Dear Ms. Hannan;
appreciate your letter of January 10, in response to my letter. I am writing back to correct some
misconceptions and correct some items in your letter.
First as to analogy you tried to make with regards to world
being flat or round, I get the impression that you thought that people then
thought it was a matter of opinion. The
round earth hypothesis was proved correct by evidence. The flat earthers were “skeptical” basing their
judgments on church doctrine and intuition from very short sighted observations
in the everyday world. The flat earthers
had no evidence to support their stand.
Also, by an analogy the alternative medicine world has no evidence other
than anecdotal. And as discussed in
the previous correspondence anecdotal evidence is the poorest kind. Testable
evidence is the final arbiter of truth, which means that if one makes a claim
one must present positive proof in the form of evidence for it. The vast majority of alternative medicine
does not, and this has been borne out in multiple studies. If an alternative medicine is shown to work
by testing, meaning experiment, then it becomes conventional medicine.
Second; as to the problem with news organizations presenting
such things without really vetting those can lead to people getting
harmed. Several cases illustrate the
point. I have a patient right now in the
hospital with a massive rectal cancer because she took alternative medicine in
the belief that it will cure her. She
now has to undergo an operation to prevent her from dying a most horrible death
by bowel obstruction. Steve Jobs of
Apple tried herbs and other alternative medicines for 9 months before allowing
surgery. When his tumor was diagnosed it
was very highly likely curable then, at time of surgery 9 months later it had
spread and required more extensive surgery and chemo. I had a patient couple years ago I diagnosed
with a tumor of his pancreas. He refused
to get treatment and elected to go for coffee enemas and herbal treatment. When I got him back it was too late to offer
him anything other than palliative care.
All have been promoted by the media as truthful. The antivaccine scare was promoted by the
media without trying to understand or see what the evidence is or was. Since June 6, 2007 to December 31, of 2011
88,292 children got sick that didn’t need to and 866 have died due to not
getting immunized. I know the news
media would like to tell a balanced story; the problem is that sometimes there
is only one side, the side with evidence, the other is bogus. I will refer you to couple sites for you to
check out yourself. One is Science Based
Medicine that is founded and run by Steve Novella MD a Neurologist at Yale
University School of Medicine and founder of the New England Skeptical
Society. He has other real docs with
expertise submitting stories that are well vetted with references. Next Whatstheharm.com is a site that has
researched actual cases where people have been killed, injured or financially
taken by charlatans.
Third; as to my doing what UND tells me is not all
true. Their charge to me is to teach
residents to use evidence, logic and compassion in diagnosing and treating
patients. In that way we produce high
quality physicians for service in our state.
UND does not tell me exactly what to teach or how.
physician and skeptic I can recommend several well written books and other
articles to read if you would like to learn more about alternative medicine and
the studies done on those areas. As a
true Skeptic I invite you to look at the data yourself and decide. The charlatans tell people what to believe
and think, usually for money. There are
some red flags that denote such people and if interested I can send those to
you also. May I suggest that you have
the stories checked out by someone who knows?
I can suggest some people to you.
corporate sending you these stories, I am sorry. Maybe you should inform NBC HQ of the
problem. Or as I suspect there is
someone there who is a believer and wants to push the woo, or maybe as in most
things money is more important than integrity and truth.