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.
Stanislaw Burzynski: Bad medicine, a bad movie, and bad P.R. (David Gorski) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/stanislaw-burzynski-bad-medicine-a-bad-movie/ Burzynski, The Movie: Cancer Is Serious Business is blatant propaganda for Burzynski’s cancer treatments: it consists mainly of 3 testimonials that ultimately don’t even support his claims. There is no credible evidence that he can cure cancer, and he is deceptively and unethically providing expensive treatments under the guise of “clinical trials.” Claims of persecution are not credible, and recent attacks on skeptical bloggers by Burzynski supporters are despicable.
Blind-Spot Mapping, Cortical Function, and Chiropractic Manipulation (Harriet Hall) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/blind-spot-mapping-cortical-function-and-chiropractic-manipulation/ “Chiropractic neurologist” Ted Carrick’s 1997 study supposedly showed that everyone has a blind spot that is half again as large in one eye, that blind spot size constitutes a map of cortical function, and that spinal manipulation alters brain function, which changes the size of the blind spot. In fact it showed none of these, but rather showed Carrick’s circular reasoning, self-delusion, and inability to do good science.
Update on CPSOs Draft Policy (Steven Novella) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/update-on-cpsos-draft-policy/ The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has revised its proposed policy on complementary and alternative medicine, but there are still major problems. It still attempts to silence criticism of unscientific treatments and to apply a double standard.
Pediatrics & “CAM” II: just wrong (Jann Bellamy) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/pediatrics-cam-ii-just-wrong/ The second part of a critique of the supplement on CAM published by the journal Pediatrics, a document that attempts to accommodate CAM by creating a lot of extra work for physicians, asking that they understand CAM, educate patients about it, and even refer to CAM practitioners. While it presents CAM as mostly ineffective and sometimes dangerous, its policy recommendations fail to suggest any reasonable limitations on CAM practices, and it fails to promote science-based standards in medicine.
A Seal of Approval (Mark Crislip) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/a-seal-of-approval/ The AMA backed out of a deal to give its seal of approval to Sunbeam. Drs. Weil, Mercola, and Oz are far less fastidious: they endorse various products and treatments that are not supported by any science. They rely on wild extrapolations of minimal data, fanciful physiology and nonsense, ignoring information that contradicts their beliefs.