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Ron Paul and Alternative Medicine
Posted: 12 December 2007 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I searched the forums and did not find anything related to this.

http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/health-freedom/

Ron Paul supports alternative medicine treatments? The wording on the website is a little vague. Also, the wording in the bill he cites is a little loose as well.

H.R. 2717

Has anyone heard anything else about Ron Paul’s stance on “alternative medicine and new treatments”?

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Posted: 12 December 2007 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Looks like Ron Paul has been taking money from the quackery lobby. They’ve been extremely effective in the US, starting with the homeopathy lobbyists that got that sort of quackery excluded from drug labeling restrictions.

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Posted: 12 December 2007 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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THIS is a link to an alternative medicine conference put on by Lew Rockwell, a paleolibertarian associated with the Ludwig von Mises Institute and completely deluded on the questions of science and medicine. It was all about how the government is denying safe and effective natural cures, how all government involvement in medicine is fascist, etc. Also had Donald Miller (a vocal denier of HIV as the cause for AIDS) and Gary North (Christian Reconstructionist who is aiming for a Christian theocracy in the US as part of a bringing about of the 2nd coming of Christ). Ron Paul spoke (his talk was called “Concentration Camps? Fascist Medicine? What lies next”). He shares the fringe libertarian view that personal liberty requires letting anybody sell whatever poison they like as “medicine” with no regulation or consequences outside of the market. Complete nonsense!


(edited to remove ad hominem remarks and replace them with condemnation of the relevant ideas)

[ Edited: 13 December 2007 10:58 AM by mckenzievmd ]
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Posted: 13 December 2007 08:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I absolutely disagree that your comments against alternative medicine show me anything but a fear that your concepts are wrong.  You are a Vet Dr. not a medical representative.  My family has been researching alternative methods of healing because the federal government has fucked up the AMA and the whole medical system.

I also have great respect for Lew Rockwell who I have known for years.  Yes he is a libertarian as I am.  We both work for a more efficient and limited federal government based on Austrian economics.  My God, this forum is turning into a hate group as bad as any religious forum on the ‘net   How dare you put your limited medical inquiries here?

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Posted: 13 December 2007 09:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Sandy Price - 13 December 2007 08:39 AM

...  the federal government has fucked up the AMA and the whole medical system.

If anything, the government has screwed up the FDA by being too lenient on quackery; take for example the exclusion of homeopathic snake oil, or the creation of the office of alternative medicine. IIRC not a single effective drug has come out of it. It’s a massive waste of time and money.

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Posted: 13 December 2007 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Sandy,

Did you actually look at the link I provided?! Do you really believe that AIDS is not a viral disease (THE EVIDENCE), that the FDA regulating drugs is leading to concentration camps and Nazi-like medical experimentation, that fluoride is a government plot to sicken America (THE EVIDENCE)? If so, you are totally out of touch with reality and you are the one promoting irrational fear. I’d be fascinated to see what credentials you have to suggest your judgement about the scientific validity of these alternative ideas is better informed than mine. Or better than that of the AMA or the medical community in general.

As for libertarianism, while I think it is a frequently mistaken economic and political philosophy, I can respect the goals of it. That, however, has nothing to do with alternative medicine and bad or junk science, not to mention Christian Reconstructionism. If you are so paranoid about government that you think it has corrupted and invalidated all of the medical establishment, and that snake oil salesmen, New Age shamans, and others on the fringes or beyond them in medicine are the only ones telling the truth then, again, you are out of touch with reality and there is no scientific validity to your ideas, they are simply driven by your politics. There is nothing hateful about pointing out that a crazy idea is crazy and that the proponents of such ideas are delusional. How dare I challenge this nonsense? Well, if you’re not able to handle criticism and free inquiry in the “marketplace of ideas” then your not only deluded but a hypocrite as a libertarian.

Finally, this is not the place to discuss personalities, but I promise you I know Lew personally as well, and my opinions of him and his ideas are based on not just his writings at LRC.com and his speeches but direct conversations with him. When it comes to science and medicine, he is ignorant and deluded, and his provision of a platform for the likes of Gary North is an embarrassment to secularist libertarians. And as he is a personal friend, former aide, and big supporter of Ron Paul, who as I pointed out was a speaker at this bogus fringe conference, I think the answer to the original question of this thread about Ron Paul’s position on issues of science and medicine is clear.

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Posted: 16 December 2007 05:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Here are some additional comments by Ron Paul on the alternative medicine/dietary supplement issue:

Health Freedom Protection Act

Campaign Web Site Statement

LRC Article on Dietary Supplements

Another LRC Article on Supplements

Opposition to the DSHEA

[ Edited: 17 December 2007 12:54 PM by mckenzievmd ]
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Posted: 17 December 2007 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Sandy,

I am a libertarian also. 

I believe medical marijuana should be available for pain, cancer and other patients.  I believe marijuana should be legal and available for adults who want nothing more than to get high (as long as they don’t drive while on it).  I agree the bureaucratic bumbling of the FDA has costs lives in their delusional demand that new medications have zero risks and their unconscionable restrictions on experimental medicines for the terminally ill.  I don’t think the government should license doctors.  I think patients should decide on whom to go to when they get sick based on the doctor’s education (although here, even this libertarian can see a role for the government to make it a crime to lie about that education and punish those who do – that’s fraud.)  Medical licensing can be done better and cheaper through some sort of private accreditation agency backed up by the force of law on any fraud by any party involved. 

The point is, while I’m no anarchist, I doubt anyone can question my libertarianism.  Both conservatives and liberals angrily disagree with me on some topics and pleasantly agree with me on others!  So I’m clearly a libertarian.  :grin:   

With all that said, medical quackery is just that: Quackery.  There is no such thing as “alternative medicine.”  Medicine is either medicine or it isn’t.  And so-called “alternative medicine” ain’t medicine!  It’s a delusional attempt at medicine based on ignorance and a misguided mistrust of the medical establishment and the government.  I fear a large intrusive federal government also.  But that doesn’t mean medical science is wrong or somehow corrupted by some massive conspiracy.  Even if the government wanted to do that, it isn’t efficient enough or competent enough to carry out such a task!  Does the government screw things up when they get involved with medicine?  Of course.  But doctors that attend medical school are not puppets of the government.  For the most part, they are individuals who have a sincere desire to help people.  And science has proven to be the absolute best way to do that when it comes to injury and disease.   

I oppose socialized medicine and the mandatory medical tests, and eventual rationing of medicine that would eventually go along with such a boondoggle.  But a libertarian argument can be made for certain few government mandates in medicine.  The libertarian philosophy says you can do what you want with your own body, as long as you don’t injure me or put me in peril.  For example:  If a person rides their motorcycle without a helmet, the libertarian in me can’t stop him.  The lack of a helmet doesn’t endanger me while I am driving in my car next to him on his motorcycle (he just better not ask me to pay his medical bills for his eventual head trauma!)  All it does is weed those idiots out of the gene pool!  But drive a car without a seatbelt?  Guess what?  When that person without their seatbelt on reacts quickly to a sudden emergency situation on the highway at 60 MPH, their body is going to be thrown around the inside of their car making it an uncontrolled missile putting me in danger in the car next to theirs.  So a libertarian argument for government action can be made for mandatory seatbelt use.  And here is where the medical angle comes in.  Vaccines!  Uh oh!  Yeah, I went there!  :grin:  Vaccines work to prevent disease.  But they don’t just help the person getting them.  They help everyone around them too.  Those that don’t get vaccinated are putting me and everyone else in danger.  They are threatening me by allowing killer germs to become more virulent and spread.  The fact of the matter is vaccines save lives.  And no, they do not cause autism! (Did I read your mind on that one?)  There is absolutely no scientific evidence vaccines or any of their ingredients cause autism.  Period.  Any side effects from vaccines are outweighed by their positive effects. 

I would imagine you are probably young enough to not remember the tragedy, death and heartache that countless diseases ravaged on people only a generation or two ago.  If not, ask your grandparents (if one of these diseases didn’t kill them) of the abject fear they and every other human lived in of countless diseases that you, I and everyone else doesn’t even give a second thought about.  Thanks vaccines for that!  Medical science (not “alternative medicine”) all but wiped out those diseases and gave human beings a standard of living that Kings and Queens couldn’t even dream of a century ago. 

Libertarians should oppose “alternative medicine” not just because it consistently fails to deliver on its promises, but also because it is a sad and unfortunate result of the government education in the United States dumbing down generation after generation and failing to teach the scientific method.  Anyone who truly understands even the basics of science can see that “alternative medicine” is quackery.   

Full disclosure:  I am not a medical doctor.  But my wife is a board certified physician—there’s an example of the private accrediting I mentioned above. 

If you really want to study “alternative medicine”, learn the scientific method first, and study the psychology of how people can fool others and, more importantly, how they can fool themselves.  And if you really distrust real established medicine, consistency demands you get rid of all eyeglasses, contact lenses, dental fillings, antibiotics, aspirin, soap and water for washing hands, etc.  And you must also forgo any necessary emergency surgery.  Until “alternative medicine” proponents do all that (and much more), I can’t take them seriously.  And people will not take libertarianism seriously when they start spouting off nonsense about “alternative medicine.”

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Posted: 18 December 2007 08:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I want the federal government out of my personal decisions.  I fought like a tiger when Clinton wanted the FDA to take over and require presciptions for their health foods use.  What the hell is wrong with personal choices on anything we ingest, inject,  inhale or even sniff? 

I learned this morning that Ron Paul does not believe in evolution and will work to repeal Roe v Wade.  That does it for me.  I do not want a Nanny state or any Christian telling me that I no longer have control over the number of children I must raise. Turns out that Ron Paul is just another lying panderer for the religious right! 

Is there anyone who tells the truth in D.C.?  America is becoming a nation of cowards who refuse to think for themselves.  I am absolutely convinced that these Christians have never learned right from wrong and need an American Pope.

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Posted: 18 December 2007 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Sandy Price - 18 December 2007 08:34 AM

I fought like a tiger when Clinton wanted the FDA to take over and require presciptions for their health foods use.

Prescriptions for health foods? What exactly are you talking about?

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Posted: 18 December 2007 09:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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This has been a threat for years.  I cannot give you the precise dates or actions as it was before I went on line.  This whole thing is simply a federal action to take away our personal decisions on our health food and supplements.  You seem to have a complete trust in the federal government and I do not!

If you have a health food store that has been in business for a long time, ask them about this action.

My girls and I read tons of books on natural healing through fresh food and cutting back on red meat.  We grew much of our fruits and veggies and I never remember a sick day or even a cavity in their teeth.  It is simply personal choices and for us it worked.  I’m old and tired at this time but I can out exercize most others my age here.  I take no flu shots but consume tons of vitamins minerals and omega 3 supplements.  They will not be regulated by the federal government.

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Posted: 18 December 2007 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I have never heard of anyone talking about prescriptions for health foods. It would be ludicrous unless they contained ingredients that could be hazardous to your health, which indeed many of them well might.

The problem for the health food lobby is that they want to sell ingredients as substitute drugs when there is no scientific evidence that the ingredients are good for anything; and indeed they may be harmful. That is called quackery and people involved in it should be prosecuted. The problem with the federal government has been they are much too willing to look in the other direction when the health food lobbies put money into local elections. This has led to a steady deterioration in proper enforcement of laws designed to protect the public against quacks who are predators on the sick and infirm.

I have a health food store close to home and the quack nonsense they promote every day on their front window is unbelievable. I hear ads on the radio regularly promoting quack cures for nearsightedness or “liver cleaning” pills or the like. Who is prosecuting these people? That’s what I’d like to know.

Why are these quacks allowed to push products on television? At the bottom of more and more ads these days is the nearly-invisible disclaimer “These claims have not been evaluated by the FDA”. No, that’s not good enough. Any health claim not evaluated by the FDA is simply false advertising and should be prosecuted.

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Posted: 18 December 2007 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Sandy,

The problem as always with the personal choice argument is that it assumes perfect information and objective, rational decision-making. This make work when buying a car, but it’s not as reliable when your child has cancer. People who sell alternative therapies are often either mistaken about their effectiveness or outright lying. It’s all well and good to say caveat emptor, but when you or a family memebr is desperately ill and proven medicine has nothing to offer, then when someone comes along and lies to you about the “miracle cure” they’re selling, it’s hard to say that you are not being victimized. I don’t see it as an intrusion into my personal life for the government to require that people not lie about their healthcare products and that they have some reasonable evidence the stuff is safe and effective before selling it.

I see patients of mine, and their owners, suffer terribly from bogus treatments sold to them by deluded or unscrupulous charlatans, and it makes me angry. The market may fix some of this after the fact, because when enough people are maimed and killed by L-tryptophan or some such treatment, then people may stop buyng it. But if we can prevent the tragedy by simply requiring truthful advertising of medicical treatments, I think we’re better off.

I certainly agree that the government, and the Christian officials in it, have no right to tell me what to believe or how to live my personal life. I just don’t see requiring people to prove their medicine is real before selling it, and that if it hurts or kills me because it’s not they will face punishment, is such an imposition on my freedom, any more than telling someone that if they shoot me or run me over with their car they’ll go to jail for it. As Rocinante says, we may disagree about a lot of things, but while I’m no libertarian I think we can agree that selling lies and snake oil to desparate people should not be a right.

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Posted: 18 December 2007 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I do not want this federal control.  Everyone has the ability to check out the ingredients of all supplements and food products.  I ams shocked that this CFI group would want the government to tell you what you can and cannot take.  I do not the government to set my personal choices and if this continues I will move to Mexico. 

We got most of our medicines from nature.  What’s the hell’s the matter with you guys?  You can live under Big Daddy’s rules but I never will.  I’ve got to get out of here as I thought this forum would stand for individual rights all the way down the line.

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Posted: 18 December 2007 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Wow, you sure don’t belong in a forum that encourages inquiry or rational debate. You seem to prefer blind faith in what you clearly don’t understand (medicine) and mindless dogmatism, believing what you believe without any interest in evidence or argument from outside. It’s just religion by another name, so I agree you’re wasting your time here.

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Posted: 18 December 2007 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Sandy Price - 18 December 2007 10:00 AM

Everyone has the ability to check out the ingredients of all supplements and food products.

How so? Does “everyone” know how to evaluate statistical controls? Does “everyone” have access to the relevant publications, and know which ones are peer reviewed? Does “everyone” have thorough education in the relevant sciences to know how to read these papers, or even to know which ones are credible and which ones are pseudoscientific puffery?

No, no and no. 

Sandy Price - 18 December 2007 10:00 AM

We got most of our medicines from nature.

This is both false and a total non sequitur. Firstly, most of our medicines come from scientific research, not the forest. Secondly, there is no identification between “natural” and “healthy”. Some natural things are healthy, and others will kill you dead—for example, tobacco, belladonna, the mushroom Amanita phalloides, asbestos or lead. All are totally and completely “natural”. They are also all very toxic.

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