Monday, October 28, 2013

Diane Atwood, ND Kotzur and MAND: Naturopathy in Maine

here, I cite from and comment upon a recent piece on naturopathy by Diane Atwood [see 001., below]; then from the Maine Association of Naturopathic Doctors [see 002., below]; and finally, I ask some *questions of Ms. Atwood [see 003., below]:

001. Diane Atwood writes in "What is a Naturopathic Doctor? Can They Practice in Maine? Are They Covered by Insurance?" (here's her Twitter feed):

"questions? the purpose of this blog post was only to provide some basic information about naturopathic doctors in Maine. If you have other questions, I’m happy to try to find the answers for you [...]";

I have questions I'll ask in 003., below [*!].  Because I'm a curious person, and I like questioning things.

"today, there are 30 licensed naturopathic doctors in Maine [...including] Sarah Kotzur, ND, who [...] is president of the Maine Association of Naturopathic Doctors [...and] says many people, including other health professionals, don’t understand a naturopath's level of education and competency [...] Dr. Kotzur earned her doctorate of naturopathic medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in 2006 [...]";

and so here we go: it is quite true that ND Kotzur's alma mater SCNM postures naturopathy as a branch of medical science while naturopathy is, absurdly, based on what is science ejected (e.g.: see "life force" on p.3 in their current catalog). And WHILE naturopathy claims the broad category of science, ND Kotzur's own web page "Homeopathy 101" demonstrates that naturopathy's essential methods place it OUTSIDE of what science supports.  After all, Wikipedia's entry for homeopathy states "the scientific community regards homeopathy as nonsense, quackery or a sham, and homeopathic practice has been criticized as unethical. The axioms of homeopathy are long refuted and lack any biological plausibility."  Does this sound like a high level of education and competency?  Oh my!  So, in a very basic way I have provided this information: naturopathy's labels are false.  The particular disorder that naturopathic thought suffers from I've labeled "epistemic conflation", the blending of knowledge types.  And the particular misrepresentation naturopathy engages in is what I'll call "mislabeling an epistemic conflation an epistemic delineation."  In other words: blending knowledge [science and the science-exterior] and than labeling it the unblended knowledge kind "science".

"[the ND tells us] we see healing in a different way. The idea of western medicine is to suppress symptoms or make them go away with medication. With a naturopathic physician, we encourage the body’s self-healing process [...] homeopathic remedies are highly diluted substances that are meant to trigger the body’s ability to heal itself [...]";

so, there's the typical disparaging of modern medicine and then, interesting enough, the CODING of naturopathy's central science-exterior vitalistic premise.  As regards suppressing symptoms, this REFUTE comes to mind: imagine in an ER if everyone who came in with right lower quadrant abdominal pain and severe anorexia had their symptoms suppress with painkillers: we'd have a lot of dead people who should have had an appendectomy.  So, this broad idea that modern medicine suppresses symptoms and doesn't treat 'the thing itself' is to me as bullshitty as naturopathy with its components like homeopathy claiming it is a branch of medical science.  And why the coding of vitalism?  Don't people deserve transparency in order to engage in informed consent?  Here's SCNM clearly stating naturopathy's essential vitalism from in 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."  Oh what a wicked web we weave...

"Maine has been licensing naturopathic doctors since 1996 [...]";

ah, licensed falsehood marches on!

002. MAND:

now, I think it is important that a collection of "doctors" tell the truth to the public.  So, I'm wondering:

002.a. does MAND clearly state the vitalism that is at the heart of naturopathy?

well, I get no hits by way of for "force", or "vital" or "medicatrix."  That's amazing.  Their home page tells us "the MAND is dedicated to advancing the principles of naturopathic medicine" but nowhere are those principles listed!

002.b. does MAND clearly state that naturopathy's essential beliefs are science-exterior?

 well, we do get the "science subset naturopathy" claim on their page "Naturopathic Resources" wherein we're told "Bastyr University: Natural Health Sciences". And that's as much information as they give you.  Do you feel informed enough to consent?  Because I feel values are being reversed here: science as a veneer over what is the hidden science-ejected.

003. questions of Diane Atwood [and hints as to where the answers can be found]:

*what is the basis of naturopathy?

[I've a collection, here].

*does naturopathy use the label science to promote itself?

[I've a collection, here].

*is that essential naturopathic basis science-ejected?

[I've a collection, here].

*is it good to falsely promote an area of healthcare in terms of modern medical ethical strictures?

[here's the "Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter" with the expressed requirement that doctors have a:

"commitment to scientific knowledge. Much of medicine's contract with society is based on the integrity and appropriate use of scientific knowledge and technology. Physicians have a duty to uphold scientific standards, to promote research, and to create new knowledge and ensure its appropriate use. The profession is responsible for the integrity of this knowledge, which is based on scientific evidence and physician experience."]
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