People keep telling me that quackery is harmless. It’s all a bit of fun, they aren’t harming anyone. However this could not be further from the truth, purveyors of Woo are not only defrauding vulnerable people but they can also contributing to serious health issues and even death. The worst offenders are the Alternative Medicine scams.
Alternative Medicine is any healing process that has not been scientifically proven to work. This includes, but is not limited to: Homeopathy, Crystal Healing, Naturopathy, Meditation, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hypnosis and Acupuncture. An Alternative Medicine is one that has not passed clinical trials or has failed it’s clinical trials. Alternative Medicine that has passed clinical trials and been proven to work is no longer alternative and is simply called “Medicine” or “Science Based Medicine” as many Skeptics like to call it in order to further distinguish it from the quackery. There is allot of money to be made in Alternative Medicines due to the ignorance of the general public and I consider this business to be nothing short of fraud, but it is far worse than selling a fraudulent device such as the Moletech Fuel-Saver because selling fake medicines can cost lives.
Recently in Australia a child suffering from cancer was denied chemotherapy by her parents who instead chose to heal her with Mud Therapy.
In this case, a 10 year old girl Tamar, was recently diagnosed with liver cancer which required immediate and aggressive chemotherapy. But her parents have shunned conventional treatment in favour of “mud” therapy. A team of oncologists at Princes Margaret Childrens’ Hospital advised that a seven week course of chemotherapy would give Tamar a 50-60% chance of survival. Despite the treating hospital pleading with the parents to consent to chemotherapy, eventually seeking the involvement of the WA legal system, the parents fled Australia to El Salvador. -The Skeptics’ Book of Pooh-Pooh
This is just one example of Alternative Medicine causing harm to an innocent person by offering false hope in place of a real treatment that could save their life. Not only do purveyors of false medicine defraud vulnerable and often desperate people out of money, but they do so at the expense of their victims health. I find it baffling that our government can ban a fraudulent device such as the Mtech Fuel-Saver while at the same time allowing frauds who actually do real harm to continue.
The next time you hear someone claim that Alternative Medicine is “harmless” I hope that you will correct them. I found a fantastic online resource called “What’s the Harm?” that lists many other examples of Alternative Medicines causing harm to patients.