The anti-complementary medicine rhetoric of the late-19th century through circa 1998 returns with a new sweeping statement that CAM has no basis in scientific evidence.
CAM proponents have in term labeled the response a “sweeping generalisation“:
The term complementary – or alternative – medicine covers therapies such as homeopathy, acupuncture or reflexology…Professor Colquhoun, of the university’s department of pharmacology, cited the example of homeopathy. He said it had barely changed since the start of the 19th Century and was “more like religion than science”.
He also pointed out that some supporters of nutritional therapy have been known to claim that changes in diet can cure Aids.
He said the teaching of complementary medicine under a science banner was worse than “Mickey Mouse” degrees in golf management and baking that have sprung up in recent years as “they do what it says on the label”.
“That is quite different from awarding BSc degrees in subjects that are not science at all, but are positively anti-science.
“Yet this sort of gobbledygook is being taught in some UK universities as though it were science.”
He suggested it would be better if courses in aromatherapy, acupuncture, herbal medicine, reflexology, naturopathy and traditional Chinese medicine were taught as part of a cultural history or sociological course.
This stance is not unfamiliar. Calls for appropriate regulation are one thing, an anti rhetoric another.
For more balanced views, see the Institute of Medicine Report on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2005) or even the Model Guidelines for the Use of Complementary and Alternative Therapies in Medical Practice promulgated by the Federation of State Medical Boards, or any other government or quasi-governmental reports, including the Final Report of the White House Commission Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, or several fine U.K. reports by the Prince of Wales Foundation for Integrative Health.
Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers general corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies.
Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine (also known as the Institute for Health, Ethics, Law, Policy & Society), a forum for exploration of legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues involved in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy, herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. The most recent published book by Michael H. Cohen on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy pertaining to complementary, alternative and integrative medicine and related fields is Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion. This is the fourth book in a series, following Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).
Health care and corporate lawyer Michael H. Cohen has also been admitted to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing), adding to Bar membership in four U.S. states.