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Senate Declares ‘Naturopathic Medicine Week’

Dave Gorski reports the disturbing fact that the U.S. Senate has declared the second week of October to be Naturopathic Medicine Week in order to “recognize the value of naturopathic medicine in providing safe, effective, and affordable health care.” His reaction:

Well, one out of three ain’t bad, I suppose. Naturopathy is probably affordable (most of the time, anyway), but safe and effective? Not so much. Of course, it’s just a Senate resolution, allegedly passed unanimously; so it’s not as though it has the force of law or anything, but—wouldn’t you know it?—naturopaths are going nuts over it. Indeed, I first learned of this resolution, apparently passed the evening of September 10, at that wretched hive of scum and quackery, The Huffington Post, in an article by a naturopath named Amy Rothenberg who blogs over there entitled “U.S. Senate Passes Resolution for Naturopathic Medicine Week“. Rothenberg, apparently, is President of the Massachusetts Society of Naturopathic Doctors and a Board member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Hilariously, she edited a journal entitled the New England Journal of Homeopathy. I guess it’s just like the New England Journal of Medicine, only without all that pesky science.

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians put out a statement:

Passage of this resolution is an historic achievement for naturopathic medicine. The Congress has now officially recognized the important role naturopathic medicine plays in effectively addressing the nation’s health care needs as well as in addressing the increasingly severe shortage of primary care physicians.

Yeah, if we don’t have enough doctors doing real medicine, let’s get a bunch more quacks to do “ear candling” and Reiki therapy to rid the body of “toxins” and “restore the body’s balance” — it’s a chakra thing, you wouldn’t understand — and make sure our bodies are “vibrating” at the right “frequency.” That’ll work.

Comments

  1. Doubting Thomas says

    Oh fuck. It’s bad enough when real doctors can’t tell you what’s wrong with you, but when the crackpots chime in with all the crap they swear will cure you, you just want to smack them.

  2. jeffwoodhead says

    The “New England Journal of Homeopathy” would have to basically be a bunch of blank pages, right?

  3. zero6ix says

    I don’t know why these homeopaths get so angry when no one takes them seriously. The less serious we take their claims, the more powerful they should become, right? Or did we not shake the jar properly?

  4. Pieter B, FCD says

    It’s as if the naturopaths want medicine here to go the way of China under Mao, with themselves as the barefoot doctors.

  5. Michael Heath says

    American Association of Naturopathic Physicians put out a statement:

    . . . the important role naturopathic medicine plays in effectively addressing the nation’s health care needs . . .

    Cite requested.

  6. says

    @3: The “New England Journal of Homeopathy” would have to basically be a bunch of blank pages, right?

    Well, almost. They take their desktop publishing programme, and write out the scientifically provable parts of homeopathy (a couple of pages on the placebo effect). Then they use an algorithm that spreads out the letters of the explanation randomly into a 700-page tome, in no particular order.

  7. freemage says

    alanuk: Unless you didn’t vote at all, a unanimous vote means that both parties were responsible for this travesty. In an era when a symbolic vote honoring mothers on Mother’s Day failed because of GOP obstructionism, this is significant.

    That said, it’s fair to note that the Senator specifically responsible for this drek is a Democrat–Sen. Mikulski, Barbara A. [D-MD] is listed as the sole sponsor of the bill.

  8. Sastra says

    Same here. I wonder how many of the Senators actually know what Naturopathy is? I think the general public tends to equate it with the benign use of natural home remedies like rubbing a bit of aloe vera on a cut or sipping peppermint tea for a tummy ache — along with proper nutrition, exercise, and giving up smoking, of course. Regular medicine wouldn’t include that.

  9. neuroturtle says

    Come on, Mikulski. You’re Senator to a state with a HUGE percentage of the population involved in medicine and medical research, and you sponsor this crap?

  10. colnago80 says

    Re neuroturtle @ #16

    Ole Barbs is not the sharpest knife in the draw, although in fairness, in comparison with James Inhofe, she looks like a genius.

  11. grumpyoldfart says

    Even when their kids start dying they’ll still swear by naturopathy. What’s a few sprogs here and there when you’re a brave little naturopath battling against the the mean old proper doctors.

  12. Brain Hertz says

    Well, almost. They take their desktop publishing programme, and write out the scientifically provable parts of homeopathy (a couple of pages on the placebo effect). Then they use an algorithm that spreads out the letters of the explanation randomly into a 700-page tome, in no particular order.

    Wouldn’t it be more effective if they deleted everything except for every millionth letter?

  13. thebookofdave says

    @jeffwoodhead #3

    The “New England Journal of Homeopathy” would have to basically be a bunch of blank pages, right?

    Pretty much. It is actually filled with articles from the New England Journal of Medicine, finely shredded and mixed thoroughly with 100x its mass in shredded blank paper. A portion is removed and the process repeated with fresh shredded paper, through ten stages of dilution. For more in-depth content, the process is extended to 20c.

  14. maddog1129 says

    Not sure if they even have one out of three. Not all quack treatments are “affordable,” and since all of it is money down the drain, not sure that qualifies.

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