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.
Colton Barrett was a 17 year old boy who developed acute transverse myelitis at age 13, which left him partially paralyzed and dependent on a portable ventilator. Tragically, he died less than two weeks ago. His mother blames Gardasil, which he received two weeks before his first symptoms appeared, for his neurologic illness and death. However, Gardasil almost certainly had nothing to do with Colton's illness.
For a quarter of a century, quackery and pseudoscience have been integrated into medicine through the construct of "integrative medicine" and into academic medicine in the form of quackademic medicine. Unfortunately, there has been little pushback. That's why it's good to see a recent article in The Surgeon decrying this phenomenon. We need more of this.
One of the favorite tactics of cranks and quacks to silence criticism from bloggers is to threaten to sue for libel. Ex-naturopath turned science advocate Britt Hermes is currently living this reality, as a naturopathic cancer quack is currently suing her for libel in Germany. Given that Britt is a graduate student in evolutionary biology her means are quite modest and as is no doubt the intent, just defending this lawsuit could ruin her and her husband financially. Fortunately, you can help help her, and I urge you to do so.
A year ago, a prominent Cleveland Clinic "integrative medicine" doctor named Dr. Daniel Neides published an antivaccine screed. At the time, he was the Acting Medical Director of the Tanya I. Edwards Center for Integrative Medicine, Vice Chair and Chief Operating Officer of Cleveland Clinic Wellness, as well as the Associate Director of Clinical Education for The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (CCLCM), where he oversaw all clinical activities during years three through five of the medical school. As a result of article, he was dismissed from all his leadership positions. What's happened to him since then, now that …
Over the last several years, the Veterans Health Administration has been increasing the amount of quackery being offered in VA hospitals and clinics. This time around, it's auricular acupuncture.
Oprah Winfrey gave a rousing acceptance speech while accepting the Cecile B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes on Sunday night, sparking talk of her running for President in 2020. It's time to throw some cold water on that idea by reminding everyone that Oprah is not a force for reason and evidence. Quite the contrary.
In pseudoscience, appeals to nature are everywhere. It’s not surprising, then, that there is profit to be made selling “raw” (i.e., untreated) water at very high prices for its nonexistent health benefits, those benefits all claimed to be due to the “naturalness” of the water. I can’t help but note that cholera, Giardia, amoebic dysentery, and a wide variety of waterborne illnesses prevented by modern water treatment techniques are all very, very “natural."
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.