Covering topics related to the Society and Science-Based Medicine.

JUN
22

Dana-Farber Channels the Spirit of Fraud

"If you integrate cow pie with apple pie, it does not make the cow pie taste better; it makes the apple pie worse." – Mark Crislip  In my opinion there is no difference between talking to the dead, palm reading, reiki, reflexology, or acupuncture. All are total cow pie. I am no lawyer and do not what legally constitutes fraud. Wikipedia s...
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4546 Hits
JUN
19

Massachusetts Senate passes naturopathic practice act

​This past week, t he 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 11 th legislative session in which a naturopathic practice bill has been introduced. A bill actually passed one...
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15728 Hits
JUN
17

The Blob can be stopped

I advocated for Sisyphus to be the logo for SfSBM for two reasons. One, we had no other options. Two, I appreciate the sense of both repetition and futility experienced by  Sisyphus. Finally, I like the fatalistic humor it invokes. And yes, I know that is three. As quackademia and pseudo-medicine slowly invades medicine with a B...
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3042 Hits
JUN
15

How are supplements like heroin?

I see a lot of infections in intravenous drug users. It is not a healthy lifestyle, filled with numerous behaviors that put the patient at risk for infection. Heroin, for example, is a rich microbiologic stew . Aerobic endospore-forming bacteria (Bacillus spp. and Paenibacillus macerans) were the predominant microflora isolated and at least one spe...
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4798 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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5309 Hits
JUN
08

Homeopathy is Equal to Nocebo

Homeopathy is considered to be identical to placebo, being the Oakland of pseudo-medicine. There is no there there. But for the sake of the blog we will pretend the a homeopathic medicine and placebo are different. Zero and 0 are not the same thing. All the meta-analyses have found that for efficacy, homeopathy is no different from placebo No ...
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5221 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 reflect...
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4536 Hits
JUN
05

Death by Acupuncturist

Insulin dependent diabetes (IDDM) used to be a fatal disease in children. With the discovery and isolation of insulin diabetes has been changed into a chronic illness. I would think that even the barest of understanding of IDDM would suggest that stopping insulin would be a very bad idea. Evidently some acupuncturists do not have even the barest of...
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3964 Hits
JUN
03

Alternative Hepatitis C Outbreak

My day job is as an infectious disease doctor, taking care of people with infections as well as infection control for my hospitals. I spend a fair amount of time worrying about the spread of infection. Most of the time it is hard to infect people. Most organisms are not that contagious and most patients are healthy. But occasionally there are perfe...
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5137 Hits
JUN
01

It is hard to change your mind

It is the old joke: why is his mind so clean? He is always changing it. I am in a field, medicine, where I am expected to change my mind as new data comes in. Changing my mind is not easy and gets more difficult with time. Often you have a position on a particular approach to a disease that is based on the interpretation of a contradictory literatu...
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4394 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 adminis...
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6880 Hits
MAY
27

Chiropractic Irony

I have been around long enough to see ebb and flow in medicine. A while back the message was we were letting too many people suffer from chronic pain and needed to be more liberal with pain medications. No good deed goes unpunished. Now the message is opiate addiction is the problem. Chronic pain is a difficult issue that medicine sh...
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4012 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 ...
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2654 Hits
MAY
20

War is bad. Stop it. Now back to homeopathy.

Which pseudo-medicine is the most ridiculous? Pseudo-medicines are not like electrons. Only one electron can inhabit the same state at the same time, but many pseudo-medicines can simultaneously be called the most ridiculous. Like homeopathy. Why even bother to evaluate the efficacy of homeopathy? Homeopathy is nothing. Based on prior plausibility ...
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5631 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 conference This year, SfSBM called on our fellow bloggers at S...
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3177 Hits
MAY
11

A Chiropractic First: It Doesn't Work. Further Trials Not Indicated.

Back in 2007 a paper was published, Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study  suggesting that NUCCA manipulations of the neck can lower blood pressure. NUCCA was discussed at length at SBM and this particular study was evaluated in my 17th Quackcast and found to be wanting. &n...
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6603 Hits
MAY
08

Dietary supplement company funds Michigan naturopaths' licensing bill

​ Emerson Ecologics is a naturopath's dream.  From its website, it sells many products naturopaths use in their daily practices, such as tests to diagnose the fake diseases naturopaths have invented, like " adrenal fatigue " and " chronic yeast overgrowth ." It also sells dietary supplements, homeopathic remedies (including injectable homeopat...
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6579 Hits
MAY
06

Simplify to get complicated

One of the features of pseudo-medicines is they often evolve to simpler and simpler forms. Chiropractic, for example has a form that just works on the neck, NUCCA, named after the utterances of Curly. Acupuncture is even more prone to simplification. There is classic acupuncture with its innumerable points. But there are forms that simply, lik...
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2700 Hits
MAY
03

Two Pseudo-Medicines Simultaneously Inflicted on Helpless Children

One of the themes of science-based medicine is that techniques that are applicable to reality-based medicine do not function for pseudo-medicine. My favorite example is the Cochrane meta-analysis from 2012 on the efficacy of Oscillococcinum® for treatment of flu: There is insufficient good evidence to enable robust conclusions to be made about Osci...
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3415 Hits
MAY
02

Points of Interest 05/01/2016

Why is American home birth so dangerous? Chiropractors' association says four-day-old baby's treatment 'doesn't look good but is very safe' Sale of complementary medicines unethical: Australian doctors California Doctors Are Advertising Ludicrous Medical Exemptions to Anti-Vaxxers The Quack Bee Under Prince Charles's Bonnet Do Tea Detoxes On Instag...
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2088 Hits