their own patients, but as a profession we (and health care professions in general) are charged with promoting the public health. Public health measures, however, are highly likely to cross into politically charged...

/ February 24, 2016
As good a source of stem cells as any chiropractor.

Stem Cells and Chiropractic

My local newspaper is a constant source of topics to blog about. It regularly features ads for untested dietary supplements and for chiropractors who offer non-chiropractic treatments and don’t identify themselves as chiropractors. Recently, a full-page ad for NW Pain Relief Centers trumpeted “Stem Cell Technology Takes Joint Treatment to the Next Level.” It said stem cell treatments could heal and regenerate...

/ February 23, 2016

What naturopaths say to each other when they think no one’s listening, part 2

When last I visited this topic, I started out by making a simple observation, namely by quoting John Wooden’s famous adage, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” What I was referring to was a private discussion forum for naturopaths known as Naturopathic Chat, or NatChat for short, and how a leak from...

/ February 22, 2016

Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Concussions and Senate Bill 1535

There is a bill before the Oregon Legislature, Senate Bill 1535, that: Allows chiropractic physicians and naturopathic physicians to provide release for athlete who sustained concussion or is suspected of sustaining concussion. Unfortunately, the Oregon legislature has already granted naturopaths primary care physician status, so I expect this may well pass, despite the fact neither chiropractors nor naturopaths have much reality-based education...

/ February 19, 2016