An aboriginal girl dies of leukemia: Parental “rights” versus the right of a child to medical care (David Gorski) Makayla Sault had at least a 70-75% chance of being cured of leukemia, but her parents stopped her chemotherapy and substituted useless CAM treatments with the approval of the Canadian courts based on parental and aboriginal rights. She had a vision of Jesus who told her she was already healed. Now she has died of her disease, and the parents are blaming the chemotherapy.
Another Misguided Cancer Testimonial (Harriet Hall) Economic analyst Mike “Mish” Shedlock claims that he beat prostate cancer with a cocktail of diet supplements based on his own research. He says his doctors recommended surgery or radiation, but the standard treatment for what his biopsy showed is active surveillance with no treatment. His research was flawed: there is little or no evidence the supplements he chose had any chance of curing his cancer.
Treating Migraines (Steven Novella) Dr. Novella, a neurologist and headache specialist, explains what migraines are and covers the effective, evidence-based options for self-treatment and treatment by health professionals, from lifestyle and diet modifications to over-the-counter and prescription drugs. He will review more speculative and implausible treatment options next week.
Lies, fraud, conflicts of interest, and bogus science: The real Dr. Oz effect (Scott Gavura) The “expert” Dr. Oz had on his show to tout green coffee beans was no expert and had a conflict of interest as a seller of his own coffee bean extract. His company has now been fined $9 million by the Federal Trade Commission. The study the green coffee bean claims were based on was fraudulent. Dr. Oz and his producers didn’t do their homework.
Hot-Zone Schools and Children at Risk: Shedding light on outbreak-prone schools (John Snyder) The increasing numbers of vaccine-exempt children in schools constitute a risk to vaccinated children and to the community. Overall vaccination rates are high, but there are pockets with much lower rates; and parents should have access to information about the vaccination rates in their schools. Examples from outbreaks in the Marshall Islands and Mexico show that herd immunity can reduce the case rate from 1.6% to 0.00004% and prevent deaths.
Selling complementary and alternative medicine: A business ethics perspective (Scott Gavura) A video of a presentation by a pharmacist and a philosopher who looked at complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) from the perspective of commercial ethics. Several ethical principles are violated by selling products known to be ineffective or to contain no medicinal ingredient (like many homeopathic remedies) to consumers who have been misled by false ideas.