I’ve been writing about a phenomenon that I like to refer to as “quackademic medicine,” defined as the infiltration into academic medical centers and medical school of unscientific and pseudoscientific treatment modalities that are unproven or disproven. I didn’t coin the term. To the best of my knowledge, Dr. Robert W. Donnell did nine years ago. However, I adopted it with a vengeance, so much so that a lot of people think I coined the term. In any case, I first began sounding the alarm about the infiltration of quackery like acupuncture, “energy medicine,” naturopathy, homeopathy, chiropractic, and others from near the very beginning, but I didn’t really start warning about it in a big way until the first iteration of my Academic Woo Aggregator, which listed all the academic centers that I could find at the time, what “complementary and alternative medicine” (i.e., CAM, or “complementing” medicine with quackery) modalities. I counted 45 at the time. Within less than a year I gave up trying to keep the Woo Aggregator up to date, because there was just too much. Depressing, I know.

By the time I wrote my (in)famous article for Nature Reviews Cancer on “integrative oncology” in 2014, I counted a high proportion of National Cancer Institute-Comprehensive Cancer Centers were either affiliated with academic medical centers into quackademic medicine or had “integrative medicine” themselves. (Remember, CAM morphed into “integrative medicine,” which is represented as the “best of both worlds” but in reality is the “integration” of quackery with real medicine.) By the time I gave a talk on integrative medicine last fall, I counted well over 60 North American institutions, many of them highly respected, offering quackery. It is this development that I’ve been doing my small part to combat for over a decade now and that Science-Based Medicine has been combatting for nine years. It seemed like a long, lonely batte. Many people didn’t believe us, and many physicians are “shruggies” in that they realize that modalities like acupuncture and naturopathy are quackery but don’t care enough to speak out against it. Sometimes it takes rubbing their nose in it by showing them what is really said in integrative medical centers to get a reaction. I was particularly amused by the reaction of Dr. Toby Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic was shocked—shocked!—to find out that the director of his Wellness Institute, Dr. Daniel Neides, had antivaccine tendencies, as evidenced by an op-ed that he wrote. That’s what happens when you allow pseudoscience to take hold at an institution like the Cleveland Clinic, and, make no mistake, quackademic medicine reigns supreme there.

Interestingly enough, Toby Cosgrove features in an article that I’ve been waiting to see in a mainstream publication ever since I’ve been at this, in this case STAT News, where yesterday was published an article entitled Medicine with a side of mysticism: Top hospitals promote unproven therapies by Casey Ross, Max Blau, and Kate Sheridan. Basically, it’s the highest profile article I’ve yet seen on quackademic medicine. True, it’s not the New York Times, but it’ll definitely do. The reporters do a very good job cataloguing the quackery being promoted by 15 major academic medical centers with little or no evidence to support it.

My only complaint is that I wish it could have been more comprehensive. There’s a lot more quackery in academic medical centers than even Ross, Blau, and Sheridan realize. A lot more. Believe me, I’ve been at this for years, and I know. My other minor nit pick is that the list of alternative therapies offered by these medical centers doesn’t strikes me as missing some things. For example, I know the University of Michigan offers more than just acupuncture. The co-director of the Integrative Medicine Program is a friggin’ naturopath, fer cryin’ out loud! Given that naturopathy is a cornucopia of quackery ranging from homeopathy to traditional Chinese medicine to many, many others, I find it hard to believe that the Integrative Medicine Program only offers acupuncture, particularly given that U. of M. offers an integrative medicine fellowship. And don’t even get me started on the anthroposophic medicine offered at U. of M., as I’ve already ranted about it. Let’s just put it this way. It doesn’t get much quackier than anthroposophic medicine. (Cough! Cough! Rudolf Steiner!) Also, U. of M. studies acupuncture, nutrition, herbal medicine, spirituality, mind-body therapies, and energy medicine. They have to offer such treatments in order to be able to study them.

I don’t mean to be too hard on the reporters. This is a far better article than I’ve seen in a major mainstream media source. Usually, I’m seeing people like Nancy Snyderman doing credulous pieces in which she waxes poetic about how awesome integrative medicine is and how all hospitals should be offering it. I hope they’ll just consider it constructive criticism, hopefully for next time.

I can’t resist getting into the good stuff of the article by starting in the middle, given my mention of Dr. Cosgrove:

Asked about the Cleveland Clinic’s promotion of reiki, Dr. Richard Lang, the recently named interim director of the clinic’s Wellness Institute, said he hadn’t had a chance to think about it. “I don’t know that I could give you a plus or minus on that,” he said. Lang served as a vice chair of the wellness institute for nearly a decade before taking the top post.

Notice something? Dr. Daniel Neides is no longer the director of the Wellness Institute. Cosgrove actually fired him! Funny how it only came out in this article in passing, and that only someone who had paid attention to the story. In any case, I’ve mocked the reiki pamphlet that the Cleveland Clinic has on its website and how it describes channeling “healing energy” from the “universal source.” It basically accepts the quackery that is reiki, which is basically faith healing that substitutes Eastern mysticism for Christian belief, as real. (There’s a reason the Catholic Church doesn’t like reiki in its hospitals; it recognizes another religion when it sees one.) Guess what? It’s still there on the Cleveland Clinic website! Apparently the Cleveland Clinic is still offering it for cancer, infertility, Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, and more. If there’s one thing this article is good at, it’s letting advocates of quackademic medicine hang themselves with their own words, such as here, where STAT notes how he disavowed the antivaccine article in January. They cite Dr. Cosgrove’s doubling down on quackademic medicine in the wake of Dr. Neides’ article.

I also like how shining the light on the embrace of “energy medicine” by many of these academic medical centers makes their leadership very uncomfortable—as well it should:

MedStar Georgetown quietly edited its website, citing changes to its clinical offerings, after a reporter asked why it listed the energy healing practice of reiki as a therapy for blood cancer. Cleveland Clinic struggled to find anyone on its staff to defend the hospital’s energy medicine program, ultimately issuing a statement that it’s “responding to the needs of our patients and patient demand.”

And the director of an alternative medicine program at another prestigious hospital declined to speak on the record — out of fear, he said, that his remarks would be construed as “fake news” and stir a backlash.

The rise of alternative therapies has sparked tension in some hospitals, with doctors openly accusing their peers of peddling snake oil and undermining the credibility of their institutions.

Good. But my reaction to that bit about “fake news”? WTF? Is this the new excuse spokespeople are going to use to get out of answering questions that they don’t want to answer? Be that as it may, I would quibble here, too, but not so much because the reporters got it wrong. They didn’t. I realize that I’m not a reporter. One huge difference between a reporter and me is that I can editorialize to my heart’s content. It’s what I do here. They cannot. From my perspective, the problem is not that the rise of alternative therapies at academic medical centers has caused tension and backlashes. The problem is that the rise of alternative medicine at prestigious academic medical centers hasn’t provoked nearly as intense and prolonged a backlash as it should, because these “integrative medicine” programs are selling snake oil under the name of prestigious medical schools, such as Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and many others. Physicians who practice science-based medicine should be up in arms at the first sign of this quackery entering their hospitals, but, alas, the vast majority of them are shruggies. In a way, I can understand it. What do docs who speak out against quackery medicine get in return for their trouble? Well, Steve Novella was sued. I’ve been the target of a ten month campaign of online defamation by Mike Adams. Before that, I’ve had people complain to my state medical board for my online activities, and antivaccine activists tried to get me fired from my job. I’m not alone, either. Standing up for science makes waves, and waves make trouble.

One very important point is driven home in this article. Several quackademic docs are quoted defending their practice by saying that alternative medicine is never offered without conventional medicine, dropping meaningless platitudes that will be familiar to readers of this blog like:

“Here at UF [University of Florida], we do not have alternative medicine. We do not have complementary medicine. We have integrative medicine,” said Dr. Irene Estores, medical director of the integrative medicine program at the University of Florida Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Fla.

Ugh. Double ugh. Has there been a more smarmy, more disingenuous defense of “integrative medicine.” My response is: Bullshit. You “integrate” alternative medicine with medicine. Also, as they say, integrating cow pie with apple pie doesn’t make the cow pie better; it makes the apple pie worse. That’s exactly what’s happening at UF and all these programs.

It’s also not true in a lot of cases that these universities don’t ever promote or use alternative medicine other than with real medicine. I’ve pointed this out myself. Rather, there’s money to be made, and these quackademic medicine centers are going after it. I’ve already discussed how the Cleveland Clinic was selling a homeopathic detox kit on its website. Unfortunately, the Clinic is not alone:

But while those cautions may come through in the clinic, the hospitals also promote alternative medicine online — often, without any nuance.

Duke’s Integrative Medicine store, for instance, sells “Po Chai Pills” that are touted on the hospital’s website as a cure for everything from belching to hangovers to headaches. The site explains that taking a pill “harmonizes the stomach, stems counterflow ascent of stomach qi, dispels damp, dispels pathogenic factors, subdues yang, relieves pain.” None of that makes sense in modern biomedical terms.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s website touts homeopathic bee venom as useful to relieve symptoms for arthritis, nerve pain, and other conditions. The site does tell patients that the biological mechanism for the treatment is “unexplained” but asserts that studies “have been published in medical journals showing homeopathic medicines may provide clinical benefit.”

You know, there was a time, early on, when I would be shocked at finding an academic medical center using or selling homeopathy. Indeed, early on in the history of my Academic Woo Aggregator, I would call sites “super woo sites” if they offered reiki or homeopathy. Obviously, it’s because reiki is faith healing, and homeopathy is what I like to call The One Quackery To Rule Them All. These days, practically all of them offer reiki, and a disturbing number of them offer homeopathy. Granted, in the case of homeopathy it might not be obvious that that’s what’s being offered. Just think of it this way. Naturopathy is infiltrating medical schools and organizations like the Society for Integrative Oncology, and, wherever you find naturopaths, there’s a very good chance you’ll find homeopathy, because you can’t have naturopathy without homeopathy. Homeopathy is a big part of naturopathic training. Indeed, I bet there are more than two of the fifteen hospitals offering homeopathy under the guise of naturopathy.

So how does TJUH defend offering homeopathy? Prepare to groan:

Asked about the therapy, Dr. Daniel Monti, who directs the integrative health center, acknowledged that the data is “largely anecdotal,” and said the hospital offers the treatment only rarely, “when there are few other options.” But those caveats don’t come through on the website.

In other words, there’s no compelling evidence, but Dr. Monti offers it anyway. Meanwhile, another director of another integrative medical program, this one at Duke, opines:

The counterargument: Modern medicine clearly can’t cure everyone. It fails a great many patients. So why not encourage them to try an ancient Indian remedy or a spiritual healing technique that’s unlikely to cause harm — and may provide some relief, if only from the placebo effect?

“Yes, as scientists, we want to be rigid. But me, as a physician, I want to find what’s best for a patient. Who am I to say that’s hogwash?” said Dr. Linda Lee.

“Who am I to say that’s hogwash?” You’re a friggin’ DOCTOR, that’s who! It’s your job to tell patients when a treatment is hogwash and to try to guide them to science- and evidence-based treatments. But how do you determine what’s hogwash and what’s not? Hmmmm. If only there were a method to figure out what’s best for a patient. What would that method be…? I wonder… Oh, yes!

Science.

Also, the “appeal to the placebo” is a tired old trope. For one thing, invoking placebo effects requires lying to patients. For another thing, because, as larger, more rigorous clinical trials of alternative medicine modalities fail to find benefit above and beyond placebo, increasingly apologists for integrative medicine are increasingly falling back on the claim that placebo effects can heal. Note the double standard here. No pharmaceutical or device would ever be approved by the FDA if its manufacturer were to acknowledge that it does no better than placebo and to fall back on attributing whatever perceived benefits it has to placebo effects. Yet that is exactly the standard of evidence that defenders of “ancient Indian remedies or a spiritual healing technique” want you to accept for their woo. The bottom line is that placebos don’t heal, and thinking doesn’t make it so. Indeed, I argue that integrative medicine is the resurrection of medical paternalism, in which the doctor knows best and can even lie to the patient if he thinks it in the patient’s best interest. This is, of course, in marked contrast to the “patient-centered” care and “empowering” image that integrative medicine practitioners like to portray.

If there’s one area where the reporters were a bit too credulous, it was on acupuncture. This is common. A lot of doctors are too credulous about it too. That does not excuse this howler:

And while the evidence of its [acupuncture’s] efficacy is not ironclad, neither is the evidence for various pharmaceutical therapies that are routinely provided by hospitals and covered by insurance. Some of those solutions, such as opioids to treat pain, have resulted in addiction and harm to patients.

Can you say “false equivalence”? Sure, I knew you could. Sorry, guys. You were doing so well, but that won’t stop me from being a little…Insolent…when I see something that makes me cringe when I read it. Acupuncture is a theatrical placebo, nothing more. In contrast, we know how opioids work, as well as the risks and benefits. Again, if you haven’t been following these issues for years and aren’t familiar with the corruption of language that integrative medicine has engendered, it’s very, very easy to accept explanations like this one:

They note, too, that traditional doctors sometimes stray from proven treatments, for instance when they prescribe medicines off-label for conditions the drugs have not been approved to treat.

“We do use things that aren’t necessarily 100 percent evidence-based, but I would argue that’s also true within all of medicine,” said Dr. Jill Schneiderhan, co-director of the University of Michigan’s integrative family medicine program. “I feel like it’s not black and white.”

No, medicine is not black and white. It’s never been black and white. Interpreting scientific evidence to apply it to individual patients is especially not black and white. Yes, sometimes we use treatments on patients that aren’t entirely evidence-based, but that’s because there are factors other than science that impact treatment, such as patient desires and values. Leaving that aside, there’s the difference. For most medical treatments, there is science behind it that produces scientific plausibility. In contrast, for much of alternative medicine, there is little or no scientific plausibility. Homeopathy, for instance, in which remedies are diluted to the point where there is unlikely to be a single molecule left, has about as close to zero plausibility as can be imagined. Ditto “energy healing,” which is based on mysticism, not science. When there is little or no scientific plausibility, what you end up seeing in clinical trials are noise and bias, not a real signal. Yet, integrative medicine routinely mistakes that noise and bias for a signal.

Sadly, as this article shows, it’s popular too. Nearly all the directors of integrative medicine programs interviewed reported that their patient volume has been growing. It just goes to show that many academic medical centers are more than willing to sell snake oil to attract patients. This is what skeptics are up against.

Worse, depressingly, it’s not getting better. Remember how I said that this was the first article in a major mainstream news media outlet that was close to as skeptical about integrative medicine as I would like? It turns out that’s not true. It’s the first one I can remember, but as I was doing searches related to this post, I came across this article from USA Today from 2008 with a very similar headline, Top Hospitals Embrace Alternative Medicine. It’s basically the same article, only not as skeptical, with human interest story anecdotes about how alternative medicine helped people. But the overall message is the same: Top medical centers are embracing this. One difference is that it seems to assume there’s something to alternative medicine, in contrast to the STAT article, which emphasizes the patient demand and the financial incentive. Either way, the problem is the same. Nine years later, if anything, it’s worse.

Comments

  1. #1 The Vodka Diet Guru
    England
    March 8, 2017

    Hi.

    Perhaps I am relying too much on rumour and TV stories, but I have always had the impression that the USA is the right place to see patients (and heirs) in litigation with healthcare providers.

    Is there any story of people feeling defrauded when they seek healthcare and receive reiki, magic water, etc. from a hospital or clinic?

    I’m sure that CAM-friendly patients would actually like this, but… the rest of us who need treatment rather than appeasement? is there a scandal waiting to happen?

  2. #2 Chris Hickie
    March 8, 2017

    “Yes, as scientists, we want to be rigid. But me, as a physician, I want to find what’s best for a patient. Who am I to say that’s hogwash?” said Dr. Linda Lee.

    Dr. Lee is either FOS or didn’t learn a damn thing in med school, residency and fellowship.

    Compare what Dr. Lee says to this part of the Hippocratic Oath:

    …I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

    Quackademic medicine and quackademic physicians like Dr. Lee clearly have no respect or appreciation of those scientific gains.

  3. #3 cat
    East Anglia, UK
    March 8, 2017

    Asked about the therapy, Dr. Daniel Monti, who directs the integrative health center, acknowledged that the data is “largely anecdotal,” and said the hospital offers the treatment only rarely, “when there are few other options.”…………………… My interpretation of that, is; homeopathy is offered as an alternative to at least one appropriate FDA approved med. If that’s correct, it’s scandalous.

  4. #4 Eric Lund
    March 8, 2017

    “Who am I to say that’s hogwash?” said Dr. Linda Lee.

    Someone who allegedly has basic knowledge of chemistry and physics, that’s who you are. And that’s all you need to know that homeopathy and reiki are, to use your term, hogwash.

    I’ll stipulate that some forms of woo are harder to spot–they aren’t so implausible on their face, and you actually have to have some detailed knowledge to know why they won’t work. But even a layman who has a high school level understanding of chemistry and physics should know that homeopathy and reiki contradict lots of basic science.

  5. #5 Michael Finfer, MD
    Edison, NJ
    March 8, 2017

    Yes, the US is the Capitol of Medical Litigation.

    With that said, my impression, which is without evidence, it is just an impression, is that lawsuits against quacks are quite rare. The patients often go to them with a predetermined, positive view of whatever they are going for, and the quacks are quite good at making the patients happy. If the patients are happy, they rarely sue even if the outcome is bad. This is what is really wrong with the tort system. It is almost universally ineffective at enforcing quality except in the most egregious of cases.

    I was approached once by a plaintiff’s attorney with regard to a form of quackery with which I was unfamiliar. I ended up sending him to Stephen Barrett. I hope he got what he needed from him.

  6. #6 Panacea
    March 8, 2017

    The tort system isn’t about enforcing quality. It never was and isn’t for that purpose.

    The tort system is about damages. It’s about getting compensation for a wrong. If you want to improve quality, you have to do that before the wrong occurs, before damages happen.

    I review malpractice cases. In almost every case I’ve reviewed, there either was no causation or fault on the part of the nurse or the facility (or the physician though I don’t testify to that one way or the other, naturally) or the fault is so pervasive and systematic to make the case a total train wreck. I’m talking about persistent and systemic issues such as failures to follow/enforce policies and procedures, to utilize good nursing practices, and to document in a consistent and appropriate manner.

    It’s usually very bad or much ado about nothing, and not much in the middle.

    Dr. Finfer is right in that happy patients don’t sue. Given the article of faith that believers in woo take, that is the woo treatment failed it was everything’s fault but the treatment, this is hardly surprising.

    And given that victims of con artists rarely want to report the crime to authorities, it’s hardly surprising that the ones who wake up are equally reluctant to sue and show the world what a fool they were made of.

    It’ll happen eventually. Some family will decide to sue a quack. But it will be hard. The family will have to show the quack violated the law in some way and so much quackery is unregulated. You have to show that the quack’s treatment or advice caused the harm, that’s going to be very hard to prove under our legal system.

    After all, the case against Dr. Burzynski was a slam dunk, wasn’t it?

  7. […] provides some cover when Orac starts raging about quackery at the UM…that is, the University of Michigan. There are a heck of a lot of hospitals embracing […]

  8. #8 Michael Finfer, MD
    Edison, NJ
    March 8, 2017

    I agree. The cases that I have reviewed are either nothing or unmitigated catastrophes, mostly preventable. There is very little in between. In general, if I feel that I have legitimate questions about a case, I won’t take it. I have no interest in wasting my time in battles over stuff like that.

    I have also notified a pattern. A case will arrive with the plaintiff’s attorney stating that he or she has a theory….

    These theories are often outrageous, framed in a way that gives them a chance of producing money, but, if enforced, would create a practice standard that would paralyze any laboratory attempting to do more than a handful of specimens per day. I, of course, will have nothing to do with such cases, and I am finding this to be increasingly annoying. I am sure there are people out there who will take these cases, and I can only describe them as unscrupulous.

  9. #9 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    March 8, 2017

    Orac writes,

    Also, as they say, integrating cow pie with apple pie doesn’t make the cow pie better; it makes the apple pie worse.

    MJD says,

    Integrating rhubarb pie with strawberry pie, sometimes, makes the rhubarb/strawberry pie better.

    Integrating alternative-medicine with science-based medicine, (e.g., patient requested only) may provide a therapeutic synergy.

    Finally, I like French’s classic yellow mustard on my 100% American beef hot dog even though I know said mustard has no nutritional value.

  10. #10 Eric Lund
    March 8, 2017

    MJD@9: Do I need to remind you that cow pies are made in cows, not of cows?

  11. #11 NWO Reporter
    March 8, 2017

    The real satire is that the conventional medical system itself is the third leading cause of the death in the US. According to a study by Dr. Starfield of Johns Hopkins, in hospitals alone, this hallowed system causes:

    –12,000 deaths/year from unnecessary surgery
    –7000 deaths/year from medication errors in hospitals
    –20,000 deaths/year from other errors in hospitals
    –80,000 deaths/year from infections acquired in hospitals
    –106,000 deaths/year from non-error, adverse effects of medications

    That totals 225,000 deaths per year from iatrogenic causes. http://www.drug-education.info/documents/iatrogenic.pdf
    JAMA 2000 v284(4):483

    A more recent study by Johns Hopkins researchers found that the conventional medical system causes over 250,000 iatrogenic deaths per year–and they didn’t even include deaths from properly prescribed and administered FDA approved drugs, which considering Dr. Starfield’s study, would likely have increased iatrogenic deaths to over 350,000. US BMJ 2016; 353 :i2139

    Physician, heal thy own system, and stop worrying about the people who, quite understandably, are seeking out alternatives to your deadly quackery.

  12. #12 Chris Hickie
    March 8, 2017

    “NWO Reporter”, since you like to talk the talk, here is a challenge to help you walk the walk:

    1. Please never (as in for the rest of your life) see anyone with an MD, DO or NP degree, nor anyone who works in the office of an MD, DO or NP (such as a PA or RN/LPN). Feel free to see all the naturoquacks, chiroquacks, quackupuncturists and reiki scammers you want.
    2. Never go to an ER or hospital ever again.
    3. Never call 911 ever for help (because, you, know, paramedics work with MDs and DOs).
    4. Never use an FDA-approved medication (prescription or OTC) ever again (but feel free to buy sugar water homeopathic solutions all you want)

    Please give us yearly updates how you’re doing and, after you do die, have your next of kin tell us how you died and how old you were when you died and your cause of death.

    Also, you should never drive a car, because some 50,000 people a year die in car accidents.

    Also, please don’t procreate, because doing so condemns your children to certain death.

  13. #13 NWO Reporter
    March 8, 2017

    @Chris Hickie– If you come up with any evidence to refute the conclusions in #11, let me know. In the mean time, steer clear of nutritional supplements–they kill more people every year than all the squash blossoms in the world combined! 😀

  14. #14 Denice Walter
    March 8, 2017

    In other quackademic news..

    Orac’s ‘old friend’, James Lyons**-Weiler, will be giving a free lecture on the causes of autism based on his Skyhorse book at NYU Law***.
    Someone nearby should go. I can’t.

    ** Skyhorse’s top honcho is Tony Lyons – coincidence?
    *** Mary Holland works there

  15. #15 MHO
    March 8, 2017

    As a former alt med consumer , i.e. “Recovering chump,” I can attest to how difficult it is/ was to make a complaint.
    First, I didn’t know how, second, I was cheated out of my time money and hope, and I didn’t see how a claim would hold up. Third, I had a lot of guilt for making bad choices.4th, my friends still believe in the alt med baloney, and I wasn’t ready to let go of them too. So it was much easier to just fade away from those beliefs. It took a very long time to figure out how to still be friends while leaving out the woo. And they still don’t think it’s woo.woo. It’s like, I imagine it would be if all my friends were. Trump believers–it’s difficult and it takes time to make new friends.

  16. #16 Rich Woods
    March 8, 2017

    @MJD #9:

    Integrating rhubarb pie with strawberry pie, sometimes, makes the rhubarb/strawberry pie better.

    First, demonstrate that your rhubarb isn’t actually bullshit.

    Go on. Try it.

  17. #17 MHO
    March 8, 2017

    As a former alt med consumer , i.e. “Recovering chump,” I can attest to how difficult it is/ was to make a complaint.
    First, I didn’t know how, second, I was cheated out of my time money and hope, and I didn’t see how a claim against a practitioner would hold up in a legal process.Third, I had a lot of guilt for making bad choices. Fourth, my friends still believe in the alt med baloney, and I wasn’t ready to let go of them too. So it was much easier to just fade away from the b.s. rather than confront people.. It took a very long time to figure out how to still be friends while leaving out the woo. And they still don’t think it’s woo. It’s like, I imagine, it would be if all my friends were Trump believers.
    It’s difficult and it takes time to make new friends when you’re ill. I’m not one of the worried well –cancer is a real thing.

  18. #18 Lawrence
    March 8, 2017
    • #19 NWO Reporter
      March 8, 2017

      It’s a valiant effort at damage control, for sure. Maybe if it ever gets published in a peer reviewed medical journal, it could be taken seriously.

  19. #20 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    March 8, 2017

    Denice Walter writes (~# 14),

    …will be giving a free lecture on the causes of autism.

    MJD writes,

    On a related topic, it’s the second time I’ve been denied to speak at the Annual Autism Society National Conference and Exposition.

    This year I submitted a proposal wherein I’d speak on a topic that’s both informative and thought provoking (i.e., Autism Patents and Beyond).

    @ Oracs minions,

    Any suggestions on a topic for next year?

    Here’s the rejection:

    Thank you for submitting a presentation abstract for the 49th Annual Autism Society National Conference and Exposition. Please understand that it is a constant balancing act as we strive to offer a broad-based program covering the whole spectrum and all aspects of the entire lifespan at the conference. Each proposal was given careful and deliberate consideration by a panel of reviewers in addition to our staff. This year was particularly difficult as we received an incredible amount of paper submissions. Regrettably, exceptional proposals are turned away each year for the simple reason that we have limited speaking slots and cover a wide-breadth of topics.

    Your proposed abstract entitled “Autism Patents and Beyond” was not selected. But, we would like you to consider allowing the Autism Society to leverage your skills, background and knowledge in the future. There may be other opportunities for you to get involved (e- newsletter articles, blog, web content, Google chats, local trainings/conferences etc.) which may be a good fit for you in the future.

    Once again, thank you for your submission, we sincerely hope you will consider engaging with the Autism Society again by submitting an abstract for the 2018 Call for Papers and we would, of course, love to see you at this year’s conference in Milwaukee, July 12 – 15, 2017!

    If you have any questions, please feel free to email Rose Jochum, rjochum@autism-society.org

  20. #21 Jay
    March 8, 2017

    NWO can you come up with the figures of how many times sciencebased medicine had saved these people before they became part of your statistics?

  21. #22 doug
    March 8, 2017

    In other quackery news, tomorrow the appeals in the death of Ezekiel Stephan will be heard. Ezekiel died because his parents gave him quack remedies instead of seeking proper medical care. They were convicted of failure to provide the necessaries of life, but were given very short sentences. The Stephans are appealing their conviction and the Crown is appealing the too-short sentences.
    Orac wrote about the case a few times.

    I may attend the appeal hearing if I can get confirmation it really will go ahead tomorrow (hard to do for anyone outside of “the media”). The hearing will essentially be speeches by the lawyers to a panel of three judges. Since the original trial, Tamara Lovett has been convicted of the more serious charge of criminal negligence causing death in fairly similar circumstances, and the Raditas have been convicted of first degree murder because they did not properly treat their son’s diabetes. All of these kids would almost certainly have survived if they had received proper medical care starting a few days before their deaths.

  22. #23 Jay
    March 8, 2017

    MJD, did you inform her, that you are considered a Loon?

    Dear God! You didn’t write the application in third person did you?

  23. #24 JustaTech
    March 8, 2017

    MJD @9: French’s yellow mustard contains 55mg of sodium per 5g (1tsp) serving. It also contains turmeric (likely as a coloring), vinegar and mustard.
    Therefore mustard has nutritional value.

    Have a balloon.

  24. #25 Panacea
    March 8, 2017

    MJD: What you got wasn’t a “denial.” It was a rejection.

    They happen all the time. There is no conspiracy to prevent you from speaking at this or any other convention. You simply didn’t wow them with your proposal.

    Starting from a factual basis is usually a good way to get towards wowing a review board.

  25. #26 LW
    March 8, 2017

    Asked about the Cleveland Clinic’s promotion of reiki, Dr. Richard Lang, the recently named interim director of the clinic’s Wellness Institute, said he hadn’t had a chance to think about it. “I don’t know that I could give you a plus or minus on that,” he said. Lang served as a vice chair of the wellness institute for nearly a decade before taking the top post

    He’s been there nearly a decade and never thought about what they offered?

  26. #27 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    March 8, 2017

    Panacea writes (~#25),

    Starting from a factual basis is usually a good way to get towards wowing a review board.

    MJD says,

    I’ve been asked by Cambridge Scholars Publishers to submit a proposal for a book on environmental science.

    Here’s the title:

    There’s no place like home – Global Warming – Thinking Patents

    Please advise…

  27. #28 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    March 8, 2017

    On a related topic, it’s the second time I’ve been denied to speak at the Annual Autism Society National Conference and Exposition.

    Well, that should give you a clue.

    This year I submitted a proposal wherein I’d speak on a topic that’s both informative and thought provoking (i.e., Autism Patents and Beyond).

    The don’t want to give you a free platform to sell your $200 book that is, by your own description, a bunch of copy/paste from the USPTO.

    Do the right thing and rent a booth. You’ll only have to sell 10 or 12 copies to break even, including hotel and air fare. You’ll make a fortune.

    Any suggestions … for next year?

    Leave them alone?

  28. #29 sadmar
    March 8, 2017

    Physician, heal thy own system, and stop worrying about the people who, quite understandably, are seeking out alternatives to your deadly quackery.

    Nope. How about:
    Physician, heal thy own system, because you’re appropriate worried about people who – perhaps understandably all things considered, are seeking out alternatives and get duped into useless and sometimes even deadly quackery as a result.

    See, it’s BS to say hospitals “cause” 225,000 deaths per year. If hospitals failed to prevent 80,000 deaths from infections acquired in hospitalization, that’s not ‘causing’ them. The people who died were in the hospital because they were sick, mostly with conditions which made them especially vulnerable to infection. This is how my mom died. She went into the hospital after suffering injuries in a fall, and being weak and with diminished lung capacity from a history of smoking, after being bedridden for a couple weeks she contracted pneumonia. I was bitter as hell because the doctors should have known she was vulnerable to this, but apparently the ‘managed care’ of her HMO didn’t cover the proper preventative procedure. That’s a failure of socio/economic/political forces impacting the administration of healthcare, not a problem of medical science “quackery”, and has no relevance in justifying any sort of Alt Med.

    Then there’s the 106,000 deaths from “non-error, adverse effects of medications”, a big-seeming raw number (if accurate) but what’s the risk factor compared to the total number of medications prescribed and taken by the population in that year? And, how many of the prescriptions involved in death were really “non-error”. If the meds did indeed have “adverse effects” how many of those were the product of inadequate records on contra-indicating conditions or drug interactions? Again, I have personal experiences: my partner’s best friend almost died in the hospital earlier this year when – again, after a fall – they didn’t know she had a condition that led the iron they were giving her for anemia to cause renal failure, because that somehow hadn’t made it onto her chart. Of course, that problem would have been just as likely to occur if she’d been treated by a naturopath. After she turned for the worse, the hospital MDs figured it out, and got her into emergency dialysis before it was too late. I have no confidence an ND would have done the same.

    These are IMHO inexcusable failures, but preventing them is a matter of addressing funding and policy issues. Chris Hickie’s highway death analogy is only partly accurate. Both driving and going to the hospital haveinherent risks that can’t be addressed by improved practices, but the levels of inherent are quite different. Hospital deaths could be drastically reduced by hiring more professional staff to monitor infection risk, and establishing a comprehensive computerized national health record database that would present everything a treating practitioner needs to know on their tablets when they enter the patient’s name. In contrast, even if we made the massive expenses of completely rebuilding our road infrastructure for maximum safety, and maintaining the roads in top condition, and banning all gasoline powered vehicles, and mandating state-of-the-art crash safety for every vehicle on the road, we’d still have plenty of fatal crashes as long as people drink or lose concentration. And the resources required to make those changes to driving are orders of magnitude more unlikely to ever be realized than those required to make the changes to hospital medicine I discussed…

    Maybe if sbm advocates were more open about the problems in healthcare delivery that undermine the effectiveness of medical science, and more vocal in calling for reform, crap-slinging slimeballs like NWO Reporter would have a harder time propagandizing sCAMs. Speaking of which, I’m wondering when/if Orac will address the likelihood of increased medical tragedy from the GOP backed “replacement” for the ACA…

  29. #30 sadmar
    March 8, 2017

    @ doug

    The Stephans were worse than Tamara Lovett and the Radita’s because they were trying to protect their DIY-Alt-Med-based family wealth by keeping Ezekiel away from any and all health prrofessionals, and possibly even using him as a guinea pig to generate a testimonial for the ‘immune boosting’ magic of Truehope OLE. Of course, none of that came out at trial or in the news coverage, and the differing sentences probably reflect the relative defendants’ wealth and influence, rather than their actual venality. Lovett is a genuine all-round nut-job/screwup. The Stephan clan’s only excuse is snake-oil hard-sell greed.

  30. #31 Dorit Reiss
    March 8, 2017

    If NWO Reporter uses the search box on the top of the box she will find our host’s analysis of the third leading cause claim and the problems with it.

  31. #32 Panacea
    March 8, 2017

    @ MJD #27:

    If they solicited a book from you that tells me all I need to know about their level of academic rigor and prestige.

    But to answer your question I have to ask one of my own: how much are they charging you to publish?

  32. #33 doug
    March 8, 2017

    Turns out appeal court sitting details are published on the web, and the Stephan case is still sch’d for tomorrow (3 hours allotted time). Guess I better go toss my warm pants in the wash and try to get the blood stains out – going to be about -22°C in the morning.

    Sadmar, I think the Raditas are the most despicable, since Alex was tortured to death over a period of years. The Stephans may well have be trying to use Ezekiel for financial gain, but I really doubt any wealth they might have had any influence on their sentences. I suspect their appeal of conviction will be dismissed. Hard to say how the Crown appeal of the sentences will turn out. If Tamara Lovett had been sentenced by now there would be precedent for the appeal court to consider, but she won’t be sentenced until June at the earliest. Her conviction for criminal negligence, with a potentially very long prison sentence, may influence the court to consider sentences for the Stephans at or near the upper end of the range for the failure conviction. I don’t know if the decision of the appeal court will be delivered tomorrow or at some later date.

  33. #34 doug
    March 9, 2017

    According to a CBC article up this morning, only the conviction appeal will be heard today and the court’s decision is not expected for some time. The Stephan’s are inviting supporters – perhaps I will have the opportunity to growl menacingly at some of them.

  34. #35 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    March 9, 2017

    Panacea writes (~ #32),

    If they solicited a book from you that tells me all I need to know about their level of academic rigor and prestige.

    MJD says,

    It is disheartening to hear a professor (aka. Panacea) denigrate the academic level of this/any college graduate.

    Panacea asks (~ #32),

    …how much are they charging you to publish?

    MJD says,

    It doesn’t matter, the information and perspectives described therein contain the true value.

    @ Panacea,

    It’s time to disclose your true identity so I can send a free copy of the book to your university library.

    To make sure that you’ll be the first one to open the book, I will randomly place three $10 dollar bills in the pages.

  35. #36 lkr
    March 9, 2017

    A couple of days ago, I got a popup ad from Oregon Health Sciences Unversdity’s Pain Clinic. Announcing that it was introducing Rolfing. Notably, it didn’t say “pain control”, just “pain”!

  36. #37 Orac
    March 9, 2017

    Given how rough rolfing is, I’d be surprised if it didn’t cause pain. 🙂

  37. #38 JustaTech
    March 9, 2017

    sadmar @29: Have you read The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande? He advocates for the use of checklists in medicine (specifically in surgical procedures) and he’s got some decent data (and I’m sure there’s more data by now).

    One of the things he specifically wanted a checklist for was to prevent VAP (ventilator associated pneumonia) and I think also central-line infections.

    It’s a good read.

  38. #39 Panacea
    March 9, 2017

    @MJD: Considering I’ve already gotten you dead to rights on plagiarism in a past discussion, you wouldn’t have a degree from my institution. Regardless, you don’t have to have a college degree to publish something through a reputable press, depending on what you’re publishing. If you’re going to publish something in the sciences, you usually need some credentials.

    Your dodge of my question says, “they’re charging me too much and I’m embarrassed to say how much.”

    Keep your thirty dollars. It sounds like you’ve been fleeced enough.

    Re Rolfing: my SIL had it done once for her fibromyalgia.

    Once.

  39. #40 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    March 9, 2017

    Panacea Writes (#39),

    Considering I’ve already gotten you dead to rights on plagiarism in a past discussion, you wouldn’t have a degree from my institution.

    Michael J. Dochniak says,

    Are you calling MJD a cheater?

    Impossible, I’m going to tell him the next time I hear from him. 😮

    Orac writes,

    WTF?

    An upset MJD says,

    I agree!

  40. #41 Panacea
    March 10, 2017

    MJD: Why, yes. I am calling you a cheater.

  41. #42 Zincfinger
    March 11, 2017

    The article: “Physicians who practice science-based medicine should be up in arms at the first sign of this quackery entering their hospitals, but, alas, the vast majority of them are shruggies.”

    Shruggies? I like that word. This is a good noun to describe a an apathetic physician with “woo” lassitude.

    Personally, I think “woo” should never be tolerated. It is always immoral to give people false hope. Moreover, it is an insult to science to believe something works without a good indication; homeopathy is the prime example.

    I think you should write an article on this Jim Humble affair with chlorine dioxide. He has the audacity to call it “magical mineral solution” although it contains nothing that could properly be classified as a mineral.

    This guy seems to have a cult of distributors like that Kalcker guy and that Rivierra girl. Andreas Kalcker’s anecdote about his dog recovering spectacularly from a few drops of MMS is painful to hear. I think people could get hurt with this stuff.

  42. #43 NWO Reporter
    March 12, 2017

    I’m sure Orac would have been leading the righteous charge against Dr. Semmelweis, had his blog been around back in the day. After all, Semmelweis’s bogus innovation of chlorine hand washing was contrary to the status quo scientific standard of care–he deserved to have his reputation mercilessly smeared and to be run out of the medical industry for the greater good. Meanwhile, the suffering and death continued. Even to this day, apparently–considering that infections acquired in hospitals kill 80,000 people every year in the US alone.

    Better that patients be given false hope with the sacred standard of care than to make their own potentially faulty choices. Thank goodness the medical industry is backed by hundreds of billions of dollars now, to keep cranks like Semmelweis in check. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/01/12/375663920/the-doctor-who-championed-hand-washing-and-saved-women-s-lives

    • #44 Orac
      March 12, 2017

      Just because Semmelweis ended up being correct does not mean everyone who bucks the consensus is. As Carl Sagan once wrote:

      The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

      Or, as Michael Shermer wrote in Why People Believe Weird Things:

      For every Galileo shown the instruments of torture for advocating scientific truth, there are a thousand (or ten thousand) unknowns whose ‘truths’ never pass scientific muster with other scientists. The scientific community cannot be expected to test every fantastic claim that comes along, especially when so many are logically inconsistent.

      Or, as I wrote 12 years ago:

      For every Galileo, Ignaz Semmelweis, Nicolaus Copernicus, Charles Darwin, Louis Pasteur, etc., whose scientific ideas were either ignored, rejected, or vigorously attacked by the scientific community of his time and then later accepted, there are untold numbers of others whose ideas were either ignored or rejected initially and then were never accepted–and never will be accepted. Why? Because they were wrong! The reason the ideas of Galileo, Semmelweis, Copernicus, Darwin, Pasteur, et al, were ultimately accepted as correct by the scientific community is because they turned out to be correct! Their observations and ideas stood up to repeated observation and scientific experimentation by many scientists in many places over many years. The weight of data supporting their ideas was so overwhelming that eventually even the biggest skeptics could no longer stand. That’s the way science works. It may be messy, and it may take longer, occasionally even decades or even longer, than we in the business might like to admit, but eventually in science the truth wins out. In fact, the best way for a scientist to become famous and successful in his or her field is to come up with evidence that strongly challenges established theories and concepts and then weave that evidence into a new theory. Albert Einstein didn’t end up in the history books by simply reconfirming and recapitulating Newton’s Laws. Semmelweis and Pasteur didn’t wind up in the history books by confirming the concept that disease was caused by an “imbalance of humours” (although Semmelweis probably did hurt himself by refusing to publish his results for many years; his data were so compelling that it remains puzzling why he did not do so). I daresay that none of the Nobel Prize winners won that prestigious award by demonstrating something that the scientific establishment already believed. No! They won it by discovering something new and important!

      Unfortunately, to most lay people who don’t have a strong background in science, the scientific method, or the history of science, such trickery can sound convincing on the surface. For example, you have a quack like Hulda Clark claiming she has a cure for cancer and AIDS and then claiming that the scientific establishment can’t accept it. Add a dash of paranoia about big medicine and big pharma “suppressing” her “cure,” and it’s a potent brew of deception. This ploy is particularly appealing to Americans, because our whole national psyche has in its core a tendency to root for the outsider, the underdog. Alties, pseudoscientists, and cranks tap into that deep-seated sympathy we tend to have for the persecuted outsider and use it to their advantage. It’s the same with creationists, who use every well-deserved debunking they get as evidence that they are a “threat” to the established scientific order. The only way to combat such deceptive comparisons is to point out again and again Shermer’s dictum that “heresy does not equal correctness” and try to keep the discussion on the hard evidence.

      Also, the case of Semmelweis is more complex than quacks generally describe it. Part of the problem is that Semmelweis discovered that requiring practitioners to wash their hands when going from the morgue to the delivery room greatly decreased the incidence of puerperal fever decades before Louis Pasteur demonstrated germ theory to the point where physicians and scientists started to accept it. Thus, part of the reason why Semmelweis encountered so much resistance from his colleagues was because at the time he made his observations, there was no known scientific mechanism to account for his observations. In fact, his observations actually conflicted with the dominant concepts of the time, namely that diseases were due to imbalances of the four humors or caused by miasmas (“bad air”). In fact, it’s not unreasonable to speculate that if germ theory had been developed before Semmelweis, his observations would likely have been rapidly accepted as evidence supporting germ theory.

      Also, physicians did not, contrary to the quack narrative, universally reject Semmelweis’ findings. For instance, in the UK, the response was much more favorable, and he turned down a position as professor of obstetrics at the University of Zurich, which presumably wouldn’t have offered him the position if it were so opposed to his findings. It also didn’t help that Semmelweis let his outrage get the better of him to the point where he wrote increasingly angry letters to prominent European obstetricians, even going so far at times to denounce them as irresponsible murderers, comments that surely didn’t endear him to the medical community or make it more receptive to his findings. Indeed, it has been suggested that Semmelweis could have had an even greater impact if he had been able to communicate his findings more effectively and to avoid antagonizing the medical establishment so severely, even given the level of opposition from entrenched viewpoints.

      • #45 NWO Reporter
        March 12, 2017

        It’s interesting, although not surprising, that the medical community allowed its anger about Semmelweis’s condemnations to override objective scientific judgment.

  43. #46 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    March 12, 2017

    I think you should write an article on this Jim Humble affair with chlorine dioxide. He has the audacity to call it “magical mineral solution” although it contains nothing that could properly be classified as a mineral.

    Try this http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/?s=Jim+Humble

  44. #48 Chris
    March 12, 2017

    For the clueless boring NWO troll repeating nonsense we have dealt with repeatedly:

    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Rawhide!
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Though the threads are swollen
    Keep them comments trollin’,
    Rawhide!

    Move ’em on
    (Head em’ up!)
    Head em’ up
    (Move ’em on!)
    Move ’em on
    (Head em’ up!)
    Rawhide!
    Cut ’em out
    (Paste ’em in!)
    Paste’em in
    (Cut em’ out!)
    Cut ’em out
    Paste ’em in,
    Rawhide!
    Keep trollin’, trollin’, trollin’
    Though they’re disaprovin’
    Keep them comments trollin”,
    Rawhide
    Don’t try to understand ’em
    Just rope, laugh, and ignore ’em
    Soon we’ll be discussin’ bright without ’em

    • #49 NWO Reporter
      March 12, 2017

      Nice diversion from the issue, Chris! That is, if anyone can stifle their yawns long enough to read it. 🙂

  45. #50 Chris
    March 12, 2017

    Yawn. You are the one boring us with old rotted baseless arguments we have seen for more than a decade.

    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Rawhide!
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Though the threads are swollen
    Keep them comments trollin’,
    Rawhide!

    • #51 NWO Reporter
      March 12, 2017

      Then I’m sure you’ve been boring people with hypocrisy as a diversion for more than a decade as well. Anyway, truncated and repetitious diversions aren’t nearly as effective–so you know.

  46. #52 Chris
    March 12, 2017

    Snicker. Orac did reply with something he wrote over a decade ago. I told the troll is was old stale nonsense that has been dealt with multiple times.

    By the way, there is a vast trove of books about medical history. The most recent one of note is about the doctor that the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia is named after: Dr. Mutter’s Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine.

    The last chapters in that book reveal that Semmelweis was not the only physician who made the connection between sanitation and spread of disease. There were a few others, and some met with similar resistance (including Florence Nightingale, who used actual statistics to become convinced, read https://www.amazon.com/Trick-Treatment-Undeniable-Alternative-Medicine/dp/0393066614/).

    It is said that the big difference with Semmelweis was that he was kind of a jerk, so perhaps more people wrote about him. Which is apparently your method of getting noticed. In the future just post the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers to support your claims, or just go away. Because repeating the same idiocy over and over and over again is quite boring.

    I have an idea, just get off of teh internets, wander down to your local public library and read the above referenced books.

    • #53 NWO Reporter
      March 12, 2017

      So Semmelweis was “kind of a jerk,” and that hindered his ability to persuade others to his position. Have times changed in that regard? Is it now the case that vociferous derision and ridicule is the best way to persuade others to your position? Or is that more of a last resort–when the real weight of the evidence is not on your side?

    • #54 NWO Reporter
      March 12, 2017

      Granted, there is only so much you can do when the conflicts of interested endemic in medical research have been exposed over and over again, leading to an inevitable loss of all credibility–regardless of how reasonably the conclusions are conveyed, or how expertly someone conveys that anyone who doesn’t believe them is stupid.

      “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” Dr. Marcia Angell, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2009/jan/15/drug-companies-doctorsa-story-of-corruption/

  47. #55 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    March 12, 2017

    Or is that more of a last resort–when the real weight of the evidence is not on your side?

    No, it’s a last resort when dunderheads like you won’t accept the overwhelming scientific evidence that vaccines don’t cause all the things you claim they do.

    • #56 NWO Reporter
      March 12, 2017

      Or “dunderheads” like Dr. Marcia Angell–who has reviewed more medical research in depth over her career than all the “Science Moms” and science bloggers combined?

      “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” Dr. Marcia Angell, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2009/jan/15/drug-companies-doctorsa-story-of-corruption/

      • #57 Orac
        March 12, 2017

        We saw the quote the first dozen times you posted it. You see, that mindless repetition that you do is what annoys people. It’s become very, very tiresome.

        • #58 NWO Reporter
          March 12, 2017

          Perhaps it was posted among the two comment threads you removed on other posts, since I only see it one other time on this thread. 🙂

    • #59 NWO Reporter
      March 12, 2017

      Or “dunderheads” like Dr. Ioannidis, who has found that it’s more likely for a research claim to be false than true? Why Most Published Research Findings Are False, http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

      • #60 Orac
        March 12, 2017

        You might want to search this blog for Ioannidis’ name to see what I’ve written about him (including about that article). You might be surprised what you find. Or not. Suffice to say, I’m a big fan of Ioannidis and have been for at least ten years. Also, that article you cite doesn’t mean what you think it does, at least not in terms of reliability of the medical literature overall. Certainly it is foolish to cite it as justification for thinking that vaccines cause autism.

        • #61 NWO Reporter
          March 12, 2017

          And what of the conclusions of Dr. Marcia Angell? Do they mean what I think they mean? 🙂

    • #62 Orac
      March 12, 2017

      Exactly. Exasperation at someone who perseverates over the same talking points over the course of weeks does sometimes lead to annoyance, and annoyance sometimes does lead to intemperate language. 🙂

  48. #63 Chris
    March 12, 2017

    NWO Troll, you are a dunderhead who cannot figure out how to use the handy dandy search box on the upper right of this page to find the articles that discuss Angell and Ioannidis (several on the latter, he did not say what you think he says). Good grief you are really boring us by bringing up the same old nonsense over and over and over again!

    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Rawhide!
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Though the threads are swollen
    Keep them comments trollin’,
    Rawhide!

  49. #64 Chris
    March 12, 2017

    But, Orac, the NWO troll thinks it is to h..a…r…d to search this blog. Just like it is just too hard to actually find real arguments to support his claims because all he has are the same lame tropes that have been repeated for years. Ones that he got from the silly websites he frequents (probably starting with John Scudamore).

    We should probably pity the poor little NWO troll because it is too difficult for him to think for himself… it is just too h…a…r….d. But no, it is just time to laugh at his repetitive nonsense stuck in his welded shut scull.

  50. #65 NWO Reporter
    March 12, 2017

    @Chris, I’m quite certain I and other readers can examine what Angell and Ioannidis have to say and form their own conclusions, without relying on the author of this blog to act as a perception intermediary. 🙂

    • #66 Orac
      March 12, 2017

      In other words, it is as I suspected. You are afraid to see what I’ve written about John Ioannidis’ work. No surprise there.

  51. #67 Chris
    March 12, 2017

    The other readers know how to search this blog for articles about their writings, and figure out that your conclusions are idiotic. So you are still just….

    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Rawhide!
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Though the threads are swollen
    Keep them comments trollin’,
    Rawhide!

    • #68 NWO Reporter
      March 12, 2017

      Other readers know how to use a perception intermediary rather than rely on their own judgment? I’m afraid you are correct there, in some cases. Fortunately, fewer and fewer cases these days, though. 🙂

  52. #69 Panacea
    March 12, 2017

    @Chris,

    Rats. You beat me to the punch on Nightingale.

    She wrote her original “Notes on Nursing” advocating the right things (fresh air, clean sheets, light) without fully understanding why they were useful. But her resistance left when she looked at the evidence.

    And if anyone should understand statistics, she should. She is not only the Mother of Modern Nursing, she is the Mother of Statistics.

  53. #70 Chris
    March 12, 2017

    Sorry, Panacea. 🙂

    I liked that her story parallels to often touted Semmelweis bit, but unlike him, she was persuaded by her statistics. And she used pie charts!

    The troll does not understand how science change, and her story is so much better that the silly one he and every other anti-science troll used. Statistics is something that changes the course of scientific thought, not “mavericks bucking the system.” Something he would learn if he read the two books I posted. But he chooses to stay willfully ignorant, and not realizing why we think he is a fool.

  54. #71 NWO Reporter
    March 12, 2017

    Two of the more notorious cases of known massive medical fraud occurred with the so-called “Swine Flu epidemics” of 1976 and 2009. The 1976 fraud was covered by 60 minutes in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8elE7Ct1jWw

    The 2009 Swine Flu fraud was covered by Sharryl Attkisson, then a CBS reporter. In the summer of 2009, the CDC quietly stopped Swine Flu cases in the US. Through FOIA requests, Attkisson discovered that, before the CDC had stopped counting cases, they had learned through actual test results that almost none of the cases they had counted as Swine Flu was, in fact, Swine Flu–or any kind of flu at all. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/swine-flu-cases-overestimated/

    And what better way to cover up a lie than to tell a gigantic lie? Here, a 2009 WebMD article gives the CDC’s peculiar position: “Shockingly, 14 million to 34 million U.S. residents — the CDC’s best guess is 22 million — came down with H1N1 swine flu by Oct. 17 [2009].” http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20091112/over-22-million-in-us-had-h1n1-swine-flu#1

    Just another example of why no information emanating from the CDC can be trusted.

    • #72 Orac
      March 12, 2017

      Sharyl Attkisson? Hahahaha. Sorry. I couldn’t help but laugh. She’s long been antivaccine, dating back at least ten years ago, when she was still a CBS reporter. (Indeed, based on some good reasons, I suspected her of feeding information to antivaxers about her reporting on the down low.) Search for her name here, and you’ll see numerous examples documented over the last decade or so. The reason I laugh is to see you impugn the CDC as being unreliable when Attkisson’s reporting on vaccines and health issues is the very definition of unreliable.

      • #73 NWO Reporter
        March 12, 2017

        Yes…the 60 minutes story is equally hilarious. Do you have any evidence to refute Attkisson’s findings–that before the CDC stopped counting Swine Flu cases in 2009, most of the actual tests results were negative?

  55. #74 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    March 12, 2017

    I’m quite certain I and other readers can examine what Angell and Ioannidis have to say and form their own conclusions, without relying on the author of this blog to act as a perception intermediary.

    Yes we have and twits like you love to abuse those articles revealing your ignorance about vaccine science even more.

  56. #75 Chris
    March 12, 2017

    Can NWO troll say “cherry picking”? And still to lazy to use the search box. Hilarious!

    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Rawhide!
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Though the threads are swollen
    Keep them comments trollin’,
    Rawhide!

    Cherry pick!
    (Head em’ up!)
    Move goalposts!
    (Move ’em on!)
    More insults!
    (Head em’ up!)
    Rawhide!
    Cut ’em out
    (Paste ’em in!)
    Paste’em in
    (Cut em’ out!)
    Cut ’em out
    Paste ’em in,
    Rawhide!
    Keep trollin’, trollin’, trollin’
    Though they’re disaprovin’
    Keep them comments trollin”,
    Rawhide
    Don’t try to understand ’em
    Just rope, laugh, and ignore ’em
    Soon we’ll be discussin’ bright without ’em

  57. #76 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    March 12, 2017

    NWO Reporter, are you just thread hopping to avoid the untenable positions you keep putting yourself in? Because I see a lot of unanswered questions, starting with that FOIA gaff of yours.

  58. #77 TBruce
    March 12, 2017

    @NWO Reporter:

    Sharyl Attkisson is also notorious for panicking about a stuck delete key on her laptop that she thought was a hack attack by the Obama administration:
    http://www.vox.com/2014/10/31/7140247/the-right-is-convinced-obama-hacked-sharyl-attkisson-over-benghazi
    She’s about as sharp as a billiard ball.

    • #78 NWO Reporter
      March 12, 2017

      So, did you find the 60 minutes piece about the 1976 Swine Flu fraud as hilarious as Orac did?

      Did you come up with any evidence to refute Attkisson’s findings that, before the CDC stopped counting Swine Flu cases in 2009, most of the actual tests results were negative? Or is that evidence still MIA, buried under the usual mountain of ad hominem?

  59. #79 Panacea
    March 12, 2017

    @ Chris,

    I like using the story of Semmelweiss, Nightingale, and germ theory to illustrate the importance of infection control with my students. It’s a compelling story, and it brings home the whys very clearly to them.

    • #80 NWO Reporter
      March 12, 2017

      Do you also discuss with your students that 80,000 people die every year from infections acquired in hospitals–today, in the modern days of medicine?

  60. #81 Alain
    March 12, 2017

    NWO Reporter,

    I’m quite certain I and other readers can examine what Angell and Ioannidis have to say and form their own conclusions, without relying on the author of this blog to act as a perception intermediary

    What is your evidence that we rely only on a perception intermediary to get acquainted with the scientific literature?

    Alain

  61. #82 TBruce
    March 12, 2017

    Did you come up with any evidence to refute Attkisson’s findings…?

    Yep.They are Attkisson’s findings. That’s good enough for me.

    • #83 NWO Reporter
      March 12, 2017

      Your logical fallacy is: ad hominem. “A logical fallacy is a flaw in reasoning. Logical fallacies are like tricks or illusions of thought, and they’re often very sneakily used by politicians and the media to fool people.” https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ad-hominem

  62. #84 brian
    March 12, 2017

    NRO Reporter: could you please inform us of (1) the number of people who die every year due to infections that are not acquired in hospitals compared to the number who die every year due to infections that are acquired in hospitals, and (2) whether or not any sentient being should be surprised that people are more to be acquire infections if they are surrounded by sick people? Thanks.

    • #85 NWO Reporter
      March 12, 2017

      Don’t demand that others do your research and make your arguments for you. Maybe hospitals don’t have proper isolation and sterilization protocols. Maybe they have them, but don’t follow them. It sounds like you are trying to suggest that 80k+ deaths every year are inevitable from infections acquired in hospitals. If so, make a case for it if you like.

  63. #86 Panacea
    March 12, 2017

    @ NWO Troll

    Yes, I discuss the risks of death and disability from infection with my students.

    I do it in professional, clinical manner, with the goal of teaching them how to prevent as well as administer treatments to care for infections.

    Now buzz off troll. The adults in the room are talking.

  64. #87 herr doktor bimler
    March 13, 2017

    Yep.They are Attkisson’s findings. That’s good enough for me.

    Someone has prior form of making crap up and stove-piping other people’s scammy fabrications, they’re going to keep making crap up. After a certain point, it is not cost-effective to provide that person’s latest fabulations with a detailed rebuttal.

  65. #88 LouV
    France
    March 13, 2017

    @NWO Reporter
    Did you ever check what was Marcia Angell’s position on vaccines ?

  66. #89 jennifer
    california
    March 15, 2017

    I have a theory about why ppl get into woo.

    A few yrs ago I had frozen shoulders and the pain was unbelievable. I couldn’t lift my arms, couldn’t walk my dogs or put my clothes on w/o help. My ortho doc gave me shots and I went to PT but nothing worked.

    He finally booked me to have manipulation under anesthesia to break up the capsules. A week before that procedure I went to a hypnotist to help me sleep better since the pain was keeping me up and sleep meds make me a little crazy. Before he started he asked if there was anything else I wanted to address and I said, kind of flippantly, “yeah, if you can cure my frozen shoulders that would be great.”

    When I came out of my little trance state my shoulders were pain free. I could raise my arms, swing them side to side–hallelujah! I still had weakness but no pain. I cancelled the MUA and yrs later I am still fine.

    Now, my theory is that the problem was probably psychological. I can’t say why it might have happened at that particular time, but I don’t think it was a physical (as in organic or traumatic) problem.

    I have since come across some ppl in my family who have had conversion disorder (one diagnosed and one with me guessing). One of my nieces is literally wheelchair bound and has nothing “wrong” with her. She went from healthy to having the symptoms of cerebral palsy over several months. An aunt when she was younger had a limp and what they called a “dead arm” back in the 50s. Doctors found zero wrong with her. Then she had a born again experience and was “healed.”

    So…my theory is that quackery “works” in psychological disorders being cured by psychological means, even if the reasoning brain has no idea this is happening. Can acupuncture cure cancer? No. But can it help someone quit smoking or with tension headaches? Sure if the emotional brain believes that it’s real and doing some amazing mojo to it. and the headaches are not from tumors or whatever.

    Does this make sense?

  67. […] long lamented the creeping infiltration of quackery into medical academia in which modalities once considered quackery, such as acupuncture, reiki, naturopathy, homeopathy, […]