Inquiry confirmed that he was a quack.

Inquiry confirmed that he was a quack.

Language is important. We fret over the terminology used to describe the practitioners of pseudo-medicine. The current term used by its proponents is integrative medicine. Before that it was complementary medicine and before that it was alternative medicine.

There are other terms that are used by those who promote science-based medicine and none are satisfactory. Using their own terms, which tend towards the positive, only serves to reinforce their positive message in part because they all have 'medicine' in the title. It gives them a credibility they do not deserve.

Over at Science-Based Medicine I tend towards the term SCAM, an acronym of Supplements (or so called) Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The snarkyness is off putting to some. Here I tend to use the term pseudo-medicine.

On a recent Skeptics Guide to the Galaxy the designation 'Alternate Health Products and Services' was suggested, which is nice as it avoids the term medicine, but still has health in the title and lacks a good acronym.


We need a good term for CAM and do not have one. We did once upon a time, and evidently in India they prefer simple, accurate, descriptive terms, for as noted in the New Indian Express 12 Quacks Held in Dharmapuri Raids

Medical authorities after receiving a flurry of complaints conducted a verification and found that around 40 quacks were active in different parts of the district. They submitted a report to the higher authorities recently.

Forty! So they organized a raid, arrested 12 and three went into hiding. In another city they were not as fortunate:

Meanwhile, another quack Muthusamy, a homeopath of the same village, too vanished on learning about the raid.

And in Coimbatore:

A 54-year-old quack was caught while attempting to steal 27 books on homeopathy from a public library at Town Hall here on Saturday. Police said that librarian Kalyani noticed one S Dhanasekar (54), trying to steal books. She alerted the police who arrived and arrested him. Inquiry confirmed that he was a quack. 

Inquiry confirmed that he was a quack.  A shame we do not read its equivalent more often.

The numerous Integrative Clinics had better hope similar inquires are not made in the US. They are too numerous to flee underground and the jails are at capacity. 

Points of Interest 1/08/2015
Points of Interest 01/05/2015

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