Amazon.com Widgets

« Idiot Nation | Main | Take Me out to the Ballgame »

The FDA and HuffPo Alternative Quackery

FDA Alert
The FDA is alerting the public to be wary of Internet sites and other promotions for products that claim to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure the 2009 H1N1 flu virus. The agency also is advising offending websites to take prompt action to correct and/or remove promotions of these fraudulent products or face enforcement action.

And quack central, aka Huffinton Post, is responding with this:

Author's note: This swine flu story on alternative and complementary medicine is not meant to replace anything you hear from you doctor, the WHO or the CDC, but is meant to show you some natural ways to enhance your overall wellness in addition to any medication you may need either to prevent or treat the flu.

PalMD reports: Shit wrapped in gold foil smells just the same as shit in a brown bag tied with twine.

Respectful Insolence has also weighed in on the subject.

If you see a disclaimer like the one above at your doctor's office turn and run. Can you imagine? Doctors note: The advice I dispense is not meant to replace that of your Homeopath, or other "alternative medicine" practitioner. I want your money but no responsibility for any bad advice I give you.


 

Comments

Norm, I know you and a lot of others here are really against alternative treatments and so I basically ignore your posts about it but...now you are against disclaimers on websites and are comparing those to direct contact?

I don't believe I've ever read any site, magazine article or book by anyone - doctor or not - that doesn't disclaim advice given and say listen to your doctor first - they know you best, or whatever. Yes, if I walked into my doctor's office or my chiropractor's for that matter and they had a disclaimer posted out there, I would probably walk out (although, before you can see a couple of my doctors, they now make you sign something saying you would pick arbitration over a lawsuit, and I have seen a lot of warnings on the medication they've prescribed, and wait - when I had oral surgery, I sure had to initial a lot of papers including the one that was preparing me for the unlikely event of my death from the surgery.) I'm fine with a disclaimer - I think it reminds everyone the decisions you make are your own responsibility (whether that is listening or not listening to your doctor).

Alternative treatments are treatments that haven't been proven to work. Once they are proven they are no longer alternative. But you make a good point about disclaimers. The problem with Huffington Post is that they've been posting crap for years with no disclaimers so why have they started now?

Norm- I like your site, but your posts about alternatives to AMA medicine make you sound like a Bushie! The reason that alternative medicine isn't "proven" is that the FDA has been controlled by Big Medicine for decades now and they will not run any real tests to determine what works and what doesn't. I for one do not blindly trust the AMA any more than I blindly trust Chopra. I find out what works for me, like a good little free thinker. I think your rants against Autism/Inoculation critics seem a little close minded. I have personally witnessed children with autism doing better because of alternative treatments. I really can't figure out what your motives are for dumping on people who are suffering but have found a way to cope. You seem to think that pot should be used for medical purposes, so what isn't "alternative" about that? Shame on you sir!

And your statement that : "I have personally witnessed children with autism doing better because of alternative treatments," highlights the problem I'm talking about. What evidence do you have that the alternative treatment is responsible for the improvement you saw.

Correlation is not causation. Correlation is not causation.Correlation is not causation.Correlation is not causation.Correlation is not causation.Correlation is not causation.Correlation is not causation.Correlation is not causation.Correlation is not causation.Correlation is not causation.Correlation is not causation.Correlation is not causation.Correlation is not causation.Correlation is not causation.Correlation is not causation.

I don't have a problem with any treatment that is supported by good scientific evidence that it works, whatever you call it. Your anecdotal evidence doesn't qualify as good scientific evidence.

Maybe I can weigh in here as what most would call an alt-med type of practitioner myself (the psychotherapy I do is grounded largely in cognitive-behavioral models that are well though not definitively supported by research, but I do use Eastern philosophy practices and meditation as well).

This flu is largely unknown and has no particularly defined treatment approach specific to its pathology, in either the alt or mainstream paradigm. You cannot go making the kinds of claims and associations that these HuffPo woo-folks are making now, with or without disclaimers. It is a violation of the Hippocratic Oath, which every health practitioner, alt or mainstream, must be bound by: above all, do no harm.

Thus, when life is at stake, even potentially, you make sure the client or patient is given access to emergency care. As a prominent alt-med doc, Andrew Weil, once said, if I'm having a heart attack I am not going to see my yoga teacher or homeopath; I'm going to get to a hospital with cardiovascular emergency care equipment and the staff trained to use it.

Alt-med has a place, and it deserves study, testing, and clinical experience. My own experience with such techniques has been overwhelmingly positive -- that is, clients get better and stop coming back to me (the surest sign of success in psychotherapy). But if someone comes to me with suicidal ideation, I have to get that person to a psychiatrist who can stabilize her (usually with meds). Once that happens, she can return to me and we will reach a point where her healing has become a self-directed process and she becomes free even of the meds.

I guess the one line summation of this situation, for health practitioners and writers of every stripe, is this: we don't need heroes or celebrities here; we need professionals.

Yeah, but if someone comes to psychological problems that aren't serious enough to require heavy drugs, then almost by definition they can be cured by placebo, don't they? For those people, a "wellness" therapy might be a good thing.

The problem is when the pseudoscientific frauds claim physical cures, even those well outside their reach (cancer gets bandied about often).

"This flu is largely unknown and has no particularly defined treatment approach specific to its pathology, in either the alt or mainstream paradigm."

No. No, no, no. NO!

Look, there is really one successful way of exploring the medical world, often referred to a methodological naturalism, which may be a problematic label. Either way, this successful system of thought is INDEPENDENT of the question. That is one of its strengths.

Influenza virus is VERY well studied. Just because this one is new does not put it within a different "paradigm".

Arghh!

A lot of people are scared and falling for these websites selling products that won't effectively help prevent the flu.

Navigation

Support this site

Google Ads


Powered by Movable Type Pro

Copyright © 2002-2017 Norman Jenson

Contact


Commenting Policy

note: non-authenticated comments are moderated, you can avoid the delay by registering.

Random Quotation

Individual Archives

Monthly Archives