Thursday, July 19, 2012

Quackery

My previous post on coconut oil has really brought in a steady stream of comments that start off with a positive, supportive statement but then quickly spiral out into gibberish.  I have deleted the majority of the comments because they really make no sense or they are trying to link over to a site selling something.  It has annoyed me enough that I've now shut off comments for that page.

The most recent comment rambled on about an ill young woman who was given a tonsillectomy and suddenly got better.  The anonymous author went on to ask why not use unproven treatments on Lyn, implying that the tonsillectomy was an unproven treatment that cured the woman of her illness.  Chances are that she needed the tonsillectomy and it was the right treatment for her.  However, it is a good question despite the source.  

As my Mother-in-Law has said to me, "God always knew that you would turn to science."  I don't believe in "treatments" or "healing" through such nonsense as iridologyhomeopathy or applied kinesiology.  They are complete quackery.



If you wish to use alternative therapies for yourself, go for it.  The placebo effect should not be discounted.  However, when you are caring for another person, your level of responsibility is different. When you are caring for another person who is unable understand or make reasoned decisions for themselves, then your responsibility is not just to provide care, but it is also to ensure your decisions do not harm the person for whom you are caring.

Lyn cannot decide for herself.  She cannot understand why she should not have one antibiotic for a sinus infection when another is acceptable.  (She's allergic and it causes the skin on her hands to slough off.)  Because she cannot assess her treatment options, we have an obligation to only give to her medicine which has been rigorously tested for its efficacy and safety.  Lyn cannot decide to take on a risk with any understanding of the risk itself.  If we were to offer Lyn pure fat and tell her it will cure her dementia, we would be doing her a grave disservice.  The fat won't cure her and would hasten her death through obesity and heart disease.

Our obligation to Lyn extends beyond what is a current fad in health treatments or pseudoscience.

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