Sunday, February 27, 2011

Arguing Against Colorado ND Licensure with the Wrong Reasons - Daily Camera's Editorial Board 2011-02-27

here, I cite some seriously disconcerting ignorance regarding the ethical position of professionalism as it relates to naturopathy [see 001., below; my musings are in bold]:

001. the Editorial Board of the Daily Camera [EBDC] states in "The Fight Over Naturopathy" [saved 2011-02-27]:

"on Tuesday, the state legislature's health committee will have a hearing on [...whether] naturopathic doctors [...should be] licensed in Colorado [...]";

Again.  Notice the desire is to be titled "doctor" as in 'diagnosing and treating disease' also known as MEDICINE, one of the classical professions.

"against licensure are some physicians [...] and the other naturopaths [...Daily Camera's editorial board sees ] a turf war [...] this is not a patient safety issue [...]";

I completely disagree.  What do you know, EBDC?  [Not much, it seems]. I am neither a physician nor a practitioner of naturopathy / sCAM.  I criticize naturopathy NOT based on market threat [I have none], but instead based on their claims as they relate to science, reason, and skepticism.  I did go to one of these ND 'residence' schools, so I've some inside knowledge.  A turf war insinuates an equality of claims / status when it comes to what is being argued over COMMERCIALLY, like two citizens of equal status fighting over grazing or farming rights.  Modern medical knowledge compared to naturopathic knowledge is not such an equality.  In fact, naturopathic knowledge is quite bizarre / irrational, from the get-go.  For instance, naturopathy claims that that which is science is the same thing as that which is not science [at an institutional level], and that it is appropriate to engage in commerce under such a false position wherein the science-exterior is falsely claimed as science [see OBNM]. That is scientifically wrong and ethically heinous.  That IS an issue of patient safety, since science is the best way we have of determining safety and efficacy.  Science gets thrown out the window in naturopathyland, but not so much that it isn't still used for marketing purposes.  Like creationism in the high school biology classroom, licensing naturopaths so they can indiscriminately label nonscience science [including their sectarian views which have been science-ejected for more than 100 years, actually, and sometimes dangerous and most-often-times ineffective treatments safe and effective; how can one know, in the naturopathic knowledge muddle?] is an attempt to gain science-legitimacy for that which isn't by political means instead of through the apparatus of modern science publication [via experimentation and peer-review].  Worse below.

"Kelly Parcell [...] vice president of the Colorado Association of Naturopathic Doctors, said the bill is important to protect patients. And we're all for patient safety [...]";

I don't see how consumers are protected when, inevitably, licensing naturopathy leads to licensed falsehood.  E.g., Oregon's '.gov' OBNM link above shows how NDs / NMDs label the hugely science-ejected as able to survive scientific scrutiny.  It's nuts.  As an independent board, complaints about them are referred to them.  When I've complained, they've humbly seen no problems with themselves.  Perhaps a naturopathic treatment like homeopathy -- which is an empty remedy -- isn't a direct harm, but the mere fact that the patient is being misled into the belief that the sugar pill they're getting is active and "science-based" [when it is actually science-ejected, and they're paying for it] is a kind of harm.  The patient has been financially harmed and deceived, and the relationship of trust between professional and client has been degraded to that of an self-interested buyer on a used car lot owned by a self-interested salesman.  More below.

"if people want to seek the services of a naturopathic practitioner, they are free to do so in Colorado [...] it's buyer beware -- it's up to the patients to do their due diligence on the person's practice and education [...] going to a doctor, going to a naturopath, or choosing to self-diagnose some illness on WebMD are consumer choices. All of that is up to patients, now and in the future";

So, I pick my jaw up off the floor.  It IS NOT a matter of buyer beware / commerce, EBDC.   You are COMPLETELY WRONG here.  On a used car lot, it is buyer beware.  The Latin phrase "caveat emptor" entails that.  But, in engaging with someone posing medical diagnostic and treatment knowledge, we are no longer in that 50-50 area of commerce where two self-interested parties try to make a deal.  The used car salesman is trying to get the most they can, the used car buyer is trying to get the most they can, and each does their best toward that end within legal boundaries.  Each is looking out for their-self FIRST.  But, that is ONLY IN commerce.  Professionalism is held to a higher ethical standard, particularly physicianship with its so VULNERABLE clients, which is what NDs claim to embody [I'd argue metaphysicianship!  As in metaphysical nonsense].  With professionalism, the clients' needs are placed FIRST ALWAYS.  The Latin for that is "credat emptor", let the buyer have faith -- not religious faith, but confidence of a FIDUCIARY nature -- that in their vulnerability yet, that professional be it traditionally ministry, law or medicine, would be held to a HIGHER ethical standard than just a used car lot type situation.  So, it is not buyer beware for the professions AT ALL, and it cannot be so for naturopathy.  That would be quite a bit of dangerous charity.  It is also not 'science is anything' AT ALL for naturopathy, though naturopathy embodies such a charity-resultant knowledge position as well.  What EBDC would have us do is lower standards to such an extent that medicine would merely be a relationship of commerce instead of professionalism.  That WON'T happen.  What could happen with Colorado licensure of NDs, in part: NDs would get their own board to police themselves claiming professionalism status [professions are self-policing] and science-based status, complaints would be handled by NDs about NDs' claims and methods, since naturopathy is essentially irrational and so much is science-ejected labeled science anyway, there are no standards of any consequence to uphold and they'd find nothing wrong.  Something is what it isn't in naturopathyland; science is nonscience, professionalism is falsehood [merely commerce too], wrong is right.  Nice MUDDLED arrangement.  It benefits nobody but naturopathy.

"doing it through legislation and regulation is not the way to go";

I agree that naturopathy shouldn't be licensed, but not for EBDC's dense reasons.  I actually believe, knowing what I know, that naturopathy should be prosecuted because they don't even meet the standards of commerce -- never mind the higher standards of professionalism.

I'll bet what I've said above is over EBDC's heads anyway, but to summarize: licensing naturopathy leads to licensed falsehood.  It does great harm to the public's understanding of what is legitimately science [and rational discourse] and it destroys the HUGE difference in relationship between commerce and the higher standard of professionalism / fiduciary duty.
 
Naturopathy would have it both ways: science that isn't really but labeled anyway, professionalism that isn't really but labeled anyway.  That's pseudoscience and pseudoprofessionalism -- wisely marketed.

Shallowly, probably few care until the rubber hits the road.  When cornered, NDs presumably would fall back on 'but they let us be licensed, and we are who we always have been.'

After all, "naturopathy blends."  And mislabels.  And is an interesting study in junk thought.
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