I’m not a huge television watcher, discerning, one show I must see each week – or I seriously get the grumps is Catalyst. For those not-in-the-know, Catalyst is a superlative Australian science program aired weekly on ABC TV, it’s always current, often a lark and most beautifully produced.
My favourite Catalyst, Dr Demasi, this week looked into a worrying trend that has science based medicine up in arms – chiropractors with ambitions of replacing the family gp – There have been reports that chiropractors are the new refuge for a range of health problems, like asthma, colic, reflux and even autism?
Dr Maryanne Demasi reckons, “…most people go to the chiropractor for back pain, and, despite its surging popularity, its proven benefit is fairly limited. A review of spinal manipulation showed that it could alleviate lower back pain, but it was no more effective than heat therapy, or even a good massage.” ::::
Emeritus Professor John Dwyer puts in much more than his 20 cents worth Chiropractics move into paediatrics, the enormous number of chiropractors who are trying to set up paediatric clinics and claiming that they can cure a range of paediatric conditions, that is really troublesome. Professor Dwyer also calls for universities to drop chiropractic as a studied discipline – is there a partition someplace I can sign? – Dr Michael Vagg, a specialist in pain medicine says “There is a lot wrong with mainstream medicine, but just because some planes crash doesn’t mean we should start using flying carpets. So you have to have a plausible alternative if there is a problem.
Following Professor Dwyer’s lead, Dr Demasi question the pseudoscientific basis of chiropractic, rounding off the show with the news that Sydney’s Macquarie University has recently announced their plans to scrap its chiropractic course in a bid to remain focused on science.
Note: Catalyst programs are available for download [mp4 + wmv] from their website.
RELATED! Anti-vaccine Group Ignores TGA Order
The anti-vaccination group that goes under the banner Australian Vaccination Network – AVN – has failed to comply with a Federal Government order to stop advertising a product as a treatment for cancer. The Therapeutic Goods Administration – TGA – found the group advertised “black salve” on its website and on a promotional DVD.
Black salve – also known as cansema is sold as an alternative treatment for cancer, including skin cancer. The product is commonly classified as an escharotic – a topical paste which burns and destroys skin tissue, leaving behind a thick black scar called an eschar – The TGA warns the substance is extremely corrosive and can leave significant scarring.
The authority ordered last month the group must stop advertising the product as a treatment for cancer, or suggesting that other cancer treatments are ineffective. The TGA said in its ruling the AVN “was not able to produce valid supporting evidence in relation to their claims”. It also said there was “no credible, reliable clinical or scientific evidence to demonstrate that the product is effective in the treatment of any cancer” :: Read the full article »»»»
RELATED! Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Raises Alarm Over Homeopath’s Immunisation Claim
ABC: Stephanie Small reports, the Queensland chief health officer, Jeannette Young, is investigating a homeopath who allegedly convinced a mother his treatment would immunise her child. Dr Young told ABC’s 7.30 Queensland the mother was convinced her child was vaccinated until she was asked about it by a doctor at the Mater Hospital.
“The mother said ‘yes, my child is fully vaccinated, I believe in vaccination, but the person who vaccinated my child said that if you were to test my child you wouldn’t find any evidence because it’s a different sort of vaccination’,” Dr Young said. “The doctor explored that with the child’s mother and worked out that a homeopath had told the mother that he had vaccinated the child when clearly the child had not been vaccinated. The mother thought she had done the right thing and wanted to do the right thing by her child and believed this healthcare provider, who misled her.”
Some homeopaths offer a treatment called homeopathic prophylaxis which aims to strengthen a person’s immune system, but public health authorities say there is no evidence it works.
Dr Young says it is unacceptable for a practitioner to sell the treatment as a real alternative to vaccination.
She has says she intends to raise the alarm with the Therapeutic Goods Association, which regulates all medical treatments, and the Health Quality and Complaints Commission (HQCC).
“We have got to do something about it – this is very serious,” Dr Young said. “I am looking at whether we can notify the TGA and what they might be able to do, whether Fair Trading here in Queensland has a role. I have already asked that this issue be referred to the HQCC. I don’t want him to do this to other children.” :: Read the full article »»»»
Catalyst Website: www.abc.net.au/catalyst/
Dr Demasi Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/Maryanne_Demasi
Dr Demasi Profile: www.abc.net.au/maryannedemasi
Catalyst Yourtube: www.youtube.com/ABCTVCatalyst