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.
The autism "biomed" movement: Uncontrolled and unethical experimentation on autistic children (David Gorski) A commentary on an excellent series of articles in the Chicago Tribune by Trine Tsouderos investigating the many unscientific and sometimes dangerous treatments that are being offered to autistic children.
Medical Marijuana: are we ready? (Peter Lipson) Medical marijuana is becoming increasingly available, but there is little evidence to support its efficacy, safety, or advantages over other available treatments.
Recombinant Human Antithrombin - Milking Nanny Goats for Big Bucks. (Harriet Hall) Genetic engineering has put human genes into goats so that human antithrombin can be extracted from goat's milk, providing a treatment for patients with antithrombin deficiency that is safe and effective but expensive.
Does C-section increase the rate of neonatal death? (Amy Tuteur) The idea that elective C-sections triple the neonatal death rate is a myth based on one flawed study.
Man in Coma 23 Years - Is He Really Conscious? (Steven Novella) A man misdiagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state for 23 years is now allegedly conscious and communicating; that may be true, but the "communication" shown on videos is clearly the same bogus "facilitated communication" originally used with autistics.
Why Universal Hepatitis B Vaccination Isn't Quite Universal (Joseph Albietz) An overview of the risks of hepatitis B infection, the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, and why different countries have different vaccination policies.
Ontario naturopathic prescribing proposal is bad medicine (David Kroll) Ontario's proposal to give naturopaths limited prescribing rights would represent a threat to public health, since naturopaths are not science-based: they embrace various kinds of quackery and their own philosophy is antithetical to the scientific use of drugs to treat disease.