All posts by Wallace Sampson

Retired hematologist/oncologist, presumptive analyzer of ideological and fraudulent medical claims, claimant to being founding editor of the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, and to detecting quackery by smell.

Homeocracy II

This is the second installment analysis of a three (and now 4) part series of articles on effects of homeopathy on childhood diarrhea. This second installment elaborates on our findings on data from the second clinical trial in Nicaragua. (1) I should first explain the title. In order for homeopathy to operate as a base or operating system for medicine “for the 21st...

/ April 30, 2009

Homeocracy

Recent comments on homeopathy again resulted in references to the 1994 Pediatrics paper by Jacobs et al on use of homeopathic remedies for childhood diarrhrea.  The authors of that paper concluded from their blinded study that homeopathic remedies, tailored to the individual infants and children, were effective in reducing the number of diarrhea stools and thus in shortening the illness.  The paper...

/ April 16, 2009

Medical Propaganda Films

David Gorski suggested I expand on a comment I left recently on one of his November posts. His subject was the then new documentary movie, “A Beautiful Truth.“ “Truth” is about the Gerson method – the dietary deprivation cum coffee enema cancer treatment developed by Dr. Max Gerson, a refugeee from Germany I the 1930s. His daughter, Charlotte now runs the Gerson...

/ April 2, 2009

A View to the Past

The quackery political map has changed over the last three decades. I recently took a historial look over the landscape at characteristics and forms of quackery that could yield some perspective, and understanding. Pseudoscience and quackery were identifiable long before we were here. Mesmer was deposed by Franklin and Lavoisier & Co.  Samuel Hahnemann’s homeopathy was recognized as false by contemporaries, and by 1840s Oliver...

/ March 19, 2009

Fakin’ it

Last week the Times of London revealed inside information from the General Medical Council (UK, responsible for physician licensing) of an ongoing investigation of Dr. Andrew Wakefield and from its own investigation. This revelation recalled other instances of fakery from reports of sectarian medicine (“CAM”) successes. The Medical Council information contained evidence that the data from the now famous Wakefield cases used to...

/ February 19, 2009

The Anniversary

I received a surprising morning call several weeks ago “Wally?” “This is he.” “This is Judy V…. I just wanted to call and thank you again for what you did for me. It’s the 35th anniversary of my cancer…“ Judy V. is a physician’s widow. Her husband, a surgical specialist died in his 40s, 20plus years ago.   She had a Stage II...

/ February 5, 2009

More on the Bravewell issue

Being on the West Coast places me (and Harriet?) at disadvantage in responding to recent developments, as I find out about them later in the day, if that day. (Retirement doesn’t help.) First I had some comments on the WSJ article on “CAM,” the NCCAM by Steve Salerno and the response by the pseudoscince leadership. The 4-author response revealed political tactics used...

/ January 22, 2009

Our own slippery grounds

When we were forming the National Council against Health Fraud I wondered aloud to the president, Bill Jarvis, what we would do if society solved the chiropractic problem. Bill laughed and said there would never be an end to quackery claims. How right he was. But why? Many express surprise that at this time of remarkable intellectual and scientific advance, so many...

/ January 8, 2009

Quackery tolerance – a learned response

Academic politeness turns to the vicious  This is more on the theme of academic and postmodern roots of sectarianism-quackery’s advance on medicine. I illustrate through the personal experience of a noted combatant – Mary Lefkowitz – in the front lines of the war with intellectual and academic buffoonery passing as scholarship. The joke is not in the buffoonery, though. The joke is turning...

/ December 18, 2008

Psychological support and breast cancer – again

Does the degree of efficacy is depend on the time at which it is measured? Apparently so. The case of psychological support and breast cancer longevity again. After an original 1989 report of positive effects on metastatic breast cancer, by 2006- 7 the majority of RCTs on such effects had settled the issue in the negative. This was only after 20 years...

/ December 4, 2008