3 of 4
3
National Center for Complimentary & Alternative Medicine called “Disappointing” by founder
Posted: 04 March 2009 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2242
Joined  2007-04-26
refuter - 04 March 2009 11:04 AM

macgyver,  I agree with you.
I just don’t understand why you guys are so bent up on giving me a lesson in “CAM vs Scientific Medicine”. I do not disagree with you. Get back on the topic:
If even the founder of a government-funded institution designed to study CAM finds it disappointing - its great news. throw some more money at him. Awesome! americans are good at burning cash, so lets not go after drops in the bucket items on the budget and go after big items. i think its good to “waste” some money if in the end there is a body of data that comes out useful to many, diverting many to scientific medicine. so in the end its a good thing.

I thought I already explained my arguments against that ie. There is good research that is going unfunded that could benefit from this money, much of this research is probably duplicating stuff that has already been done, and the people who need “proof” that CAM doesn’t work aren’t going to be convinced by this additional research anyway ( Sen. Harkin being a perfect example), so it truly is wasted money. Who knows what valuable research may never get done or may be delayed and could have been funded with that billion dollars?

If we use your logic we should spend additional money to convince people the Yetti doesn’t exist, and to research every idiotic UFO report, and to prove man really did land on the moon. Heck, why don’t we just have our congressmen subscribe to the national Enquirer and create a new agency each week to investigate the latest headlines from that rag ( I really want to find out about the fish headed baby I saw on the cover a few weeks ago. I think that was real. It looked real, how could it not be? Don’t bother trying to convince me otherwise, I’m never going to believe you)  LOL

[ Edited: 04 March 2009 11:46 AM by macgyver ]
 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 March 2009 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  44
Joined  2007-04-30

Oh come on now macgyver yeti does not make people stop getting chemo for their cancer.  CAM does. if millions of people integrated UFO’s into their daily lives in a way that would affect their health ( the way acupuncture, homeopathy, etc does), i would not hesitate to spend a few million researching the issue now matter how outlandish it is.  The point of spending money on it is not for the sake of curiosity, but for the sake of the misguided patients.

 Signature 

Dmitriy
http://www.refuter.com

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 March 2009 12:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14

If the point is to enhance public knowledge, then fair enough. But we don’t need a NCCAM, certainly not one nearly as well-funded as this one, to do that job. Much of it could be done by taking the failed CAM experiments and publicizing them more effectively. (That and enforcing the laws that disallow one from marketing a procedure as effective which in fact is not).

The government should not be involved in spending anything other than token amounts of money on primary research that is theoretically baseless. If CAM advocates believe that a therapy is effective, let them pay for the trials. Hey, maybe they’ll win a Nobel.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 March 2009 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2242
Joined  2007-04-26
refuter - 04 March 2009 11:59 AM

Oh come on now macgyver yeti does not make people stop getting chemo for their cancer.  CAM does. if millions of people integrated UFO’s into their daily lives in a way that would affect their health ( the way acupuncture, homeopathy, etc does), i would not hesitate to spend a few million researching the issue now matter how outlandish it is.  The point of spending money on it is not for the sake of curiosity, but for the sake of the misguided patients.

OK. I’ll grant you that all that other pseudo scientific non-sense may not cause as much harm as CAM, but when will there be enough money and enough negative research for us to say enough, or do we just keep spending billions to prove what we already know and what CAM followers refuse to acknowledge.

There are some down sides to this which you haven’t considered. Simply having an agency called the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine which is funded by the government gives this type of treatment a legitimacy it doesn’t deserve. The longer it stays in business more legitimate it looks. If the government suddenly opened an agency called the National Center for Astrology Research, and poured a billion dollars into it what would that say to the average citizen? Secondly, if you repeat the same studies enough times you will eventually get a result that agrees with your point of view. Flip a coin enough times and sooner or later it will stand on its edge. No doubt supporters of CAM will sift through all this work and pull out the few studies that show some benefit. If this happens the we will end up with more. not less people, who are convinced that CAM works.

The sooner they shut down this agency the better.

[ Edited: 04 March 2009 01:01 PM by macgyver ]
 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 March 2009 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2242
Joined  2007-04-26

One other thing I would like to point out. CAM research WAS being done by the medical community before the NCCAM was created. The difference is that it was being done on therapies that had not yet been studied and it was being done only when it was felt that the research was worth doing, not just because there was a budget that needed to be spent on CAM. We can still have CAM research that will accomplish what you are looking to accomplish without having a dedicated agency and a huge budget.

It still amazes me and is a tremendous disgrace to our country that this agency was created and funded during the very same time that the previous administration was gutting the NIH and the NSF budgets.

[ Edited: 04 March 2009 01:19 PM by macgyver ]
 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 March 2009 05:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  44
Joined  2007-04-30

Budget was never “gutted”. There were just no increases.

 Signature 

Dmitriy
http://www.refuter.com

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 March 2009 09:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2242
Joined  2007-04-26

Sorry. Guess I’m guilty of a bit hyperbole there. You’re correct. The NSF and NIH basically had their funding levels frozen during the last 4 years of the Bush administration. Gutting is an exaggeration although in real dollars they obviously saw a decrease in funding. It doesn’t change the fact that this happened while the our leaders managed to tap $1 billion from the budget to use on questionable research into CAM.

On a personal note, I had a nephew who died last year from neuroblastoma at the age of seven. My brother and a group of other neuroblastoma parents worked tirelessly for 2 years to raise 2 million dollars so a very promising new treatment could be moved to the next level of research because there was no government money available to fund it at the time. Obviously there are plenty of good research ideas out there that are not getting funded. Maybe I’m biased, but you would have a hard time convincing me that CAM was more deserving of that billion dollars than the research being done on more traditional treatments.

I would look at it this way. We can use that billion$ to fund CAM research and hopefully convince some people not to waste their money on CAM, even though there is plenty of evidence already available if they had the sense to look at it, or we can fund research into real solutions that might actually help someone. I prefer to let the fools waste their money on useless CAM treatments and use our limited funds to save people who can actually be saved.

[ Edited: 09 March 2009 10:21 AM by macgyver ]
 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 March 2009 09:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  107
Joined  2008-03-19

Dr. David Eddy has been taking on the tradtional medical establishment proving their treatments work.

Dr. David Eddy “Even today, with a high-tech health-care system that costs the nation $2 trillion a year, there is little or no evidence that many widely used treatments and procedures actually work better than various cheaper alternatives.”

A great many doctors and health-care quality experts have come to endorse Eddy’s critique. And while there has been progress in recent years, most of these physicians say the portion of medicine that has been proven effective is still outrageously low—in the range of 20% to 25%. “We don’t have the evidence [that treatments work], and we are not investing very much in getting the evidence,” says Dr. Stephen C. Schoenbaum, executive vice-president of the Commonwealth Fund and former president of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Inc.

url=http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_22/b3986001.htm

 Signature 

Barry Manilow didn’t write I Write The Songs. Bruce Johnston did.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 March 2009 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  44
Joined  2007-04-30

I actually don’t like it either when an automatic assumption goes that something expensive will work just as well as something way cheaper, when neither has been proven to work. While i criticize many things modern medicine has to offer, i think its a bad idea to blindly compare them to “alternatives”

 Signature 

Dmitriy
http://www.refuter.com

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 March 2009 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2007-02-07

Some of you may not realize that CFI has a Washinton office that lobbies Congress.  I have met the head of that office, Toni Van Pelt, several times and have suggested that defunding NCCAM is something she should work on.  She has always said that it is pointless, largely because Harken is so powerful.  On the other hand, I think its an issue that many CFI friends feel strongly about and would put at the top of the list of things the office should work on.  So I suggest any other person affiiated with CFI who feels that way should let her know.  In short I propose lobbying the lobbiest.

 Signature 

Jerry Schwarz

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 March 2009 08:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2242
Joined  2007-04-26
OldSquid - 20 March 2009 09:41 AM

Dr. David Eddy has been taking on the tradtional medical establishment proving their treatments work.

Dr. David Eddy “Even today, with a high-tech health-care system that costs the nation $2 trillion a year, there is little or no evidence that many widely used treatments and procedures actually work better than various cheaper alternatives.”

A great many doctors and health-care quality experts have come to endorse Eddy’s critique. And while there has been progress in recent years, most of these physicians say the portion of medicine that has been proven effective is still outrageously low—in the range of 20% to 25%. “We don’t have the evidence [that treatments work], and we are not investing very much in getting the evidence,” says Dr. Stephen C. Schoenbaum, executive vice-president of the Commonwealth Fund and former president of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Inc.

url=http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_22/b3986001.htm

Squid, there is some truth to this but it misses the point of this thread. Traditional medicine has and always will be based on sound scientific principals. Alternative medicine is not. What you are referring to is the evolving concept of evidence based medicine. You need to understand the history of medicine to put this in proper perspective. In its early history there was not traditional vs. alternative medicine. It was all the same thing. Someone got sick. Someone else came up with an idea for treating. The patient then got better or didn’t and from these anecdotal reports our bag of medical treatments developed. AS the field of medicine matured doctors began to implement the scientific method in a more rigorous fashion to “prove” the efficacy of various treatment methods. Because of the costs of such studies new treatments were more likely to be studied than older treatments. Many scientists and doctors most likely felt that these treatment had been around so long that they had already proven themselves and didn’t require more study especially when there were so many other new treatments that needed to be studied.  Its also not very glamorous to study old treatments. You’re not going to get famous proving that something doesn’t work. Many people remember Michael DeBakey the famous heart surgeon who was the first to perform heart bypass surgery, but how many know the names of the doctors who discovered that bypass surgery does nothing to lengthen lifespan in large groups of patients who have only a single blocked artery.

The medical profession is now looking back at these older treatments and putting them under the microscope of modern scientific methods, but it will take time and government funding to do all this work. A recent study comparing surgical treatment for herniated discs versus conservative management was just such a case.

When comparing traditional medical treatments to alternative treatments you need to keep in mind that at the very least traditional medical treatments have been created based on valid scientific theory while alternative medical treatments are mostly based on pseudoscientific mumbo jumbo.  While this is no guarantee of success or efficacy, in a situation where outcome studies are not available your odds of success are much higher if the treatment you are using is a logical derivative of a solid understanding of biochemistry, biology, and physiology than if it is generated from a view of the body that is a complete fantasy ( ie. when a chiropractor offer to improve liver function or cure some other illness by manipulating the spine to alter the ‘flow of energy in the body’).

[ Edited: 29 March 2009 11:43 AM by macgyver ]
 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 April 2009 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  114
Joined  2006-02-09

I was thrilled beyond words to read that Harkin is disappointed that his NCCAM project has not worked out the way he expected. This week being the week that our CFI Los Angeles Cafe Inquiry topic was the Jenny McCarthy Body Count,
http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/Jenny_McCarthy_Body_Count/Home.html
we discussed at great length the mistaken impressions people have about the cause and remedies for autism. People who are otherwise curious, intelligent and progressive seem to go completely bonkers when it comes to health claims, ie the Huffington Post’s publication of Jim Carrey’s authoritative story about vaccines and autism yesterday.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-carrey/the-judgment-on-vaccines_b_189777.html
The debate here on this topic is refreshing. It’s interesting to see what doctors and researchers have to say about CAM—as a skeptic, I have been alarmed at the acceptance and availability of alternative meds. I think it has something to do with the increasing cost of real medical care and prescriptions, and probably the increasing influence of woo practitioners ie Andrew Weill, etc.  They are dangerous and scare people into making terrible decisions that have nightmare consequences. They have no memory of iron lungs and babies born with disabilities because their mothers were exposed to rubella during pregnancy. The resistance to immunizations is related to the rise in popularity and acceptance of CAM. In a way, if the testing of it showed that it does not work, maybe that’s a good thing. But I agree; the money should be spent on something else now.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 April 2009 05:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2242
Joined  2007-04-26

Thanks for the link to the Huffington post article Elizabeth. Its sad to see how completely Mr. Carey has been sucked into his girlfriends delusional world, but I can’t say I’m surprised. The comments afterward display the usual ignorant and paranoid ideas that often follow an article like this. Hopefully most people will be smart enough to see this for what it is and not be swayed by Carey’s rant. Thanks again

 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 April 2009 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  339
Joined  2008-02-27

My wife and I watched Law & Order SVU for the first time in a long time.  The show was about a kid who died from measles.  They end up unsuccessfully trying the mother of another child who didn’t immunize her child and who spread the measles in a park.  The lines were pretty ham handed but the strong message of the show was vaccines work. 

I think one of the biggest problems is that Ms. McCarthy is so serious and sincere when she speaks on this subject.  she has credibility she shouldn’t have and despite her background, she is a good speaker.  It’s disappointing that people would just take the word of an attractive, sincere, well spoken celebrity on such an important issue.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 April 2009 12:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29
JRM5001 - 29 April 2009 09:25 AM

It’s disappointing that people would just take the word of an attractive, sincere, well spoken celebrity on such an important issue.

Maybe all that is needed is an attractive, sincere, well spoken celebrity who will speak for the vaccines. This part of human nature—wanting to be like the famous, rich, powerful and beautiful people—should never be underestimated.

Profile
 
 
   
3 of 4
3