Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Closer to Truth . Who Gets to Validate Alternative Medicine? - PBS

Closer to Truth . Who Gets to Validate Alternative Medicine? - PBS:

Champions and critics debate the standards of proof.

Throughout history, human beings always have sought to prevent disease, cure illness, reduce pain, and relieve suffering. In recent times, science has made medicine more predictable, increasing success rates and identifying side effects to an unprecedented extent. But challenges to scientific medicine have accelerated in the past 30 years. In this program, the challenged give the challengers one tough time.

"Delusion is delusion and what we're talking about with alternative medicine, naturopathy in particular is self-delusion."

-- Wallace Sampson, M.D.
Editor-in Chief, Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine

The two sides argue fiercely about the efficacy and dangers of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Three of the guests can see both sides of the issue to various degrees. Only retired physician Wallace Sampson, Editor in Chief, Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine sees the field in black and white '�what we're dealing with in most of alternative medicine is self-delusion.' His points are cogent: how can standardization occur when naturopathic remedies are effected by such things as growing conditions, time of harvest, and length of storage? Dan Labriola, a naturopathic physician who specializes in cancer and heart diseases actually concurs: what PR company has ever publicized that the use of tests show that certain antioxidants prevent the effects of chemotherapy from killing tumor cells?

But scientific testing also corroborates the effectiveness of the natural substances glucosamine and chondroitin for joint and cartilage-related pain. And mold from the common canteloupe provided the first effective immunizations for Polio. Certainly, alternative medicine makes remarkable claims and billions of dollars are being spent on it every year. As alternative practitioner Hyla Cass, an M.D., who practices integrative medicine, which she calls the best of both worlds says, "12 medical schools Duke, Columbia, Harvard among them have incorporated CAM programs. I want to see more of that."

(check it out)