Categories
Medicine Popular culture Science Skepticism/critical thinking

Is medical error really the third most common cause of death in the US?

The claim that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US has always rested on very shaky evidence; yet it has become common wisdom that is cited as though everyone accepts it. But if estimates of 250,000 to 400,000 deaths due to medical error are way too high, what is the real number? A recently published study suggests that it’s almost certainly a lot lower.

Categories
Bad science Clinical trials Integrative medicine Medicine Quackery

PLOS ONE publishes a howler of a bad acupuncture network meta-analysis

Meta-analyses can sometimes suffer from the “GIGO problem” (garbage in, garbage out). The publication of a “crappy” acupuncture “network meta-analysis” for acupuncture and chronic constipation illustrates the GIGO problem on steroids a.nd reveals a problem with peer review at PLOS ONE, where it was published

Categories
Antivaccine nonsense Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine

One more bit of evidence burying the ex-hypothesis that vaccines cause autism

May I just say something again? (Actually, it’s my blog; so I’ll say it if I want to regardless of whether you want me to or not.) You know that “hypothesis” that vaccines cause autism, the one that has been at the core of the modern antivaccine movement over the last 15 years or so? […]

Categories
Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Skepticism/critical thinking

The author of the acupuncture meta-analysis lambastes the “sceptics’ movement” in a “peer-reviewed” paper

So I finally made it to the Society of Surgical Oncology Annual Symposium. Thanks to the snowstorm that apparently wasn’t (at least, I don’t see any snow around), my arrival was delayed by a day, as all flights to the Washington, DC area were canceled on Wednesday. But I did finally get here, and, although […]

Categories
Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Skepticism/critical thinking

Can we finally just say that acupuncture is nothing more than an elaborate placebo? Can we? (2012 edition)

I sense a disturbance in the skeptical blogosphere. It is something that I half-expected, but, even so, it nonetheless somewhat surprised me when it arrived in the form of comments on my blog and e-mails from readers, fellow supporters of science-based medicine, and others asking me what I thought. In a way, it makes me […]