Quackery has thoroughly infiltrated medical academia in the form of "integrative medicine." So what's worse than Harvard offering an acupuncture course? It might be Duke offering a reflexology and reiki course.
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.
Nearly six years ago, I learned of parents who treated their children's autism by feeding them "Miracle Mineral Solution"—or even giving it to them in enemas. It turns out that MMS is a strong bleach. I had thought this cult of bleaching away autism had gone away. I was wrong. Incredibly, parents are still giving their children bleach enemas and tearing up their colons.
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.
There is a type of “vaccine injury” story promoted by the antivaccine movement that is particularly pernicious, a narrative I call “death by Gardasil.” The stories, which use tenuous connections between vaccination against HPV to prevent cervical cancer and the unexpected death of a teen or young adult, are always tragic, and you can’t help but feel incredible empathy for the parents. However, none of these stories constitute compelling evidence that Gardasil kills young people. Basically, antivaxers exploit the grief of these parents and their understandable desire to find a cause for their child’s demise to demonize HPV vaccinations as …
Yesterday's crank fight continues, as James Lyons-Weiler, antivax warrior and founder of the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge, stung by Leslie Manookian's attack painting him as insufficiently antivaccine and even a tool of the vaccine-industrial complex, strikes back. Hilarity ensues as he battles Manookian for the title of Most Antivaccine Crank in the World.
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.
Autism quack Dr. Mark Geier recently won a $2.5 million judgment against the Maryland Board of Physicians for having violated his medical privacy by including the name of a drug he was taking in a public cease-and-decist order. Antivaxers are trying to spin this as some sort of vindication of his antivaccine quackery. Make no mistake, the board appears to have screwed up, but that has nothing to do with whether its revocation of Geier's medical license was justified.
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.
If you want yet another piece of evidence that quackademic medicine, where once science-based medical schools embrace quackery, is triumphant, is needed, look no further than a fallacy-filled blog post on the Harvard Health Blog in defense of acupuncture.