Monday, October 26, 2015

My Response to 'ND Healthcare Criticism Sadness': "Metaphysician Heal Thyself"!

here, I muse upon recent dialog between 'naturopathy apostate ND Hermes' of and the Twitter account 'ND Healthcare'.  I put it up here because I want to be wordy about this [and say nasty things that only I can get in trouble for, as opposed to get other people in trouble with me for]:

001. fND Hermes [for former!], wrote in "Be the Change" (2015-10-25):

"[regarding] 'Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial' by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst [...] when I read Trick or Treatment, I was in awe of Singh and Ernst. They succeeded in debunking alternative medicine therapies with science, while simultaneously not berating or belittling the reader for believing in magical medicines. They did not coddle me in order to present the facts. They were clear, concise, and unapologetic about what the science said about alternative medicine. I remember feeling like I was getting the truth about naturopathy, without any of the judgment [...] a naturopathic medicine group recently tweeted to me that they were sad about my attack on naturopathic medicine. They wrote [...] '@NaturoDiaries Dr Hermes it saddens me that you take this view.We're all just trying to make this world a healthier place. #BeTheChange' [...] I agree that respect, sensitivity, and compassion are beneficial factors in any human interaction. I also believe that when it comes to medicine and patient safety, fixed lines need to be drawn separating what is acceptable and what is not. Sometimes the messages surrounding ethics and standards in medicine are communicated poorly, but when done expertly, and with compassion, they can move mountains."

so I'll comment on this below, in 002.  Then, in 003., I'll look at the Twitter account of "ND Healthcare" and a great example of their falsehood at their '.com'.  I've seen Simon Singh twice live, by the way, at I believe a TAM in Vegas and a NECSS in NYC.

002. my comments:

regarding the book:

"I was disappointed in the Trick or Treatment entry on naturopathy. I find that that entry has mixed messages, and overall seemed lazy, without contextual detail, and acting basically as a place-filler.  People can search the hardcover version at, and you'd see there's only a one-page entry on naturopathy in the book.  It does warn not to use naturopathy in place of conventional medicine, but also states things like: 'the main difference lies in the nature of the prescriptions [...] much of the naturopathy approach is eminently valid.'  What?

I completely disagree: there are presumptions that are previous to their diagnostics that then affect those diagnostics that then affect chosen therapies.  And that's a much larger difference that what was stated.  Of course, I'm talking here about worldview [weltanschauung, dare I say]: epistemics and then ontology.

 And what stands alone as valid, I guarantee people can find outside of naturopathy and merely borrowed by naturopathy but not 'essentially naturopathic.'  For critical thinkers I highly admire, I think the authors failed here.  I'm hoping a second edition remedies these deficiencies, though I think the entire book even in its first edition is a HUGE indictment of naturopathy because so much of the book deals with the components of the naturopathy Frankenmuddle.

And I'll also cut the authors some slack: of course, writing about naturopathy from a European location is quite different from a US location.  North American naturopathy is quite homogeneous compared to what exists in say England, Australia, Germany, and even India.  Writing generally about naturopathy INTERNATIONALLY is near to impossible."

regarding compassion and "fixed lines":

"I teach a lot of medical law and ethics throughout the year as I train adults to work under the direct supervision of physicians, and as regards compassion, I basically have this strategy: when students disagree with each other over positions which are personal values, or even I disagree with a student's opinion and I haven't verbally expressed that, it's enough to lead the class in clarifying positions -- both professional and personal -- talking about the origin of such preferences, and presenting competing idea(s) / choices.  In terms of personal values, they are compassionately respected as quite subjective and diverse, and not to be debated but to be understood.

My students are mandated to complete this competency, also: to separate their personal ethical values from their professional ethical obligations and values. This is so they can best fulfill their fiduciary duty to a patient: by increasing their own self-awareness, they can align with what are the 'fixed lines' of their chosen healthcare roles.

What I hear in the disappointment of your ND / NMD peers [of a kind, historically speaking] is what I could call 'your interference with naturopathy's SUPPOSED crusade for change.'

But, we again have to dig down into premises to contextualize 'what kind of change and if change at all.'

Now, due to what I know naturopathy is based on, I think it is not accurate to call them physicians, and most accurate to call them metaphysicians.

They say "healthier", but I'd say, to the NDs / NMDs: "metaphysician heal thyself."

And that's where the book also fails to illuminate.

What NDs want to do is impose their belief set onto all of healthcare.

In that sense, their cause is a crusade, as they are evangelizing certain beliefs and activities.

And yet they WON'T usually be transparent about those METAPHYSICAL beliefs and they'll falsely pose them as within science."

003. who is "ND Healthcare" and what are they all about [ND Healthcarelessness, wink-wink!]?:

003.a. the "ND Healthcare" Twitter account refers us to [2015 archived], and that homepage states that their members are:

"Dr. Carrie Louise Daenell, ND; Dr. Christine Doherty, ND;
Dr. Paul Mittman, ND, EdD; Dr. Kristaps Paddock, ND;
Dr. Margaret Philhower, ND; Dr. Emily Telfair, ND."

Note: here are their bio. pages:

but there seems to be other NDs also involved.

003.b. regarding "scientific", the site tells us in "Naturopathic Medicine Defined" [2015 archived]:

"naturopathic doctors [...have a] commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research [...] they collaborate with other branches of medical science [...and they speak of] other health care professionals [...] the naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure [etc....] it incorporates the science of [etc....] naturopathic medicine is the art and science [etc....]";

so, there's the claim of being categorically "science", and "professional."  That's QUITE a promise.  But then we're also told: 

"naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine [...]";

science is NOT, though, a BLEND of science with nonscience, by definition.  And something that is DISTINCT is not BLENDED, by definition.

003.c. and there's PATENT nonscience within their science [epistemic falsehood]:

now, that very same page that claims 'branch of medical science' mentions that naturopathy includes homeopathy, and that its "powerful" and "acting" on "the body’s healing and immune response." 

but, we know homeopathy is inert.  So, I'd say, that categorical label of being "scientific" is false.  Within homeopathy, minimally within naturopathy.  If science is a tree then naturopathy has ARTIFICIALLY and PARASITICALLY grafted itself onto that tree.  That doesn't sound natural to me, or nice. 

003.d. and more PATENT nonscience within their science, in the post "Drainage and UNDAs" [2015 archived], written by ND Cusack [a 2008 Bastyr graduate], wherein she states:

"many of you may have noticed that I have begun using more UNDA number compounds in my practice [...] biotherapeutic drainage and UNDA number compounds.  Drainage is a modality that focuses on both optimizing organ function and detoxification [...] stimulating the Vis and in many cases supporting the organs of elimination [...] biotherapeutic drainage contributes to the 2nd step to healing [...] optimize the health of internal organs and/or drainage (UNDA, visceral manipulation, craniosacral therapy, herbs, etc.) [...] optimize/balance the chi flow or the internal vital energy (homeopathy, acupuncture, manual therapy) [...]"; 

and they say this is science. And I'll say as I often say, when it is ever professional to be based on falsehood? 

*004. obviously, 'dogmatic archaic conservatism / sectarian pseudomedical obligations and preferences' unvetted carelessness is masquerading as rigorously vetted 'scientific changing progressiveness':

*I'm actually not talking about politics here, but epistemology.

so, I'd say it's actually GOOD that "ND Healthcare" as a group are displeased and saddened.  It's a start.  When they finally realize they're on the wrong side of history, I hope they become horrified.  And from that disgust perhaps they'll CHANGE / heal.

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