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Why does CAM give unwarranted power to Mainline Medicine?

Last modified 2014-03-28 22:43

I have been party to correspondence from an alternative practitioner who has said that she was not happy with the "recommendation of tests that are neither clinically validated nor scientifically sound, nor appropriate"

That presupposes that everything that is accepted mainstream medical practice is clinically validated, scientifically sound, and appropriate. This is simply not the case.  Take something as commonplace as appendicectomy. There have never been, as far as I know, trials comparing the surgical removal of the acutely inflamed appendix against its treatment with antibiotics. It is done because it has always been done. If you ask a surgeon in Britain if he would remove an acutely inflamed gall bladder he would say quite categorically that the removal of an acutely inflamed abdominal organ was not good practice and would say that he would treat the gall bladder with antibiotics and then remove it later when the infection had settled. This would prevent all sorts of complications that occur when you operate on an abdominal organ which is actually infected (adhesions, fistulas needing , septicaemia etc). The same specialist would then quite glibly leave his junior (sometimes very junior) surgeon to remove "an abdominal organ which is actually infected" and so carries all the same risks viz an appendix. In the United States of America there are surgeons who make a living sorting out the post operative complications that arise from removing the acutely inflamed gall bladder.

This is just one example. There are lots of others.

This worldview also hands unwarranted power to mainstream doctors.  Doctors are as human as the rest of humanity and liable to all its faults.   Professor Sir Roy Meadow may have been a brilliant paediatrician but when he strayed outside his area of expertise into statistics he was no more expert than any of my generation who had a short statistics course in their undergraduate careers.    The bland acceptance that his expertise was universally applicable deprived many bereaved women of their liberty on top of the loss of their children.   The fault lay with the judicial system which allowed this and the professor's failure to recognise this weakness in his knowledge.

Remember that most mainstream doctors have empires to defend and much of the behaviour that you (and we) see in them is coloured by that driver. The "experts" may be looking over their shoulders at their jobs and their rubbishing of will be coloured by loss of patients, staff, status and maybe their jobs.

Finally, and this is the topic of , CAM practitioners should accept that neither the research methods nor the compartmentalised mindset of the mainstream may be appropriate for them.

Nor are CAM practitioners pale clones of mainstream doctors and their disciplines should not be judged by the same criteria.


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