Thursday, August 28, 2008

Medical Safety

Everyone questions the safety of complementary & alterantive medicine even though these therapies have been around for decades, hundreds even thousands of years. Shall we compare it to the best of mainstream medicine?

Recent front-page article in the Wall Street Journal notes that a new treatment for Sepsis infections may help the 4 million people who die from it each year, or not. When the research came out medical groups endorsed it and hospitals started using it. Now it turns out that the research was done at just 1 hospital and, oh gee what a coincidence, they happen to own the patents on a medical device critical to the therapy. It also turns out that the research started with a standard rate of infection that is much higher than current research standards, a red flag in the world of statistical research.

The situation has become quite public, and pretty ugly, in the quiet halls of medicine. As questions started coming up more statistical issues became apparent in the study that promoted this new therapy. The hospital claims it did a thorough investigation but won't release the report. The groups that supported the therapy were not aware of the conflict of interest in the situation.

And these are the folks that expect us to trust them with our lives?

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