Science-Based Medicine » The “CAM” Consumer: Misled and Abused

* Note: Stay away from phony medicine and quack science! Acupuncture, Reiki, Chiropractic, etc. are FRAUDS!
There is a disturbing lack of protection for the consumer of “complementary and alternative” products and services. I can think of no other area of commerce where misleading, as well as out and out false, information is so regularly employed, without consequence, to entice the consumer into forking over his hard-earned cash. Nor do I know of any other manner of goods or services where giving consumers patently false information is protected by law.

Consider first the fact that nonsensical gibberish is enshrined in state law in the form of “CAM” practice acts, which give practitioners of implausible, if not wholly discredited, diagnostic methods and treatments carte blanche to ply their trades. For example, as has been discussed before on SBM, state law defines chiropractic as the detection and correction of subluxations, which, as many chiropractors themselves admit, do not exist. State practice acts define acupuncture in such pseudoscientific terms as “modulation and restoration of normal function in and between the body’s energetic and organ systems and biomechanical, metabolic and circulation functions using stimulation of selected points.”

As well, naturopathy practice acts allow “mixing and matching treatments including traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, herbalism, Ayurvedic medicine, applied kinesiology, anthroposophical medicine, reflexology, craniosacral therapy, Bowen Technique, and pretty much any other form of unscientific or prescientific medicine that you can imagine.” State practice acts also permit the indiscriminate use of the term “doctor” and “physician.” Scope of practice is broadly defined as “primary care.”

To add insult to injury, state law generally gives the Boards governing these practices exclusive authority to regulate their “professions.” This has resulted in rules which incorporate even more pseudoscientific nonsense into the scope of practice. In Florida, for example, a Board of Acupuncture rule allows aromatherapy, electric moxibustion, color therapy, homeopathy, ion pumping cords, iridology, kirlian photography, magnet therapy, photonic stimulation and sonopuncture.

These Boards usually have exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate complaints against practitioners. Thus, the unfortunate consumer who complains to a “CAM” provider Board that a practitioner failed to disclose the scientific implausibility and lack of evidence of effectiveness of a particular therapy is likely to get a frosty reception. Unfortunately, even the Medical Boards may turn a deaf ear to consumer complaints about the use of “CAM” due to the squishy double standard for “CAM” versus “conventional” medicine adopted by the Federation of State Medical Boards.

FULL ARTICLE: Science-Based Medicine » The “CAM” Consumer: Misled and Abused.

About Kurly Tlapoyawa (1010 Articles)

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