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View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Republican gay rights reboot and other bedtime stories (262 comments)

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  •  classic conspiracy theory (46+ / 0-)

    generally ending in 'it's all Big Pharmas' fault that magical cures are discouraged".

    Alas, the lack of terrific treatment is true for many illnesses, not just MS. That doesn't make alternative medications any better. Nor are they cheap.

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

    by Greg Dworkin on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 04:46:06 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I saw a nice quip the other day (22+ / 0-)

      What do you call alternative medicine that works?  

      Medicine.  

      Nobody deserves poverty.

      by nominalize on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 05:11:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Greg, may I recommend this diary: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skywriter

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 06:12:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If we had robust funding at the NIH (8+ / 0-)

      and the NIH had true independence from Big Pharma, the current state of American medical research would more closely match that of the rest of the world.

      The following diary is not conspiracy theory, it is fact

      Thousands of toddlers are being medicated for A.D.H.D. with stimulants

      and the only possible explanation is that Big Pharma has WAY too much influence over American medical research.

      The Wahls Protocol follows a high-ketogenic diet similar to diets used to treat epilepsy for treatment of MS.  It has had remarkable results so far, and I understand that is anecdata, but the only thing stopping the clinical trials from proceeding quicker is lack of funding.

      •  Big pharma!! Scary! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude, askew
        •  Toddlers on amphetamines is pretty scary nt. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Portia Elm, bnasley, NCJan
          •  Unless, of course, it works (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tempus Figits

            Ritalin has been prescribed, maybe over-prescribed for many years. Supposedly, it works. My nephew got it for a while - he was a difficult kid who's leading a productive, happy life 25 years later.

            Other therapies, that are pure, unadulterated BS like Energy Medicine need to be viewed as show-me and I'll fund it. Otherwise they are a waste of time and money, not to mention time that a patient would spend away from western medicine, not receiving treatment that could help.

            I'm not opposed to spending other peoples' money to test alternative therapies - some of them. I'm also not opposed to people seeking treatment in various forms of therapy. Some stuff may actually work but much of it depends upon time and the placebo effect.

            Every human being has paid the earth to grow up. Most people don’t grow up. And you find out what it costs us to love and to lose, to dare and to fail. And maybe even more, to succeed. What it costs, in truth.—Maya Angelou

            by TerryDarc on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 09:01:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Was your nephew two years old when on it? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Stude Dude, bnasley

              ADHD cannot be screened for in a toddler, because for a toddler, the symptoms of ADHD are normal toddler behavior.

              A decent clinical trial has placebo controls.

              There are many small trial alternative treatments that have passed the first hurdles and achieved significance over placebo that need to go on to larger clinical trials.

              My tax dollars go to a lot of things that I don't like, but at least in this case savings can be achieved if healthcare costs are decreased.

              •  I don't remember but I do remember (0+ / 0-)

                seriously questioning his mother, my sister on the need for Ritalin. I think more like age 6 now that I think of it. I'm certainly not defending Ritalin's use.

                My wife, kid and I pretty much don't do any sort of meds for chronic conditions. Just doesn't seem necessary and I avoid the opportunity to take them whenever possible. My wife's thyroid meds are the only exception and very necessary.

                I'm all for exploring all reasonable treatments (not involving magical thinking): herbs, acupuncture, vitamins, etc.

                Every human being has paid the earth to grow up. Most people don’t grow up. And you find out what it costs us to love and to lose, to dare and to fail. And maybe even more, to succeed. What it costs, in truth.—Maya Angelou

                by TerryDarc on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 11:39:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  ketogenic diets (5+ / 0-)

        can also reverse Diabetes 2, lower blood pressure and reduce fatty liver disease now growing to epidemic proportions in this country. But you wouldn't know that by the amount of statins and metformin perscribed without so  much as a comment on diet beyond "eat less, exercise more," a perscription that has not been effective for most, but one the nutritional and medical community cleaves to despite the ever rising evidence it's not working.

        For a disease like MS I understand the fear of walking away from pharmaceutical solutions. I have a friend with the disease, and these medications have greatly slowed the progression and given her many more good years.

        However, I do agree that culture is  too influenced by Big Pharma, as is our medical community, and our nutritional industry.    

        "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

        by StellaRay on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 08:12:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or maybe the disease would have slowed on its own (0+ / 0-)

          You don't know. I don't know.

          The solution is testing. Blind testing or at a minimum controlled testing with people divided up into groups and different therapies tried.

          Trouble is, those people want results and getting them to stick with a therapy long enough to do go testing is an issue.

          Every human being has paid the earth to grow up. Most people don’t grow up. And you find out what it costs us to love and to lose, to dare and to fail. And maybe even more, to succeed. What it costs, in truth.—Maya Angelou

          by TerryDarc on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 09:04:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  If we had robust finding at the NIH.... the rest (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mconvente

        of your point would be moot.  When NIH is well funded, it can proceed with effective science, which, by definition, is subject to transparent, peer review.

        •   no, the rest of my point is valid (0+ / 0-)

          If the NIH only studies patentable pharmaceuticals, even if it is well-funded, real science will not happen.  It's like looking for a lost dime under the streetlamp because the light is better there.  If alternative treatments are never studied, then science is the poorer for it, and we will be forever insulted with "lack of proof" retorts when it has never been studied in the first place.

    •  So, if "regular medicine" is "no better" than (8+ / 0-)

      alternative medicine for the treatment of "many illnesses" then why do you deride one as "magic" and simply let the other off for that "lack of terrific treatment" with an "Alas"?

      I agree that there is a lack of treatment, terrific or otherwise for "many illnesses, not just MS".  I don't, however, agree that we ought to designate only one system of medicine that is unable to provide care to be the only system that is an option for those who are in pain, suffering, or seeking relief or cure.    

      There are quacks in all fields, there are profiteers in all spheres of medicine, I can decry those truths which we agree, without calling one failed practice better than another from which someone (not you or me) has found relief or cure as "magic".

      I remember when lobotomies were the gold standard for the treatment of homosexuality and other "psychiatric disorders".  It would have been part of the compendium of the good practice of scientific medicine.  Surgical and chemical castration were also considered "scientific" approaches to homosexuality.  But luckily for me, the bar has moved in both what was considered "treatment" and in the removal of homosexuality as a scientific medical disorder, and what was once considered an "alternative" "magic" view of homosexuality as part of the normal range of human sexuality has prevailed.  

      Otherwise enjoyable diary.  Thanks.

      "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

      by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 07:19:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because science. (8+ / 0-)

        An alternative treatment could be of value if and when trials and peer review show that it is more than just a placebo.

        •  Because science has authored lobotomies (7+ / 0-)

          with double blind studies.  

          I don't disagree with the need for reasonable proof, but what surprises me is that thousands of years of the practice of a non-western medical system for millions and billions of Asians can be dismissed simply because it did not arise from a familiar system or been evaluated by a familiar system.  There is a bit of xenophobia, I think, in some of this, that passes for an embrace of "science" without also noting that "western science" has been responsible for serious and great harm, even with double blind studies and peer reviews, and even if now they have been discontinued.  

          "Anything that can cure you, can kill you" is an old axiom I am always mindful of.  I also believe that the actual practice of medicine is as much about skill or science as it is about the art of the practice of medicine (whichever kind of medicine).  My ex is a now retired ER physician who was one of the best diagnosticians I have ever seen, and I used to say "How did you catch that, when no one else did, and the tests were not dispositive?" He would say "Because when I walked into the examining bay, I felt they were sick (meaning critically ill or dying, not simply unwell or in pain), so I looked until I could find it."    That's not science, that's art.  And he saved a lot of lives or reduced suffering at the end because of it.

          "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

          by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 07:47:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey, if thousands of years of something (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Uncle Moji, askew, mconvente, TerryDarc

            working can't be proven by science what is the problem with that thing that is "working."

            If it is so effective you'd think it could be verified. Right?

            •  If it didn't work, why would billions of Chinese (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Portia Elm, Brian82, Calamity Jean

              have used it or continue to use it?  Because all Chinese are stupid?  Are victims of magical thinking?  

              If you are willing to trial all Western medicines and chemical pharmaceuticals and surgeries to the tests of another medical system, say homeopathy, and accept the outcome of those tests as proof of the effectiveness of our system of medicine, then I would say your point would have more sway with me.  

              This kind of debate always reminds me of religious fundamentalism - the trials, the methods, the criteria by which proof is found depends on what you believe from the beginning.  

              I happen to believe that there is nothing "magic" in the complementary practice of medicines, and that our own "scientific" system of medicine has undergone great historical changes in the last 100 years (from the times when "humors" were the "verifiable" scientific standard du jour) to now when the demand for "verifiable scientifc proof" is demanded without any historical irony.

              What I ask is that if we place the current demands for "verifiable proof" within the historical context of the same system of medicine from whom those "verifiable proofs" are demanded we might have a more helpful pursuit of the end which is not the purity of science but the healing of a human being.  The health of the person should be the goal, not the system by which that person finds relief or cure.  Medical science is nothing if the person is not helped.  Which goes back to my point that Greg, himself, made:  Modern medicine offers no cure or even much relief for MS, and is no better than the alternatives that he and you ridicule.   How does any of  that help the woman with MS?

              ps. Always enjoyable to see you, Yoshimi, even if we disagree.

              "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

              by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 08:12:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Chinese medicine also thinks that tiger bones a... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Uncle Moji, suzq, mconvente, aggieric

                Chinese medicine also thinks that tiger bones and rhinoceros horns are therapeutic. Medicine in China uses western drugs mostly. However, it is true that many serious diseases here are not effectively treated more because of dogma than because of anything else. Scientists are prone to strong - and wrong - beliefs just like everyone else. It's a really hard thing to fight.

                •  Yes, I agree, I am not fond of dogmatic thinking (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Josiah Bartlett

                  because it can cause one to miss opportunities for solutions to problems that vex, harm or kill people, even if they seem "magical" or "communistic" or "heretical".  And I am certain that I have been as guilty as the next when it comes to unrealized adherence to my own intellectual dogmas, which is why I always try and return one of the few pieces of advice given by my father (a man of rare words, fewer statements, and mostly the occasional utterances of thoughtfully incisive questions)

                  "Always ask why, always question your own beliefs, this is the basis of critical thinking, the basis of learning and growth, and if you cannot apply these standards to yourself or your own beliefs, then there is no point in applying them elsewhere."
                  Curiously, my father's greatest shame was the proven error in his own thinking when he cast his one and only ballot for a Republican in 1972, thinking it would end the war in Vietnam.  With great fury at himself, he lived the last few years of his life with the creation of his own new worst epithet "You, you, Nixon, you!"  It proved to him the failure of even his best thinking (he was a child math prodigy with a photographic memory) in choosing the best option to end the War he opposed.  We all make mistakes.

                  "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

                  by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 08:52:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Europeans used leeches and purging (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Uncle Moji

                for centuries, even though mostly people died -- and would have probably died without the treatment.

                I suspect that eventually we will view the slash-burn-poison of modern cancer treatment as a different form of leeches and purging, and equally inappropriate or helpful. (I'm a cancer survivor, had slash+burn but not poison, so do not say this lightly.)

                The fact that treatments endure does not necessarily make them effective, much less cost-effective. It may be that placebo effect + lack of information + theology make people believe in their efficacy. Or that they have powerful lobbying organizations behind them.

                •  Thanks for your thoughtful comment (0+ / 0-)

                  and my best wishes for your continued on-going good health.  

                  I do not claim to know what medicines or medical practices are best, because I am not a medical person of any stripe (I am a mere poet with a light publishing resume), but, by nature, my concerns always return to the human being who is suffering, and what will help them, no matter what it is, if it works or alleviates suffering, who am I to be against it?

                  "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

                  by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 04:58:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Actually leeches are still used in modern medicine (0+ / 0-)
              •  Logical fail (0+ / 0-)
                "If it didn't work, why would billions of Chinese have used it or continue to use it?"
                Any argument that could have been used to support slavery is automatically a fail.
                "If it didn't work, why would millions of Southerners have used it or continue to use it?"
                Any appeal to the masses has to explain why the masses so often find horrific things appealing.
            •  It can't be verified (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Portia Elm, Uncle Moji, Brian82, NCJan

              if it isn't studied and tested in ways the western world will accept. I think Uncle Moji makes a very reasonable point that there is some Xenophobia involved here.

              And, there are plenty of things western medicine has gotten very wrong, and plenty of drugs no longer on the market because the "cure" was worse than the disease.

              Seems to me the best solutions and perscriptions are a hybrid of old ideas we KNOW work, and new ideas we put the effort into studying, testing and evolving. Problem is, medicine like everything else is driven by money, and if a solution is as simple as a change in diet---NOT saying it is for MS---then that is not as popularly embraced as slapping someone on a big profit medication.

              "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

              by StellaRay on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 08:19:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And could some conservative say that we're being (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TerryDarc

                xenophobic about global climate change?  The Competitive Enterprise Institute says exactly that.  Shouldn't we allow third world countries to enjoy the same level of progress we've made--with its corresponding carbon footprint?  Who are we to hold them back?

                Your rationale doesn't hold water.  Science isn't "eastern" or "western."   We heard about its western proponents because we attended western schools.  Had you gone to school in India, you would have learned of Kanada, who developed atomic theory in 200 BCE.

                I think you are being too provincial when thinking about "eastern" medicine.  Some of the world's best doctors are trained in the east.  Some of the fastest breakthroughs in medicine and surgery are occurring in the east.  

                •  If one studies the history of science, one might (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cordgrass, NCJan

                  be less sanguine about what is asserted about the nature of "science" as a single and indivisible standard.  "Science" was used to bolster claims about cigarettes.  "Science" is regularly used to bolster claims made by diet drugs released by the FDA then removed from sale.  Profit as a driver for science has often influenced the sanctity of that science.  One can argue that global climate change deniers clearly have profit as their primary motive not intellectual truth.

                  Many native peoples, particularly those in the Pacific (I was born in the Pacific), have been, for many decades decrying the destruction modern science and technology in the name of profit has caused the planet earth and her people.  That the world's scientists have finally caught up with what unscientific native peoples have been shouting about for decades is finally a good thing.  

                  We have much to learn from each other about how to advance the life of the land and her people from many cultures.  Whether about global climate change or about healing, some might say the modern west is finally beginning to listen to the small but persistent voices of those who live, first hand, the impacts of different cultures, different medical practices, and different stewardship practices.

                  And yes, I do tend to have some caution about views I feel are most informed by corporate profit whether regarding climate change or medicine, even as I live with my own contradictions and drive a fossil fuel car and take Bayer drugs.  I am clearly not a purist, even, sadly, when perhaps I should be.

                  Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina, I Ka Pono

                  "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

                  by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 09:14:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  This is just garden-variety romanticism (0+ / 0-)
                    Many native peoples, particularly those in the Pacific (I was born in the Pacific), have been, for many decades decrying the destruction modern science and technology in the name of profit has caused the planet earth and her people.  
                    Because those people had such a great track record.

                    The only reason Pacific Islanders didn't overrun the world, enslave half the planet, and slash and burn everything in their path is because they lacked the technology. People are people, and once given power, no cultural group has ever behaved dramatically differently than any other. What progress culture has made has come from changing the institutions of power (democracy, universal rights, literacy, etc.). These changes are sophisticated advances, not throwbacks to primitive purity.

                    Without detracting from the very legitimate failures of modern culture, one can still recognize that Primitive cultures are not better at resolving the problems facing the world today. Sure, we could have a healthy planet if we lived like stone-age cavemen, but that lifestyle had a few disadvantages of its own, you know.

              •  Now here is some reverse racism for you (0+ / 0-)

                "tested in ways the western world will accept"

                Science is not a culturally conditional activity. While it well might be true that individual scientists discount research from the East for a variety of reasons, some of which might be cultural prejudice, that is not what the above statement says.

                It is fully correct for scientists to disregard any verification methods that are not what science demands. This practice is called "doing science". The above statement asserts that are other valid ways of doing science that aren't "western." This is not true, because science is not "western."

                And even if it were true, it would be a far stretch to explain Chinese failure to adopt proven Western methods by resorting to Western prejudice. If, in your view, Western science is prejudiced against Eastern, then presumably Eastern is just as prejudiced against Western? Or are you saying there something inherently racist about Western culture but not Eastern?

                •  Give me a freaking break. (0+ / 0-)

                  I did NOT say I approved of this, simply that it is true that things must be tested in ways our culture will accept. That is a fact, jack.

                  And I know science is not a "culturally conditional activity," thank you very much for your condescending lecture. But one look at how the republicans view climate change will tell you science be damned, it's ALL about politics and culture.

                  So please spare me.

                  "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                  by StellaRay on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 07:26:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  It is difficult to get funding for trials (5+ / 0-)

          when the approach is not patentable and when the NIH is completely underfunded and when the advocacy groups one might expect would aid in raising funds for promising new treatment clinical trials are completely controlled by pharmaceutical companies.

        •  I'll tell you what's really scary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Uncle Moji
          Because science
          That is the most ignorant stand anyone can take.  I am fortunate not to be trapped in that ideology!

          PRESENT Shock When everything happens NOW

          by Portia Elm on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 08:34:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I hope you will consider becoming trapped in it. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TerryDarc, Yahzi

            Science is not a "thing" it is a set of processes in which a researcher:

            (1) formulates a question;
            (2) sets up a hypothetical answer(s) to that question;
            (3) devises repeatable tests to see if the hypothesis is a supportable answer;
            (4) performs those tests;

            and then either:

            (5a) determines that the hypothesis is supported by the outcomes of the tests (until further data come along that show otherwise);

            or

            (5b) determines that the hypothesis is not supported, develops new hypotheses, and new tests.

            Wash, rinse, repeat.

            That's all "science" is. Anyone who says s/he is doing science, but who is not following those simple steps, is doing something else altogether.

            •  you do not seem to realize that "science" (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Uncle Moji, Brian82, cordgrass

              is not the only discipline that uses "scientific method."  To believe that ancient healing modalities have not undergone extensive and exhaustive proving is to be a victim of Western arrogance.

              PRESENT Shock When everything happens NOW

              by Portia Elm on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 09:11:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

                I do realize exactly that. You, unfortunately, seem unwilling to understand what I'm saying. I have said nothing about ancient or modern, eastern or western practices.

                If something "works" in one of those "modalities," then it should be observed to work in all of them.

                Again, you have to move away from anecdata to data. Show me the data, not your beliefs.

                •  Western science has yet to develop instruments (0+ / 0-)

                  that can register and detect all effects that healing modalities generate--hence the catch-all term "anomaly" which conveniently bags whatever the Western scientist can not understand.  It is a significant reason to question the sacredness of Western science.

                  PRESENT Shock When everything happens NOW

                  by Portia Elm on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 09:11:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  and Western "sicience" is a religion all its own (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brian82, cordgrass

              that discards anomalies that do not fit hypotheses.  

              PRESENT Shock When everything happens NOW

              by Portia Elm on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 09:13:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That is backwards (0+ / 0-)

                Science does not discard data that does not fit the hypotheses.

                Science discards hypotheses that do not fit the data.

                What you've done is conflate the two. For example, asserting that a particular alternative medical treatment effected a cure is not a piece of data: it is a hypothesis.

                The fact that the person no longer suffers the illness is a piece of data, along with the fact that they took alternative medicine, rode a bike, ate a doughnut, and watched their team win a football game. These are all data. On their own they don't tell us much. We have to construct a hypothesis about that data to reach a conclusion - which is exactly what you are doing when you assert that a particular alternative medical treatment effected a cure

      •  The difference between scientific medicine... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mconvente

        ....and alternative medicine is that scientific medicine has discarded drugs and procedures that either do not work, are harmful, or have been recklessly prescribed.

        Lobotomies aren't routinely done.  Mercury pills are in museums.  Homeopathy is still unchanged from the days of  Hahnemann.

        You can't spell "Dianne Feinstein" without "NSA".

        by varro on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 08:38:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  that is a load of crap (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Uncle Moji
          scientific medicine has discarded drugs and procedures that either do not work, are harmful, or have been recklessly prescribed.

          PRESENT Shock When everything happens NOW

          by Portia Elm on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 08:44:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So it wouldn't be hard to provide examples, yeah? (0+ / 0-)

            After all, if it's a load of crap the examples should be easy to find.

            Remember, we're not talking about things that were  gotten wrong, but things that were wrong, proven to be wrong, and not corrected.

            •  there have been some drugs that have been (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Uncle Moji, cordgrass

              taken off the market, but only after deaths, debilitation and lawsuits.  They discard them when the drugs start costing them money.  If you have ever read the contraindications for every pharmaceutical, you will see the extent to which they are trying to cover their asses and still sell the drug.

              PRESENT Shock When everything happens NOW

              by Portia Elm on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 09:08:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Here's an example of a load of deadly crap (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cordgrass
              The lobotomy was first performed on humans in the 1890s. About half a century later, it was being touted by some as a miracle cure for mental illness, and its use became widespread; during its heyday in the 1940s and ’50s, the lobotomy was performed on some 40,000 patients in the United States, and on around 10,000 in Western Europe. The procedure became popular because there was no alternative, and because it was seen to alleviate several social crises: overcrowding in psychiatric institutions, and the increasing cost of caring for mentally ill patients.
              Consequently, the use of lobotomies became widespread. As well as being used to treat the criminally insane, lobotomies were also used to “cure” political dissidents. It was alleged that the procedure was used routinely on prisoners against their will, and the use of lobotomies was strongly criticised on the grounds that it infringed the civil liberties of the patients.
              The Rise and Fall of the Prefrontal Lobotomy

              The problem with your assertion is that, now, 60 years later, you can claim that "science" was self-correcting and therefore, proof that modern medical science is superior to traditional Chinese medical practices.   But for those years of use, from 1890 until the mid to late 1950s, your assertion rings hollow.  For all those tens of thousands of persons who were lobotomized for anti-social behavior (including homosexuality) for women displaying "too much" emotion, for political prisoners, your assertions about the benign nature of modern medicine because it "self corrects" at some point is meaningless.  Harm was done at the hand of the same system you now claim is blameless and different.  Would that that were true, for all those who had parts of their brains scientifically and medically destroyed with ice picks.

              I happily support western medicine, I see an MD regularly, my ex of many years was an ER doc, I use maintenance Rx medicines every day, I am not opposed to western medicine, but I will not look uncritically at it even as I embrace it for providing a good quality of life, just as I do with "alternative" medicines.  

              "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

              by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 09:32:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And yet... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                varro

                even though it took 60 years, science did eventually eliminate lobotomies.

                Name a SINGLE alternative medicine that has been definitively rejected by the alternative community. Ever.

                I can't even think of ONE. Can you?

        •  should also include: adopting things that are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          clearly shown to work.

          Exhibit A: How many decades it took for doctors to be willing to wash their hands before assisting a woman giving birth, long after midwives had established that doctors were the primary vector for the childbed fever that killed thousands of new mothers.

          Sure, eventually they got with the program -- but if they were really relying on science rather than on belief systems (overlaid with sexist dismissal of what midwives said), they would have started hand-washing protocols decades earlier and saved thousands or even millions of lives.

          •  You are conflating science (0+ / 0-)

            with scientists.

            The process of science is what is under discussion, because the problem with alternative medicine is that it does not survive contact with science even when done by scientists friendly to it.

            You can get the most unbelief-system scientist you can find to follow the protocols. The alternative meds still fail. The issue is not scientists being prejudiced (and it is worth pointing out your example is about doctors and the practice of medicine, not scientists and the practice of science), it is about the fact that alternative medicines when subjected to proper scientific protocols still fail.

    •  the fact is that Pharma (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cordgrass

      has appropriated many of the substances used in Chinese medicine and other alternative modalities, gone to South America and Africa and developed pharmaceuticals from the herbs and plants there, and picked the brains of the indigenous peoples.  Then they synthesize, pervert and "develop" the hell out of them, and claim credit and intellectual ownership.  So there is no way to know the origins of Pharma's concoctions really.  The problem is that they take the ingredients, and not the knowledge of how they are to work with the body.

      PRESENT Shock When everything happens NOW

      by Portia Elm on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 08:51:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that's fine (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mikidee
        Pharma
        has appropriated many of the substances used in Chinese medicine and other alternative modalities, gone to South America and Africa and developed pharmaceuticals from the herbs and plants there
        The trouble is that there are therapies that make absolutely no sense at all. Herbs are chemicals and can/do act on the body just like pills by Pharma.

        But Orgone Therapy, Homeopathy, Energy Medicine et all need to be viewed very, very skeptically. The burden of proof on Homeopathy (e.g.) is on Homeopathy not the rest of us. We should not pay for nor support research on it b/c it violates scientific principles. Less than one molecule of reagent per dose cannot work other than placebo/time.

        Medicines are developed from native knowledge and plants from the tropics and elsewhere. That's fine. That knowledge and those plants should continue to be exploited/used, and provides good reason for protecting the Amazon rain forest (e.g.). Good and good.

        Every human being has paid the earth to grow up. Most people don’t grow up. And you find out what it costs us to love and to lose, to dare and to fail. And maybe even more, to succeed. What it costs, in truth.—Maya Angelou

        by TerryDarc on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 09:19:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I use Homeopathy every day (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brian82

          This is after conventional treatments have failed.  My allopathic medical doctor has encouraged me to use homeopathic remedies because she can see that they are having the desired effect.  Whether it meets the criteria for your belief system is irrelevant to me.
          Are you an expert on energy and all its manifestations and effects?   It would take many years of study and a complete overhaul of all entrenched agreements you have made, to understand the nature of energy.

          PRESENT Shock When everything happens NOW

          by Portia Elm on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 09:29:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, I have an online friend who swears (0+ / 0-)

            that homeopathy cured his cancer. Serious one, apparently. But until someone actually does a decent study or two or ten that show homeopathy working, I'm keeping up with allopathic medicine.

            Energy? What energy? Like the meridians in acupuncture?

            Those are complete bs (IMO) but otoh acupuncture works in some cases. The reasoning is ridiculous from modern understanding but the treatment works. So, energy or whatever does not help homeopathy work. I suspect, but cannot prove that you would have gotten better with a placebo.

            The best that I can say is that your belief changed your body chemistry in a way that cured you. Or, you might have gotten better in time anyway.

            Every human being has paid the earth to grow up. Most people don’t grow up. And you find out what it costs us to love and to lose, to dare and to fail. And maybe even more, to succeed. What it costs, in truth.—Maya Angelou

            by TerryDarc on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 11:33:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  energy--like what is holding you together? (0+ / 0-)

              srsly, lololololol.
              I am glad for you that the fact that your thought processes are so dense is not causing you to disintegrate into a disorganized mass of atoms.

              PRESENT Shock When everything happens NOW

              by Portia Elm on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 11:52:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The strong & weak nuclear forces? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Yahzi

                I'm definitely in favor of them.

                Every human being has paid the earth to grow up. Most people don’t grow up. And you find out what it costs us to love and to lose, to dare and to fail. And maybe even more, to succeed. What it costs, in truth.—Maya Angelou

                by TerryDarc on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 04:59:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  This is why reasonable people dismiss alt-med (0+ / 0-)
            Whether it meets the criteria for your belief system is irrelevant to me.
            That's all you needed to say in the first place.
      •  Now you're complaining about capitalism (0+ / 0-)

        not science.

        The scientists deserve credit for refining the herbs to improve and understand their effect. That's not as easy as it sounds; in fact, it's often the difference between a good idea and an actual solution.

        As for your bizarre claim that they don't take the knowledge of how they are to work with the body, you are basically asserting that the herbal doctors understood more than the scientific doctors. Yet clinical trials can easily prove the scientific doctors are more successful in their treatments (which is basically THE POINT OF A CLINICAL TRIAL). How is it the herbalists understand more but can do less?

    •  did you watch it, Greg? (0+ / 0-)
      classic conspiracy theory (46+ / 0-)
      generally ending in 'it's all Big Pharmas' fault that magical cures are discouraged".
      She says "watch your diet" and "eat your vegetables" and quit eating crap.

      Have you watched TV lately, particularly around the nightly news hour? The unintended humor in the commercials for Big Pharma is enough to bust a gut 92 times over. And it's all the conspiracy anyone needs. First the soft music. Then the promise of romance: two gray hairs wink and nod, indicating they are about to get it on, thanks to the latest, greatest Big Pharma ("Ask your doctor if it's right for you"). It's up to you to figure out whether getting laid is worth the trade-off that comes with the possibility of leaky eye, droopy ears, elbows that don't bend anymore, vaginal crust, toes covered with rot, penises that fall off, diabetes, leaky anus, sudden heart attack and death.

    •  nature / science (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NCJan

      It is my understanding that most pharmaceuticals are synthetic and the formulas are based on plants for example willow bark and aspirin, ephedra and pseudoephedrine found in Claritin-D, etc.. Why is using a natural source considered crazy?

      I am healthy, take no medication, and eat a whole grain diet. My first line of defense is always natural remedies, but if that does not work, I will go to the pharmacist or doctor to see what modern science has to offer.

      I repeatedly read articles and comments that imply I am a conspiracy nut, but from my perspective, I just prefer to know what I am putting in my body, including how it was grown, and prepared.

      •  Using a natural source is not crazy (0+ / 0-)

        What is crazy is that thinking a naturally grown substance is more well-defined than a manufactured one. You stick a plant in the ground (with unknown chemical signature), subject it to who knows what weather and insect predations, and then measure it out by eye or hand instead of chemical analysis, and you think that leads to a more pure chemical than synthesizing it in a lab?
        If you're really that chuffed about knowing how drugs are prepared, get a chemistry degree. But don't pretend that because you can grow a few herbs on your windowsill you understand growing and preparing medical substances.

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