Category Archives: Alternative Medicine

Comments of the ethics of alternative medicine. By alternative medicine I mean therapies and medications that are other than conventional Western medicine.

Alternative Medicine – Proof of Effectiveness

Alternative Medicine comes with many claims of great success.  Some therapies offered are good, some do not do much and others are dangerous. How do we know if a therapy is good and really works?  As we have learned, testimonials, often used to promote therapies, are really not proof of effectiveness.  The fact that many problems naturally improve over time, even when no therapy is applied, and the fact that just doing something can lead to improvement even when the therapy physically has no way to improve things, can make it difficult to determine if a therapy actually brings about improvement. … Read the rest

Alternative Medicine – Evidence: Subjective versus Objective

Alternathive Medicine comes with many claims of great success.  Some therapies offered are good, some do not do much and others are dangerous. How do we know if a therapy is good and really works?  How do we sort out the evidence?

There are two main types of evidence.

The first is based on the perception of those receiving the therapy.  Such evidence is based on how someone thinks they are doing, or how they feel.  Such evidence is called subjective. … Read the rest

Alternative Medicine – Show Stoppers

When considering a therapy, we should be interested in whether it really does something useful.  The fact that a therapy actually does something is not the only thing to consider.  There are things beyond what a therapy can physically do that are important to consider.  Some of these ought to be show stoppers (ought to guide us away from involvement).

You may notice, when I consider evidence that demonstrates effectiveness of therapies, that the evidence involves a variety of comparative studies that are really a part of experimental science.… Read the rest

Alternative Medicine – Placebo, What’s Wrong With That?

In my blog posting titled, Alternative Medicine – Placebo Effect, I pointed out that even if a therapy really has not physical way to cause improvement, the therapy, in the hands of a therapist and a patient who believe in what they are doing, will result in reported improvement in one third of people treated.  Considering a therapy where this placebo effect is the only basis of helping, is there not something good about using such a therapy?  Is it not good enough that people feel better?… Read the rest