Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Editor's Choice

Whither medicine?

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 07 September 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:0-f

Rapid Response:

Whiter medicine? Translating itself and Translating in Symmetry with Complementary and Alternative Holistic Traditions

Professor Mike Saks in chapter eight "East meets west : the
emergence of an
holistic tradition" of the book "Medicine A History of Healing Ancient
Traditions to Modern Practices" (Marlowe & Co. 1997 ) of which the
late Roy
Porter was the consultant editor is of the view that the future of
medicine is
to move straight ahead towards holism. However, he warned that there is an

inherent tension between holism and scientific biomedicine which is still
fully resolved that

attempts to combine the influences of the family, community and the

national dimensions of life with a narrow scientific notion of

in an integrated biopsychosocial model, leaving biomedicine as the

overriding element in the equation. This mirrors the experience of of

many alternative practitioners when they are included within ortho-

dox heath-care teams. They too, have frequently been subordinated

within a framework of medical dominance, raising doubts about whe-

ther their approaches are really being employed in a balanced and

integrated manner .[p215]

Furthermore, holistic reform of biomedicine is further complicated
to Prof. Saks by "continuing argument that randomised controlled trials
should be used as the "gold standard" for assessing the value of
medicine in the West as they are in biomedicine" including traditional
medicine ... a sentiment echoed recently by Professor Jin Ling Tang from
Hongkong Cohrane Branch [Tang JL. Research Priorities in traditional
medicine. BMJ. 2006;333:391-394]

We can say then that a holistic future for biomedicine lies in
translating itself
and translating in symmetry with other complementary and alternative
holistic tradions.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

09 September 2006
Rey C. Tiquia
Independent Scholar/Practitioner Traditional Chinese Medicine
243 Waterdale Rd. Ivanhoe 3079 Victoria Australia