Complementary alternative medicine essays

To be both quackery and fraud, the quack must know they are misrepresenting the benefits and risks of the medical services offered instead of, for example, promoting an ineffective product they honestly believe is effective.

Complementary alternative medicine essays

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Everyone familiar with scientific medicine understands the importance of the randomized controlled trial RCTbecause it is the gold standard for evaluating treatment efficacy.

Proof that a treatment is efficacious typically requires at least one definitive RCT or several convincing ones. It is not sufficient for the RCT to demonstrate a statistically and clinically significant effect; it must also be designed, and its results analyzed, in accordance with rigorous criteria set by clinical trial authorities.

There is a trend toward seriously crediting only RCTs with large numbers of participants, and this calls for a complex study design Complementary alternative medicine essays infrastructure. It is not always appreciated that such high-cost, definitive RCTs come near the end, not the beginning, of the process of evaluating new therapies.

Before the definitive RCT, there is usually a lengthy process of information gathering to rule out toxicity, optimize the parameters of the treatment and determine the clinical importance of its apparent effect. Clinical data from epidemiological studies, case reports, case series and small, formal open or controlled clinical trials may confer clinical plausibility.

A therapy is sufficiently scientifically plausible to merit the time and expense of definitive testing if it is either biologically or clinically plausible. These considerations are germane to discussions underway in Canada and the United States about the best ways to evaluate complementary or alternative medicine CAM.

But what formula determines which therapies are accepted and which ones rejected by conventional medicine? The definition of CAM thus hinges on the notion of scientific plausibility: CAM therapies are not considered conventional medicine because they lack good evidence of clinical efficacy clinical plausibility and they lack biological plausibility.

As obvious as it is, this definition can be difficult to apply in practice. The recognition and implementation into medical practice of even well-proven interventions is frequently delayed. Judgements can differ over the level of biological or clinical plausibility in a given case.

Alternatively, a therapy may be reasonably biologically plausible but not submitted to definitive clinical testing because it is not sufficiently fashionable or financially rewarding. An additional complication is that, as with homeopathy, the stranger and more biologically implausible a therapy, the higher the bar medical scientists tend to set for crediting evidence supporting its clinical plausibility.

Finally, some therapies commonly considered as CAM, such as glucosamine sulfate for osteoarthritis and St. Many CAM therapies like glucosamine sulfate and St. Other CAM therapies are far more difficult to evaluate, either because of their complexity or because of the nature of the alternative medical philosophies from which they are derived.

Some CAM approaches use definitions of health, diagnosis and disease that differ radically from those used in conventional scientific medicine. Some are more properly considered lifestyle, cultural or spiritual practices whose innate values go beyond the pathophysiological focus of conventional medical science.

It is common in RCTs of drugs to use placebos to blind the participants and investigators as to treatment allocation, but this is not always feasible with CAM approaches. Fortunately, it is now widely recognized that well-designed nonblinded RCTs can generate important conclusions.

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In fact, as important as RCT design can be, I believe there are more fundamental problems to be solved on the way to establishing rational and fair procedures for determining the merits and flaws of CAM: These problems — and the key to their resolution — arise from the defining feature of CAM: For a therapeutic approach to be considered CAM it must, by definition, be scientifically implausible.

But if a treatment is not scientifically plausible, how is one to proceed with its scientific evaluation? Thorough exploration of the potential of any therapeutic approach requires a notion of its target patients and their response and, whenever possible, its mechanism of action. What scientific peer review committee would — or should — award a competitive grant for a large RCT to test a treatment that is highly implausible?

Private funding cannot be counted on, because most CAM therapies are not patented. And what private interest would willingly fund the definitive test of an already profitable CAM therapy? The result might be negative!

Complementary alternative medicine essays

Few career medical researchers do more than dabble in CAM in their spare time, and this is hardly surprising.

What bright young researcher would choose to devote a scientific career to confirming the inefficacy of implausible treatments? For their part, most CAM practitioners lack both training and sophistication in clinical investigation and the protected time necessary to gain research skills and conduct clinical trials.

Most authorities believe that fruitful efforts to evaluate CAM will require partnerships between CAM practitioner—proponents and skilled clinical research investigators. How will they be created?Flies in the Ointment: Essays on Supplements, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (SCAM) - Kindle edition by Mark Crislip.

Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Flies in the Ointment: Essays on Supplements, /5(4).

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking. Jan 21,  · Complementary or alternative medicine: the need for plausibility L.

John Hoffer Dr. Hoffer is with the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital, and the Department of .

The Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine is an illustrated, accessible guide to understanding what works and what doesn t in the world of complementary and alternative medicine, and how to put this information to use in your everyday life.

Complementary medicine has never been more popular. Nearly 30 percent of adults report using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Doctors are embracing CAM therapies, too, often combining them with mainstream medical therapies — spawning the term "integrative medicine." Mind-body. - Free online IELTS Advice - Free online IELTS Advice IELTS Sample Essay - Alternative Medicine This IELTS sample essay tackles the subject of alternative medicine.

When you are asked whether you agree (or disagree), you can look at both sides of the argument if you want.

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