Opposing Chiropractic: Persecution or Justified Criticism? (Sam Homola) Spinal manipulation is a useful treatment for certain types of musculoskeletal pain, but chiropractic is based on a false belief system about subluxations and nerve interference. If chiropractic as a whole doesn’t renounce and abandon subluxation theory and make the changes needed to become a properly limited musculoskeletal specialty, justified criticism of subluxation-based chiropractic will continue to reflect on the entire profession.
Screening for disease in people without symptoms: The reality (David Gorski) A new systematic review examines whether screening for disease saves lives in asymptomatic adults. Mammograms and other screening tests have been oversold, but they are not useless. Screening has other benefits besides just reducing mortality, and risk stratification can be helpful.
A Scientist in Wonderland (Harriet Hall) That’s the title of a memoir by Edzard Ernst, a doctor of uncompromising integrity and courage. He went from practicing alternative medicine to studying the evidence to becoming one of its most prolific and outspoken critics. As a result, he faced astounding hostility from a culture that was indifferent to the concept of truth, lost his job, and made an enemy of Prince Charles.
How Not to Treat Migraine (Steven Novella) Many of the treatments offered for migraine are of dubious evidence and plausibility. Among these are acupuncture, electrical stimulation, and chiropractic. Much of the published research is of poor quality and positive results are false positives reflecting the bias of researchers.
Washington bills: Christian Science no longer an excuse for denying medical care (Jann Bellamy) Washington State law prohibits criminal mistreatment of children and other vulnerable persons, including deprivation of medical treatment. Christian Scientists are exempt from this law and from one requiring reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect; they can deny their children medical care and hide behind a religious exemption. Two bills currently pending in the Washington Legislature would repeal this special treatment.
Do two half-truths add up to a complete truth or a complete falsehood? (Mark Crislip) The world of pseudo-medicine is filled with half-truths, especially when it comes to vaccines. Examples are given of misinformation on the Internet and in a nursing journal about influenza and measles.
SfSBM at NECSS (Mark Crislip) Registration is now open for the North-East Conference on Science and Skepticism, April 9-12, which will include a full day of presentations by the Society for Science-Based Medicine. Details and a preliminary program are provided.