Friday, August 13, 2010

Dr. Oz, an Honorary Bastyr Doctorate, and Their Misrepresentation of Naturopathy's 'HPN Primary Principle' - Mission Accomplished.

here, I cite from a recent print edition of Naturopathic Doctor News and Review [NDNR] regarding Dr. Mehmet Oz's apparent ignorance of naturopathy's "healing power of nature" [HPN] primary principle [see 001., below; I've added a note at the end of this post as 2011-10-09 appendage, below]; and then, I provide some transparency and non-bullshit per HPN, naturopathy, and where it sits in terms of actual science [see 002., below]:

001.a. NDNR writes in "NDNR Interview: Dr. Mehmet Oz Comments on Naturopathic Medicine and His Recent Honorary Doctorate" [NDNR, 2010-08]:

001.a1. "Dr. Mehmet Oz [MD UPSM 1986] vice chair and professor of surgery at Columbia University [and his wife...] recently received honorary doctorate degrees from Bastyr University [BU...which he calls] 'a wonderful validation [...] gratifying [...] an affirmation [...from] the minds that I admire most in alternative and progressive medicine' [...making him now] part of the professional natural medical community."

001.a2. "[NDNR] you seem to embrace the six principles of naturopathic medicine [...Oz] to understand and embrace these principles [...] like the healing power of nature [...] you don't need a huge lecture [...or honest information apparently] I tell them to simple visit a park [...] or buy a bird feeder or go for a mountain bike ride or sit in silence in a field [...] when they say they feel better, mission accomplished [yeah, that's what that premise is -- not!]."

Note: I actually can't recall recently hearing such a blatantly opaque misrepresentation. Notice how NDNR, along with Oz, does not accurately contextualize HPN, either. The actual premise of HPN will be accurately contextualized in 002. WITH BASTYR'S OWN WORDS.

001.a3. "[Dr. Oz] the first thing I want to do is thank all the naturopathic doctors for their contribution to Western medicine. The West has a long way to go [really!...] institutions like Bastyr are spectacular in presenting knowledge and research in a way that traditional medicine understands [really!...] to promote understanding [...later Oz says] what I know about natural medicine I learned from Lisa [his wife].'"

001.a4. "[Bastyr's President Church (the irony is glorious!), this] person's profession[al] or personal life exemplifies the values and supports the mission of the university [...] honoring them also honors Bastyr University [...and Oz] believed that Bastyr University [...] had done more to elevate and make credible the practice of naturopathic medicine [...] than any other single entity has he was aware of."

Note: by the way, Bastyr hosts an announcement about the awarding here. And here is Church FALSELY stating that naturopathy is science-based, in "Bastyr University - Message from the President" [vsc 2010-08-13]: 

"Bastyr University continues to champion science-based natural medicine."

001.a5. "[Oz and Bastyr seek to] bring together Western and Eastern, allopathic and naturopathic."

001.b. This is some amazing and absurd bullshit. Modern medicine is falsely labeled allopathy and Western a few times.   

Here are some of my thoughts regarding the above excerpts:

per 001.a1. Columbia University is a rather august institution; Bastyr, less so.  Obviously, Oz is happy with this honor and quite supportive of BU and what they do and Bastyr is similarly happy with this arrangement.  The question: is this progressive or regressive?  My expertise informs me that it is the latter: when thinking occurs that results in something being equated with what it is not, we're back in a kind of thinking that is earlier than juvenile.   And professional?  I don't think DECEPTION is professional [more below].

per 001.a2. Ah, those six principles [that's NCNM's non-edited version!].  Well, I'll discuss what HPN really is below.  Needless to say, what Oz describes here as HPN is completely NOT what HPN actually is.  He offers nature-appreciation / aesthetics as HPN's context, but that is is so incomplete that it is hugely wrong.

per 001.a3. I don't think modern medicine is Western or allopathic.  It's simply scientifically-centered and -minded, as opposed to prescientific superstition-centered Eastern and sectarian pseudomedical belief systems.  Our supposed West, in reverting to such archaic junk, couldn't benefit: e.g., how would chemistry benefit by reverting to concepts from alchemy, astronomy benefit from reverting to such from astrology, geography benefit from reverting to a flat-earth theory, biology benefit from reverting to Lamarkism or vitalism, and most important here, how would science benefit from reverting to a way of thinking [I'm being generous here] that doesn't care for the presence or quality of evidence when judging a claim?

Let's make it a little more personal for Dr. Oz, to emphasize his hypocrisy: how would Dr. Oz's cardiothoracic practice benefit by reverting to surgical techniques from 1880?

So, does Bastyr promote knowledge?  They don't even clearly or honestly contextualize their own principle's page HPN premise.  That's manipulative propaganda: it's as cultic as the Scientologists getting you in their church [ah-ha-ha-ha, my irony muscle is strong today] by labeling their religious practices 'a personality test'. 

And honestly, if all Dr. Oz knows about this area is from his wife, does he know much at all? Is that something to brag about?  All I know about naturopathy is from studying it for 15 years and having gone to UB's CNM for four years.  Has he read the Textbook of Natural Medicine?  You can read about naturopathy's hugely science-ejected HPN vitalistic premise there, quite easily.

per 001.a4. The essentially naturopathic is not credible, unless non-disclosure is now ethically equivalent to professions-endorsed informed-decision-making, and science and nonscience are now the same thing.  This seems to be quite a dunderheaded, mutual admiration circle-jerk.

per 001.a5.  The blending of prescientific knowledge / beliefs and modern, scientifically-derived knowledge and then it all being falsely labeled science is naturopathy's MO.  After all, it is Bastyr especially that trades on this insane expression [from their home page]:

"a multidisciplinary curriculum in science-based natural medicine [...] Bastyr's international faculty teaches the natural health sciences with an emphasis on integrating mind, body, spirit and nature [vitalism]."

But, the science-based excludes supernaturalism and vitalism [and physiological teleology, that 'intelligent' aspect of HPN]. That's a basic fact. So, in blending science and nonscience and calling the whole thing science -- yes, for Oz and Bastyr, mission accomplished.  This phenomenon is what I've labeled "epistemic conflation" [EC]-- it's analogous to the label pseudoscience.  But whereas pseudoscience is a question of 'science or not', epistemic conflation looks at the entire spectrum of knowledge-type [e.g., from the a priori to the a posteriori].  Here's how illegitimate this EC is: it would be hugely ground-breaking in terms of modern thought if it was progressive, applicable, useful, rational, productive, world-changing; the Nobel Committee would have awarded their prizes already for this huge sea-change in epistemology.  Instead: silence from Stockholm.  And judgments of irrationality, ignorance, and insanity from many observing from the wings.

001.c. Bastyr has video up of the ceremony:

him, her [vsc 2010-08-13].

002. what HPN actually is FOR NATUROPATHY [not what Dr. O. said, at all]:

002.a. how Bastyr represents HPN, and then digging a little deeper for full-disclosure / transparency / honesty [pseudoscience!]:

""the healing power of nature (vis medicatrix naturae): naturopathic medicine recognizes the body's inherent ability, which is ordered and intelligent, to heal itself. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to recovery, and to facilitate and augment this healing ability."

Note: and that's all you get there.

002.a2. now, here's a 2001 internal Bastyr document that clearly states that HPN is a "vital force,"  and this figmentation is QUITE different from what Oz and Bastyr [from directly above] describe HPN as:

"NM5136 - The Vis Medicatrix Naturae [...] naturopathic medicine’s core clinical principle, the vis medicatrix naturae, is shared by traditional systems of medicine throughout the world. This course explores clinical research, writings and techniques from various systems of medicine which incorporate nature’s influence on healing, the nature of the healing processes, and the vital or life force."

002.b. NDNR, at times, has been transparent [but not in this Oz article] about that central naturopathic HPN premise.  Here's ND Cage vitalizing in “Tolle Causam - Abnormal Cell Growth in Light of Naturopathic Philosophy” [Cage, A. (ND SCNM); NDNR - Feb. 2006, vol. 02 issue 02]:

“this concept of the energetic anatomical structures and the energy conducted by them is entirely harmonious with a third naturopathic principle – the vis medicatrix naturae – the healing power of nature, often referred to as the vital force […] vitalism […] the term vital force appears to be the European translation of qi or prana […] qi, prana, and the vital force […] qi  / energy [p.007].”

002.c. what science says about HPN [vitalism]:

it's not science-based, it is science-ejected.

002.d. What Bastyr falsely labels naturopathy / vitalism, still, to this day:

003. So, overall, huge absurdity -- still. 

Is it honorable and professional to promote the absurd, and in the process annul national medical, academic and particularly science standards [and sanity] with sectarian nonsense and sectarian irrationality?  No, because it is a misrepresentation.

Thankfully that mission is unaccomplished.  But, these knowledge conflationists seem to be working really hard toward that mission [vsc 2010-08-13] and engaging in commerce under HUGELY FALSE labels [unfair business practice].


2011-10-09 appendage [too good to contain!]:

So, I'd mentioned "Dr. Mehmet Oz's apparent ignorance of naturopathy's 'healing power of nature' [HPN] primary principle" above, but isn't this interesting...

Though what I've shared above doesn't seem to indicate that Dr. Oz understands HPN-VMN in any significant manner [a falsely labeled as science actually science-ejected archaic sectarian article of faith that is physiological nonsense], while he claims "to understand and embrace these principles", there is a source I recommend for a transparent explanation of naturopathy's basic context which overarches ALL THEIR PRINCIPLES [the one ring to rule them all!]:

[my scan of the book's cover]

This is Blackwell's Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fast Facts for Medical Practice [editors Herring, M.A. (BSN IWU, MSN UH), Roberts, M.M. (MD UA)](2002; ISBN 0632045833 978-0632045839; strangely-quite-wrongly published under the "Blackwell Science" imprint) [I own this book, ocr'd 2011-10].

The book's cover states "experts in their respective fields provide current and objective information" so the physician -- yes, this is written for physicians -- "can educate yourself and your patients [...and] be ready [...] to address patient questions."

Specific to naturopathy, in his ch. 14, then Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences faculty member Ehrlich, S.D. (NMD SCNM) writes:

"naturopathy is a distinct system of medicine that is based on an understanding that the human organism contains a powerful healing intelligence called the 'vital force.' Naturopathic physicians, as licensed practitioners are referred to in most states, support the vital force by following the six principles of naturopathic medicine:  1. support the healing power of nature [etc....] naturopathy is unique in that it is defined by its principles rather than its modalities. A variety of interventions are used to help mobilize the vital force in patients to bring about cure [...including] nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, mind-body medicine, physical medicine, and lifestyle counseling [...and] the Eastern modalities of acupuncture and ayurveda [...] as these schools of medicine complement the vitalistic medical philosophy of naturopathy [p.091...] the symptom is merely an expression of imbalance by the vital force, which hints of underlying patterns of disharmony [...] by treating the cause, symptoms are alleviated naturally and permanently, the vital force no longer needing to express a condition of imbalance [p.092...] naturopathy has continued to evolve and integrate more conventional Western medical science with its vitalistic teachings to become the modern system of naturopathic medicine that exists today [...] fast facts for medical practice: naturopaths treat the whole person, using the healing power of nature to enliven a patient's own 'vital force' or innate healing ability [p.095]."

So, everything about naturopathy is couched in vitalism -- that hugely science-ejected archaism [Southwest too loves to claim such survives scientific scrutiny!].  But, that's not what's most interesting about this book.  Get this:

Dr. Oz wrote its Foreword!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  He seems to have forgotten its contents with respect to naturopathy.  Oz writes [my comments are in bold]:

"the information gap between patients and the modern medical practitioner continues to grow [...] we have a communication gap [...]";

Well, Dr. Oz really hasn't helped us understand naturopathy via NDNR, TRANSPARENTLY, so he's in my opinion on the wrong side as regards being informative!

"this book helps to provide a substantive foundation that physicians can bring to their discussions with patients to reestablish the precious covenant that they expect [ way of] aggressive pursuit of the newest knowledge [...] I am optimistic that this book will facilitate this process [...]";

The irony is killing me: COULDN'T Dr. Oz have turned to ch. 14 and then explained during the NDNR interview ACTUAL NATUROPATHY and not employed 'a naturopathy as nature appreciation' ruse?  Furthermore, what are the ethics of all this?  Bastyr who-gave-him-the-degree falsely labels the naturopathic endeavor "science-based"; Dr. Oz should know better but I guess this doesn't bother him.

It's signed: "Mehmet Oz, M.D. Director of Cardiovascular Institute Associate Professor of Surgery Department of Surgery College of Physicians and Surgeons Columbia University New York, New York."

And, shamefully -- and obviously with Dr. Oz's participation, merely in the book's first chapter alone -- the misconstruction / false-labeling of modern medicine as "allopathy" or "allopathic" occurs...wait for it...

26 times. Yes, the homeopathic term "allopathy" is falsely placed upon modern medicine twenty-six times in the first chapter alone.

Also [interesting for me in that homeopathy is as committed to vitalism as naturopathy is, and naturopathy is quite committed to homeopathy, even to the extent that homeopathy is falsely labeled "science" on the North American ND / NMD licensure exam and is REQUIRED for the degree and licensure], the homeopathy chapter states:

"in homeopathic theory, symptoms are produced when the vital force, the energy maintaining life in the individual, is out of balance [p.062]."

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