Category: Medical Ethics

Not even the Bocca della Verità can tell if a Chinese medical study is fabricated.

Chinese BioMedical Research: Sturgeon’s Law In Action

A Chinese government investigation has found that 80%, yes eighty percent, of Chinese biomedical research is fabricated. I bet that is an underestimate for Traditional Chinese Pseudo-Medicine.

/ January 20, 2017
Ambrosia sp.	Ragweed pollen, EM

Fake treatments for real diseases: A review of allergy and asthma advertisements by naturopaths, chiropractors, homeopaths and acupuncturists

A majority of Canadian chiropractic, naturopathic, homeopathic and acupuncture clinics claim that they can diagnose or treat allergies, sensitivities and asthma.

/ December 29, 2016
parabiosis_nature

Parabiosis – The Next Snakeoil

The pattern has repeated so many times that it is truly predictable. Scientists turn their eyes to one type of treatment that has theoretical potential. However, proper research from theory to proven treatment can take 10-20 years, if all goes well. Most such treatments will not work out – they will fail somewhere along the way from the petri dish to the...

/ August 3, 2016
SnakeOilSalesmanWagon

Forget stem cell tourism: Stem cell clinics in the US are plentiful

I had planned on writing about something else this week, but late last week another story caught my eye, because it served as a perfect follow-up to what I wrote about last week. To recap, I wrote about a man named Jim Gass, a former chief legal counsel for Sylvania, who had suffered a debilitating stroke in 2009 that left him without...

/ July 4, 2016

Academic Consortium plan: force medical residents to practice integrative medicine

“Integrative medicine” (IM) is an ideological movement within medicine driven in large part by those whose livelihoods depend on its continued existence. This includes both those with positions in academic medicine and individual practitioners who use the IM brand to attract patients. Despite IM and its antecedents (alternative, complementary, alternative and complementary, complementary and integrative) having been around for about a quarter...

/ April 14, 2016

Is it ethical to sell complementary and alternative medicine?

Complementary and alternative medicine may be legal to sell - but is it ethical to sell?

/ February 11, 2016

The fine line between quality improvement and medical research

As I’ve mentioned before, the single biggest difference between science-based medicine (SBM) and what I like to call pseudoscience-based medicine, namely the vast majority of what passes for “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or “integrative medicine” is that SBM makes an active effort to improve. It seeks to improve efficacy of care by doing basic and clinical research. Then it seeks to...

/ December 28, 2015

Worshiping at the altar of the Cult of the Brave Maverick Doctor

One of my favorite television shows right now is The Knick, as I described before in a post about medical history. To give you an idea of how much I’m into The Knick, I’ll tell you that I signed up for Cinemax for three months just for that one show. (After its second season finale airs next Friday, I’ll drop Cinemax until...

/ December 14, 2015

The Ethics of Prescribing Worthless Treatments

Is it ever ethical for a physician to prescribe a treatment to a patient that they know to be entirely without efficacy? Is it ever possible to do this without deceiving the patient to some degree? I think the answer to both questions is a clear “no.” Within the flipped reality of “alternative medicine,” however, it suddenly becomes acceptable to deceive patients...

/ December 9, 2015
andrew-weil

To debate or not to debate: The strange bedfellows of Andrew Weil

To debate or not to debate, that is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous quackery Or to take arms against a sea of quackademia, And, by opposing end them. Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1, paraphrased badly.   The question of whether it is worthwhile to debate cranks, quacks, and advocates of...

/ November 9, 2015