A Medical Historian's View of Quackery From 1974...
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23-11-2016, 08:01 AM
Exclamation A Medical Historian's View of Quackery From 1974...
A Historian's View of Quackery in 1974, James Harvey Young, Ph.D.
(with Comments from Stephen Barrett, M.D.)

Anybody interested in Alt–Med/CAM pseudo-medicine might be interested in checking this site out. It's estimated that the CAM industry globally makes as much profit as the conventional medicine industry—which fact of course the CAM proponents conveniently ignore in their numerous, ill-informed "anti-big-pharma" diatribes .

About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine, and 10% use it on their children(!) notes professor Paul J Offit, chief of infectious disease at the Philadelphia Children's Hospital. There are an ever-growing number of supplements from which to choose: More than 54,000 varieties sold in stores and the internet, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Many consumers view the alternative medicine industry as more altruistic and home-spun than "Big Pharma". But in his book, Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine, Offit paints a picture of an aggressive, $34 billion a year industry whose key players are adept at using lawsuits, lobbyists and legislation to protect their market.

It's a big business says Offit, best known for developing a vaccine (Rotarix and RotaTeq) against rotavirus, a diarrheal illness that killed 2,000 people each day, mostly children in the developing world...

In the best cases, Offit says, alternative remedies are ineffective but relatively harmless, functioning as expensive placebos that may appear to relieve symptoms such as pain, largely because people expect them to. An example of this is homeopathy, in which key ingredients are diluted to the point of oblivion, making these remedies basically sugar pills...

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24-11-2016, 10:31 AM
RE: A Medical Historian's View of Quackery From 1974...
Who said there was no money to be made in quackery—or that "big Pharma" was solely a financial goldmine for corporatists?

I noticed this little snippet about a Chinese home buyer in my local Aussie daily paper today (a part of a longer article)...

"When searching for a new home with a budget of about $3 million, acupuncturist Ms Houng Lau turned down the chance of buying existing pest and building reports offered to her by real estate agents on two properties... She ended up buying a different property, fully aware that she needed to spend about $300,000 to fix the wiring and plumbing and renovate."

Seriously? Her only qualification [sic] is a dubious "bachelor’s degree in Applied Science for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)" which is granted by a few Australian technical schools (not true universities) and more notably several private training "colleges". Of the 31 units in this "degree" course, only five (Human Anatomy and Physiology, Clinical Features of Disease, Physiological Systems, Human Pathophysiology, and Neuroscience) are identical to a genuine Australian B.Sc degree course. The remaining 26 units are entirely TCM based, with no reference to traditional Western medicine.

At the moment, there's some agitation by the accredited medical profession here to close down these sorts of quack degree courses, particularly those provided by the State-funded technical schools.

This particular quack reckons she can alleviate morning sickness, hay fever, hyperthyroidism, female infertility, glandular fever, anxiety and depression, and... tadaaaa! Alleviate symptoms of cancer.

One of her modalities (sounds good eh?) is a silly procedure called "moxibustion", pictured below...

[Image: moxibustion.jpg]

They're acupuncture needles with a lump of smouldering, dried mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris (a member of the daisy family) stuck on the end of the needle. Apparently this can reposition a potential breech birth delivery, heal irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, and tennis elbow.

—Gee, who wouldn't want burning daises blistering and scarring their skin in preference to proven Western medicine?


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