Alternative Medicine and Common Errors of Reasoning

  title={Alternative Medicine and Common Errors of Reasoning},
  author={Barry L. Beyerstein},
  journal={Academic Medicine},
Why do so many otherwise intelligent patients and therapists pay considerable sums for products and therapies of alternative medicine, even though most of these either are known to be useless or dangerous or have not been subjected to rigorous scientific testing? The author proposes a number of reasons this occurs: (1) Social and cultural reasons (e.g., many citizens' inability to make an informed choice about a health care product; anti-scientific attitudes meshed with New Age mysticism… 
Why Alternative Medicine Cannot Be Evidence‐based
  • M. Tonelli, Tim Callahan
  • Philosophy
    Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
  • 2001
Othodox medicine should consider abandoning demands that complementary and alternative medicine become evidence-based, at least as “evidence” is currently narrowly defined, but insist instead upon a more complete and coherent description and defense of the alternative epistemic methods and tools of these disciplines.
Unethical Prescriptions: Alternative Therapies for Children With Cerebral Palsy
The author presents 3 CAM treatments that have been advocated for children with cerebral palsy and discusses on the reasons why prescribing said therapies is contrary to the concept of evidence-based medicine and the tenets of medical ethics.
Complementary and alternative medicine and the need for evidence-based criticism.
  • J. Astin
  • Psychology
    Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
  • 2002
After reading the recent set of papers entitled ‘‘Alternative Medicine: The Importance of Evidence in Medicine and Medical Education,’’ published in the March 2001 issue of Academic Medicine, I feel
Reflexology: Science or Belief?
The basis for these haemodynamic theories are described and discussed in detail by reviewing the original work of William H Fitzgerald and Eunice Ingham by describing the available contemporary evidence to support these theories and discusses the challenge of proving specific treatment effects in CAM in this current era of evidence-based medicine.
How Should Alternative Medicine Be Taught to Medical Students and Physicians?
  • D. Marcus
  • Medicine
    Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
  • 2001
It is concluded that physicians need additional education in order to provide guidance to patients, but teaching about alternative medicine should be evidence-based, not merely the transmission of unproven practices.
Why do ineffective treatments seem helpful? A brief review
It is concluded that healthcare will grow to full potential only when judgments of clinical efficacy routinely are based in properly scientific, placebo-controlled, outcome analysis.
Incommensurable Worldviews? Is Public Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines Incompatible with Support for Science and Conventional Medicine?
Investigation of public use of and beliefs about the efficacy of a prominent and controversial CAM within the United Kingdom, homeopathy, using data from the 2009 Wellcome Monitor survey reveals that simultaneous support for a controversial CAM treatment and conventional medicine is, in part, explained by a lack of scientific knowledge as well as concerns about the regulation of medical research.
Understanding support for complementary and alternative medicine in general populations: Use and perceived efficacy
It is demonstrated that although the profile of homeopathy users differs from those who support this form of medicine, neither outcome is dependent upon peoples’ levels of knowledge about science and the results suggest a far greater explanatory role for need and concerns about conventional medicine.
Going against the Herd: Psychological and Cultural Factors Underlying the ‘Vaccination Confidence Gap’
It is suggested that vaccination scepticism appears to be the outcome of a particular cultural and psychological orientation leading to unwillingness to engage with the scientific evidence, and vaccination compliance might be increased either by building general confidence and understanding of evidence-based medicine, or by appealing to features usually associated with CAM, e.g. ‘strengthening your natural resistance to disease’.


The monkey gland affair
The powerful placebo.
  • H. Beecher
  • Medicine
    Journal of the American Medical Association
  • 1955
It is interesting that Pepper could say as recently as 10 years ago "apparently there has never been a paper published discussing the important subject of the placebo," but in 1953 Gaddum1 said: Such tablets are sometimes called placebos, but it is better to call them dummies.
The social transformation of american medicine.
  • Msmw
  • Medicine
    The Western journal of medicine
  • 1983
The Social Transformation of American Medicine is one of the most comprehensive studies on the rise of the medical profession and the development of the health care industry published to date, Starr
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Along "Timeless Healing" 's journey of intellectual enlightenment, Dr. Benson creates a wonderful web of personal anecdotes, scientific research, social commentary, and spiritual wisdom that outlines a life-transforming and society-changing blueprint for healing.
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When this much-needed collection of critical essays was first published in 1985, it provoked controversy because never before had the various branches of the holistic movement in medicine been
The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine
In 1992, I was hired by the State of Oregon as an expert witness in a trial of four chiropractors who had been accused of using a "Toftness-like device" in their practices. The "Toftness Radiation
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This review attempts to answer questions by investigating pertinent definitions, the history of herbs in medicine, epidemiology and prevalence of herbal use, and relevant psychosocial issues.
The Faith Healers
I suppose I should be flattered that, in a work which is ostensibly a review of Mark Kelman’s Guide to Critical Legal Studies, Professor Fischl devotes the bulk of his analytical efforts to sustained
How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life
When can we trust what we believe - that "teams and players have winning streaks", that "flattery works", or that "the more people who agree, the more likely they are to be right" - and when are such