Category: Ethics

Ian Harris on “Surgery, the Ultimate Placebo”

Ian Harris explains that more than half of commonly performed surgical operations may be placebos. Adequate studies using a blinded control group are essential.

/ October 27, 2020

Acupuncture and cupping for adult idiopathic scoliosis at the VA

A veteran's adult idiopathic scoliosis was treated at a VA health clinic with acupuncture and cupping in an attempt to correct his spinal curvature, an impossibility without surgery. The ideology of so-called integrative medicine is firmly entrenched at the VA, to the detriment of veterans and taxpayers.

/ October 8, 2020
Don't shoot him. He's just relaying a message.

Shooting the Messenger: Activists Persecute Scientists Whose Findings They Don’t Like

Alice Dreger's book recounts many instances of shooting the messenger, when scientists were persecuted for research findings that activists found objectionable. Social justice matters, but it should rely on science and reality, not ideology.

/ July 28, 2020
One Million Dollars

Would you pay $1 million to enroll in a phase 1 clinical trial of an “anti-aging” gene therapy?

Libella Gene Therapeutics, LLC made the news last week for announcing a "pay-to-play" trial of its telomerase-based anti-aging gene therapy. What was shocking about the announcement was not that it was a "pay-to-play" trial, given that such trials have become all too common, but rather the price of enrollment: $1 million. Worse, the trial is being conducted in Colombia; the therapy doesn't...

/ December 2, 2019

For-profit stem cell clinics, universities, and “pay-to-play” clinical trials for autism

Stem cell therapies show great promise, but as yet the vast majority of that promise has not been validated in rigorous clinical trials. Unfortunately, for-profit stem cell clinics are running clinical trials that require patients to pay to be part of it. These trials are not rigorous. Even more unfortunately, it appears that some universities are also running "pay-to-play" clinical trials that...

/ July 29, 2019

Coca-Cola and Corporate Sponsored Research

A new study reveals that Coca-Cola included restrictive clauses in some research funding contracts. This is a good opportunity to review how such behavior can be stopped.

/ May 8, 2019

Medical Apartheid

Harriet Washington's book tells the dark history of medical experimentation on black Americans. It also reveals broader problems of inequality, poor science, and human failures.

/ April 9, 2019

The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment: A Fiasco with a Silver Lining

The Tuskegee syphilis experiment studied black men with advanced syphilis for 40 years. Patients were lied to and prevented from getting treatment. A black mark in the history of American medicine, it led to important reforms.

/ March 5, 2019

Flipping the Script In Action: The Nick Gundersen Case

The tragic consequences of a boy with leukemia and a mother who believed an alternative medicine documentary-maker over her son's oncologist.

/ March 1, 2019

BladderMax: Fake News and Outrageous Headlines

A newspaper ad for BladderMax is disguised as a news story reporting "the end of bladder leakages." The information is inaccurate and the headlines are preposterous.

/ December 11, 2018