Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Royal quackery


So, we now have a new King. Before we get too carried away with enthusiasm let’s pause for a moment to remember some of the odd views he has in the medical field, a field he is not at all qualified to pontificate on. He has made it quite clear in the past that he is sympathetic to the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the NHS. He has previously given his patronage to a pseudo college of pseudo medicine which eventually crashed and burned amid allegations of fraud and money laundering.

One of the excuses used by proponents of these pseudo medical disciplines is that they supposedly have no adverse effects. A shame that that’s not true.

Firstly all alternative modalities have the adverse effect that they have no beneficial effect. This, combined with the fact that many practitioners of CAM discourage their patients from resorting to normal medicine, thus allowing the patient’s condition to develop unchecked. The poor gullible patient is even encouraged to perceive doctors, or allopaths as they are referred to, as dangerous and in the pockets of “Big Pharma”

And specific practices can have specific adverse effects. Take this case for example. It would appear that the acupuncturist in this case was not aware that the lungs and pleura are right in the line of his fire, with inevitable consequences. Sticking needles in to the chest, without being familiar with what’s in there has also been reported to result in cardiac tamponade. Even anaesthetists, well familiar with the anatomy, approach intercostal block with some trepidation.

And vertebral artery tear, with subsequent stroke, as in this case, is now a well reported complication of chiropractic neck manipulation. Yet no chiropractor will warn patients of this complication and some even deny the problem.

Fortunately, in developed countries at least, CAM provision is heavily in decline and state provided health services are finally abandoning these absurd practices. Although in the USA osteopaths are considered to have the same status as medical doctors most western countries have now cut their ties with these quacks. The Homeopathic hospitals in the UK are now gone, and even in France, the home of Boiron, a water bottling company masquerading as a medicine producer, homeopathy is no longer funded by the state. Even in the USA things are looking up.

So let’s hope that Charles’ new position doesn’t result in him giving his uninformed opinion free reign. When it comes to stuff he knows nothing about he should follow his Mother’s example and keep his nonsense to himself.

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