Friday, February 17, 2012

ANTA, NHAA, FOSM Collide: sCAM Claims Friends of Science in Medicine "Misinformed" and the Science-Ejected is Scientific

here are excerpts from a recent Canberra Times article wherein the Australian Natural Therapists Association [ANTA] tells us that a preponderance of scientists are uninformed about sCAM's contents (and science!) [see 001., below]; then, I go to the web page and textbook of the National Herbalists Association of Australia [NHAA] president-naturopath Leah Hechtman and look at some of sCAM's innards [see 002., below]:

001. in the Canberra Times article "Assessing the Alternatives" (2012-02-18) [my comments are the bold black-lettered paragraphs; my notes are in brackets and emphases in red]:

"[Peter Jean reports] doctor attacks on complementary therapies [what I call sCAM aka 'so-called complementary and alternative medicine'] have been intensifying but national regulation schemes are being implemented [...because] Australians [...] can be left uncertain about the qualifications of a person claiming to be a naturopath, herbal medicine practitioner or wellness adviser [...] professional groups representing other complementary and alternative health providers, such as naturopaths and herbalists, are pushing to be brought under national registration schemes as soon as possible to help ensure consistent standards are maintained and to give the public peace of mind [...] National Herbalists Association of Australia president Leah Hechtman [a naturopath!!!...says] 'it has to happen because we all have to be mindful of the safety of the public and for that they need to have a registered profession' [...and] Australian Natural Therapists Association chief executive Brian Coleman agrees with the need for national registration";

So, HOW HAS SUCH INSTITUTIONALIZATION WORKED ELSEWHERE?  In my view, "national regulation schemes" [how IRONIC, how about we call them rackets instead!] and 'required supposed professional qualifications' = regulated nonsense immune from the basic laws of fair commerce. Such imprimaturs end up legally protecting FALSEHOOD, as in North America!  Example: the hub of naturopathy's revival is the State of Oregon.  Here's their GOVERNMENT web page on naturopathy claiming that nonsense [like: belief in vitalism, homeopathy as powerful, overall 'naturopathy's innards'] survives rigorous scientific analysis (here, archived here)!  This benefits the public???  No: it protects 'the naturopathillogical'.

"the urgency of their desire to be regulated has only been increased by recent attacks by a group of doctors, scientists and medical researchers against university alternative health courses which the group - Friends of Science in Medicine [FOSM] - says lack scientific credibility [...] Coleman rejects criticism by Friends of Science in Medicine about some courses [...] 'there's plenty of evidence and science to support those courses [...] I think they were misinformed when they made those statements";

Ah, yes, the REVERSE accusation. Versus:

"Friends of Science in Medicine was founded recently by leading health reform proponent John Dwyer [...and] represents the first time that the scientific medical community has had a powerful lobby group to speak out against pseudo-science [...he says] 'I got really interested in how in this most scientific of all ages you can protect consumers from healthcare fraud, misleading information [...] we have a number of our universities that are presenting what we call pseudo-science to their students as if there was an evidence base to support it and we want that stopped' [...like] practitioners of homeopathy, reflexology, iridology, healing touch and suppliers of crystals at the end of the bed";

Note: overall,  it is quite in the interest of sCAM to by-pass evidence and science and skip right to the 'we're State-endorsed so criticism is NOW moot' because they can't hold up to scientific scrutiny therein the answer is.......political.

Similarly, Australian NDs will be protected from claims against their iridology bunkum just as NDs in North America are protected from claims against their homeopathy bunkum!  The standards are not 'how claims objectively compare to modern medical science standards' but instead are 'within our false standard of what science supports aka our sectarian point of view, lets all get on the same page and get legal protection'!

002. naturopath Leah Hechtman of NHAA [vsc 2012-02-17] states:

002.a. on her bio. page [vsc 2012-02-17]:

the credential: "bachelor of health science (naturopathy) [...] advanced diploma of naturopathy [...] certificate of iridology";

the services:  "naturopathy [...] homoeopathy [homeopathy!]."

Note: so there's the claim science subset health science subset naturopathy subset iridology and homeopathy. Balderdash! Hechtman and the NHAA has provided all kinds of argumentation in response to FOSM, except, of course, science and evidence.  An argument from popularity 'does not maketh a science'.  They speak of "evidence based  practice" -- but they don't start from EVIDENCE and SCIENCE.  They begin from sectarian assumptions / beliefs / methods science has truly discarded [see 002.b., below].

002.b. in her 2011 naturopathic textbook "Clinical Naturopathic Medicine" (ISBN 0729538850 9780729538855) regarding naturopathy, iridology, homeopathy and science:

"what is modern Australian naturopathy? [...] naturopathy in Australia came to represent the practice of herbal medicine and nutrition with [...such things as] iridology [...and] homeopathy [...and we're told they've magically] placed them within the framework of modern science and medicine [p.006...] iridology provides insight into a patient's constitution and areas of weakness, tension or toxicity [p.030...] botany, iridology, nutritional medicine and mineral therapies [...are] all building blocks of knowledge necessary for the contemporary professional herbalist [p.031...] organ sluggishness and toxicity are commonly seen in the iris [p.233...] naturopathic diagnosis [...includes] iridology [...and] tongue analysis [p.261...] naturopathy [...is] within the context of modern scientific knowledge [...and includes] homeopathy [p.422...it is a] vitalistic approach [p.036...and yet we're told overall its] 'the science of naturopathy [p.512...naturopathy has] the primary goal of supporting and body's own innate ability to heal (vitality, life force, vis medicatrix naturae) [p.212]";

Note: fascinating claim of science subset 'naturopathy's innards' [iridology, homeopathy, vitalism etc. -- all of which are profoundly science-ejected archaic sectarian or simply ABSURD woo-woo].

To quote the Australian music group Midnight Oil...."feel the tin roof shake"!!!
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