Chiropractors and infants
Posted: 04 January 2011 07:37 PM   [ Ignore ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7641
Joined  2008-04-11

I need some advice. One of my son’s dearest friends whom he has known for 30 years, not only married a very sweet woman who was thoroughly indoctrinated during childhood into homeopathy, chiropractic and all manner of woo, but many of my son’s group of friends have also been indoctrinated. Thanks to the mother of one of his friends who is a ‘professional’ homeopath. This couple has a young infant, who they decided was in dire need of chiropractic treatment. They have been taking him in for weekly maintenance ‘treatments’. Personally, I think they are almost all quacks, and any chiropractic who would touch the neck of a 3 month old is particularly heinous. My son is very angry that I will not talk to them about the possible harms. I feel that talking to them will end a 30 year friendship, as he is the only on not actively drinking the kool-aid. Any advice on how I can discuss this with a misguided couple who dearly want to do what is best for their infant? Another of that group has an infant in an intensive care unit from a brain injury from a difficult birth. I have a feeling that they will be joining them when the infant is out of the hospital. I’m sure the homeopath is chomping at the bit.  sick

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 January 2011 08:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4052
Joined  2006-11-28

Sorry, Asanta, that stinks! I don’t know of any way to broach such subjects without the possibility of giving offense. I do find that sometimes when the objection is cast in terms of your own sincere concern for the welfare of the person and deeply held belief that what they are doing is dangerous, sometimes even true believers will appreciate your intent and not be hostile. Unfortunately, I also don’t think there is much hope of convincing them, and more aggressive tactics (such as handing them dozens of anecdotes from What’s the Harm and Chiropractic 911) would probably be offensive and no more effective.

Sometimes, I feel obliged to say something in these situations just to ease my own conscience, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. If a friendship can be ended over such a disagreement perhaps it wasn’t as deep as it seemed? Friends should recognize and appreciate sincere concern even if they believe it is misguided. But I think you have to do what feels right.

 Signature 

The SkeptVet
The SkeptVet Blog
Militant Agnostic: I don’t know, and neither do you!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 January 2011 08:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5187
Joined  2010-06-16

If they were fundamentalist Moslems, would you son want you to go to them to convert them from that?  While I can understand your son’s intellectual acuity, he apparently isn’t as aware in social terms.  I suggest that rather than having you talk with them, he tries to get one or two of them tc come to you and ask for your insights based on your expertise. 

Occam

 Signature 

Succinctness, clarity’s core.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 January 2011 09:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7641
Joined  2008-04-11

Its funny, they all know what my expertise is, but they go to the homeopath friend first for advice. I believe I am approachable, people who have not had the kool-aid feel free to ask questions. This homeopathy tried to convince me to take my son off that ‘poisonous’ dilantin (anti-seizure med) after he’d had a 4 hour seizure, and replace it with a homeopathic remedy. I politely declined, but it scares the hell out of me that she would have even suggested it. The infant in the hospital is on anti-seizure meds, and infants that age would be at higher risk of death in the event of a prolonged seizure because of their undeveloped neck muscles and poor ability to guard their airway…

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 January 2011 10:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4052
Joined  2006-11-28

Yes, there is certainly more at stake than these folks simply being wrong. I definately don’t advocate arguing with true believers if you can help it, but when there is real danger of nonsenical medical advice hurting a child, it does seem like there is some reason to make an effort, even if it comes with some risks.

 Signature 

The SkeptVet
The SkeptVet Blog
Militant Agnostic: I don’t know, and neither do you!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 January 2011 10:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7641
Joined  2008-04-11
mckenzievmd - 04 January 2011 10:14 PM

Yes, there is certainly more at stake than these folks simply being wrong. I definately don’t advocate arguing with true believers if you can help it, but when there is real danger of nonsenical medical advice hurting a child, it does seem like there is some reason to make an effort, even if it comes with some risks.

I know you are right, but…..*sigh*...she is such a nice woman to be spreading such harmful BS…

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 January 2011 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  491
Joined  2008-02-25
mckenzievmd - 04 January 2011 10:14 PM

I definately don’t advocate arguing with true believers if you can help it.

I think comparing Homeopathy to a religion may be over-blowing the psychological need people have to believe in it.  Converting a person from being a fundamentalist Muslim would be far more difficult than converting someone away from homeopathy.  Maybe these people’s need to believe in homeopathy is weaker than you realize.  They have a need believe in something that will protect the health of their family.  Right now they think that woo is going to protect that health more than conventional medicine.  Strange that they have so little belief in conventional medicine.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 January 2011 02:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1064
Joined  2007-06-20

Have them watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gqo4KBNL_h4&NR=1#t=8m35s

Then…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9246yX1u0t8&NR=1

 Signature 

There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.

—James Madison

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 January 2011 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4052
Joined  2006-11-28

brightfut,

Maybe. Still, I’m not sure it’s possible to overestimate people’s capacity to persist in irrational beliefs. Cognitive dissonance seems to apply to all beliefs regardless of their apparent significance as seen from the outside. In any case, I have had clients whose pets were suffering an dying in a seemingly undeniable way who insisted that the homeopathy they were using was working.

 Signature 

The SkeptVet
The SkeptVet Blog
Militant Agnostic: I don’t know, and neither do you!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 January 2011 04:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  491
Joined  2008-02-25

The client with the dying pet and the “professional homeopath” may be difficult or impossible to break away from the woo.  Perhaps some of these other family members will be more flexible.  They don’t have as much invested in it yet.  Another point, seems like the “professional homeopath” is not just promoting a form of woo, but he/she is also trying to discredit conventional medicine to do it.  Instead of Asanta attacking the woo, maybe try talking about the successes of conventional medicine.  That’s less confrontational, more positive.  The “professional homeopath” will look like the negative, closed minded one.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 January 2011 01:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  338
Joined  2011-01-17

Hi Asanta,

I share your astonishment that anyone would get a chiropractor to adjust an infant. My daughter, who’s 12 now, had a stroke just before birth and also has seizures. When she was born, someone suggested cranial- sacral massage would “cure ” her, and my midwife actually tried to convince me that seizures were casued by ice cream. She was seizing at birth, and I certainly wasn’t feeding her ice cream at that age. Over the years I’ve had similar advice given. I’ve learned just to be blunt with my opinions on such things, and I think you’ve just got voice your concerns. It would be sad to lose a friendship, but it’s wrong to do that to a baby, and you’re morally obligated, IMO, to say something. There is just so much medical disinformation out there. I’m sorry you’re in this position, and I’d like to know what the outcome was.

C

 Signature 

“You can tell me that it’s gospel but I know that it’s only church.”

Tom Waits

“I take a simple view of life. It is keep your eyes open and get on with it.”

Laurence Sterne

Profile