In a perverse way, one almost has to admire naturopaths. If there’s anything that characterizes naturopaths in their pursuit of legitimacy and licensure, it’s an amazing relentlessness. In this, they are not unlike The Terminator. As Kyle Reese described him in the first Terminator movie, the Terminator “can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop… ever, until you are dead!” The difference is that naturopaths won’t stop until they are licensed in all 50 states and science-based medicine is, for all intents and purposes, dead. Over the years, I’ve written about attempts by naturopaths to obtain licensure in various states, including my own.

I noted last summer that one state, Massachusetts, had taken a large step forward in licensing the quackery that is naturopathy with the passage by its Senate of S.2335. As Jan Bellamy noted at the time, this was, by her count, the eleventh legislative session in which a naturopathic practice bill had been introduced. Alarmingly, she also noted that a bill actually passed one year, “thanks to some questionable legislative shenanigans at the end of session,” but, fortunately, it was vetoed by the governor.

Unfortunately, what happened before has happened again in Massachusetts:

A measure that emerged in the waning moments of the last legislative session this week would create a state licensing board for naturopaths — alternative medicine practitioners whose work is considered unproven and potentially dangerous by physician leaders but is defended as a helpful option by adherents.

If Governor Charlie Baker signs the bill into law, he will end a two-decade effort by naturopaths to obtain the legitimacy, oversight, and protection of having a professional license. Massachusetts would join 18 other states and Washington, D.C., in licensing naturopaths, including all bordering states except Rhode Island.

Amy Rothenberg, president of the Massachusetts Society of Naturopathic Doctors, cheered the vote as a victory for public health. She said the bill, if enacted, will protect patients from inadequately trained naturopaths who engage in dangerous practices, such as attempting to cure a patient of cancer with herbs and vitamins.

“We’ll be able to offer quality naturopathic medicine to the citizens of Massachusetts, where we will have both the protection of the law and also regulation,” Rothenberg said.

The bill passed is, again, s.2335. How it passed is a bit of a mystery to me. I don’t claim to understand how the Massachusetts legislature works. (I hardly understand how the Michigan legislature works.) Jann Bellamy, for instance, informs me that the legislature was not in session at the time it was passed (January 3). The bill, if signed by the governor, would grant naturopaths a wide scope of practice, including:

Section 266. (a) The practice of naturopathic health care shall include, but not be limited to:

(i) the prevention and treatment of human illness, injury or disease through education, dietary or nutritional advice and the promotion of healthy ways of living;

(ii) the use of non-invasive physical examinations and the ordering of clinical and laboratory procedures from licensed clinics or laboratories to evaluate injuries, illnesses and conditions in the human body;

(iii) dispensing, administering, ordering and prescribing natural medicines of mineral, animal or botanical origin, including, but not limited to, food products or extracts, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, digestive aids, natural hormones, plant substances, homeopathic preparations, natural antibiotics, topical medicines and nonprescription drugs, therapeutic devices and barrier contraceptives to prevent or treat illnesses, injuries and conditions of the human body;

(iv) the use of manual mechanical manipulation of body structures or tissues in accordance with naturopathic principles;

(v) the use of naturopathic physical medicine to maintain or restore normal physiological functioning of the human body; and

(vi) mandatory tracking and documentation of the immunization status of a patient under 18 years of age and the required referral of that patient to a primary care or collaborative care physician where evidence exists that the individual has not been immunized.

Given how reliably antivaccine the vast majority of naturopaths are, (vi) made me laugh, as did this provision:

(d) Licensed naturopathic doctors shall have the same authority and responsibilities as licensed physicians regarding public health laws, reportable diseases and conditions, communicable disease control and prevention, recording of vital statistics, health and physical examinations and local boards of health, except that the authority of licensed naturopathic doctors regarding such matters shall be limited to the scope of practice authorized by this chapter. Naturopathic doctors shall be mandated reporters as required of physicians and nurses.

In any case, I did a brief perusal of the utter quackery that naturopaths in Massachusetts offer the first time I wrote about this bill. Not surprisingly, many of them offer homeopathy, because you can’t have naturopathy without homeopathy. There was also the usual assortment of naturopathic quackery, including devices that resemble more than anything else Scientology e-meters, hyperbaric oxygen, immersion baths, footbath detoxification, and a lot more. It’s basically par for the course, the sort of nonsense I see any time I examine what naturopaths are doing.

Now here’s the funny thing. This bill, if signed by the governor, doesn’t actually require naturopaths to be licensed. Knowing how contentious various certifications, such as board certification, I can guess what happened here. Naturopaths who didn’t go to the “approved” schools of naturopathy raised a stink, as did other “natural health practitioners.” They didn’t want to risk being shut out of practicing all that lucrative woo. So, likely as a sop to them, the senate included this provision:

(vi) a person or practitioner who is not licensed as a naturopathic doctor from recommending ayurvedic medicine, herbal remedies, nutritional advice, homeopathy or other therapy that is within the scope of practice of naturopathic health care; provided, however, that the person or practitioner shall not represent or assume the character or appearance of a person practicing naturopathic health care or otherwise use a name, title or other designation which indicates or implies that the person is licensed to practice naturopathic health care.

In other words, if you’re a naturopath who didn’t go to an “approved” school or some other practitioner of “natural health,” you can still recommend quackery that is included in the naturopathic scope of practice, you can still ply that quackery. You just can’t call yourself a naturopath any more. I do have to hand it to the naturopaths. This is an excellent means of protecting their turf against other quack specialties. There are a lot of people out there calling themselves “naturopaths” who got their degrees through mail order schools or schools even less reputable than the “approved” schools of naturopathy out there. Licensure prevents those “practitioners” from calling themselves naturopaths.

Of course, naturopaths think that they are somehow protecting the public from “lesser” trained naturopaths, but in reality, given how much pseudoscience is inherent in naturopathy, there really isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between a “licensed” naturopath and the naturopaths who won’t be able to be licensed under this law.

Any bill like this requires a credulous legislator to champion it, and the Massachusetts law is no different:

Representative Jay R. Kaufman, Democrat of Lexington and a top proponent of licensing naturopaths, said the medical society has been “incredibly slow to appreciate the qualifications as well as the experience of folks who are alternative medicine practitioners.”

Years ago, Kaufman served on a legislative commission on naturopathy, which he said concluded that naturopathic practices and those of conventional medicine “had very comparable levels of credibility and scientific accuracy.”

“A broader array of options just means that overall health care of citizens of the Commonwealth will improve,” he predicted.

Rothenberg, of the Massachusetts naturopathic society, said responsible naturopaths work in concert with medical doctors and know when to refer cases to them. Oncologists often refer patients to her to help with the side effects of cancer treatment, she said.

I discussed Rothenberg’s case briefly. Regular readers who look at her case will recognize a typical alternative medicine cancer cure testimonial in which she underwent conventional therapy plus naturopathy but attributes the naturopathy for how well she’s doing. Everything Rothenberg subjected herself to is pure quackery that added nothing to her care. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are what cured her, not the intravenous vitamin infusions (I’m guessing she was into high dose vitamin C), the hyperbaric oxygen chamber, and the enzyme therapy. In Kaufmann, Rothenberg and her fellow naturopaths have found a willing dupe. Let’s also not forget another great benefit to naturopaths of licensure: Reimbursement by insurance companies. Licensure makes it far more likely that insurance companies will reimburse naturopaths for their services.

The only hope now to protect the citizens of Massachusetts from the legalization of quackery is for the governor to veto the bill. This happened in 2002, the last time that naturopaths managed to get such a bill passed, but there’s a different governor now and there’s no way of knowing whether he will be disposed to do the same.

Comments

  1. #1 Eric Lund
    January 6, 2017

    the legislature was not in session at the time it was passed

    How did they take a vote? This is, shall we say, highly irregular.

    I’m no expert on the subject either, but the Massachusetts General Court has a strange history to it. The prototypical gerrymander was a legislative district in Essex County drawn in 1812 on behalf of then Governor Elbridge Gerry. (If you look closely at the famous cartoon of the district, you can read the names of the townships that comprised this district, which are along the northern and western borders of the county.) More recently, during the period that I lived in Massachusetts, the President of the State Senate was James Bulger, brother of the notorious mobster “Whitey” Bulger.

  2. #2 Khan
    January 6, 2017

    …in accordance with naturopath principles…

    Naturopaths have principles?

  3. #3 Orac
    January 6, 2017

    I’m hoping Jann will be able to find out more. The last time this happened and the governor vetoed the bill (in 2002), apparently the bill passed under strange circumstances not unlike this one at the end of a legislative session. It’s possible that they passed it before the legislative session ended and it didn’t register until Jan. 3,, but I can’t find a vote recorded.

  4. #4 Eric Lund
    January 6, 2017

    It’s possible that they passed it before the legislative session ended and it didn’t register until Jan. 3,, but I can’t find a vote recorded.

    I found that Ballotpedia had the answer to my question of when the General Court was in session. The 2016 session ended 31 July, and the 2017 session began 4 January. You may recall that there was an election between those two dates. So there are definitely shenanigans here. Among other things, I would expect that if the governor did nothing the bill would be pocket vetoed, though I am not an expert on Massachusetts state constitutional law. It is definitely possible that the legislature that passed this bill is not the legislature that is now meeting in Boston.

  5. #5 Eric Lund
    January 6, 2017

    Naturopaths have principles?

    Yes. Specifically, the principle that people gullible enough to believe naturopathy are gullible enough to give a naturopath money. Not all states allow or require insurance to cover visits to naturopaths.

  6. #6 Lighthorse
    January 6, 2017

    By allowing the bill to pass, the governor may very well come to find blood on his hands. Until such a time as he has critically evaluated the subject of naturopathy and the deceptive practices it entails, allowing such a bill pass would be utterly unconscionable. For a crash course, he could do far worse than to begin right here, and at Science-Based Medicine. To round out his education, the sites Edzard Ernst, Naturopathic Diaries, and Quack Watch are highly recommended.

  7. #7 prn
    January 6, 2017

    To me, history shows a lot of attacks, errors, omissions and lies in the conventional medical press about nutrients. It undercuts std medicine’s credibility on real fraud and quackery.

    Although I typically go to CAM MDs instead of naturopaths, I can’t help this thought about std medicine:
    Reform, or you will be assimilated…

  8. #8 Panacea
    January 6, 2017

    Governor Baker is a Republican, which implies to me he won’t care much about science. We can only hope I’m wrong and he does veto this horrid bill.

    prn: It’s not an error for the medical literature to dismiss the high dose vitamin C you so fervently believe in. It doesn’t work. If it did, we’d be using it. The issues the public has with our modern health care system are multi factoral and have more to do with high costs, personality clashes, and the lack of a guarantee of a cure.

    None of which validates woo.

  9. #9 Lawrence
    January 6, 2017

    “Reform?”

    How exactly? By accepting or giving treatments that have no scientific backing?

    Once again, if we go down the road you insist upon, lots of people will die. And they will die for no good reason.

  10. #10 BA
    MA
    January 6, 2017

    During year end informal sessions it is difficult to pass legislation (unless it is done when no one is watching which sometimes happens during informal session). Legislation needs to pass unanimously meaning any one legislator can object and the bill will not pass. Apparently no one objected and it passed. Not sure what Baker will do but MA is heavily into “consumer choice.”

  11. #11 BA
    January 6, 2017

    So bill was passed and laid before the Gov on January 3, 2017. Sponsored by Senate Ways and Means (Karen Spilka -Ashland chair I believe). House offered an amendment that was accepted. Bill progressed. Original bill # was 2148. Estimated establishing the board will cost $300,000. To find bill’s path and current text you need to search the 189th General Court as the current default on Mass.Gov is 190th GC.

  12. #12 prn
    January 6, 2017

    prn: It’s not an error for the medical literature to dismiss the high dose vitamin C you so fervently believe in. It doesn’t work.
    Your ill informed opinion increasingly won’t matter. In reality it does work for a number of medical situations, strikingly so. All the MD, PhD, MD-PhD, RN, RD etc mis-educated by decades of corruption and rumor mongering, repeating it, even with legal backing, probably won’t change the reality.

    If it did, we’d be using it.
    Your specious belief in some “efficient market” theory of technology. The CEOs and (technical) sales reps of the world probably laugh at this, and cry all the way to the bank.

    The issues the public has with our modern health care system are multi factoral and have more to do with high costs, personality clashes, and the lack of a guarantee of a cure.
    Starting with purveyors of anything in the medical industrial complex. Costs don’t need to be high for anything generic before 2017, and those should have been capped by $/QoL yr contributions by the insurance companies. E.g. pharma could charge $1m per yr gained, but insurance would only contribute $20,000, the rest uncovered and pt funded.

    None of which validates woo.
    I think many people find the corrupt gate keeping tiresome and deadly.

  13. #13 Robert L Bell
    January 6, 2017

    Representative Jay R. Kaufman, Democrat of Lexington and a top proponent of licensing naturopaths,

    Historical Trivia: both Jill Stein and my ex wife live in Lexington as well. The place is teeming with crackpots, although it seems nice enough from the outside.

  14. #14 JustaTech
    January 6, 2017

    Thank FSM the bill wouldn’t give naturopaths any prescribing power. Mass has a terrible enough opiate problem as it is, without adding in a huge new prescriber pool.

    If it weren’t massively unethical I would be tempted to demand that the people who sponsor these kinds of bills be restricted to treatment by whatever quacks they’re trying to license for the rest of their lives. But that would be cruel because at least no naturopath has (to my knowledge) claimed to be a trauma surgeon.

    Is it just me or do we have more monomaniacal commenters around than in the past?

  15. #15 JustaTech
    January 6, 2017

    Robert: I mostly spent time in Concord, which is rich and the biggest collection of stuff shirts I’ve ever seen. No alternative anything, thank you very much.
    How would you rate Lexington to Cambridge?

  16. #16 Panacea
    January 6, 2017

    prn: BS. You can’t prove it, so it doesn’t work.

  17. #17 Narad
    January 7, 2017

    I note that one provision that didn’t survive from S2335 to H4787 is this one:

    (f) The commissioner of public health may review and approve or disapprove rules and regulations proposed by the board of naturopathic medicine; provided, however, that following review, the commissioner shall provide the board with written notice of approval or disapproval and shall set forth in writing the reasons for a disapproval.

  18. #18 Robert L Bell
    January 7, 2017

    @JustaTech

    Let’s see, Cambridge has four times the people and six times the crime and is a bit less of the “white/non-Hispanic” population base while most of the working has been squeezed out over the last thirty years under the pressure of tech salaries. It also has the Center for High Energy Metaphysics, which is more “high spirited kids” than “dedicated woowootarians.”

    My suspicion is that Cambridge has its share of the alternative types, but they don’t stand out from the background. Sort of like the spurious cancer cluster issue in epidemiology.

    By the same token, Lexington here is hit with confirmation bias: I read about one alt .med guy in town, two other cases immediately leap to mind from personal experience, the next thing you know an army of people I know through them begin crowding the mind. Bingo Crepuscule, the entire town is tainted!

  19. #19 Robert L Bell
    January 7, 2017

    * working class

  20. #20 Lighthorse
    January 7, 2017

    What is it with this high dosage intravenous vitamin C that naturopaths are so adamant in defending? One might assume that there are well controlled clinical trials to back it up, but where are they?

  21. […] as the “General Court”) passed a licensing bill for naturopaths on January 3, 2017. (Orac covered the bill’s passing as well.) The bill is now on the Governor’s desk for consideration. We’ll get to the […]

  22. #22 Eric Lund
    January 7, 2017

    One might assume that there are well controlled clinical trials to back it up

    One would assume incorrectly.

    I suspect this is another case of argument from authority. Among the best-known proponents of high dosage vitamin C treatments was Linus Pauling, who won a Nobel Prize in chemistry and subsequently went emeritus. The “logic” is that since the mainstream scientific community thought highly enough of Pauling to award him a Nobel Prize, his ideas must be mainstream.

    Pauling is of course not the only example of a Nobel Prize winner who went emeritus. Brian Josephson and William Shockley, both physics prize winners, were notorious in their later years for rather retrograde views on race. Orac has mentioned several examples of medicine/physiology winners who subsequently went off the deep end, but I’d have to look up their names.

  23. #23 prn
    January 8, 2017

    Panacea@16
    prn: BS. You can’t prove it, so it doesn’t work,
    Things typically “work” before they are “proven”, if ever that formally demonstrated. Sometimes for centuries. Std medicine shows signs of trying to establish a new record.

    Eric Lund@21
    For non-cancer issues, Thomas Levy’s book, Curing the Incurable 3rd, 4th ed (2011) is probably the best single compendium of what English language material there is for IV vitamin C. Often from old literature in smaller therapeutic doses.

  24. #24 Narad
    January 8, 2017

    For non-cancer issues, Thomas Levy’s book, Curing the Incurable 3rd, 4th ed (2011) is probably the best single compendium of what English language material there is for IV vitamin C.

    How could I have failed to realize that vitamin C is “perhaps the most important ongoing electron donor to keep . . . electron flow at optimal levels“?

  25. #25 Panacea
    January 8, 2017

    @prn: sure, if you’re talking about gravity.

    You don’t need to prove that exists before you get up out of a chair.

    If you want to promote a treatment for a disease, you do. Because otherwise you do more harm than good. Show me the RCT. Show me the epidemiological evidence.

    Don’t show me testimonials. Not interested.

  26. #26 Eric Lund
    January 8, 2017

    Things typically “work” before they are “proven”

    Many correlations are observed before the underlying causal relationships are understood. But frequently the correlation turns out to be spurious. Correlation does not imply causation.

    There is an entire website devoted to spurious correlations. The first entry in the list as I type this comment (about 2045 EST on 8 January) points out that US spending on space, science, and technology correlates with suicides by hanging, strangulation and suffocation (r = 0.9979). That’s an impressive-sounding correlation. But there is no plausible causal mechanism.

    Attention to causal mechanisms is particularly important in medicine, because things do not always work the way you think they do. The placebo effect could be in operation. Or some drug interaction could be magnifying (or counteracting) the effect. That’s one of many reasons why clinical trials are so important: they are one way to make sure things really are working as you expect. Often they don’t, particularly when you are dealing with a system as complex as a human.

  27. #27 herr doktor bimler
    January 9, 2017

    vitamin C is “perhaps the most important ongoing electron donor to keep . . . electron flow at optimal levels“?

    With enough ascorbic acid, we are all superconductors!
    I also learned from Levy’s deep thoughts that illness is really a form of magnetic-monopole deficiency:

    The work of Davis and Rawls (1975, 1979) established nicely that a North pole magnetic exposure decreased inflammation and pain, while suppressing microbial growth. The South pole had the opposite biological effects. One possible explanation for these findings is that a North pole magnetic field facilitates the delivery of electrons into exposed tissue, while the South pole facilitates the transport of electrons away from exposed tissue. Regardless, the proper use of the North pole of a strong biomagnet closely mimics the effects of vitamin C delivered systemically.

  28. #28 Linda
    MA
    January 9, 2017

    I’m pretty sure that this must be the same “informal legislative session” where about 6 legislators made some changes to the higher profile recreational marijuana laws that was approved by the November ballot question.

    At any rate, I think I know what phone calls I’ll be making today. I’ve already seen enough nurse friends and other acquaintances who need serious medical attention fall for the woo. There’s no need to further legitimize it. I find Gov. Baker to be a pretty practical, nuts and bolts kind of politician, so despite being republican I’m not quick to write him off as someone immune to reason.

  29. #29 PGR, J.D.
    VA
    January 10, 2017

    Dear Orac,

    I would be very cautious about calling Doctors of Chiropractic “Quacks.” See Wilks v. AMA, 895 F.2d 352, 383 (1990) (A case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit). (AMA is the American Medical Association).

    “We affirm the district court’s finding that the AMA violated
    § 1 of the Sherman Act by conducting an illegal boycott of chiropractors, and the district court’s decision to grant an injunction against the AMA.”

    The Court found:

    “In 1963 the AMA formed its Committee on Quackery (“Committee”). The Committee worked diligently to eliminate chiropractic. A primary method to achieve this goal was to make it unethical for medical physicians to professionally associate with chiropractors. Under former Principle 3, it was unethical for medical physicians to associate “unscientific practitioners.”

    A “Committee on Quackery?” Really???? I used to think most physicians were above that sort of thing. There is plenty of disease to go around, you don’t need to try to eliminate the competition.

    Doctors of Chiropractic are not quacks. They actually figure out the root cause of symptoms, treat the underlying cause and heal people (without killing them). They do this without becoming an agent of the pharmaceutical industry. They believe the human body, just like all other animals in the Animal Kingdom, is SELF-REGULATING. Not only is it capable of changing its blood flow, hormone production, and every other function that keeps it alive, it can do this without a prescription. There is no one normal blood pressure, cholesterol level, hormone level, or any other level. The body is constantly adapting to environmental stimuli, stressors and internal needs. It does this to preserve life. Every medication has adverse effects in the body, including aspirin, Tylenol and all other OTC medications. Beta blockers constrict blood flow to the brain and long term use leads to damage in the brain (ergo dementia). Statins reduce cholesterol (the brain is made up primarily of cholesterol, hormones are created by it, it is used to patch week blood vessels and it does not clot arteries). There has been no study that says that lowering cholesterol reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, but it has been shown that low cholesterol in the elderly DOUBLES their risk of death:

    Brescianini S, Maggi S, Farchi G, Mariotti S, Di Carlo A, Baldereschi M, Inzitari D; ILSA Group. Low total cholesterol and increased risk of dying: are low levels clinical warning signs in the elderly? Results from the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003 Jul;51(7):991-6.

    Yet, it is given out like candy, and most patients have no idea how deleterious it is for the body.

    See Helsinki Businessmen’s Study of cardiac risk factors.
    3,313 men traditional treatment group (medicated) had significantly higher mortality than untreated control group.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7488463

    Surely you are aware of all the HARM done by allopathic medicine???

    The Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) was created by Congress to analyze scientific and technical issues in America. From 1972 to 1995, the OTA conducted studies on health care, among other disciplines..

    Their report was highly critical of healthcare in the United States. As a consequence, the agency was disbanded by Congress.

    The OTA’s 1995 report on health care found that:
    Life expectancy in the US was among the lowest in developed countries
    Infant mortality rates in the US are poor
    Technology in US medicine is expensive and unrestrained
    67% of physicians in the US in 1990 were specialists
    The drug industry exacerbates health care costs while new drugs rarely provide more benefit than old
    The FDA doesn’t consider the effectiveness of new treatments or compare new products to old
    The FDA does not consider non-drug alternatives
    The pre- and post-approval processes for drugs is lacking

    The report concluded with these statements:
    “Only 10-20% of all procedures used in medical practice have been shown to be efficacious by controlled trial,” and “There are no mechanisms in place to limit dissemination of technologies regardless of their clinical value.”

    I hear a lot from doctors about evidence or science based medicine. Show me. . .you can’t because it isn’t there. Sure, there are disreputable pharmaceutical sponsored studies (Whistleblower Dr. William Thompson and fraudulent data destruction which hid the fact that the MMR vaccine increased the risk of autism for African American boys by 400%) most of which are totally bogus. But REAL science? Not so much.

    The Nutrition Institute of America funded an independent review of “government-approved” medicine that was published in 2006. Professors Gary Null and Dorothy Smith, along with doctors Carolyn Dean, Martin Feldman and Debora Rasio titled the report “Death by Medicine.”

    They found that the iatrogenic death rate in the US (death caused by doctors and/or medical treatments) at that time was 783,936 a year. Higher than heart disease or cancer death rates. In fact, the NUMBER 1 KILLER

    Conventional Medicine is the Leading Cause of Death, Dr. Josh Axe.

    In an effort to be fair and balanced, in a study of the deaths resulting from chiropractic, it found 26 fatalities were published since 1934. The author’s recommendation was that the risk of death by chiropractic was outweighed by the benefit.

    Let’s balance this out–26 deaths over 83 years versus 783,936 in ONE year. Granted, this includes supposed life and death, immediate surgery cases, but it also includes less serious bungles. A situation becomes life and death because the doctor makes a mistake.

    Deaths after Chiropractic: A Review of Published Cases.
    E. Ernst, Int J Clin Pract. 2010;64(10):1162-1165.

    So, before you go defaming other medical professionals-by the way, did you know that doctors of chiropractic actually take more medical school course hours than medical doctors-you might want to do a little more research.

    Chiropractor on left, MD on right

    520 Anatomy 508
    420 Physiology 326
    271 Pathology 335
    300 Chemistry 325
    114 Bacteriology 130
    370 Diagnosis 374
    320 Neurology 112
    217 X-Ray 148
    65 Psychiatry 144
    65 Obstetrics & Gynecology 198
    225 Orthopedics 156
    2,887 TOTAL HOURS 2,756

    DCs
    Adjusting,
    Manipulation,
    Kinesiology, and
    other similar basis
    subjects related to
    their specialty.

    MDs
    Pharmacology,
    Immunology, general
    surgery, and other
    similar basic subjects
    related to their
    specialty.

    Chiropractors MDs
    4,485 GRAND TOTAL CLASS HOURS 4,248

    In the spirit of understanding,
    PGR, J.D.

    • #30 Orac
      January 10, 2017

      Bwahahahaha!

      Thanks for the chuckle. You just made my day.

  30. #31 Narad
    January 10, 2017

    I would be very cautious about calling Doctors of Chiropractic “Quacks.” See Wilks v. AMA, 895 F.2d 352, 383 (1990) (A case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit). (AMA is the American Medical Association).

    “We affirm the district court’s finding that the AMA violated
    § 1 of the Sherman Act by conducting an illegal boycott of chiropractors, and the district court’s decision to grant an injunction against the AMA.”

    You’re not really a lawyer, are you?

  31. #32 PGR, J.D.
    VA
    January 10, 2017

    Laughter IS GOOD MEDICINE:–)

    Glad I made your day. . .You won’t be the first person to laugh at the medical views I hold, but they are just common sense to me. I can say that I am 64 years old, take no meds prescription or OTC, run 3-5 miles a day, am a black belt in Karate, juice most every morning, eat organic, am a vegetarian for over 20 years and have been to a doctor (holistic) maybe 3 times since 1990. I have never had a flu shot and since I left home for college, never a vaccine. I had a polio sugar cube and a tetanus shot around age 5 MMR at 18. I had ALL the DREADED childhood diseases-chicken pox, mumps, measles, rubella, and influenza (and thereby am permanently immune-at least the first 4) and God knows how, but I survived!! I don’t have autism or any autoimmune disease or anything that I know of. When I am injured I use PEMF (pulsed magnetic field therapy) and take a Jacuzzi with Epsom Salts and Baking Soda. I do take vitamins (high dose C, D3, multi, Bs and iodine and others as necessary). I don’t use antiobiotics, I use colloidal silver, ginger, garlic, cumin and everything in my spice cabinet. I am a mother of 3 and a grandmother of 7. I try to make food my medicine and my medicine my food. From the famous Father of Modern (should read Natural) Medicine-Hippocrates.

    You might say it is just good genes, but my Mother has had 2 knees and 2 hips replaced, foot surgery, her gall bladder and appendix removed, has glaucoma, eats sweets all day, takes beta blockers, statins, and other meds, and at 83 has dementia, skin cancer, arthritis gut problems and huge mobility problems. That is my gene pool.

    I certainly would want a good ER doc if I were run over by a car, and there is a place for that in my world. It often boggles my pea brain why those who support traditional medicine go to such lengths to try to convert those with a different approach, or who seek to use naturopathic doctors or chiropractors or herbalists or acupuncturists over the traditional medical model. We are not incapable of deciding for ourselves what works for us and what doesn’t. What drastically alters our QUALITY of life and what enhances it. MDs have plenty to do. If these other ways of caring for one’s intelligent, self healing, self-regulating body are so terrible, why am I so healthy and many of my contemporaries so sick? My first cousin, a cancer researcher, died last month at the age of 61 of cancer.

    I hope you will at least consider that there is no “one size fits all” medical approach. Society has become so reliant on pill popping for quick symptom relief without addressing underlying problems. True health does not come from a bottle, but out of respect for the beauty and intelligence of the human body. That means not poisoning it, exercising it, giving it good sleep, learning how to control stress and meditating or praying. It is not the easiest path, but in my humble opinion, it is the only path that leads to lasting mental and physical health.

    Here is an interesting article from the LA Times online:

    Centenarians Share Tips On Long-Term Success : Live To Be 100 By Working Hard, Shopping, Being Happy, Avoiding the Doctor:

    “Now you know you really shouldn’t tell secrets,” said Florida Graves, of Washington, D.C. “Well, I suppose my heritage, getting a proper diet with plenty of fresh food, exercise and lots of fresh air. One more thing–stay away from doctors.”

    Happy New Year
    PGR

  32. #33 PGR, J.D.
    VA
    January 10, 2017

    Yes, Narad, Iam. Licensed in VA, AL and GA. for over 30 years. Look up the case yourself, the citation is there.

  33. #34 rs
    January 10, 2017

    “Centenarians Share Tips On Long-Term Success : Live To Be 100 By Working Hard, Shopping, Being Happy, Avoiding the Doctor”

    Extra! Extra! Lottery winners share tips on picking numbers!

  34. #35 doug
    January 10, 2017

    In other quackery news, David Stephan, who let his son Ezekiel die for lack of proper medical care, is shilling for quack remedies in B.C.

    Note that the appeal (both defense appeal of conviction and Crown appeal of sentence) will be heard on March 9.

  35. #36 Narad
    January 10, 2017

    Look up the case yourself, the citation [sic] is there.

    And the Lanham Act has fυck all to do with your shіtwitted “caution” to Orac, esquire.

    Govern yourself accordingly.

  36. #37 JustaTech
    January 10, 2017

    PGR @32: when you say that you “juice” do you mean that you take all the nice fiber out of fruits and vegetables, or do you mean that you use anabolic steroids?

    Also, since you’ve had chickenpox, you do know that the lovely herpes virus that causes it is still living on your nerves, waiting for you to have a bad day and then come roaring out to cause shingles?

    Hoping you haven’t turned your lucky self blue,
    JaT.

  37. #38 Delphine
    January 10, 2017

    True health does not come from a bottle, but out of respect for the beauty and intelligence of the human body. That means not poisoning it, exercising it, giving it good sleep, learning how to control stress and meditating or praying. It is not the easiest path, but in my humble opinion, it is the only path that leads to lasting mental and physical health.

    Ah, the tyranny of the healthy. Too bad for all the people who lack your evident privilege.

  38. #39 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    January 10, 2017

    See Wilks v. AMA, 895 F.2d 352, 383 (1990) (A case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit). (AMA is the American Medical Association).

    OK. So what did the judge say?

    The plaintiffs clearly want more from the court. They want a judicial pronouncement that chiropractic is a valid, efficacious, even scientific health care service. I believe that the answer to that question can only be provided by a well designed, controlled, scientific study… No such study has ever been done.

    The study of how the five original named plaintiffs diagnosed and actually treated patients with common symptoms was particularly impressive. This study demonstrated that the plaintiffs do not use common methods in treating common symptoms and that the treatment of patients appears to be undertaken on an ad hoc rather than on a scientific basis.

    I used to think all chiropractors were quacks, but my time here at RI has convinced me otherwise. Some of them are just physical therapist with delusions of grandeur. It’s the rest who are quacks.

  39. #40 herr doktor bimler
    January 10, 2017

    respect for the beauty and intelligence of the human body

    The human body is a wonderful thing and it deserves a decent-sized suitcase.

  40. #41 Delphine
    January 10, 2017

    PGR, I’m curious. I suffered a postpartum hemorrhage due to uterine atony after giving birth to my daughter. My blood clotted too much and eventually my uterus had to be removed in order to save my life.

    My sisters, on the other hand, have given birth multiple times between them, with no issues whatsoever.

    What should I have done differently, in your estimation?

  41. #42 shay simmons
    January 10, 2017

    I can say that I am …

    And I can say I’m Marie of Roumania. Doesn’t make it true.

  42. #43 Politicalguineapig
    January 10, 2017

    PGR: I eat ginger, garlic and cumin fairly regularly (less of cumin because I don’t like it much) and if I’d tried to use ‘food as medicine’ to cure my Bell’s Palsy, which is the only major illness I’ve had, I suspect my face would still be partially paralyzed. That principle only works for mild illnesses. I’m all for varying the diet and for spices, but that’s not the magic bullet you’re pretending it is.

  43. #44 Visitor
    January 11, 2017

    @Panacea:
    Apparent bill sponsors:
    Rep. Jay R. Kaufman Democrat – 15th Middlesex
    Sen. Karen E. Spilka Democrat – Second Middlesex and Norfolk
    Yet you state the following:
    “Governor Baker is a Republican, which implies to me he won’t care much about science.”
    Based on the sponsors, a more appropriate comment would have been:
    “Governor Baker is a Republican, I hope he cares more about science than the loony Democrats sponsoring the bill.”

  44. #45 Dangerous Bacon
    January 12, 2017

    It’s always amusing to see an altie citing the Wilks decision as if it prohibited physicians from criticizing chiropractors.

    Almost as funny as someone who acknowledges taking a bunch of supplements but in the same breath states that good health doesn’t come out of a bottle.

    For additional enjoyment, there’s an enthusiastic endorsement of Hippocrates by a female poster, who may or may not agree with the Great Man’s advice to “hysterical” women that they should get married, since their mental problems would be fixed by pregnancy.

    Do such posters really believe their screeds contribute anything useful? It’s the same stale silliness we’ve seen a thousand times here before.

  45. #46 PGR, J.D.
    VA
    January 19, 2017

    First, I am sorry Delphine that you underwent the trauma that you did. I am not a doctor, so I appreciate that you were in an emergency situation and that your life was saved by emergency medicine. I believe in emergency medicine. I cannot begin to understand what you went through, although my youngest daughter had very traumatizing C-sections. I know how painful those situations are. I have no information about your labor and delivery, but I do know that you are alive as a consequence of your choices and care and therefore it was successful. You are very blessed. I would not have done anything different in your situation.

    To Politicalguineapig: My youngest daughter had Bells Palsy. She took no pharmaceuticals and the condition resolved on its own. She did have a minor recurrence several months later, which also resolved without intervention. In researching that, I found that most cases resolve themselves within 3 weeks without the nasty side effects of the drugs they generally prescribe. See Med Sci Monit. 2014; 20: 83–90.
    Published online 2014 Jan 20. doi: 10.12659/MSM.889876
    PMCID: PMC3907546
    The neurologist’s dilemma: A comprehensive clinical review of Bell’s palsy, with emphasis on current management trends.

    The key to good health is a good immune system. ALL pharmaceuticals compromise the immune system in one way or another, even OTC meds such as aspirin or Tylenol.
    70% or more of the immune system is in the gut. What you put in your body becomes YOU. You can’t just add in garlic or ginger and maintain a poor, processed food, non-organic diet. Your MD will never tell you that. I suggest you go to You Tube and watch the 667 videos by Dr. John Bergman on every topic you might need to live a healthy, disease-free life.

    My “screeds” may not contribute much to those inextricably entrenched in the allopathic medical model, but one thing I have learned in my 64 years is to question EVERYTHING.

    To Johnny: The court can only decide what is “at issue” in the case. The commentary you cite was merely dicta.
    “Opinions of a judge that do not embody the resolution or determination of the specific case before the court. Expressions in a court’s opinion that go beyond the facts before the court and therefore are individual views of the author of the opinion and not binding in subsequent cases as legal precedent.”

    The question before the court was whether the AMA engaged in behaviors which violate the Sherman Act. The court found that “the American Medical Association [**2] (“AMA”) violated § 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, by conducting an illegal boycott in restraint of trade directed at chiropractors generally, and the four plaintiffs in particular.”

    The AMA was out to eliminate Chiropractic as a medical discipline, just because they didn’t follow the “drug” model.

    Look at the history of the AMA. 1905-The AMA had created the Department of Investigation (DOI) to hunt down doctors still using natural remedies. The department’s sole job was to shut down ANY HEALERS who could threaten AMA profits.

    The AMA was found guilty of racketeering three times.
    The AMA ran ads that quoted doctors talking about smoking their favorite brands of cigarettes, and other ads claiming Camels were good for digestion!

    Those of you who subscribe to this site should also question the credentials of “Orac”. It appears that he is a surgeon affiliated with a cancer center where cancer doctor, Dr. Farid Fata had his clinic. Fata used aggressive chemotherapy treatments on cancer-free individuals, over-administered chemotherapy on people with no chance of survival, undertreated cancer patients, over-billed insurance, and defrauded the government out of $17 million.

    Farid Fata was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison for violating more than 550 patients’ trust and raking in more than $17 million from fraudulent billings.

    It is up to each individual to determine what medical treatment HELPS them. If you are currently under medical treatment which does not improve your quality of health and quality of life, I implore you to to research for yourself. Don’t just accept what your MD says. Trust your gut. If it feels wrong, don’t do it.
    As an example, ductal carcinoma in situ. My husband’s secretary was diagnosed with this and had double masectomies. It is now considered NOT cancer. Let your body and your instinct be your guide.
    God Bless

    • #47 Orac
      January 19, 2017

      Those of you who subscribe to this site should also question the credentials of “Orac”. It appears that he is a surgeon affiliated with a cancer center where cancer doctor, Dr. Farid Fata had his clinic. Fata used aggressive chemotherapy treatments on cancer-free individuals, over-administered chemotherapy on people with no chance of survival, undertreated cancer patients, over-billed insurance, and defrauded the government out of $17 million.

      Farid Fata was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison for violating more than 550 patients’ trust and raking in more than $17 million from fraudulent Billings.

      Sigh. This is a lie promulgated by Mike Adams to smear me. There is no truth to it. Dr. Fata was never on the medical staff of my cancer center. He did, however, happen to rent office space in the same medical office building that briefly housed offices for a satellite clinic of my cancer center and tried to pass himself off as being affiliated with us. Mike Adams knows this, as he has been informed of this multiple times. However, he keeps lying about it. As for my opinion of Dr. Fata:

      http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/08/13/quackery-of-a-different-kind-than-i-usually-write-about/

      http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/08/23/quackery-of-a-different-kind-than-i-usually-write-about-part-2/

  46. #48 doug
    January 19, 2017

    @PGJ, whose “J.D.” is apparently tacked on to try to suggest some kind of credibility:

    ALL pharmaceuticals compromise the immune system in one way or another

    un-a-f’ing-dulterated bullsh!t

    On Monday, I plan to attend the delivery of verdicts in two criminal cases that have been tried recently.

    In one case, parents are charged with murder of their 15 year old son because they rejected real medical care for him, instead opting to take ignorant, dangerous advice from ignorant dangerous people the likes of you. In my opinion, they tortured him to death over a period of many years. Real medicine would have kept him alive and healthy.

    In the other case a mother took ignorant dangerous advice from ignorant dangerous people the likes of you, trusted her gut and allowed her seven year old son to die when a simple pharmaceutical, penicillin, could easily have cured him. She is charged with failure to provide the necessaries of life and criminal negligence causing death.

    In March, I plan to attend the appeal of the conviction of parents who not only used ignorant dangerous advice from the likes of you but dispense ignorant dangerous advice. They killed their 19 month old son by using not-medicine when common pharmaceuticals would have saved him.

    Ignorant dangerous advice from the likes of you kills children. To you
    I raise my middle finger,
    In the only proper salute.

  47. #49 Narad
    January 19, 2017

    The question before the court was whether the AMA engaged in behaviors which violate the Sherman Act.

    And you idiotically tried to pass off this steamer as a consequence:

    I would be very cautious about calling Doctors of Chiropractic “Quacks.”

    Now,

    Those of you who subscribe [sic] to this site should also question the credentials of “Orac”.

    I’ll stick to yours, thanks.

  48. #50 Politicalguineapig
    January 19, 2017

    PGR, the twit: My youngest daughter had Bells Palsy. She took no pharmaceuticals and the condition resolved on its own. She did have a minor recurrence several months later, which also resolved without intervention. In researching that, I found that most cases resolve themselves within 3 weeks without the nasty side effects of the drugs.

    Well, the younger you are the more likely you are to recover. Frankly, I was in a bit of a hurry, and wanted it resolved as quickly as possible. As for the ‘nasty side effects’ I was given some steroids and an anti-viral. The only side effect I noticed was that I had a very elevated heart rate when I combined that with Puerh tea. I put it down in the file of ‘well, that was a dumb thing to do.’

    The twit: The key to good health is a good immune system. ALL pharmaceuticals compromise the immune system in one way or another, even OTC meds such as aspirin or Tylenol.
    70% or more of the immune system is in the gut. What you put in your body becomes YOU.

    And here we have the typical condescending remark of the hippy-dippy self-styled guru. Why would I want to waste time watching 667 stupid videos, when I could use that time to cook a stirfry?. Heck, in that time, I could make my own pasta or tortillas from scratch. One thing I’ve learned is that you can actually find pretty healthy options in the frozen foods aisle, if you go to the right places.

  49. #51 Dangerous Bacon
    January 19, 2017

    ” I suggest you go to You Tube and watch the 667 videos by Dr. John Bergman on every topic you might need to live a healthy, disease-free life.”

    It won’t be much of a life if it’s wasted watching that many YouTube videos, especially if they feature John Bergman the chiropractor (whose video greatest hits include “How Vaccines Cause Disease Epidemics” and “SURVIVAL: Chem-trails & FirstAid”).

    Sounds like he’s truly a virtuoso among crank magnets.

  50. #52 doug
    January 19, 2017

    … 667 videos by Dr. John Bergman …

    One too many.

  51. #53 Militant Agnostic
    On the Primrose Path flatting fifths and bending fourths.
    January 19, 2017

    DB @45

    For additional enjoyment, there’s an enthusiastic endorsement of Hippocrates by a female poster, who may or may not agree with the Great Man’s advice to “hysterical” women that they should get married, since their mental problems would be fixed by pregnancy.

    I assume this is because pregnancy stops the uterus from wandering.

  52. #54 queen
    Mass
    March 4, 2017

    I am in the process of researching this subject -So if natural path “doctors” are the enemies, why is our young almost dying and being revised by Big Pharm!! Narcan by the way has gone up in price 1000 times! Doctors hands are tied by pharmacology. Your body is its own doctor, try listening to it….

  53. #55 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 5, 2017

    -So if natural path “doctors” are the enemies, why is our young almost dying and being revised by Big Pharm!!

    I can figure out that “natural path” is supposed to be “naturopath”; can anyone figure out what the rest was supposed to mean?

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