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Should medical students be taught alternative medicine?

Posted 29 April 2014

Of the many arguments regarding alternative medicine, is whether it should be taught to medical students.

In these two opposing points of view, published in the British Medical Journal, this point is aired. Of course two short articles cannot sufficiently put flesh on the debate but still, these are worth reading.

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The portrayal of slimness through design

Posted 25 March 2014

This research article, titled “The portrayal of slimness through design : an analysis of a misleading weight loss advertisement : research article” written by Rudi De Lange, Tshwane University of Technology, was published in the South African Journal of Art History (2013;28(2):72-84.

The abstract reads:

The portrayal of the ultra-thin [...]

More Ploys That Can Fool You

Posted 2 February 2014

This article written by Drs Stephen Barrett and Victor Herbert and published on Quackwatch in 2007 has great relevance for South African consumers and therefore we post it below.

“Alternative” promoters are reaching people emotionally. What sells is not the quality of their products, but the ability to influence [...]

Answering Our Critics

Posted 25 September 2013

Some people don’t like what we have to say on Science-Based Medicine. Some attack specific points while others attack our whole approach. Every mention of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) elicits protests in the Comments section from “true believer” users and practitioners of CAM. Every mention of a treatment that has [...]

How to spot a health hoax

Posted 17 September 2013

An excellent article by Susan Erasmus and published on Health24.

Joost and the ‘miracle cure': Here’s how to spot a medical hoax.

[gn_quote style="1"]Joost van der Westhuizen last week claimed to have been cured from motor neuron disease by ‘detox specialist’ Anton Neethling. It now appears that Neethling has a criminal [...]

Righteous Indignation

Posted 15 January 2013

An interesting article in the Skeptical Inquirer, argues that that profound feelings of insult to a deeply held belief ranks among the most powerful and pervasive failures of human reasoning. It notes that “[A]ppeals to righteous indignation or sanctity—which attempt to shield ideas from contemplation, discussion, investigation, or criticism—are common, impede [...]

Twenty-six ways to spot quacks and vitamin pushers

Posted 18 December 2012

This useful and interesting article is from Quackwatch (probably the “founder” of websites/blogs that have developed in order to inform consumers), and gives guidance regarding bogus or exaggerated claims for therapeutic products. How would a company like Solal be rated according to Quackwatch’s 26 ways, and if so, how many?

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Regulation of alternative medicine: why it doesn’t work, and never can

Posted 16 October 2012

An excellent article by Prof David Colqhoun (UK) posted on DC’s Improbable Science which concludes:

The regulation of alternative medicine in the UK is a farce. It is utterly ineffective in preventing deception of patients. Such improvements as have occurred have resulted from the activity of bloggers, and sometime the [...]

VroueKeuer article

Posted 29 May 2012

This article written by Tienie Holtzhausen in Afrikaans, and titled “Smokkel advertensies met jou kop?” warns:

“Wees bedag op advertensies se verskuilde boodskappe en moenie alles glo wat julle jou belowe nie” (be aware of advertisements’ hidden messages and don’t believe everything they promise”.

Thanks to Tienie Holtzhausen [...]

Confidentiality and bad science

Posted 25 May 2012

“When evaluating survey data the devil is always in the detail. In a recent case the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) allowed Solal Technologies to keep crucial survey details secret. This decision deprived the complainant, Marcus Low, from an opportunity to interrogate spurious survey findings.”

An article by Marcus Low [...]