Last week, naturopath and homeopath Anke Zimmermann made the news for using lyssinum, a homeopathic remedy based on saliva from a rabid dog, to treat a four year old boy with behavioral problems. This week, Zimmermann strikes back against her critics. Hilarity ensues.
Advocates of "integrative medicine" argue that integrating alternative medicine with real medicine represents the "best of both worlds." A recent study by Ben Goldacre suggests that, in reality, integrating quackery with medicine infects medicine with pseudoscience and poor practice.
Whenever I think I've seen the most ridiculous quackery ever in homeopathy or naturopathy, homeopaths and naturopaths go above and beyond to prove me wrong. This time around, I learn of Lyssinum, a homeopathic remedy claimed to have been made from the saliva of a rabid dog, and how it "cured" a child of his fear of werewolves.
I’ve documented the infiltration of quackery into academic medicine through the “integration” of mystical and prescientific treatment modalities into medicine. Here, I look at a seemingly small incident, a veritable pebble in the quackademic avalanche. Is it too late for the pebbles to vote?
Earlier this month, Congress passed an omnibus budget bill that provided a large hike in the budget the National Institutes of Health. Unfortunately, along with that budget hike was an even bigger percent hike for the NIH's bastion of quackery, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. How did this happen?
Naturopaths claim that they are the best at preventing heart disease because of their skill in using "natural" treatments. In reality, what they do is to fuse reasonable lifestyle recommendations with pure quackery.
Antivaccine quacks like to argue that a healthy immune system will protect you from infectious disease, rendering vaccines unnecessary. It's a ridiculous claim, well-refuted by the history of medicine. A naturopath whom I had somehow never heard of before, Henele E'ale, is now spewing that very same lie.
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.
"Integrating" naturopathic care with real medicine started out largely in academic medical centers. Unfortunately, the cancer of integrative oncology appears to be metastasizing to community hospitals.
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.