Alternative medicine a scam? New book exposes the lack of scientific rigor of ‘complementary’ treatments

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As the world’s first professor of complementary medicine, Dr. Edzard Ernst set out to apply rigorous scientific standards of evidence to find out which alternative medicine treatments worked and which didn’t. After 25 years of research and a torrent of published studies, he had determined that most of them didn’t. A lot of people were unhappy about his conclusions, and Ernst was forced into early retirement.

Recently he teamed up with a medical ethicist, Kevin Smith, to write More Harm than Good: The Moral Maze of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. In it, they argued that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is unethical. Now he has written another book, SCAM: So-Called Alternative Medicine, showing that the very term alternative medicine is itself a scam. He explains,

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Whatever it is, it is not an alternative:

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  • if a therapy does not work, it cannot be an alternative to medicine;
  • if a therapy does work, it does not belong to alternative medicine but to medicine.

In a Postscript, Ernst says the book is not intended as a text against but a plea for something. His aim was to stimulate the reader’s ability to think critically about SCAM and about healthcare in general. … It might induce conventional healthcare professionals to remember that time, compassion, and empathy are some of their core values which cannot be delegated to others.

Read full, original post: Calling SCAM a Scam.

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