Unpublished SBM Blog

Recent entries at the Science-Based Medicine Blog.

Click on an entry to read the entire entry.

Exploring issues and controversies in the relationship between science and medicine
  1. The Australian government has eliminated the insurance subsidy for 17 alternative health practices due to a lack of evidence for efficacy. This is a win for medicine and Australian taxpayers.
  2. Existing research has not yet clearly defined what mindfulness is and what effect it has. The hype clearly has gone beyond the science, and more rigorous research is needed to determine what specific effects there are, if any.
  3. A chiropractor who bills himself as a chiropractic gynecologist has continued to practice after his license was permanently revoked. Among his many questionable practices, Nick LeRoy is treating cervical dysplasia with escharotics, a potentially dangerous replacement for conventional treatments to prevent cancer.
  4. Last month, Susan and Henry Samueli donated $200 million to the University of California, Irvine to promote integrative medicine. We were pleasantly surprised by the unflattering coverage in the press of the gift. We were unpleasantly unsurprised by the reaction of integrative medicine advocates to the criticism.
  5. What's the harm of naturopathy? How about Epsom salt-induced liver damage?
  6. We need to repeal federal and state laws that allow quackery and pseudoscience in healthcare.
  7. Retractions of scientific studies do not always mean that the studies die a deserved death. Sometimes they live on as zombie studies, continuing to be cited by other researchers and having an effect on the scientific discussion. We can fix this.
  8. Karyne Jeanne Richardson offers a ridiculous program of electrodiagnosis, flower remedies, and fractal sound to treat autism and other disorders. There are science-based autism programs that work; it is unfortunate when parents subject their autistic children to onerous, expensive, time-consuming, useless treatments based on pseudoscientific claims and false promises.
  9. The Pathological Optimist is a recently released documentary by Miranda Bailey about Andrew Wakefield that I got a chance to see. In interviews and in the film's promotional materials, Bailey takes great pains to emphasize that she "doesn't take a side" about Wakefield. Unfortunately, her film demonstrates that, when it comes to pseudoscience, "not taking a side" is taking a side, and that a film's bias is often more evident in what is not shown and told than in what is.
  10. Acupuncture for menstrual cramps, chiropractic for the prevention of domestic terrorism, and more in this miscellany of medical malarkey. Or would you prefer hodgepodge of healthcare hokum?