Science is the most effective means of determining medical treatments that work and whose benefits outweigh their risks. Those who promote pseudoscientific or prescientific medicine, however, frequently appeal to other ways of knowing, often ancient ways of knowing from other cultures, and pointing out deficiencies in SBM to justify promoting their treatments. Do their justifications hold water?
A new study shows where in the US antivaxers are most likely to make measles great again, thanks to driving up nonmedical exemptions and driving down vaccine uptake.
Gayle Delong is an economist who thinks she's an epidemiologist. Consistent with that delusion, her latest study of HPV vaccination is all amateurs hour, in which she misses a major potential confounder on her way to "proving" that HPV vaccination could be associated with decreased fertility in young women.
On Wednesday, President Trump signed a federal right-to-try bill into law with great fanfare, making extravagant claims for it. It's time to reiterate one last time that right-to-try will not help terminally ill patients but it will strip important protections from them. It's pure snake oil.
Meet Dr. Jason Fung. Dr. Fung is unhappy with skeptics and thinks they're hypocrites behaving like religious fanatics. Unfortunately for him, his arguments are a combination of the worst methodolatry of evidence-based medicine combined with rants against conventional medicine and a defense of quackery.
Cancer quacks frequently characterize conventional treatments for cancer as "cutting, poisoning, and burning." Yet, in Australia a woman with ovarian cancer chose black salve, in essence, "cutting, poisoning, and burning" (but mostly burning and without the cutting) to treat her disease. She died a horrible death. How can black salve still be a thing.
Orac loves to bask in the adulation of his "fans." This time around, one of the "grand old men" of quackery, Gary Null, has decided that he really, really doesn't like science-based medicine. Orac was sufficiently amused to revise, update, and expand his previous post providing Null with some not-so-Respectful Insolence.
David and Collet Stephan were convicted in 2016 for failure to provide the necessities of life for their son Ezekiel Stephan, who died of bacterial meningitis after his parents treated him with natural remedies, supplements, and naturopathy. Unfortunately, as a result of their appeal, the Canadian Supreme Court has granted them a new trial. Predictably, they are claiming vindication. The verdict is nothing of the sort. The Stephans got off on a technicality, but this ruling will serve as propaganda for quacks for years to come.
In the 1970s, young polish expat and cancer researcher Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski thought he had found a cure for many incurable cancers. He dubbed it antineoplastons (ANPs_. Unfortunately, he left the path of science and started treating patients before he had evidence that ANPs work. Four decades later, without ever having published compelling evidence for anticancer efficacy of ANPs, he's still luring desperate patients to his clinic. Now he's set to branch out to quack clinics in Mexico. Why can't the law stop him?
With the weekend so busy that the cracks were starting to show in Orac's blogging activity, Orac nearly missed posting. Fortunately, he learned that Dr. Paul Offit received the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal for his vaccine science and advocacy. Orac is, of course, more than happy to congratulate him.