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).

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Concern over this article: "Complementary Medicine in Australia"

Warwick Finch has some astute comments regarding a misleading article:

-----Original Message-----
From: Finch, Warwick []
Sent: Monday, 4 April 2005 10:55 AM
Subject: Concern over recent article

Dear Margaret,

I am writing to express my concern over one of the articles in the recent Response magazine (Vol 18, No 1). I'm referring specifically to "Complementary Medicine in Australia" by Andrew Cathles.

My major issue is that naturopathy is an unproven modality supported only by anecdote. I draw your attention to the statement "naturopaths believe that bacteria and viruses do not directly cause the symptoms accompanying disease..." While we are certainly all entitled to our own beliefs, we are not entitled to our own facts. This statement flies in the face of the vast body of medical knowledge that we base our practice upon. While not perfect, modern medicine has been built up through the application of the scientific method to medical problems rather than relying on the "wisdom" of shamans and village herbalists.

Mr Cathles is certainly correct when he states that "Complementary Medicine has come a long way since the days of the village herbalist". Indeed they have discovered and applied modern marketing and lobbying techniques to the promotion of their quackery, other than that little has changed.

I feel that this article is out of place in an otherwise excellent magazine devoted to a profession based on science and reason.

Yours sincerely

Warwick Finch
Student Ambulance Officer
ACT Ambulance Service

(reprínted here by permission - PL)