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exton
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:36 am    Post subject: Suppressing alternative and mainstream medicine Reply with quote
An article about how alternative and mainstream medicine handle criticism:

http://www.badscience.net/2007...../#more-553

Let’s imagine that we live in an exotic parallel universe where I am able to use an amusing but trivial news event to illustrate a wider cultural and intellectual issue. Dr Andy Lewis runs a website called Quackometer: he criticised the Society of Homeopaths (Europe ’s largest professional organisation of homeopaths) in no uncertain terms.

In his opinion, and he amassed some examples: they do not enforce their own “Code of Practice” (you’re not even allowed to imply you can cure a named disease!) it is a figleaf; and they fail to censure their members over dangerous claims. His chosen example was the Newsnight malaria sting which you might remember: an undercover investigator went to see some homeopaths, and was given homeopathic pills to protect against this fatal disease, by quacks who denigrated medical options and failed to give basic “holistic” advice on things like bite protection. I agree with Dr Lewis: in my opinion their approach was cavalier and dangerous.

Did the SoH engage with these criticisms? Reflect on them? Challenge and rebutt them? No. They sent a threatening legal letter. Did this threatening legal letter say what was wrong with Dr Lewis’s post? No. It wasn’t even sent to him, it was sent to his hosting company Netcetera, demanding they take his page down. He contacted the SoH, very politely (I mean incredibly politely, read it here), to ask them what the problems were with his comments. No response.


.............

But how does the SoH approach – silence and repress - compare with other medical academic organisations? This week I was invited to be on a judging panel for a prize run by the Cochrane Collaboration, the international academic body that produces independent systematic reviews of the literature on all medical interventions: the prize (a thousand quid) is for the best piece of work critical of the Cochrane Collaboration.

Is this an isolated and esoteric example? The British Medical Journal is probably the most important medical journal in the UK (and certainly the most widely read). You might not know the kind of thing that appears in academic journals, but the BMJ recently announced the three most popular research papers from its archive, according to an audit which assessed their use by readers, the number of times they were referenced by other academic papers, and so on. Every single one of these papers was highly critical of either a drug, a drug company, or a medical activity, as its most central theme.


That's some of it. Read the whole thing.
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Refused
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I read it but, in my opinion, it didn't really prove much of anything that's really all that important.
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exton
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well, the use of criticism goes to the very core of what science is. It's extremely important. It probably wouldn't seem all that spectacular to have it pointed out, though, if you already knew that.
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Lester
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I find it humourous that there is an international academic body named after eternally suave lawyer to the stars. (chewbacca is a wookie from the planet kyshhyk...)

I don't go to homeopaths or chiropractors even.

They are all kooks.
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Refused
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've never been to a chiropractor but I don't think you could call them kooks.

I don't believe in homeopathy but homeopathy is far from the only alternative medicine there is.

Are we to say that alternative fuels are useless simply because they are the alternative to oil?

Just because it's alternative doesn't mean that it doesn't work.
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Lynx
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
That's not what anyone is arguing. Everything should be taken on a case-by-case basis and, if the "alternative" is a dangerous, false practice, it should be shunned. Which is what we're doing.
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Refused
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Lynx wrote:
That's not what anyone is arguing. Everything should be taken on a case-by-case basis and, if the "alternative" is a dangerous, false practice, it should be shunned. Which is what we're doing.


Who's to say it's false? If it works for some people, then it's not.
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Lynx
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
So you want us to market products that only work for some people? And then when these products don't work or they actually harm some people, the producers/creators should be held responsible, right? Because that's exactly what's going on.

Or are you just asking us to ignore all of that so that you can be happy with the idea that alternative and mainstream medicines both have "fair" representation?
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Refused
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I think both should be fairly represented but if either one doesn't work, it should be shunned. Especially mainstream medicine. That does quite a bit of harm but the FDA doesn't do too much about that, mostly because they have a lot of ties with the drug companies.
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Lynx
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Refused wrote:
Especially mainstream medicine. That does quite a bit of harm but the FDA doesn't do too much about that, mostly because they have a lot of ties with the drug companies.


I like how your definition of "fair representation" means punishing one more than another. That's quite "fair" of you.

But anyway, I guess I'll have to treat you like corno. Proof or shut up.
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Refused
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I am not talking about punishing one more than the other. I am talking about punishing the drug companies as equally as much as the alternative medicine that gets attacked.


I'll be happy to put you in your place


Proof:

http://www.citizen.org/pressro.....fm?ID=2353
http://www.citizen.org/publica.....fm?ID=7427
http://www.citizen.org/congres.....fm?ID=7442
http://www.mercola.com/2000/oc.....rovals.htm
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12483353/
http://www.forbes.com/2005/02/.....24fda.html
http://www.webmd.com/news/2006.....f-interest
http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....01877.html
http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....ord18.html
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/.....9UAM41.DTL
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/.....p;refer=us
http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/wa.....atl=google
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02.....25fda.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12.....06fda.html
http://www.ahrp.org/infomail/04/03/25.php
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/546333


and the list goes on.
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Turk
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
whats interesting is fair.org
to find out how fair and balanced media really is
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Lynx
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Why do you rez topics with totally unrelated information? Actually though, I never Refused's reply, so thanks.

Quote:
am not talking about punishing one more than the other. I am talking about punishing the drug companies as equally as much as the alternative medicine that gets attacked.


Yeah, you know, equal punishment like Vioxx's billion-dollar settlement? Jesus, that kind of stuff just never happens!
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Refused
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I never said anything about litigation, aren't we talking about your beloved government here?


Sorry, Lynx, this is criminal law, not civil law.
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exton
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
That's part of how it's enforced, refused - civil lawsuits.
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