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Tuesday, July 20. 2010
Medicine has always abounded with quackery, and placebo effect is real. Hope springs eternal...
However, when tax dollars are expected to pay for it, it's another matter: Europeans Cast Critical Eye on Homeopathy.
In a free country, folks are welcome to buy their own quackery if they want, on their own nickel. Most docs privately think of Chiropractic as quackery, but the Chiropractors have a lobby in DC, and I believe there is a legal injunction against MDs terming chiropractors "quacks" in public. They sometimes do help people with sore backs. I am just imagining the debates about whether federal guidelines will include crystal therapy and massage therapy.
American medicine itself has little intentional quackery, but many treatments which are of dubious value. For examples, futile treatments for terminal cancer, or those $15,000 treatments for "Chronic Lyme". Thus far, in America you can pretty much get whatever medical treatment you want regardless of its usefulness for you. Problem is, others are usually paying for it.
My prediction is that government-controlled medical care will be determined by politics and, to some extent, politically- or bureaucratically-oriented docs. That is not good medicine.
Good medicine is individualized, not based on statistics.
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So, just what health care profession outside of the medical profession is considered by that profession to not be quackery? Your trust in a profession, by its own admission, that kills hundreds of thousands via sloppy diagnoses and unnessary procedures is the stuff of science fiction.
You've fallen for the hyp. Don't display your gross ignorance concerning things related to health care.
About 25 years ago I fell on my back after fainting. I landed on a concrete floor with a wooden chair breaking my fall. Although I noticed a strange feeling in my chest riding my motorcycle home, later that day, I really didn't think any more about it until the agonizing pains started in my elbow and shoulder. It took nearly six months of chiropractic care to finally straighten out my spine, but it did work. And I have had no occurrences of this problem. So, my 2 cents of advice is chiropractors who know their stuff can help. For what it's worth he did send me to a hospital for a nuclear test to see if there was something fundamentally wrong with my spine. Now, homeopathy on the other hand....
Nor should good medicine be based on what's trendy and who has the better lobbyists.
As the bean counters take control, my nightmare is we will have wards full of the "being kept alive" in order to keep a particular statistic on the "good" side. then there's threading the needle between ove rtreatment and under treatment we enter the new world of decision chart diagnosis and treatment.
H-m-m-m, I notice you didn't include magnets and pyramid therapy. :-) Actually, if something is truly harmless and makes someone feel better, then I'd look at what it costs. Some are very expensive. Medicaid clients (mine are mostly low and fixed income) were hit with small $1-$3 co-pays on medicines starting Jan 1; many prefer to forgo the ordered meds ["Ah, I can't see what good that Depakote does anyway."] for their increasingly expensive cigarette or glazed doughnut addictions.
My favorites are the clients who buy the magic formulas at the store that have ingredient names that make no chemical or pharmaceutical sense, and when you Google them, lead you right back to the guy with the 55-gallon drums in his garage.
I came across a new one today (it shall remain nameless, for the moment). I reminded the client that she needs to run everything by her primary care provider, before imbibing.
"Listen," she says, "I've been taking that for years, and it doesn't interact with anything."
"Madame X", I replied, "this 'medicine' is 56 proof (28% alcohol), and if it doesn't interact with at least one of your meds, it's false advertising!"
"Well, OK" [sigh]
Doc, you hit the nail on the head about individualized medicine, nowhere more evident than in diabetes therapy, or a few other diseases that will no doubt be targeted by new "guidelines."
As far as modern medicine, there are still MD's, mostly surgeons, that are ordering extended wound care that is downright medieval. That can be adjusted through education, based on evidence, and not slim, statistical advantages.
Yes and no to homeopathy. Yes to arnica which for whatever reason (when popped repeatedly - or plussed, as they say, during a flight to France) kept an ankle badly twisted at the airport from swelling and wrecking a two week business trip to Paris. No to the rest of the strange homeopathic remedies for peculiar, vague symptoms. Would Advil have worked as well on the ankle? Maybe. But I was enjoying the rivers of free wine on the flight, and NSAIDs taken with wine have been known to make one toss the old cookies...
The master of the world, only you know
The secret of a world, only you know
I don't see that it's possible or even advisable to prevent people from medicating themselves with all manner of quackery, or refusing to medicate themselves with good care, or generally pursuing self-destructive habits. I just don't want to see the costs collectivized. I'm not interested in other people's opinions of my medical care, either, which is why I prefer to provide for my medical expenses myself.
"My prediction is that government-controlled medical care will be determined by politics and, to some extent, politically- or bureaucratically-oriented docs. That is not good medicine."
no. It's determined solely by pricetag.
Pill X claims to cure disease Y for $10. Pill Z claims to do the same for $20.
Pill X gets mandated for use, pill Z gets banned. If patients can't take pill X because of some allergy or side effect, to bad.
"In a free country, folks are welcome to buy their own quackery if they want, on their own nickel."
Dear Doc, please see modern veterinary care. It has all the quackeries you mentioned and My Fellow Citizens are still free to buy their own veterinary quackeries if they want, on their own nickle. At least for a while longer. I imagine the nanny state will clamp down on that at some point. After all, why allow perfectly good dollars to down the veterinary quackery sinkhole when those dollars could go into the public purse instead.
Who cares if someone buys herbs from the farmer's market, quackery from an online source or from the supermarket, or big pharma's latest and greatest pill from the doc?
The only ones who really care what you take are the guys making money on the government controlled pharmaceutical industry. That's why there is a huge world wide push to control anything that isn't approved. This type of reporting is in China, Korea, the USofA, Canada and Europe. It is only to prepare us peons for another hit up the side of the head and to reduce the options for individual health freedom.
Yeesh. My "at least a while longer" didn't last very long:
I'm sorry, I have to respond.
As someone with a "mild" form of scoliosis that several physical checkups in my youth (with MD's) failed to diagnose, I can tell you that a lot of chiropractors are terrific diagnosticians. My chiropractor has refused to treat people on the grounds that they needed to see a neurologist. He also believes that chiropractic medicine and "traditional" medicine can and should work hand-in-hand.
But when it comes to "quackery", I would like to discuss the quackery involved in doctors giving "expert opinions" that legally destroy somebody's life:
The "medical mystery" seems to be the arrogance of doctors who cannot abide the idea that they don't know everything, and the law enforcement personnel who faithfully follow every word from the doctors' mouths like they are gods. (Paging Dr. Milgram, Dr. Stanley Milgram.)