Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.
On the “individualization” of treatments in “alternative medicine” (David Gorski) Alternative medicine providers claim to provide treatments individualized for each patient, but they have no standardization and no scientific basis on which to choose treatments.“Individualization” is just an excuse that gives them the freedom to keep trying stuff until the patient’s symptoms get better on their own.
Faith Healing (Harriet Hall) There is no evidence that faith healing heals, but many still believe it does. Psychological factors and unreliable testimonials conspire to lure believers into self-deception.
Evolution in Medicine (Steven Novella) Evolutionary principles are important to understanding populations, genetics, infectious diseases, diet, and other issues of public health – in diagnosis, treatment, and research. Evolutionary biology is an essential part of modern medicine.
Reflexive doubt (Amy Tuteur) Many advocates and purveyors of “alternative” health are impervious to the scientific evidence because they reflexively distrust doctors and medical science. Their philosophical stance amounts to a mindless rejection of authority, with potentially devastating consequences.
The Tamiflu Spin (Mark Crislip) Recent articles in the media have erroneously suggested that the anti-influenza drug Tamiflu is worthless. Dr. Crislip reviews the evidence showing that it is effective, although it is no panacea. When used appropriately in the right populations and for the right strains of influenza, it can save lives.