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.”