Love it or hate it, Wikipedia is a main go-to rough and ready source of information for millions of people. Although I’ve had my problems with Wikipedia and used to ask whether it could provide reliable information on medicine and, in particular, alternative medicine and vaccines, given that anyone can edit it, I now conclude that Wikipedia must be doing OK, at least in these areas. After all, some of the highest profile promoters of alternative and “integrative” medicine hate Wikipedia, to the point of attacking it and concocting conspiracy theories about it.
Acupuncturists have been trying to explain why no anatomic structure corresponds to meridians. Enter the primo vascular system, which circulates electricity in DNA. Or stem cells. Or something.
Good news in the case of Ezekiel Stephan! The Crown has decided to appeal the acquittal of David and Collet Stephan.
Antivaxers frequently object to the use of fetal cell lines to manufacture vaccines on "moral" grounds. Über-quack Joe Mercola lays down some astonishingly bad moral arguments based on pseudoscience.
On September 19, in a retrial ordered by the Supreme Court of Canada, Alberta Justice Terry Clackson issued a ruling acquitting David and Collet Stephan of failing to provide the necessities of life to their son Ezekiel, whose bacterial meningitis they had chosen to treat with quackery instead of medicine, leading to his death in 2012. The news reports showed that this was a very bad decision, but you have to read Justice Clackson’s actual decision to see that it’s an even worse decision than the news reports indicate, full of bad medicine, bad science, and even a hint of …
Rev. Al Sharpton is hosting the Harlem Vaccine Forum. Unfortunately, his "forum" looks like an antivaccine quackfest.
The NIH HEAL Initiative is designed to study "nonpharmacologic treatments for pain." What it will really study will include heaping helpings of "integrative medicine" pseudoscience.
Professor Fabrizio Benedetti is the most famous and almost certainly also the most influential researcher investigating the physiology of placebo effects. In a recent commentary, he asks whether placebo research is fueling quackery, as quacks co-opt its results. The answer to that question is certainly yes. A better question is: How do supporters of science counter the placebo narrative promoted by quacks, in which placebos represent the “power of the mind to heal the body”?
Alberta Justice Terry Clackson has come under fire for racist language in his ruling acquitting David and Collet Stephan in the death of their child. Is the criticism deserved? Yes. His ruling was horrible on other grounds, but he added racism to the mix.
Evee Clobes was a six month old who died due to SIDS. Unfortunately, antivaxers used the grief of her mother Caitlin to recruit her to their cause. It's an all too common tactic, because antivaxers know that grieving mothers are their most potent messengers.