It is unethical to prevent people from safely accessing alternative medicine.

Discussion in 'Political Opinions & Beliefs' started by StillBlue, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. StillBlue

    StillBlue Well-Known Member

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    This is the signature of a member here and I believe that it would be good to discuss it.

    I would like to point out that far too often "alternative medicine" is in itself not safe at best nor often effective discouraging people from using something that might work. In terminal cases the standard rules should be lifted and replaced by others, my own father died of something extremely rare and extremely fatal. He was given an experimental treatment by a team of doctors at a VA hospital that included Soviet and Chinese doctors brought in for the case. In 1968, at the height of the cold war American, Soviet and Chinese doctors worked to save the life of a patient in a US VA hospital. He died but the autopsy revealed why and the treatment is now used frequently.

    The problem is that if unfettered access to alternative medicines the charlatans and thieves will spring up to pray on these sick people. Remember laetrile? How many people pinned their hopes on apricots when they would have had far better results using authorized treatments? Or did you hear about the guy who gave his child the saliva of a rabid dog to treat a behavior disorder? My father's case used unconventional methods to say the least but it was done under extreme scrutiny.

    I would definitely agree to codifying the rules to when alternative medicines or treatments could be used and who can administer them but I am very much against just opening the door.
     
  2. Steady Pie

    Steady Pie Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I am of the view that if someone thinks eating literal dirt I'll cure their cancer, that some bureaucrat shouldn't get between them and their 40 minutes on the toilet ******** out sand.

    I do not want to stop stupid from doing stupid.
     
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  3. StillBlue

    StillBlue Well-Known Member

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    And the guy who gave his child the saliva from a rabid dog?
    OK, stupid people do stupid things but would you not want to protect stupid people from evil people? Laetrile as an example of evil people profiting off fear of stupid people. Should people really lose everything and give it to people like that? If a man rapes his 12 year old daughter because he heard it can cure aids if you do that, do you give him a pass?
     
  4. bigfella

    bigfella Well-Known Member

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    Neither of these examples is the same as the one you responded to for a pretty obvious reason.

    Governments should regulate people who offer treatments for safety & truthfulness. This is basic consumer protection and applies to any product or service.

    If people want to harm themselves, however, that is their own business. Not related.
     
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  5. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    There’s no such thing as “alternative medicine”. Something is either medicine or it isn’t. If something is being manufactured, sold and used as medicine, with claimed and expected clinical effects, there are long established rules and regulations in place to cover it. Those rules aren’t always perfect, especially in complex, controversial and rapidly changing fields, but they still work pretty well. There is no legitimate reason why they should apply differently to something someone has just decided to slap the “alternative” label on.

    Some so-called “alternative medicines” fall short of claiming actual clinical effects (sometimes intentionally, for this very reason) but may well still be regulated as food and general commercial and advertising regulations. There’ll generally be no justification in stopping individuals choosing to use a particular “alternative medicine”, even if it’s generally considered ineffective or even harmful. There could be legitimate restrictions if something is being given to children or other vulnerable individuals though. Again, that’d just be under standard laws and regulations so simply calling something “alternative” shouldn’t make any difference either way.
     
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  6. Steady Pie

    Steady Pie Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Children clearly are a completely different issue, unrelated to alternative medicine.

    There should always be an unqualified right to consume whatever you want. If you're in palatative care and you want to try an experimental cancer drug, you should be able to.
     
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  7. StillBlue

    StillBlue Well-Known Member

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    He used medicine which includes not only medications but techniques as well. Homeopathic treatments have always been around and always will be and their ingredients are in fact covered by the FDA but treatments may not be and doctors would shy away from untested ones for fear of lawsuits. So that leaves the patient with someone illegally practicing medicine and that is where I differ from the sentiment expressed in the title. We don't allow people to practice medicine without a license to protect against predators but I could go along with suspension of some FDA rules and malpractice liability in terminal cases provided there are safeguards to insure all other options are not viable and the administering doctor is in fact a doctor.
     
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  8. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    There’s still nothing actually “alterative” about any of these (alleged) treatments and absolutely no justification for the laws and regulations to treat them differently to anything else just because someone slaps the “alternative” label on them. It’s a meaningless term at best and a tool of deliberate fraud and harm at worst and so should be given zero credit on any formal clinical or legal basis.

    I’m not sure it should be suspension of rules but more than those rules should take account of such circumstances and allow scope for more risky or unproven treatments in terminal or otherwise untreatable cases. I know in the UK there is already scope for that though it could well do to be better managed. Unfortunatly, it’s one of those areas we generally don’t like to think too much about and has too much scope for controversy to receive any political focus.

    I’m certainly not in favour or any weakening of malpractice or other liability on the medical staff and that shouldn’t be necessary. The risks and unknowns of any treatment should be made clear to the patient (or next of kin if the patient is incapable) and they need to give informed consent. The medical staff are no less responsible for how they proceed within that context though. It’s an area that probably needs work in general, especially in the USA but that’s a general issue, not specific to this aspect.
     
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  9. bx4

    bx4 Well-Known Member

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    Except that there are laws against fraud. Alternative medicines should not be entitled to claim things that are not proven to be true.
     
  10. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I don’t think it’s unrelated. While there is the valid point that individuals can choose to take whatever they want, when it comes to children and other vulnerable dependants, other people are making the decision for them and so the same principle can’t apply.

    What you choose to take isn’t really the issue, it’s about what others choose to sell and proscribe. If you harm yourself because you independently decide to try a treatment which turns out to be dangerous, it’s all on you. If you harm yourself because someone else sold a treatment they claim would help but turns out to be dangerous, they have some responsibility (especially if they knew of or didn’t check for those risks).

    There are laws and regulations against that for other medical treatment and a whole range of other products and services. Why would so-called “alternative medicine” be treated any differently?
     
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  11. Socialism Works

    Socialism Works Well-Known Member

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    It is unethical to give people hope from alternative treatments (homeopathy, for example) which have been shown to be utterly ineffective.
     
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  12. StillBlue

    StillBlue Well-Known Member

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    What I was referring to would be not holding a doctor responsible in the case of a terminal patient if an experimental or "alternative" treatment is used with full informed consent. Perhaps another doctor or panel of doctors could act as advocates for the the patient. Take my father. His treatment at the time was radical, it involved draining his body of blood and replacing it first with saline and then whole blood. The autopsy revealed that something was lost in the body during the transfusion and now it is a routine procedure. They made a mistake, they missed something that could have been corrected. Those doctors could not have tried if they had had to worry about a malpractice suit and who knows how many people have been helped through this.
    Some things can be planned for, certifying a hospital or doctor for head trauma or organ transplants, but some things are unique and need protocols to allow unique treatments.
     
  13. PatrickT

    PatrickT Well-Known Member

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    I am so old I can remember when the government spent more time educating, warning, and urging than they did regulating, mandating, and criminalizing.
     
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  14. Steady Pie

    Steady Pie Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Of course not. Fraud is wrong. But they should be able to sell you a jar of it with the ingredients list on the front and no demonstrably false claims.
     
  15. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    If the patient was fully informed, including of all the potential risks, why would malpractice be an issue. Why would this be any different to treatment involving a long established but still risky procedure? The root of word malpractice means “bad”. Why would doctors need to be protected from punishment for bad practice, even if they were using experimental or “alternative” treatments?

    Questions of overly onerous malpractice laws preventing doctors from taking reasonable calculated risks in treatment is a valid concern but that applies across the board. There’s absolutely no justification for making “alternative medicine” some kind of special case.

    I’m also uncomfortable with talking about experimental treatments and “alternative medicine” together. They’re two entirely separate concepts and the legitimacy of the former shouldn’t be in any way linked to the latter.
     
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  16. bx4

    bx4 Well-Known Member

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    If it relates to your health, all claims should be demonstrably true.

    People buy these alternative medicines because claims are made about them, without going through the process of actually getting FDA approval (because they wouldn't get it).
     
  17. Steady Pie

    Steady Pie Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    So long as they can make no claims at all, false or otherwise, and ship you a substance in a blank container, I'm all for it.

    I fundamentally disagree with the mandate of the FDA. I enjoy drinking raw milk.
     
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  18. bx4

    bx4 Well-Known Member

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    If they make no claims at all, no-one will buy it.
    Does anyone buy peanut butter to cure arthritis? Or mushroom soup to cure cancer? No. Those products don't make any claims that they do those things. The only reason people buy alternative "medicine" is because the vendors make claims about what they will do. And those claims have not been verified.
     
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  19. Texas Republican

    Texas Republican Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it is unethical. We have a large, overbearing federal government trying to micromanage our lives. This is what all Democrats and many Republicans want.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
  20. Nonsensei436

    Nonsensei436 Well-Known Member Donor

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    It seems some people here believe that if a person is dumb enough to be deceived then they deserve to die.
    I can only imagine that these people consider themselves impervious to deception. There isn't an emoji sufficient to display the magnitude of my eye roll in response to that concept.

    I also imagine that some of these people have never had a life threatening disease. As someone who has, I can well understand the desperation such people are afflicted with. When your choices are certain death or ruining your body with modern medicine for a small chance of survival, someone coming along with a cure that just requires you to take a pill once a day for a few weeks seems like a miracle. Your skepticism is lowered because you're facing down death. You WANT to believe in it. You want there to be some answer besides destroying your health only to die a bit later anyway.

    Even the most intelligent people on earth are prone to desperation. Alternative medicine takes advantage of people in a compromised state of mind. People who will do anything to find a way out of their horrible circumstances, even take a chance on something they would obviously be able to identify as bullshit if they weren't constantly distracted by worries about what is going to happen to them.

    Its unethical to allow these people to be victimized by "medicine" that is nothing but pure lies.
     
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