Last month, Susan and Henry Samueli donated $200 million to the University of California, Irvine to promote integrative medicine. We were pleasantly surprised by the unflattering coverage in the press of the gift. We were unpleasantly unsurprised by the reaction of integrative medicine advocates to the criticism.
Cancer in the 18-39 age range is uncommon, but still occurs. When they should be dealing with school, friends, new jobs, and starting families, instead they must worry about medical bills, appointments, and infertility. Added to this are the costs of "integrative" treatments often foisted upon cancer patients, or built-in to the few adolescent and young adult-focussed centers that currently exist.
Homeopathy is the most embarrassing form of alternative medicine, and the easiest to refute. There has been long series of skeptical wins around the world over the past year - including University of California, Irvine's decision to scrub its mention from the homepage of its latest integrative medicine center. Hopefully, if we can keep up the pressure the trend will continue!
By definition, alternative medicine has not been shown to be effective or has been shown to be ineffective. Thus, alternative medicine is ineffective against cancer and can best be represented as either no treatment at all or potentially harmful treatment. It is thus not surprising that cancer patients who choose alternative medicine have a higher risk of dying from their cancer. A...
When it comes to expansion and infiltrating medicine, "integrative medicine" has frequently seemed like the Terminator: utterly relentless. Recent setbacks at major integrative medicine "Crown Jewels" resulting in their closure cast that narrative in doubt. However, I never forget that after its seeming destruction, the Terminator always comes back.
As quackery in the form of "integrative medicine" has increasingly been "integrated" into medicine, medical journals are starting to notice and succumb to the temptation to decrease their skepticism. The BMJ, unfortunately, is the latest to do so. It won't be the last.
It is important for consumers to understand the phenomenon of hospitals, even prestigious hospitals, offering dubious treatments, and how we got here. Don't be fooled by the apparent endorsement of nonsense. It is still nonsense.
Myths integrative medicine sells us: “We never advocate alternative medicine without conventional medicine”
"Integrative medicine" (IM) effectively integrates quackery with real medicine. The main talking point by advocates of IM meant to deflect this criticism is that IM practitioners always use alternative medicine with conventional medicine and never advocate the use of alternative medicine alone. A new book by a prominent advocate of IM suggests that this talking point is at best self-delusion among academics...