Absurd medical claims

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Category archives for Absurd medical claims

Get your flu shot—no, the other flu shot

As many of my readers are aware, most of us are going to need two flu shots this year: one for the seasonal flu, and one for the pandemic (swine) flu. I got my seasonal flu shot two weeks ago, and I’m taking the family to the community college up the street this weekend for…

Crank convergence on flu vaccination

How may topics are there on which Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Arianna Huffington, Bill Maher, and now Louis Farrakhan can agree? One, and one only: flu vaccination. Let’s give a run down of the “reasoning”: Glenn Beck: the safest option is doing the exact opposite of what the government recommends. Limbaugh won’t get one because…

Swine flu in my home state–grim news

Michigan has suffered enough. We’ve been devastated by economic and manufacturing changes, leading to mass unemployment, poverty, and poor education. That last one is really killing us. According to news reports, more than half of Michiganders plan to forgo vaccination, mostly for reasons that betray a lack of education. This is at a time when…

The wild Weil world of woo

Dr. Weil is often seen as the smiling “mainstream” of alternative medicine. He’s a real doctor (unlike, say, Gary Null), and much of what he advocates is standard and uncontroversial nutritional advice. But Weil illustrates the two biggest problems with so-called alternative medicne: once you’ve decided science is dispensible, the door is open to anything,…

I am culturally insensitive

A reader sent me an interesting post from her own blog. It’s well-written, compelling, and betrays an exceptional intelligence. It’s also completely wrong. The piece is called, “Bias, Racism, and Alternative Medicine”, an intriguing title. The first part tries to establish that “Western medicine” in one of many ways of understanding health and disease. She…

Playing catch up on flu rumors

I was going to try to sleep in this morning but my kid couldn’t find her femur—long story. So I figured I might as well brew up a pot of Pal’s Special, put up some Irish steel cut oatmeal, and review this weeks insanity. This has been a rough week for the public’s health education.…

Alternative medicine boosters promote bad health practices that hurt real people—that’s been a theme in my writing for nearly three years. It’s bad enough that they sell people fake cures and encourage them to avoid real medical care, but apparently, that’s not enough anymore. It’s getting to the point where they might as well line…

Low hanging fruit

Even with cable, there isn’t much on TV before six in the morning. On the stationary bike today I was flipping through the channels and I just had to watch the infomercial for No Evil Oil. According to the testimonials, this stuff not only keeps out the Devil, but gets rid of shingles and makes…

From time to time, my wife or one of our friends will forward one of the latest health rumors going through the email lists in our community. The usual email list is the one that goes out to moms of young kids living in our ethnic/geographic community. Usually I shrug it off, but every once…

Petit canard, grand canard

The flu pandemic of 1918 was horrific. Millions of people died (by some estimates 4% of the world population), and the medical establishment worked feverishly to find a cause and a treatment. There were many dead-ends in the search for the cause of the flu. One of the most enduring errors was the attribution of…