Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Epistemic Irony of ND Marturano: 'The Right Naturopath is Not Employing Holistic Pseudoscience'

here, I excerpt from an ND's take on the pseudoscience within naturopathy and its unethicality [see 001., below]; and, I look then at the institution that gave this ND his credentials, [see 002.a., below]; and, his State organization [see 002.b., below]; and finally, his NOT SO HELPFUL definition of naturopathy's CORE tenet [see 002.c., below]:

001. ND Marturano, a 2004 graduate of SCNM practicing in Michigan, states in "How to Choose the Right Naturopathic Doctor" [archived 2014; vsc 2014-12-03; my comments are in unquoted bold]:

"when choosing the right naturopathic doctor, there are three main factors to keep in mind [...] the level of utilization of science-based vs. nonscientific modalities [...]";

so, a DISTINCTION has been mentioned.  Interesting.  

"naturopathic physicians learn all of the same basic sciences as medical doctors [...] upon this foundation of basic medical sciences, naturopathic physicians also learn about natural remedies [...]";

and there's that typical naturopathic claim of a BASE of science, of a FILTER which employs the rigor of science.

"traditional naturopaths are not eligible to receive medical licenses in any state. Some of them may eschew science-based medicine entirely and rely only upon holistic or alternative remedies like homeopathy and flower essences [...]";

oh, snap! And now we enter a kind of accidental self-incrimination of the epistemic kind!  Because the very licensure exam that gives this ND a supposed higher status / competency ABOVE what they often term 'mail-order unDs / unNDs' labels homeopathy a clinical science, though ND Marturano is calling it actually THE OPPOSITE, not science.  In "NPLEX Examination Overview" we're told: "Part II – Core Clinical Science Examination [...] every jurisdiction that licenses/registers naturopathic physicians requires that you pass the NPLEX Part II – Core Clinical Science Examination. The integrated examination consists of approximately 80 case clusters [...] that cover the topics of diagnosis [...and] materia medica [...including] homeopathy)."  Odd: how does a nonscience also have the status of a science?

"we cannot simply hang our hats on 'trusting in science' because science is conducted by human beings with a wide array of biases, ethical standards, and ulterior motives [...] with non-scientific holistic practices [...] where some holistic health practitioners get into trouble is when they present a healing modality that is fundamentally non-scientific as being science-based. This in an unethical practice known as pseudoscience which unfortunately seems to be increasing in recent times [...] a 2012 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the proportion of scientific research retracted due to fraud has increased tenfold since 1975 and that more than two-thirds of retracted studies are due to scientific misconduct [...] the main thing to remember about pseudoscience is that just because something sounds scientific doesn't mean it is scientific [...] having a scientific degree or medical license does not make a practitioner immune to pseudoscience. While pseudoscientific beliefs and practices are more commonly found among lay practitioners, many of them are also practiced by naturopathic physicians and medical doctors [...] holistic therapies [...] the problem arises when a practitioner presents them as being science-based when they are not [...]";

and now the tide of IRONY begins to rise.  So, a distinction is being made now contrasting actual science with FRAUD, and high ethical standards with LOW.  I think we have an ND incriminating his supposed profession.

002. this is so ironic:

002.a. because at ND Marturano's alma mater, institutionally nonscience is falsely posed as science.  SCNM states a supposed "science" basis of naturopathy, and then explains the innards of naturopathy, 'the essentially naturopathic', such as homeopathy and vitalism.  Those are patently science-exterior.  SCNM tells us in "Naturopathic Medicine" (archive 2014):

"naturopathic physicians are [...of a] bio-medical science foundation [...] the rigorous science of medical evidence [...] naturopathic physicians cooperate with all other branches of medical science [...using] natural therapies such as  [...] homeopathy [...] naturopathic medicine is guided by the following six principles of healing: [#1] the healing power of nature (vis medicatrix naturae)."

of course, the vitalism is HIDDEN behind naturalistic language.  Because we don't deserve to know, so we can then decide.  Here it is at SCNM transparently communicated.

002.b. ND Marturano's state organization, the Michigan Association of Naturopathic Physicians, states that supposed science status in "The Principles of Naturopathic Medicine":

"the foundation of naturopathic medicine is based on six principles formulated from the observation of health and disease and examined through scientific analyses."


so, more crap.  Because here's MANP stating HPN="life force", which is SCIENCE-EJECTED.

002.c. the opacity of ND Marturano's naturopathy explanation, in the page "Principles of Naturopathic Medicine" is QUITE typical for naturopathy.  We are merely told about HPN-VMN:

"naturopathic medicine practice is guided by six philosophical principles that are explained below [...] healing power of nature: naturopathic medicine recognizes a self-healing process of the body that is ordered and intelligent."

that, too, is crap as an explanation.  Though the ND tells us, in "Our Pledge to Our Patients": "we promise to make science-based assessments and recommendations [...] our naturopathic medicine practice is firmly rooted in scientific understanding and medical research [...] we feel it is our professional responsibility to make recommendations based on the best available scientific research", why aren't we getting the TRANSPARENT 'essentially naturopathic' here?

because we DO deserve to know, so we can then DECIDE.  What a mess.
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