Saturday, March 6, 2010

'Naturopathic Oncology' Absurdity - Cancer Specialists Who Admit They're Not Qualified:

here, I cite from web documents at Naturopathic Specialists [NS] of Scottsdale, AZ wherein: NS tells us that naturopaths can get a board certification in oncology and that they are 'world leading cancer experts' looking out for a patient's best interests [ see 001, below]; yet, we are also told by NS that naturopaths are NOT primary care physicians and are NOT best-qualified to handle oncology [see 002., below]; then, I highlight two NS 'at odds' labels which are also naturopathy-wide, that the naturopathic is essentially vitalistic [and supernatural!] while essentially scientific [see 003., below]; I then list the NS NDs [see 004., below]; and, finally, then I show Bastyr's and SCNM's 'vitalistic scientific absurdity' since they are the two alma maters of these oncological NDs [see 005., below]:

"Board Certification in Naturopathic Oncology. Both Drs. Rubin and Alschuler are Fellows of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO).  This Board Certification represents the highest expertise in the area of naturopathic oncology by being recognized as such by our national association, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) [...which] is rigorous [...] naturopathic oncologists are experts in the application of naturopathic medicine in an oncology setting and are not trained or certified to offer conventional oncology care such as that offered by medical or radiation oncologists [...] Drs. Rubin and Alshuler are experts and world leaders in naturopathic oncology [...] Drs. Rubin and Alschuler believe that good communication is essential to proper treatment [...] Drs. Rubin and Alschuler believe that the highest precept of medical care is to educate people with cancer about their disease. Once people truly better understand what is happening in their body, they often become more empowered. In this sense, education becomes a healing modality [...] empowering people: the goal at Naturopathic Specialists is to make you truly 'in-charge' of your well-being to help motivate, encourage, enable and empower you [...] Drs. Rubin and Alschuler help you navigate the maze of available treatment options and those which may be better suited to you as an individual [...] Drs. Rubin and Alschuler can provide the keys to the myriad of opportunities for treatment that exist in the world of integrative medicine [...] Drs. Rubin and Alschuler are not only skilled in the aspects of your oncological and immunological problems, but are your advocates in all aspects of your treatment."

Note: so, NDs Rubin and Alschuler are marketing themselves as "rigorous"ly qualified, "expert" "world leaders" in a kind of oncology. I disagree with SO MUCH. Ah, the rigor of the AANP: yet, AANP grossly labels the profoundly science-ejected as science. Ah, the rigors of good naturopathic communication: yet, NDs do not transparently communicate their fundamental science-ejected premise. Ah, the rigors of naturopathic education / educating: wherein, absurd sectarian figmentations are labeled scientific and nonsectarian at AANMC schools. Ah, the rigors of naturopathic empowerment: wherein, you are fleeced as their pockets are lined commercially. Ah, the rigors of naturopathic guidance: wherein you are given sugar pills like homeopathy and told that they have a profound or powerful effect on health. Ah, the rigors of naturopathic treatment expertise: wherein wacko therapies like reiki and craniosacral therapy are mislabeled as hugely efficacious. Ah, the rigors of naturopathic advocacy: wherein, naturopathy poses a fiduciary duty / 'professional ethical status' that naturopathy cannot possibly live up to [because it is couched in absurdity (see 003., below)].

002. NS states in "Consent to Consultation" [vsc 2010-03-06, 2012-01-13]:

"consent to consultation [...] Naturopathic Specialists [...] provide[s] services to people [...] who have been diagnosed with cancer [...] the patient understands that Naturopathic Specialist’s Physicians [...] are not primary care physicians [PCPs], board certified medical oncologists or immunologists. Dr. Rubin is board certified in naturopathic oncology. None of the physicians are trained nor qualified to manage the overall care of a person with cancer [...] the patient understands that the physicians may not be able to manage the overall care of a person with cancer [...] the patient understands that the treatment suggestions provided by the Physicians are not all accepted by the United States FDA and therefore should not be taken as such [...] I have read and understood the above criteria and give my full consent to a consultation and / or treatment from Naturopathic Specialists."

Note: I find the disconnect HUGE.  NDs usually hugely claim to be PCPs, yet here we get the admission that they don't think they are.  After claiming a huge ability to coordinate a patient's cancer regimen as 'oncologist', they then state that they are not qualified to be 'physicians'.  Plus, as a patient you get to be a part of experimental, unapproved protocols in all this illogic / absurdity.  Who would consent?  Sadly, likely, the desperate or unaware cancer patient.

003. naturopathy's essential absurdity -- the vitalistic science-ejected posed as science [a subset of naturopathy's 'anything is science' posture!]:

003.a. Rubin, D. (ND SCNM) of NS states naturopathy's essential vitalism in "Naturopathic Medicine: Ways, Means, and Practicality" [vsc 2010-03-06]:

"precepts. Vis medicatrix naturae [slide 010...] vis medicatrix naturae. Vis = energy, strength or force [...] the body possesses the inherent ability to restore health. The physician's role is to facilitate this process with the aid of natural nontoxic therapies [slide 11...] the vital force. This describes the energy essential for life, the innate life principle, or the inherent power within every living organism. Naturopathic doctors seek to support the vital force."

Note: ye old science-ejected vitalistic nonsense.

003.b. Alschuler, L.N. (ND Bastyr 1994) of NS states naturopathy's supposed science basis in "Meet Our Physicians":

"she believes that her job as a naturopathic physician and educator is to stimulate and support the innate healing processes within each individual by applying a scientifically based strategy that utilizes the most natural and least harmful approaches possible."

 Note: so, naturopathy therein is the science-based nonscientific being that 'naturopathy supports the science-ejected vital force scientifically', in sum.

004. currently, NS lists their NDs as:

Rubin, D. (ND SCNM 1997, FABNO AANP), 
Alschuler, L.N. (ND Bastyr 1994, FABNO AANP), 
Coats, M. (ND SCNM 2008), 
Turner, L. (ND SCNM 2007).

Note: so, we might assume that these NDs learned 'naturopathy's essential absurdity M.O.' from their alma maters Bastyr and SCNM!

005. therefore, turning to Bastyr and SCNM [naturopathic institutional absurdity alert!]:

005.a. Bastyr states naturopathy's essential vitalism in "Alternative Medicine: Homeopathy and Children” (Seattle P.I.; 2007-08-01) via Mercer, N.J. (ND Bastyr 1987):

“[she's a] naturopathic physician specializing in homeopathy and an adjunct faculty member, Bastyr U. [...] how does it work? Homeopathy turns on the 'self heal' switch. Chinese medicine calls it the 'chi.' Naturopathic medicine calls it the 'vis.' Homeopathy calls it the 'vital force.' They all describe the energy inhabiting the human body that when stimulated moves the human system toward greater health" while claiming the naturopathic is essentially scientific.

005.b. SCNM states naturopathy's essential vitalism in "Is Alternative Medicine For You?" (2003):

"the healing power of nature [...] first described in western medicine by Hippocrates, the vis medicatrix naturae, is also referred to as chi in Chinese medicine, prana in ayurveda, and vital force in homeopathy. When alive, the vis medicatrix naturae enables humans and other living beings to resist entropy and decay, unlike inanimate objects that are subject to these effects. Creating treatment plans that harness the healing power of nature [...] the essence of naturopathic medicine" while claiming such is essentially scientific.

Note: all the while, such vitalism is hugely science-ejected.

Note: this post was lightly updated 2012-01-13.


Anonymous said...

I had 10 months of chemo in 2006 for metastatic bladder cancer. I chose to undergo several chemo combinations beyond the 'gold standard' because the stats of survival with one (gemzar/cisplatin) were grim and I wanted to live for my young son. The only way I was able to tolerate the aggressive chemo was because of my naturopathic oncologist from Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center. Because of the supplements I took during treatment, I suffer NO permanent side effects and experienced only mild side effects going through the chemo. Sadly most people can't even finish the first chemo due to debilitating side effects. My naturopathic oncologist is largely responsible for my survival today. The fact that some of the supplements are routinely prescribed for chemo patients (like glutamine powder for nerve damage) is a crime to me.

Dr. Bob Ironic said...

Well, there's nothing particularly naturopathic about a chemical compound with potential benefit for cancer patients (see ). Sounds like pharmacology to me.

FNV Prison Program said...

Which means, by all logic, that ND's actually KNOW science. Doesn't Dr. Bob?

brittany said...

If youd done ANY addition research, youd find out quite easily that naturopaths ARE gp's to many patients and have to pass rigorous boards to legally be CERTIFIED to be considered general practitioners. Your article was sloppy and misinformed. If youd spoken to any patients of naturopathic oncologists, maybe you would learn of some of the miraculous successes and advances made in the field that have indeed saved and prolonged lives.

HonestAbe said...

It is important to look at the course work required in an ND program. It is rigorous and the number of required science courses exceeds that which is required in an MD program. I wish people would read. Clearly the author would also benefit from some writing classes, as well.

Rob Cullen said...

Interesting comment HonestAbe. Since when is stating that what is profoundly science-ejected equal to what is science-based rigorous and science? I've read a lot, hugely about naturopathy. Again: huge science claims, actual science-ejected contents no matter what they've studied. I write about what they DO, BELIEVE, CONTAIN. No amount of 'what they've studied' changes the essentially naturopathic.