You are currently browsing the daily archive for November 19, 2013.

quack-doctor    Why oh why do people still want to normalize the use of magic and illusion into the practice of medicine?

We’ve spent decades codifying and rooting out the bullshit practices and have steeled ourselves against ‘good common sense’ notions and looked where the evidence points us.  There is no mystery to evidence based medicine it has been shown empirically to work.  Contrast that with ‘alternative or integrative‘ or ‘whatever term the quacks are using now to sound legitimate and authoritative‘ which is not evidence based, not rigorously tested and not frakking effective.  What is most saddening is that professionals who have been well-educated can fall into the woo-trap just as easy as the common bloke.  The CBC reports on a quack siting here in my home town:

“An Edmonton doctor who recently won a major medical prize says the only way to bridge the divide between traditional medicine and alternative methods is to listen to the needs of patients.”

Oh FFS!  Alternative Medicine … has either not been proved to work, or been proved not to work. Do you know what they call “alternative medicine” that’s been proved to work?  Medicine.  “Bridging gaps” with quackery results in dead people.  It is that simple.

“Dr. Vohra was recently awarded the 2013 Dr. Rogers Prize for Excellence in Complementary and Alternative Medicine. At $250,000, it’s the largest prize of its kind in North America.”

Quack wins quackery prize.  This just in, earth still orbiting the sun ONCE every 365 days.  Let’s take a peek into history and dude behind the Dr.Rodgers Prize (many thanks to

Dr. Hoffer’s obituary mentioned that he had won the Dr. Rogers Prize for Excellence in Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2007. I never knew such a thing even existed. It does though.

Dr. Rogers is another individual who appears to have dedicated his life to helping people but probably did just the opposite. He worked in family practice for over 30 years and was a clinical instructor at the University of British Columbia. He founded the Thera Wellness Centre in 1977, a not for profit organization devoted to complementary and alternative practices in medicine. Later he created The Centre for Integrated Therapy which evolved into Centre for Integrated Healing in the late 1990′s which later evolved into Inspire Health. A quick review of Inspire Health’s website reveals it is an organization that promotes all sorts of pseudo-scientific nonsense as benefiting cancer patients — from Reiki to therapeutic touch to acupuncture.

According to the Dr. Roger’s Prize website, Dr. Rogers was appointed to the Order of British Columbia, the province’s highest honour, for his pioneering work in alternative and complementary cancer care. In other words, BC awarded him the provinces highest honor for selling worthless cures to desperate cancer victims. Not something that immediately comes to mind as worthy of an award, but then again, I have never won the Order of British Columbia, so I am certainly no expert on what it takes to win a medal. I do know there was a time when, good intentions notwithstanding, we threw snake oil salesmen in jail. Now we give them the Order of British Columbia.

The Dr. Rogers Prize for Excellence in Complementary and Alternative Medicine was established in recognition of Dr. Rogers contribution to complimentary and alternative medicine and his tireless efforts to gain widespread recognition for – and acceptance of – complementary and alternative cancer treatments in this country.

I don’t know what alternative universe the folks at the Dr. Rogers Prize are living in, but back here on planet earth we instinctively know that recognition and acceptance of medical practices shouldn’t come from phony awards awards funded by those pursuing an agenda. It comes from sound scientific evidence that the health practices or modalities being promoted actually work.

Regardless of how well intentioned or tireless Dr. Rogers efforts (and I don’t doubt either), they amount to little more than the promotion and sale of snake oil to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Now in his eighties and suffering from Alzheimer’s, it is sad to reflect on a another man who desperately wanted to help but probably did just the opposite.

   Ah, it must feel good to win the snake-oil award for selling cures to desperate people, it must be so gratifying on many levels; how can profiting from the misery of others be anything but? 

“Dr. Vohra is the founding director of Complementary and Alternative Research and Education (CARE) at the University of Alberta, the first academic pediatric integrative medicine program in Canada.”

Write down the name and avoid this person at all costs because this sort of medical mendacity gets you dead and impoverishes your family.

“For the sake of her patients, she set about becoming fluent in alternative treatments.”

What a nice way of saying – has stopped listening to Reason and embraced all the magical woo available to the detriment of her patients.  Awesome!

“Now she has credibility in both worlds – as a leader in both conventional and complementary and alternative medicine – […]”

Oh LOLfovever.  The-fuck-you-don’t get credibility for embracing woo.  You don’t get medical credibility for embracing non-evidence based medical practices. Not now, not ever, young padaquack. All you should rightly receive is scorn and derision for making the decision to abandon the scientific method and starting to peddle woo.

“She says studies indicate that 70 per cent of Canadians use complementary therapies, and a significant percentage of them mix traditional and non-traditional remedies without knowing what impact one will have on another.”

Could I get Argumentum ad populum, with a side citation-fucking-needed?!  Ring-Ring!! Rationality is calling, Dr. Vohra; and it would, most desperately, like you to return to the fold.

Go to for more information on “alternative and integrative” therapies and the harm it causes people.

*Update* – Mother faces criminal charges as she let her son die of a strep infection

Criminal charges are pending against a Calgary mother who police allege relied on holistic treatments instead of getting medical help for her seven-year-old son’s strep infection.  Police allege the mother did not take the boy for treatment, giving him holistic remedies instead.

“The treatment rendered at home was homeopathic in nature. This would include herbal remedies. The mother refused to take the child to a medical professional. No excuse given — just her belief system,” said Staff Sgt. Mark Cavilla.

The boy was bedridden for 10 days prior to his death, police allege.

My defence rests. :(

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