[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.

Yes, I highly recommend following this group if you want your faith in humanity to take a beating:
https://www.facebook.com/TAVSofficial/

Mr GT Chris wrote:

Yes, I highly recommend following this group if you want your faith in humanity to take a beating:
https://www.facebook.com/TAVSofficial/

I'm trying really hard to be a secular humanist. Otherwise, I'm a full blown atheist. And everybody knows that atheists eat human fetuses for breakfast. So things like this really test my "faith".

That short video of a dad screaming at the pediatric staff is really sad. The dad is doing what he feels is a noble thing. He's brazenly defending the safety of his child. But he's incredibly misinformed. It's truly an example of MisplacedBravado. The typical male in me wants so badly to "fix" this guy. I mean I really wish I could help him.

Not touching that with my mouse cursor. No way. I can guess what those initials stand for.

Things Anti Vaxxers Say

mudbunny wrote:

Things Anti Vaxxers Say

Bingo. It's actually pretty hilarious. An unending source of the ridiculous crap antivaxxers can come up with. They can get really, really creative!

I follow TAVS as well as a couple of other like-minded pages. I'm not sure which is the best of the most recent atrocities: "you should drink and enema with turpentine to kill the parasites that cause all disease" or "I'm vax- and lyme-injured, so would it be better for me to drink my unvaxxed son's urine instead of my own?"

I understand how people facing desperate circumstances might turn to alternatives when conventional medicine just can't do any more. But I don't get how people can just up and decide that the entire medical establishment is in on a giant conspiracy but *this* guy from the internet has the right idea.

qaraq wrote:

I understand how people facing desperate circumstances might turn to alternatives when conventional medicine just can't do any more. But I don't get how people can just up and decide that the entire medical establishment is in on a giant conspiracy but *this* guy from the internet has the right idea.

They’ve made that line of thinking their ideology. It might as well be their religion. Also, it allows some people to feel like they’re smarter than the rest of the world. In reality, they’re not smart enough to realize how dumb they are.

RawkGWJ wrote:
qaraq wrote:

I understand how people facing desperate circumstances might turn to alternatives when conventional medicine just can't do any more. But I don't get how people can just up and decide that the entire medical establishment is in on a giant conspiracy but *this* guy from the internet has the right idea.

They’ve made that line of thinking their ideology. It might as well be their religion. Also, it allows some people to feel like they’re smarter than the rest of the world. In reality, they’re not smart enough to realize how dumb they are.

It's so easy to find an echo chamber on the internet. You become an unstoppable bastion of ignorance when you combine that with confirmation bias, Dunning–Kruger effect, backfire effect, and being generally bad at science.

Delbin wrote:

It's so easy to find an echo chamber on the internet. You become an unstoppable bastion of ignorance when you combine that with confirmation bias, Dunning–Kruger effect, backfire effect, and being generally bad at science.

The recent episode of the Adam Ruins Everything Podcast (available where all fine Podcasts are sold) was about the backfire effect and was really good.

One must also remember that in the modern world there's google, facebook, etc deliberately trying to make you more like people like you and deliver results more likely to be desirable to what they deem to be people like you (ie agreeable to views they believe you are likely to have). If the systems decides you're of anti-vax leanings the very core of how the internet's reality is presented shifts to accommodate that view for your particular use, weighting search results, advertising, etc towards that end. As you further entrench into the demographic it becomes harder and harder to get the counter-arguments even delivered, and that's all before your brain's own biases.

Google/facebook/etc don't exactly go out of their way to make it known that they do this, and I've seen plenty of people shrug indifferent upon learning it, but I think it's one of the greatest evils ever committed on/with the internet and that the consequences are going to haunt us for generations to come.

Yup. The echo chamber is real.

Delbin wrote:

It's so easy to find an echo chamber on the internet. You become an unstoppable bastion of ignorance when you combine that with confirmation bias, Dunning–Kruger effect, backfire effect, and being generally bad at science.

So very, very, very true. You would not believe the awful echo chambers in most forums for parents of autistic children. My ex husband went down that rabbit hole. HARD. He wanted to give our kid multiple medications, antibiotics, homeopathy, you name it.

krev82 wrote:

bleh, yet another "documentary" coming out featuring a bunch of talking head quacks

oh, I stand corrected, their team of 'experts' includes a "Neuroacoustic Wizard" and a "Divine Conduit' so we know it has to be totally legit.

krev82 wrote:

oh, I stand corrected, their team of 'experts' includes a "Neuroacoustic Wizard" and a "Divine Conduit' so we know it has to be totally legit.

Huh. I thought I knew all the Pathfinder classes by heart. Did I miss a release?

A real doctor (@chadhayesmd) has been livetweeting the "Get Your Life Back Now" conference for the last couple of days, using hashtag #GYLBN17. It's been an amazing display of woo, scams, paranoia, conspiracy-mongering and straight-up bullsh*t of every variety. An interesting if concerning read.

Wow, that is both hilarious and terrifying. It seems that removing teeth is one of the keys to health. Who knew a root canal was so deadly?

Ferret wrote:
krev82 wrote:

oh, I stand corrected, their team of 'experts' includes a "Neuroacoustic Wizard" and a "Divine Conduit' so we know it has to be totally legit.

Huh. I thought I knew all the Pathfinder classes by heart. Did I miss a release?

I think those were in the Occult Handbook

thrawn82 wrote:
Ferret wrote:
krev82 wrote:

oh, I stand corrected, their team of 'experts' includes a "Neuroacoustic Wizard" and a "Divine Conduit' so we know it has to be totally legit.

Huh. I thought I knew all the Pathfinder classes by heart. Did I miss a release?

I think those were in the Occult Handbook

The Psychotic's Handbook?

Docjoe wrote:

It seems that removing teeth is one of the keys to health.

I've been removing people's teeth for years and I still have high blood pressure, so I'd take that with a grain of salt.

Ranger Rick wrote:
Docjoe wrote:

It seems that removing teeth is one of the keys to health.

I've been removing people's teeth for years and I still have high blood pressure, so I'd take that with a grain of salt.

DANG!! I didn’t know you were a street fighter.

So, our veterans are going to be getting treatment by aromatherapy and other garbage instead of effective medicine now

https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/dam...

Notably:

This is appalling enough on principle alone. In addition to the ethical issues posed by integration of pseudoscience into medical care, funding for veteran medical care is a zero-sum game. Congress allocates a finite amount of money to the VA, so monies absorbed by, say, therapeutic touch, do not get spent on, for example, cognitive behavioral therapy for PTSD.
polypusher wrote:

So, our veterans are going to be getting treatment by aromatherapy and other garbage instead of effective medicine now

https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/dam...

Notably:

This is appalling enough on principle alone. In addition to the ethical issues posed by integration of pseudoscience into medical care, funding for veteran medical care is a zero-sum game. Congress allocates a finite amount of money to the VA, so monies absorbed by, say, therapeutic touch, do not get spent on, for example, cognitive behavioral therapy for PTSD.

CBT is hot garbage for PTSD.

Edit: I suppose I should elaborate. Attempting to utilize cognitive, skills-based interventions for dysfunctions of the limbic system get you approximately nowhere.

However, it’s what is “researched” and therefore “evidenced-based,” and therefore funded by insurance companies.

EMDR was pseudo-science until it wasn’t, for instance.

Edit 2: Dysfunctions of the limbic system not related to cognitive processing.

Reaper81 wrote:

However, it’s what is “researched” and therefore “evidenced-based,” and therefore funded by insurance companies.

Speaking of hot garbage, Reaper...

That's not how "evidence-based" works as a concept.

I'd also suggest a "citation needed" for your claim that CBT isn't an effective method for treating PTSD. Because the NIH suggests that "hot garbage" is significantly overegging your pudding.

The current literature reveals robust evidence that CBT is a safe and effective intervention for both acute and chronic PTSD following a range of traumatic experiences in adults, children, and adolescents. However, nonresponse to CBT by PTSD can be as high as 50%, contributed to by various factors, including comorbidity and the nature of the study population.

Jonman wrote:
Reaper81 wrote:

However, it’s what is “researched” and therefore “evidenced-based,” and therefore funded by insurance companies.

Speaking of hot garbage, Reaper...

That's not how "evidence-based" works as a concept.

I'd also suggest a "citation needed" for your claim that CBT isn't an effective method for treating PTSD. Because the NIH suggests that "hot garbage" is significantly overegging your pudding.

The current literature reveals robust evidence that CBT is a safe and effective intervention for both acute and chronic PTSD following a range of traumatic experiences in adults, children, and adolescents. However, nonresponse to CBT by PTSD can be as high as 50%, contributed to by various factors, including comorbidity and the nature of the study population.

I am aware of these issues and NIH’s stance on trauma and treatment thereof.

Reaper81 wrote:

I am aware of these issues and NIH’s stance on trauma and treatment thereof.

Cool story, bro.

Jonman wrote:
Reaper81 wrote:

I am aware of these issues and NIH’s stance on trauma and treatment thereof.

Cool story, bro.

Edit: I am not going to do the work for you. There are serious ethical issues with how what data is gathered from whether a given RTC is funded or not.

Once you understand that, you’ll understand why a 50% success rate is actually hot garbage.

It kind of sounds like you are saying CBT is 'hot garbage' so it's not a bad thing that VA money is diverted to aromatherapy and therapeutic touch. Please tell me that's not what you are saying.

Nvm

thrawn82 wrote:

It kind of sounds like you are saying CBT is 'hot garbage' so it's not a bad thing that VA money is diverted to aromatherapy and therapeutic touch. Please tell me that's not what you are saying.

How about this? CBT is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Research indicating the generally poor response of those diagnosed with PTSD to CBT therapies is often ignored by the AMA, APA, etc. Why? Maybe look at who funds randomized clinical trials.

“Non-traditional” (meaning non-Western, non-white people) therapy interventions are often ignored or suppressed.

But to say, ‘Hey, here’s a thing that, at best, works half the time and MAYBE six months from now you won’t have the same or worse symptoms,’ is kind of bullsh*t.

We can, and should, do better.

I get you Reaper, but 'Better' is not more unproven (or worse yet proven ineffective) There's no good reason to throw garbage after garbage.