Observations Reality Check

Assaulting alternative medicine: worthwhile or witch hunt?

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e1075 (Published 15 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1075

Re: Assaulting alternative medicine: worthwhile or witch hunt?

The altmed industry has sought legitimisation over the past 30 years or so as medicine has begun is transition to a science based sceptical approach to therapeutics. There is still a large residual of practitioners who prefer level 5 (expert opinion), 6 (personal experience) 7 (hearsay) and 8 (marketing bumpf). Part of the marketing process has been to seek university degrees and diplomas for the purveyors of folk remedies. By obtaining such academic tags the altmed industry has been able to influence government and obtain the diversion of government (I.e. taxpayers) money to proven useless and ineffective remedies. In Australia it is impossible to obtain health insurance that does not waste money on the altmed industry ( and refuses to provide support for audiology).

In doing so they have debased university science ( such products cannot be called education when they teach rigid belief). Legitimisation has also been obtained through registration. But note that the Australian federal government was unable to enforce education on immunisation for chiropractors so they continue to undermine immunisation and thus cause preventable death.
By diverting public resources, actively undermining public health, demeaning education the altmed industry has become a risk to health for the population and should be treated as such.

Competing interests: No competing interests

20 February 2012
David Brookman
A & E. GP
P.o. Box 190