ICD-10 is a standardized system of alphanumeric codes for diagnoses maintained by the World Health Organization used throughout the world for billing, epidemiology, research, and cataloging causes of death. Its successor, ICD-11, is nearing completion, and unfortunately appears to be taking the “integration” of traditional medicine to a whole new level by integrating quack diagnoses with real diagnoses.
It's been a bad week for homeopathy. First, the NHS in the UK has stopped funding homeopathy in London. Then, news stories appeared about research fraud and a retracted clinical trial of homeopathy for cancer in which the investigators had already been arrested. So sad!
A couple of weeks ago, I was interviewed by the a reporter from the Georgetown student newsletter about its integrative medicine program. It got me to thinking how delusion that one’s work is science-based can lead to collaborations with New Age “quantum” mystics like Deepak Chopra. "Integrative medicine" doctors engaging in what I like to refer to as quackademic medicine all claim to be "evidence-based" or "science-based." The words apparently do not mean what integrative medicine academics think they mean.
David and Collet Stephan stand convicted of not having provided their son Ezekiel with essential medical care, which led to his death from meningitis. None of this stopped the "wellness" industry from featuring David as a speaker at its expos; that is, until it started causing bad publicity. When that happened, Stephan was unceremoniously dumped. But the quackery in "wellness" remains unchanged.
The Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health is a group dedicated to promoting "integrative medicine" in medical academia that has, unfortunately, been very successful over the last two decades. Recently, it published a report that promotes acupuncture as a tool to combat the opioid epidemic Let's just put it this way. The ACIMH exaggerates the evidence rather obviously.
Science advocate and Goop critic Dr. Jen Gunter managed to infiltrate Gwyneth Paltrow's quackfest In Goop Health by hiding in plain sight. (Actually, she just bought a ticket and attended.) What she found was a wretched hive of scum and quackery, plus a psychic who claims that death is not real. In addition to the nonsense, there was a dark side, as well,with quacks promoting the idea that you can cure cancer with thought alone and don't need medication to treat depression.
Over the last 25 years, medical academia has increasingly embraced "integrative medicine" (i.e., the "integration" of pseudoscience and quackery with medicine). However, it has had help normalizing this new situation. That help comes from the press. Here's yet another example.
Naturopaths are not the only relentless quacks seeking to bend government to legitimize their quackery. Acupuncturists are now working to get Medicaid to fund acupuncture services. They are succeeding.
Earlier this month, Chuck Norris and his wife Gena filed a lawsuit against manufacturers of MRI contrast agents, claiming that the gadolinium in them had "poisoned" Gena. But did it? The evidence linking gadolinium with the symptoms Gena Norris suffered is, even under the most generous interpretation, quite shaky, and there is no doubt that she has been victimized by quacks.
Ever since the $200 million gift by Susan and Henry Samueli to UC-Irvine, I've been thinking about the "integration" of quackery into medicine through integrative medicine. The way advocates of quackademic medicine are going to make this "integration" really happen is to start with the medical schools.