thegyptian

New Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 5, 2005
2
0
Status
I am supposed to do a research paper on what area of health research should no longer be pursued.
And in addition to interviewing my doctors and reading articles, i was wondering if i could get your opinion.

What area of health research should no longer be pursued?
 

Skip Intro

Registered User
15+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2002
3,377
954
Status
Attending Physician
thegyptian said:
I am supposed to do a research paper on what area of health research should no longer be pursued.
And in addition to interviewing my doctors and reading articles, i was wondering if i could get your opinion.

What area of health research should no longer be pursued?
The so-called "Alternative Medicine".

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (http://nccam.nih.gov/) was set-up to address issues in the public interest concerning alternative medical care. To date, they have been nothing more than a huge sink hole of public taxpayer money, and have produced no real meaningful science. All this center has actually done is serve to lend a sort of "pseudo-legitimacy" to and quasi-endorsement of quack medical practices.

The "frontispiece" of their mission is the exploration alternative medical practices, including several areas where legitimate scientific research has repeatedly and demonstrably shown there to be no legitimate proven benefit. In some of these alternative areas (such as homeopathy, acupuncture, etc.), what more needs to be shown or investigated using taxpayer dollars? Until rigorous scientific controls are going to be applied to the conduction of scientific investigations in these realms, no truly meaningful results will be obtained. And, due to the political atmosphere within the NCCAM, such trials will never be conducted.

What has happened is the federal government, under pressure from the voting (and often scientifically illiterate) public, has kowtowed to pressure and created this huge pork barrel of an organization that has done nothing to really serve the public other than create a "see? we're looking into it" clearinghouse of bad science.

There is no such thing as "alternative medicine", there is just medicine: something either works, and is adopted by legitimate practioners, or it doesn't, and is rejected. Period.

To continue to waste time, effort, and money - and direct valuable monetary resources away from legitimate areas of scientific research - on this bunkum is counterproductive to the actual aims and goals of the NIH, which is to serve the public's best interest by providing sound, unbiased scientific research with the goal of improving the health of the public. To that end, the NCCAM is already so politically charged that their mission has been compromised since its inception.

Good luck on your research paper/project.

-Skip
 
OP
T

thegyptian

New Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 5, 2005
2
0
Status
Thank you very much, Skip.

I will look into NCCAM and their website to find out more.
 

dblr516

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2005
7
0
Status
thegyptian said:
Thank you very much, Skip.

I will look into NCCAM and their website to find out more.
... and when you do I am sure you will find some research that validates the efficacy of these so called "alternative" therapies. As a licensed acupuncturist and first year medical student I believe evidence-based medicine is paramount to acupuncture's role in healthcare. Thus I would have to disagree with the previous post. The term alternative has been thrown out anyway, replaced with complementary or integrative to better reflect its purpose. There are many studies that have shown these therapies help counteract medically induced symptoms - such as cancer treatment. Visit Memorial-Sloan Kettering's site for more details.
I guess the point to my post is to stay open-minded and stay on top on what has been proven and what hasn't. To negate all form of treatment not considered traditional western medicine will only put you and your patients at a disadvantage. Good luck!
 

Fascia Lata

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2005
156
8
Status
thegyptian said:
I am supposed to do a research paper on what area of health research should no longer be pursued.
And in addition to interviewing my doctors and reading articles, i was wondering if i could get your opinion.

What area of health research should no longer be pursued?

May be human cloning !!!!!!
 

Fascia Lata

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2005
156
8
Status
Now I know that many of u would say human cloning is beneficial for organ transplantation stuff.. What I meant was the all-body cloning, sorry but I don't really know how u refer to that scientifically, if u get what I mean.
 

Fascia Lata

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2005
156
8
Status
It would be really interesting to know eachother's points of view about this. What do u think???
 

leorl

Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2001
5,559
13
messymedic.blogspot.com
Status
Attending Physician
At first, I was surprised at skip's post. but I do agree with him. I am a strong supporter of "alternative" medicines, like acupuncture, etc. We don't know how they work yet, but they obviously work for some people. What skip proposes to get rid of is inefficient wastes of money towards improper research methods just for the sake of having some program in name. But if money was used for alternative medicine research properly, I'd be all for it.
 

reddirtgirl

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 8, 2005
181
0
www.radioparadise.com
Status
Fascia Lata said:
Now I know that many of u would say human cloning is beneficial for organ transplantation stuff.. What I meant was the all-body cloning, sorry but I don't really know how u refer to that scientifically, if u get what I mean.
You are referring to reproductive cloning.

Not very likely that it will become a source for spare parts.

Cloning for disease treatment is theraputic cloning.
 

Skip Intro

Registered User
15+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2002
3,377
954
Status
Attending Physician
dblr516 said:
The term alternative has been thrown out anyway, replaced with complementary or integrative to better reflect its purpose.
Umm... it's the "National Center for Complementary and ALTERNATIVE Medicine". I'm not making this stuff up. They just got a budget renewal for fiscal 2005-06 of $122.7M.

What meaningful, new, important and worthwhile contribution have the made to the body of medical scientific knowledge? Please. Help me understand how that annual budget amount can be justified given what they've produced.

Creating a government agency that caters only to public consumerism and scientific illiteracy is not only unethical, it's beyond inexcusable. Why should my tax dollars support this agency?

-Skip
 

reddirtgirl

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 8, 2005
181
0
www.radioparadise.com
Status
Skip Intro said:
Umm... it's the "National Center for Complementary and ALTERNATIVE Medicine". I'm not making this stuff up. They just got a budget renewal for fiscal 2005-06 of $122.7M.

What meaningful, new, important and worthwhile contribution have the made to the body of medical scientific knowledge? Please. Help me understand how that annual budget amount can be justified given what they've produced.

Creating a government agency that caters only to public consumerism and scientific illiteracy is not only unethical, it's beyond inexcusable. Why should my tax dollars support this agency?

-Skip
do you realize how microscoptic 123 million is realitve to the entire nih budget?
 

jpro

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 16, 2004
458
0
41
Kitchen Stadium
Status
Resident [Any Field]
reddirtgirl said:
do you realize how microscoptic 123 million is realitve to the entire nih budget?
I wish they would send me one hundreth of that microscopic budget
 

Skip Intro

Registered User
15+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2002
3,377
954
Status
Attending Physician
reddirtgirl said:
do you realize how microscoptic 123 million is realitve to the entire nih budget?
First, I can't believe you actually said that. Are we so jaded that $122.7M hs no significance anymore?

Secondly, do you realize that $122.7M could actually do? It could add additional funding to countless other programs. Or, is your argument really tantamount to saying that it's okay to piss away $122.7M a year on whatever whim politicians want to serve?

Or, maybe you and I just have a very different view of what our government is there to do. Want to spend that money? Fine. Just justify the expenditure. NCCAM can't.

Bottom line: if it oinks like a pig, it's pork.

-Skip
 

Skip Intro

Registered User
15+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2002
3,377
954
Status
Attending Physician
But, don't just listen to me... (and this piece, written in late 2002 by a Stanford medical doctor and professor, was reflective of the history of the NCCAM at that time; since then, congress has increased their funding, and currently we've invested over $440M in this colossal, anger-inspiring waste of time, effort, and money :mad: )

http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/nccam.html

-Skip
 

Skip Intro

Registered User
15+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2002
3,377
954
Status
Attending Physician
leorl said:
At first, I was surprised at skip's post. but I do agree with him. I am a strong supporter of "alternative" medicines, like acupuncture, etc. We don't know how they work yet, but they obviously work for some people.
Then, I don't think you completely agree with me. I support proven therapies. There is little evidence that all of the modalities that fall under the aegis of 'complementary' or 'alternative' medicine have any proven, demonstrable, and reproducible benefit. We know that they "work" for some people due to the anticipation that they will work. This can only currently be described, more appropriately, as the "placebo effect" until such a time as new information points to a true treatment effect.

It would be money better spent, this $122.7M per year, trying to understand exactly how this "placebo effect" actually works.

leorl said:
What skip proposes to get rid of is inefficient wastes of money towards improper research methods just for the sake of having some program in name. But if money was used for alternative medicine research properly, I'd be all for it.
Yes. With my stipulations noted above.

-Skip
 

Hawk22

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2004
318
0
North Carolina
Status
I'm still struck by the overall futility of the assignment. No offense to the original poster, but it seems like a pretty stupid idea to ask students what SHOULD NOT be researched. Projects and papers should foster new ideas and interests, not force you to dig through things that won't mean anything in 10 or 20 years.