Society for Science-Based Medicine

Covering issues concerning the Society and Science-Based Medicine.
OCT
09

Naturopathic Medicine Week: Much to celebrate (if you're not a naturopath)

Naturopathic Medicine Week starts tomorrow. This year's celebration will be minus a U.S. Senate Resolution declaring Naturopathic Medicine Week, a legally meaningless but much-touted event sponsored in 2013 and 2014 by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland), who is retiring from the Senate at the end of this term. Similar resolutions wen...
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6416 Hits
OCT
02

Bioenergy and Breast Cancer: More Tooth-Fairy Science Funded by NCCIH

If you can put aside for a moment the fact that innocent lab mice were killed for no good reason and that you, the taxpayer, paid for this travesty, Bioenergy and Breast Cancer: A Report on Tumor Growth and Metastasis offers the reader some real laughs. But before we get to the fun, let's get some technical details out of the way.The rese...
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3117 Hits
SEP
25

Why chiropractors should not treat concussions: A case report

Chiropractors claim that they can effectively treat concussions and that they are competent to return concussed athletes to play. Lacking evidence that this is actually the case, they have turned to the state legislatures to elbow their way onto the list of health care practitioners who are permitted by law to sign off on returning student athletes...
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3658 Hits
SEP
18

Massachusetts "Quack Full Employment Act" fails

​Massachusetts Senate Bill 1136, "An Act providing for consumer access to and disclosure of complementary and alternative health services," died at the end of July, when the formal legislative session of the 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as it is officially known, ended. SB 1136 is a so-called "health freedom" bill, vers...
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2468 Hits
SEP
11

Medical Board files accusation against "Dr. Bob" for gross negligence: now what?

​"Dr. Bob" Sears, the California pediatrician beloved by anti-vaccinationists for his baseless "alternative" vaccination schedule, how-to seminars for parents wanting to duck school vaccination requirements, and fee-for-service vaccination exemption letters, has been charged by the Medical Board of California in a three-count Accusation with gross ...
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2734 Hits
AUG
28

Naturopathic Examiners Board admits deficiencies in pharmacology education

A recent announcement from the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE),* which administers the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX), confirms what we've long known: that education and training in pharmacology at naturopathic "medical" schools is insufficient to give naturopaths prescription drug authority in their s...
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3414 Hits
AUG
21

Some physician supervision restored in eighth version of California naturopathic prescribing bill

​California Senate Bill 538, which would liberalize naturopathic prescribing privileges, is now in its eighth version, having been amended — once again — in the Assembly just this past week. Since introduction last year, SB 538 has seesawed between substantial expansion of naturopathic scope of practice and near-defeat, indicative of the contr...
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3946 Hits
AUG
14

Who's supporting the lawsuit attacking California's new vaccination exemption law? The usual suspects.

​At least three lawsuits have been filed challenging California's new vaccine exemption law, which eliminated "personal belief" exemptions. In one, Whitlow v. California Department of Education ("Whitlow"), the court heard arguments on the plaintiffs' Motion for a Temporary Injunction on August 12th. (The suit seeks only injunctive relief...
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4058 Hits
AUG
07

Latest version of California naturopathic prescribing bill removes physician supervision

In yet another iteration of this contentious legislation, a bill allowing naturopaths to prescribe drugs free of physician supervision has been revived, after having survived a near-death experience a year ago and a number of amendments that would retain the current physician supervision requirements. The latest version of Senate Bill 538 would req...
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4470 Hits
JUL
31

Kratom: a powerful drug masquerading as a safe, "natural" remedy

Kratom (mitragyna speciose) is a tropical tree from Southeast Asia whose leaves are traditionally chewed or prepared as a powder. Native populations chew the leaves to reduce fatigue when doing manual labor, such as working on rubber plantations. It is also used in cultural performances and consumed as a drink prepared from kratom powder. In t...
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5205 Hits
JUL
25

Health News Review: Wrong on Crislip and acupuncture

​Health News Review, an organization devoted to deconstructing news reports on healthcare, just issued a critique of a story on dry needling published by USA Today. While the review was generally on the mark, two statements stuck out that beg for correction.As USA Today explained, acupuncturists say dry needling is really acupuncture by anothe...
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2729 Hits
JUL
17

Anti-vaccine propagandist Andrew Wakefield to speak at "chiropractic pediatrics" conference

There is so much wrong with the upcoming International Chiropractors Association Pediatrics Council annual conference it is hard to know where to begin, but we'll start with the fact that there is such a thing as a chiropractor who fancies himself (or herself) as a specialist who cares for pediatric patients and pregnant women. The Pediatrics Counc...
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3867 Hits
JUL
11

Tennessee repeals law protecting Christian Scientists from child abuse prosecution

Tennessee has a law on the books making aggravated child abuse a felony. Aggravated child abuse includes, among other things, abuse, neglect or endangerment that "results in serious bodily injury to the child" or is "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel" or involves torture of the child. However, if the child's serious injury or cruelty to the ch...
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7106 Hits
JUL
02

California naturopathic practice expansion bill moves forward; NY, NC and RI licensing bills fail

​Last August, expansion of naturopathic prescribing privileges in California seemed dead when Senate Bill 538 failed to pass in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. The Committee then turned around and revived the bill by granting it reconsideration.There the bill sat in limbo for almost a year.Now the bill is back in play, having been re-refe...
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6924 Hits
JUN
19

Massachusetts Senate passes naturopathic practice act

​This past week, the Massachusetts Senate passed S. 2335 (a re-do of House Bill 1992 and Senate Bills 1205 and 2148, which it now supplants), allowing naturopaths to practice legally in Massachusetts. This will be, by my count, the 11th legislative session in which a naturopathic practice bill has been introduced. A bill actually passed one ye...
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11573 Hits
JUN
12

Another survey shows naturopathic students are anti-vaccination, but "integrative medicine" wants NDs on your MD's "team" anyway

An Oral Abstract presented at the International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health tells us, once again, that naturopathic students are anti-vaccination. (The Abstract is Number OA08.02, on page A13.) A cross-sectional survey of 1204 students at National College of Natural Medicine, Bastyr University, and the University of Bridgeport,...
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3520 Hits
JUN
05

CAM and Children: "Unethical Prescriptions"

Survey of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Services in Freestanding US Children's Hospitals accepts the premise that CAM use in children is ethical.The authors of this recent journal article don't explicitly state it that way, but their discussion makes it as clear as if they'd said it out loud."Offering CAM services reflects ...
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2963 Hits
MAY
30

Ohio House Bill 276: Another scheme to increase chiropractors' income and achieve PCP status

​Ohio House Bill 276 specifically authorizes a chiropractor to administer, sell and provide advice regarding dietary supplements, homeopathic remedies and non-prescription drugs "to restore and maintain health."  Giving nutritional advice was already part of chiropractic scope of practice, but this bill makes it explicit that they can administ...
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3018 Hits
MAY
22

Change.org petition: "Naturopaths are not doctors: stop legitimizing pseudoscience"

Britt Hermes, a Bastyr graduate, renounced her practice as a naturopathic doctor when she could no longer tolerate the pseudoscience and patient harm that characterizes naturopathy. On Science-Based Medicine and her own blog, Naturopathic Diaries, she has chronicled the insufficient education and training students receive before being going in...
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1597 Hits
MAY
16

SfSBM @ NECSS or "SBM is fun!"

​The Society for Science-Based Medicine made its second appearance at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism (NECSS) in New York City this past weekend. On Friday, May 13, or "SfSBM day," a full slate of talks on science-based medicine teed off the conferenceThis year, SfSBM called on our fellow bloggers at SBM ...
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1803 Hits