Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Science… or Power?
By Christopher Johnson, ND
The other day a client of mine wrote me with concerns. He had just started the homeopathic remedy I had recommended for him and was already feeling unsure if this was the path he wanted to pursue based on some negative comments he read on the internet concerning homeopathy. These views were put forth by supposed “medical experts”. I didn’t even know where to begin to educate him as to why these criticisms of homeopathy are baseless.
It will be a good day when we in the holistic medical community begin to more often strike back at these so-called “experts” – as the British Chiropractic Association recently did, taking to court a prominent scientist who publicly slandered their profession, calling their treatments ‘bogus’. The chiropractors argued the term ‘bogus’ was “factually wrong, defamatory, and a damaging allegation that could be seen to adversely affect the professional reputations of individuals or organizations.” They were vindicated by the judge who had the offending publication retract the article.
In the mainstream media and scientific and medical communities, holistic medicine is routinely attacked in an entirely un-scientific and slanderous manner. These dogmatic criticisms rarely deal in fact or engage in legitimate debate. Instead, the perpetrators usually offer generalities and vague assertions (such as a treatment being ‘bogus’, ‘un-proven’ or even ‘dangerous’). These people rely on their assumed status of legitimacy to carry the weight of their allegations without actually presenting or refuting scientific data. Rebuttals to these assertions are rarely published or given coverage.
The reason these attacks do not deal in fact or science, is that they are not actually about facts or science, and never have been. They are of course, about money, turf, and power.
Case in point is the American Medical Association (AMA), which has opposed the advancement of every medical profession that has ever existed – including chiropractors, osteopaths (now admitted to the AMA), nurses, podiatrists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, etc). The rational is always the same – these groups are a danger to the public.
To gain some perspective on that argument, you’d have to go back to the 19th century when conventional medical doctors routinely injured (often fatally) large numbers of patients with their toxic treatments – primarily the use of heroic dosages of mercury and quinine, as well as blood-letting. Yet, even in that day and age medical doctors, state medical societies and the AMA made the same arguments against other professions – that they represented a danger to the public. Looking back we can see the converse was true.
These arguments were illegitimate at that time and they still are today, despite the fact that they are uttered from the mouths of supposed “experts”.
In 1976 it was again the chiropractic profession who challenged the medical establishment, with four chiropractors filing an anti-trust lawsuit against the AMA and other medical groups for conspiring to exclude them from the medical marketplace. The case was settled in 1987 when a US Federal District judge ruled in the chiropractors’ favor, finding that the AMA engaged in ''systematic, long-term wrongdoing and the long-term intent to destroy a licensed profession.” The judge also found the American College of Surgeons and the American College of Radiology guilty of participating in this conspiracy. Other medical groups, including the Illinois Medical Society and the American Hospital Association saw the writing on the wall and settled out of court.
In upcoming writings I will speak specifically to the subject of homeopathy - why it continues to engender so much spite and venom from the conventional medical and scientific communities, and why the arguments put forth against it are scientifically unsound and don’t hold up to scrutiny.
Christopher Johnson, ND is a naturopathic doctor specializing in the use of homeopathy and nutrition to address a broad range of conditions in both the adult and pediatric populations. He is owner of Thrive Naturopathic, a holistic health care facility located in Alexandria, Virginia. He speaks widely on how homeopathy is the answer to many of today's health challenges, and is available for phone consultations for those not in the area. Visit his website at: www.ThriveNaturopathic.com