[Discussion] Medical Quackery

This is a follow up to the thread "Medical quackery in the US upsets me very, very much". The aim of this current thread is to take up the discussion on medical quackery (widening the scope since the US isn't the only country concerned), discuss news item pertaining to it and the potential responses to address it.
The definition of medical quackery is not up for debate and includes, among others, homeopathy, vaccine skepticism, naturopathy, crystal healing, psychic healing.

I like my doctors aloof and autocratic! If I don't feel that I am being talked down to and shamed for my life choices then you can bet I won't return to that provider.

Reaper81 wrote:

I like my doctors aloof and autocratic! If I don't feel that I am being talked down to and shamed for my life choices then you can bet I won't return to that provider.

I'm going to assumed that comment is directed at me, so thanks for the pile on and the unnecessary sarcasm.

I'm not saying that patients must to be talked down to, that was never what I wrote nor implied, as I have already stated multiple times. But there is such a thing as dangerous practices, both for patients and for people around them. When people choose not to vaccinate themselves, they are putting themselves, immunocompromised people and small babies at risk. When cancer patients take herbal supplements that interact with chemo, it's dangerous. When you inject tumeric in your veins, you will die. These beliefs are dangerous, and it's our duty as doctors to share knowledge and help educate folks.

This is all the more baffling to me, as I know you folks would waste absolute no time in telling flat earthers they were wrong.

At this point, I can tell that my input is not wanted here, so I guess I'll just have to bow out.

I’m curious. Are relatively wealthy white women also the group more likely to forego evidence-based cancer treatment in favor of alternative medicine or is this particular phenomenon just related to vaccines?

Eleima wrote:
Reaper81 wrote:

I like my doctors aloof and autocratic! If I don't feel that I am being talked down to and shamed for my life choices then you can bet I won't return to that provider.

I'm going to assumed that comment is directed at me, so thanks for the pile on and the unnecessary sarcasm.

I'm not saying that patients must to be talked down to, that was never what I wrote nor implied, as I have already stated multiple times. But there is such a thing as dangerous practices, both for patients and for people around them. When people choose not to vaccinate themselves, they are putting themselves, immunocompromised people and small babies at risk. When cancer patients take herbal supplements that interact with chemo, it's dangerous. When you inject tumeric in your veins, you will die. These beliefs are dangerous, and it's our duty as doctors to share knowledge and help educate folks.

This is all the more baffling to me, as I know you folks would waste absolute no time in telling flat earthers they were wrong.

At this point, I can tell that my input is not wanted here, so I guess I'll just have to bow out.

Assume away. To clarify, it was not.

Rather, I found it humorous that a bunch of MDs were talking about the best way to communicate medical knowledge and provide treatment to skeptical populations using language that can reinforce that same skepticism.

Using the term patient is inherently separative and creates distance between practitioner / provider and client. There's a bunch of reasons why one word or another (client v. patient for instance) may be used but sufficed to say some people absolutely do react to terminology.

We can use science and scientific inquiry to inform practice but if we have no credibility with the populations we serve then our science and knowledge is useless.

Huh? I'd bet 99% of the medical field call the people they help patients when not directly speaking with them.

Eleima wrote:

You guys are putting words into my mouth and it's unbecoming of you. Glad you think I'm advocating for a rigid and dogmatic position.
And let's not put the responsibility of antivaxxers on migrant cultures, it's just a tad little racist.
Research shows that that kind of patient is overwhelmingly female, well off and white (article in Vaccine, or here). And since we're all talking about personal experience, the people first in line to catch up on immunizations are immigrants.

What?! Where did I mention migrant cultures being antivaxxers? Vaccinations aren't even part of my practice! Please don't make this personal, I thought this had been a thoughtful, civil conversation until you called me a racist which I don't appreciate.

Now, back to quackery in cancer. There was an abstract presented at ASCO this weekend regarding views on alternative medicine in cancer patients/clients in France. Actually seems pretty tame to me, obviously much more homeopathy than occurs here but overall doesn't seem too disturbing. Older patient population which may have skewed results:

https://meetinglibrary.asco.org/reco...

Now compare that to this national cancer survey in the U.S. from last year where nearly 40% of those surveyed believed alternative medicine alone could cure cancer:

https://www.asco.org/about-asco/pres...

Now that is terrifying......

Principle of charity:
In philosophy and rhetoric, the principle of charity requires interpreting a speaker's statements to be rational and, in the case of any argument, considering its best, strongest possible interpretation.

We might need a little of this.

Please remember that we are all on the same side. It’s extremely easy to misinterpret forum posts.

Medical Devices: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

farley3k wrote:

Medical Devices: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

I watched a documentary on Netflix that is a more in depth look at the medical device issues. If the John Oliver bit peeked your interest, check it out. A warning though, the content can be hard to watch at times.

The Bleeding Edge

Meet the New York couple donating millions to the anti-vax movement

A wealthy Manhattan couple has emerged as significant financiers of the anti-vaccine movement, contributing more than $3 million in recent years to groups that stoke fears about immunizations online and at live events — including two forums this year at the epicenter of measles outbreaks in New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

Hedge fund manager and philanthropist Bernard Selz and his wife, Lisa, have long donated to organizations focused on the arts, culture, education and the environment. But seven years ago, their private foundation embraced a very different cause: groups that question the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

How the Selzes came to support anti-vaccine ideas is unknown, but their financial impact has been enormous. Their money has gone to a handful of determined individuals who have played an outsize role in spreading doubt and misinformation about vaccines and the diseases they prevent. The groups’ false claims linking vaccines to autism and other ailments, while downplaying the risks of measles, have led growing numbers of parents to shun the shots. As a result, health officials have said, the potentially deadly disease has surged to at least 1,044 cases this year, the highest number in nearly three decades.

The Selz Foundation provides roughly three-fourths of the funding for the Informed Consent Action Network, a three-year-old charity that describes its mission as promoting drug and vaccine safety and parental choice in vaccine decisions.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Meet the New York couple donating millions to the anti-vax movement

A wealthy Manhattan couple has emerged as significant financiers of the anti-vaccine movement, contributing more than $3 million in recent years to groups that stoke fears about immunizations online and at live events — including two forums this year at the epicenter of measles outbreaks in New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

Hedge fund manager and philanthropist Bernard Selz and his wife, Lisa, have long donated to organizations focused on the arts, culture, education and the environment. But seven years ago, their private foundation embraced a very different cause: groups that question the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

How the Selzes came to support anti-vaccine ideas is unknown, but their financial impact has been enormous. Their money has gone to a handful of determined individuals who have played an outsize role in spreading doubt and misinformation about vaccines and the diseases they prevent. The groups’ false claims linking vaccines to autism and other ailments, while downplaying the risks of measles, have led growing numbers of parents to shun the shots. As a result, health officials have said, the potentially deadly disease has surged to at least 1,044 cases this year, the highest number in nearly three decades.

The Selz Foundation provides roughly three-fourths of the funding for the Informed Consent Action Network, a three-year-old charity that describes its mission as promoting drug and vaccine safety and parental choice in vaccine decisions.

I hope they lose 1,044 law suits.

Good news, everyone!!

France to end reimbursement for homeopathy

For nine months the HAS (French National Authority for Health) watchdog investigated the effects of the alternative medicine on 24 medical conditions, including anxiety, foot warts and acute breathing infections and said it did not find sufficient evidence to justify continued state reimbursement of homeopathic “drugs.”

(I added the scare-quotes on “drugs”... because I don’t know how you can call water a drug.)

USA! USA! C’mon! I know we can do it if we really try!

-

Well, congratulations to France for a job well done. Hopefully one day the U.S. will follow suit.

I'm extremely terrified of the ACA being repealed by the courts next month. The impact it will have on my boyfriend is immense and I don't know what we'll do. His meds cost so much money and without them his auto-immune disease will progress and he will be crippled by its progression and the overwhelming pain.

I am scared for you. I don't even know what a good course of action is for people in your position. Sorry.

Boog I’m not saying that this is a great solution but does his rheumatology clinic have someone to assist with getting drug assistance? We have a similar issue with expensive cancer drugs but we have a full-time employee whose job is to get meds for free for patients without insurance or with bad insurance. I’ve never had a patient that we weren’t able to get meds for even if they were uninsured, usually provided by the manufacturer.

Now the fact that we have to have someone to do this in the first place is a commentary on how f’ed our medical system is.....

Thanks, guys.

Docjoe: It is a consideration of ours, but to go from guaranteed care to "Well, maybe you can get charity" is pretty scary.

BoogtehWoog wrote:

Thanks, guys.

Docjoe: It is a consideration of ours, but to go from guaranteed care to "Well, maybe you can get charity" is pretty scary.

American Roulette.

BoogtehWoog wrote:

Thanks, guys.

Docjoe: It is a consideration of ours, but to go from guaranteed care to "Well, maybe you can get charity" is pretty scary.

I agree it sucks. Why are people fighting so hard to preserve this garbage system?

Docjoe wrote:

I agree it sucks. Why are people fighting so hard to preserve this garbage system?

Because most people get their health insurance from their employer and are terrified that any change to the status quo will (negatively) impact their benefits.

It also doesn't help that because they get their health insurance from their employer--and their employer gets massive tax credit for said health insurance--most people are shielded from the true cost of their healthcare insurance.

Docjoe wrote:
BoogtehWoog wrote:

Thanks, guys.

Docjoe: It is a consideration of ours, but to go from guaranteed care to "Well, maybe you can get charity" is pretty scary.

I agree it sucks. Why are people fighting so hard to preserve this garbage system?

Indoctrination and propaganda. Right wing conservatism is more like a religion than a governing strategy. Wealthy corporations and wealthy people are able to exploit the flaws and weaknesses of human thinking through the media. Vast numbers of people can be convinced to vote against laws and policies that would greatly benefit themselves. Tribalism, confirmation bias, vanity, and just plain intellectual laziness are flaws of human thinking that make this deception possible.

Health insurance companies are doing great! And they like the system how it is now. The wealthy elite will use any means at their disposal to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. If we switched to a socialized system of health care, the only way to fund it would be to make the wealthy elite pay their fair share. The wealthy elite and the wealthy corporations have the funds necessary to produce the widespread propaganda needed to protect their interests.

And so we have a society where the wealthy gate keepers unfairly lock the masses out of the basic human rights that should be available to them.