Dying to Believe

Some more of the same

Continuing from last week, I’m posting more on death by alternative medicine (alt-med). Some time ago I picked Tuesdays to carry the sad news about people dying from false belief. Homeopathy is a wrong-headed notion put forward by Samuel Hahnemann (see above) in 1796. It continues to kill 221 years later. Today I present the case of Ralph Gonzalez:

The Arizona Medical Board will take up an administrative law judge’s recommendation that Normann’s medical license be revoked permanently, an action that could prohibit him from practicing medicine in the United States again.

According to testimony in the administrative hearing, Normann created “a surgical nightmare” at his office in Anthem, where work was so shoddy that three patients died during or after liposuction.

Normann performed only one of the procedures, allowing unlicensed individuals to do the others.

Unsealed exhibits from the Arizona Medical Board’s case against Normann are mostly uncontroversial, although the exhibit list itself reveals some interesting information.

Evidence was taken in regards to 13 patients, including the three who died. A separate document reveals that Dr. Greg Page, a homeopathic doctor who was unauthorized to perform invasive surgeries, conducted procedures on at least nine patients, including one who died.

I am wondering how a homeopathic surgeon works. Does he use a scalpel without a blade?

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Dying to Believe

Some more of the same

Following up from last week, I’m posting more on death by alternative medicine (alt-med). Some time ago I picked Tuesdays to carry the sad news about people dying from false belief. Homeopathy is a wrong-headed notion put forward by Samuel Hahnemann (see above) in 1796. It continues to kill 221 years later. Here is the case of Isabella Denley:

Last year in Melbourne, Australia, Isabella Denley, an epileptic toddler, died after her parents ditched the anti-convulsant medication she had been prescribed by her neurologist. The drugs had terrible side effects, including sleep loss and hyperactivity, so they turned to alternative therapies, visiting a vibrational kinesiologist, a cranial osteopath and a psychic who told them Isabella was suffering from a past-life trauma.

An inquest heard that when she died, the toddler was exclusively on homeopathic medication. Her parents believed they were doing their utmost. But clearly the potential pitfalls of Cams go beyond ruthless charlatans. Indeed, the real peril may be our faith that alternative therapies will inevitably reach – and cure – the parts that allopathic medicines will not.

A spokesperson for the Research Council for Complementary Medicine is quoted as saying, “There is certainly evidence to show that some therapies are effective for certain conditions.” This person goes on to say that it can be confusing to figure out which therapies work and which do not. From the article: “Often several studies of the same therapy will contradict each other, and since funding for research is hard to come by many studies are considered flawed.”

 

All right. There are many reasons to die. This one seems to be among the least heroic.

Dying to Believe

Some more of the same

Following up from last week, I’m posting more on death by alternative medicine (alt-med). Some time ago I picked Tuesdays to carry the sad news about people dying from false belief. Homeopathy is a wrong-headed notion put forward by Samuel Hahnemann in 1796. It continues to kill 221 years later. Here is the case of young Cameron Ayres:

A six-month-old baby has died after his parents, who were firm believers in homeopathy, refused to take him to a GP. Dr Ann Robinson on the dangers of trusting too much

With a few harrowing exceptions, most parents want the best for their child, but parenting isn’t an exact science. We may seek advice from professionals, consult published information, listen to friends and even take heed of what our own parents have to say, but ultimately, whether it’s deciding whether to give the MMR jab, choosing a school, or signing our consent for the child to have her tonsils removed, we are forced to trust our instincts and hope for the best.

Now a tragic case in South London highlights how potentially dangerous following your instincts can be. An inquest heard how a six month old baby, Cameron Ayrs, died from a rare but potentially treatable metabolic disorder after his parents refused to take him to a doctor.

The baby’s parents, Jeremy, a homeopathic doctor, and his French wife Sylvie, a sales manager, had decided to protect their child from “suppressive” conventional medicine because of their deep faith in homeopathy and naturopathy. The coroner was told that they did not immunise him against a number of common childhood diseases and that he was never taken to see a GP.

As noted previously, I take satisfaction in blaming Jesus on death by belief. Sometimes he is superfluous. People have the capacity to kill themselves independent of religion.