You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Science Based Medicine’ tag.

There has been much controversy over lately at Science Based Medicine as they seem to have been institutionally captured by gender ideology and turning away from the foundations SBM was founded on.  When gender woo-magic takes precedent of science based facts the lambasting by those who keep their scientific integrity intact is inevitable, hence this letter by Emeritus Editor Kimball Atwood to Steve Novella about his decent into gender-woo.

 

Thank you for Jessie Singal for posting the letter.

 

 

Hi Steve,

Harriet has told me that you stated that her article “dragged SBM into a raging controversy.” She feels, and I agree, that it was your retracting that article and replacing it by very bad articles written by advocates of “gender affirmation” that dragged SBM into a raging controversy. I’ve attempted to explain why previously, but here I’ll mention a couple of the most obvious reasons.

You claimed that Harriet’s article was below SBM’s minimal standard for “high quality scientific evidence and reasoning to inform medical issues.” Yet you replaced it with articles stating things such as the following:

  • “Biology is a binary and differences of sex development (DSDs) are vanishingly rare”. False. DSDs are as common as 1 in 5,000 births, and increase to 1 in 200 or 1 in 300 if you include hypospadias and cryptorchidism. Biology is very, very well known to be a spectrum.

[Lovell attributes the sentence in quotes to Shrier; I’ve been unable to find it in her book]

Do you, Steve, think that sex is a spectrum? Yes, I know Lovell wrote “biology is a spectrum,” but that is an incoherent claim. Her implication is that sex is a spectrum. If that were true, it would upend all that we know about sex in mammals and many other life forms, including sexual dimorphism, reproduction, and selection. Do you think that Lovell’s statement constitutes “high quality scientific evidence and reasoning”? OMG, apparently you do. What’s happened to you?

Do you think that hypospadias and cryptorchism are DSDs? They are not, and to suggest that they are does not meet SBM’s minimal standard for reasoning about medical issues.

The citation is to a paper that discusses real DSDs, not cryptorchism or hypospadias, and makes no claims about a “spectrum.” It supports the very statement that Lovell claims to be false (even though Shrier seems never to have made that statement). Where was the editor here?

According to Eckert,

  • Throughout her book, Shrier refers to her subjects as “biological girls,” a term that conflates sex with gender and mischaracterizes Shrier’s subjects. The reason is that a person’s sex refers to the identity assigned by doctors, parents, and medical professionals at birth, most often based on external anatomy (genitals).

Do you, Steve, think that Shrier’s subjects were not biological girls? Do you think that this characterization conflates sex with gender? Do you think that sex is an “identity assigned by doctors,” rather than a fact noted by everyone in the delivery room in almost every case? Do you think that “human” is also an identity assigned by doctors? How does such an absurd passage meet SBM’s minimal standard for scientific evidence and reasoning? Do you really think that “this is good scientific practice—not political correctness”? How can you be so naive?

Finally, I’ll remind you of a previous objection that you haven’t answered, which refutes the crux of Lovell’s claim about “gender affirmation” for biological girls “lead(ing) to improved psychological outcomes”:

“Lastly, as clearly noted in the American Academy of Pediatrics statement, complete with many citations of their own, we use affirmation, pubertal suppression, and hormone therapy in youth because it leads to improved psychological outcomes. The literature is abundant and clear on this topic.”

The “abundant” link is not to several studies or a review of several studies, as the adjective implies, but to a single study that is irrelevant to Shrier’s thesis because it looks at a group of pre-pubescent, transgender children (age 3-12) undergoing only social transition, not at adolescent girls. It’s also not a good study because it controls its cohort with a cohort of non-transgender children, rather than with the appropriate control group (transgender children not undergoing social transition).

The “clear” link is to a paper that does not reveal whether its subjects were gender dysphoric (GD) in childhood or not, but whose abstract states:

Implications for impact: This study suggests that gender-affirming hormones are a helpful medical intervention for transgender youth. Gender-affirming hormones were found to be associated with decreases in suicidality and improvements in general well-being.”

That is all most SBM readers will read, if they even bother to click on the link. But in the discussion (behind a paywall; I got it on ResearchGate) we see this:

“Hypothesis 3 (i.e., those assigned female at birth will experience greater improvements in general well-being and larger decreases in suicidality) was not supported.” (My italics; parenthetical phrase in the original)

Need I mention (again) that this is the only outcome of the study that is relevant to Shrier’s book? Where was the editor here?

Speaking of editors, it appears that there have been none at SBM other than the original five. Of those, two ruled to retract Harriet’s review, two (Harriet and I) would have kept it, and one is dead. I knew Wally well enough to feel confident that he would have voted to keep the review, and that he would have been shocked, probably to the point of resigning, when you published the embarrassments by Lovell and Eckert and when you banned Andy Lewis from commenting.

No, it was not Harriet who dragged SBM into a raging controversy. It was you and David, because of some very poor choices, made worse by your doubling down after every reasonable objection by Jesse Singal, Andy Lewis, Michael Shermer, Jerry Coyne, Abigail Shrier, me, and several others.

Sincerely Yours,
Kimball

Just like using Vitamin C to treat cancer...

Just like using Vitamin C to treat cancer…

“It’s a case that has Canadians and the legal community buzzing.

Earlier this month Ontario Judge Gethin Edward ruled in favour of a First Nations girl and her family, who stopped chemotherapy to treat her acute lymphoblastic leukemia, choosing traditional medicine instead.

The judge rejected an application from McMaster Children’s Hospital that would have required the Children’s Aid Society to intervene in the case.”

Buzzing indeed.  Let us be clear up front – evidenced based medicine works.  Anything else is just a fine grade mixture of bullshit and the placebo effect that happened to work in that specific case on that specific day.   We can safely assume that “Traditional Medicine” falls into the later category and most definitely not the former.

“Edward ruled that it was the mother’s aboriginal right — which he called “integral” to the family’s way of life — to allow her to choose traditional medicine for her daughter.

While many hailed the decision as a victory for aboriginal rights, others call it a failure in the protection of child welfare”

While others like myself would be calling this a death sentence for the child in question.  Treating cancer with magical mumbo-jumbo almost always ends in tragedy.

“I’ve never seen a judge recognize a broad right for a First Nation like the Mohawk Nation to have their medical practices — their traditional ways of life regarding health and healing — protected by the Constitution under Section 35,” said Larry Chartrand, professor at the faculty of law. 

    “Chartrand specializes in aboriginal governance and health, and while he states that this decision is positive in terms of aboriginal rights, “the unfortunate circumstance is that it revolved around a fact situation where a little girl’s life is potentially at stake. So that makes the decision very difficult to appreciate.”

The ‘decision very difficult to appreciate my ass’ – Leave it to lawyers to miss the point.   We have this thing called medical science, it is the justified, tested and reviewed methods of saving lives.  Denying a child access to life saving treatment is neglect.

“McMaster doctors said she has a 90 to 95 per cent chance of survival on chemotherapy, but that they didn’t know of anyone who had survived acute lymphoblastic leukemia without the treatment.”

Traditional methods of healing in this case means death for the child.

“I understand the mother’s decision. I have a 12-year-old son, and I’m not sure I would make that decision myself under the circumstances. But I understand why, because of the impact of colonization, the distrust of the mainstream system, and the need to protect Mohawk culture — sometimes at all costs.”

If protecting Mohawk culture means sacrificing your child to woo, it may be time to rethink that aspect of Mohawk culture.  If the child dies because of this fanciful foray into neglect the parents should be charged with child endangerment and neglect causing death.   Welcome to the other end of the legal system – the one where murdering children, even for cultural reasons is against the law.

“A Florida health resort licensed as a “massage establishment” is treating a young Ontario First Nations girl with leukemia using cold laser therapy, Vitamin C injections and a strict raw food diet, among other therapies.

The mother of the 11-year-old girl, who can not be identified because of a publication ban, says the resort’s director, Brian Clement, who goes by the title “Dr.,” told her leukemia is “not difficult to treat.”

Vitamin C?  Raw Food?…   To treat lymphoblastic leukemia?  *shakes head*  Using woo to treat cancer, this is going to end badly for everyone.

Orac over at Respectful Insolence says it best:

“My view is that what matters the most is the life of the child and making sure that child is given her best shot at life by being treated with the best science-based medicine has to offer. Everything else is secondary and, to me, important only inasmuch as it helps or hinders achieving the goal of saving the life of the child. I don’t care much about whether I offend by criticizing a religion that would allow a child to die. I don’t care much if it bothers anyone that I criticized a racial, ethnic, or cultural group that facilitates the medical neglect of children. And I don’t really care that much, in the context of this case, about the historical grievances native peoples have based on past transgressions of the Canadian government. That’s not to say I don’t recognize them as important; rather, it’s that I do not accept them as valid reasons to let a child die.”

[Source 1: cbc.ca –  Aboriginal right to refuse chemotherapy for child spurs debate.]

[Source 2: cbc.ca –‘Doctor’ treating First Nations girls says cancer patients can heal themselves.]

 

 

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 askepticrtn.com)

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 Quackwatch.org 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. :(

Or do not.

C0nc0rdance from ytube does a good job of showing that we should not abandon the reasoned evidence based approach to medicine because of the amoral behaviour of some pharmaceutical companies.

This Blog best viewed with Ad-Block and Firefox!

What is ad block? It is an application that, at your discretion blocks out advertising so you can browse the internet for content as opposed to ads. If you do not have it, get it here so you can enjoy my blog without the insidious advertising.

Like Privacy?

Change your Browser to Duck Duck Go.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,219 other followers

Progressive Bloggers

Categories

December 2021
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Archives

Blogs I Follow

The DWR Community

Women Are Human

Independent source for the top stories in worldwide gender identity news

Widdershins Worlds

WRITING LESBIAN FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION, AND FANTASY, SINCE THE 20TH CENTURY

aunt polly's rants

A fine WordPress.com site

silverapplequeen

herstory. poetry. recipes. rants.

Paul S. Graham

Communications, politics, peace and justice

Debbie Hayton

Transgender Teacher and Journalist

Whirlwind of Scrap Paper - A Blog

Wittering about books and current affairs. Posting Wednesday and Friday.

shakemyheadhollow

Conceptual spaces: politics, philosophy, art, literature, religion, cultural history

Our Better Natures

Loving, Growing, Being

Lyra

A topnotch WordPress.com site

I Won't Take It

Life After an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

VictimFocus Blog

Exploring best practice and research in sexual violence. A loud voice in the fight against victim blaming. Written and Managed by Psychologist and Best Selling Author Dr Jessica Taylor

Unpolished XX

No product, no face paint. I am enough.

Volunteer petunia

Observations and analysis on survival, love and struggle

femlab

the feminist exhibition space at the university of alberta

Raising Orlando

About gender, identity, parenting and containing multitudes

REAL for women

Reflecting Equality in Australian Legislation for women

The Feminist Kitanu

Spreading the dangerous disease of radical feminism

Double Plus Good

The Evolution Will Not BeTelevised

la scapigliata

writer, doctor, wearer of many hats

Teach The Change

Teaching Artist/ Progressive Educator

Female Personhood

Identifying as female since the dawn of time.

Radfem Resources | Radical Feminist Literature

A virtual library for those interested in radical feminist literature and resources.

Not The News in Briefs

A blog by Helen Saxby

SOLIDARITY WITH HELEN STEEL

A blog in support of Helen Steel

thenationalsentinel.wordpress.com/

Where media credibility has been reborn.

BigBooButch

Memoirs of a Butch Lesbian

RadFemSpiraling

Radical Feminism Discourse

a sledge and crowbar

deconstructing identity and culture

The Radical Pen

Fighting For Female Liberation from Patriarchy

Emma

Politics, things that make you think, and recreational breaks

Easilyriled's Blog

cranky. joyful. radical. funny. feminist.

Nordic Model Now!

Movement for the Abolition of Prostitution

The WordPress C(h)ronicle

These are the best links shared by people working with WordPress

HANDS ACROSS THE AISLE

Gender is the Problem, Not the Solution

fmnst

Peak Trans and other feminist topics

There Are So Many Things Wrong With This

if you don't like the news, make some of your own

Gentle Curiosity

Musing over important things. More questions than answers.

%d bloggers like this: