Another State Promotes the Pseudoscientific Cult that is “Naturopathic Medicine.” Part 4

The “Science” and Ethics of “Natural Medicines” (and Nutrition) cont. This is the continuation of a discussion concerning the explicit claim of “naturopathic physicians”* to being experts in the use of “natural medicines,” defined as “medicines of mineral, animal and botanical origin.” Last week’s post established that the cult has chosen to profit from the “retail selling of medications,” as evidenced by the relevant...

/ July 4, 2008
Quoth the Black Knight in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail": "None shall pass."

The Placebo Myth

King Arthur: Now stand aside, worthy adversary. Black Knight: ‘Tis but a scratch. King Arthur: A scratch? Your arm’s off. Black Knight: No it isn’t. King Arthur: What’s that, then? Black Knight: [after a pause] I’ve had worse. King Arthur: You liar. Black Knight: Come on ya pansy.King Arthur: [after Arthur’s cut off both of the Black Knight’s arms] Look, you stupid...

/ July 3, 2008

The Bait and Switch of Unscientific Medicine

Savvy consumers are familiar with the classic scam of the “bait and switch” – in practice if not the term itself. My wife and I ran across it when we were shopping for our first car. We needed a bargain and so we were attracted to the ads that promised a new Colt for only $9,000 (that’s the bait). Of course when...

/ July 2, 2008

Chiropractic Strokes Again! A Landmark Lawsuit in Canada

Sandra Nette is a prisoner, condemned to spend the rest of her life in the cruelest form of solitary confinement. Her intact mind is trapped in a paralyzed body and she is unable to speak. She can move one arm just enough to type on a special keyboard. She cannot swallow or breathe on her own, and must be frequently suctioned. She...

/ July 1, 2008

Resistance is futile

Dr. Sampson’s droll post on Thursday written from the point of view of an advocate of unscientific “alternative” medicine modalites (these days known as “complementary and alternative medicine”–abbreviated “CAM”–or “integrative” medicine), coupled with Dr. Atwood’s most recent contribution to his ongoing series on how the mish-mash of a little valid herbal medicine mixed with a whole lot of woo otherwise known as...

/ June 30, 2008

The Weekly Waluation of the Weasel Words of Woo #8

Playing with More than a Full Deck! The passage submitted in the W^5/2 #7 wasn’t an easy one, but intrepid translators, for the most part, offered waluable insights: Readers were virtually unanimous in the opinion that author Jean Watson, when she uttered it, must have been in an, er, alternative state of consciousness. I can’t imagine what gave them that idea. I mean look...

/ June 28, 2008

Another State Promotes the Pseudoscientific Cult that is “Naturopathic Medicine.” Part 3

The “Science” and Ethics of “Natural Medicines” This and the next entry in the current “Naturopathic Medicine” series* deal with the cult’s claim of expertise in “natural medicines” or “natural remedies.” These include herbs (“botanicals”), glandular extracts, vitamins, and minerals. A large fraction of the Textbook of Natural Medicine (TNM), “the most thoroughly researched and carefully referenced text on natural medicine,” is devoted...

/ June 27, 2008

Why would medical schools associate with quackery? Or, How we did it.

Why would medical schools risk association with quackery? …a question from a Washington Post reporter in 1998. The following hypothetical answer composed in response was never sent. It awaited a proper forum. Could this be one? Well, Jeff, quackery is a pejorative term. Some time ago we recognized that words raise emotions and mental pictures. We recognized the cognitive dissonance raised by...

/ June 26, 2008

Politics and Science at the HHS

When politics and science collide, shenanigans are likely to ensue. Politics is often antithetical to science because the former is about persuasion and value judgments while the latter is about objectivity and transparency. Science cannot function properly under the yoke of political ideology. The infiltration of unscientific and anti-scientific practices and ideas into mainstream medicine is primarily an act of politics and...

/ June 25, 2008

Death By Medicine

Critics of “conventional” medicine delight in pointing out how much harm it causes. Carolyn Dean, Gary Null, and others have written extensively about “death by medicine.” A typical statement (from Mercola.com) says: A definitive review and close reading of medical peer-review journals, and government health statistics shows that American medicine frequently causes more harm than good. The number of people having in-hospital,...

/ June 24, 2008