What alternative health

practitioners might not tell you

 

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Ask for evidence

 

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Keep Libel out of Science

 

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Written by Robert Todd Carroll (Wiley, 1st edition, August 2003) A wealth of evidence for doubters and disbelievers featuring close to 400 definitions, arguments, and essays on topics ranging from acupuncture to zombies. The Skeptic's Dictionary is a lively, commonsense trove of detailed information on all things supernatural, occult, paranormal, and pseudoscientific. For the open-minded seeker, the soft or hardened skeptic, and the believing doubter, this book offers a remarkable range of information that puts to the test the best arguments of true believers. [This link is to the Skeptic's Dictionary website which shows how the book can be ordered in many different countries.]

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Edited by Tiffany Jenkins (Hodder Arnold and Stoughton, May 2002) In this book contributors from a variety of healthcare backgrounds make the case for and against CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine). The book may now be out-of-print, but inexpensive copies can be bought second-hand via this link.

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Written by Paul Benedetti and Wayne MacPhail (Dundurn Group Ltd ,Canada, January 2002) Canadians visit chiropractors about thirty million times a year, and surveys show that patients are generally satisfied with their treatment. But studies also show that as many as two hundred Canadians a year suffer strokes brought on by neck manipulation. Spin Doctors takes a hard, dramatic, and spine-chilling look into the world of chiropractic medicine. You will be surprised to learn what chiropractors treat and why. Most importantly, you'll learn how to protect yourself and your family from dangerous adjustments, practice-building tactics, bogus treatments, and misleading information.

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Written by John Diamond (Vintage, July 2001) At the time of his death, on March 2nd, 2001, John Diamond had written six chapters of Snake Oil. Intended to be "an uncomplimentary view of complementary medicine", he was spurred into writing the book by the 5,000 letters he received suggesting alternative cures for his terminal cancer. In the book Diamond sets out to prove that the protagonists of alternativism are, at best, gullible and misguided, at worst, con-merchants and quacks. The uncompleted book ends with the words: "Let me explain." Unfortunately, he wasn't given the chance. The remainder of the book is made up from a selection of Diamond's articles and columns, which, edited by brother-in-law Dominic Lawson, were chosen on "the basis of his humour rather than his tumour".

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Written by Robert L. Park (Oxford University Press, 2000) "Scientific error", says Robert Park, "has a way of evolving… from self-delusion to fraud. I use the term voodoo science to cover them all: pathological science, junk science, pseudoscience, and fraudulent science." In pathological science, scientists fool themselves. Junk science is when scientists use their expertise to befuddle and mislead others (usually juries or lawmakers). Pseudoscience has the trappings of science without any evidence. Fraud is old-fashioned lying. [Robert L. Park is professor of physics at the University of Maryland]

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Written by James Randi (Prometheus Books UK, 2nd revised edition, May 1989) A devastating exposé of the fakery of modern "healers".

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In January 2001, the American-based National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF) began distributing a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., and co-sponsored by Quackwatch. It summarises scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; website evaluations; recommended and non-recommended books; research tips; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making. Subscribe to the newsletter via this link.

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A free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., with help from William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H.. It summarises scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; other news items; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; research tips; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making. 

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Written by Rose Shapiro (2nd edition, published by Vintage on 5th February 2009). 'Suckers' is a calling to account of a social and intellectual fraud; a bracing, funny and popular take on a global delusion. It reveals how alternative medicine can jeopardise the health of those it claims to treat, leaches resources from treatments of proven efficacy and is largely unaccountable and unregulated.

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Written by Ludmil A. Chotkowski, M.D., FACP (2001). This book exposes the practice of chiropractic as a false health care practice that has flourished basically unchallenged over the past century. It is written in clearly understandable language providing a well documented body of information for doctors, pharmacists, physical therapists, nurses, and the rest of the health care community — and most of all for all those who would like to know the scientific truth about this practice. Book available to order from this link to Chirobase.