MD, PhD, MAE, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

One of my previous posts was about a press release announcing a ‘WORLDWIDE DECLARATION’, and I promised to comment about the actual declaration. This post firstly reproduces this document and secondly provides a few comments on it. Here is the document:

DEFINITIONS

Traditional, complementary and integrative healthcare (TCIH) refers to the respectful collaboration between various systems of healthcare and their health professionals with the aim of offering a person-centred and holistic approach to health.

ABOUT US

We represent a worldwide community of users and health professionals of TCIH with a large diversity of backgrounds and experiences with a common commitment to the advancement and
promotion of TCIH.

THE HEALTHCARE WE DESIRE

• Focuses on the whole person, including physical, mental, social and spiritual dimensions
• Is patient-centred and supports self-healing and health creation
• Is participative and respects individual choices
• Is evidence-based by integrating clinical experience and patient values with the best available research information
• Respects cultural diversity and regional differences
• Is an integral part of community and planetary health
• Uses natural and sustainable resources that are respectful of the health of our planet
• Integrates traditional, complementary and biomedical practices in a supportive and collaborative manner

We appreciate the benefits of conventional / biomedicine. At the same time we recognize its limitations, including:

• The insufficient therapeutic options that biomedicine provides, especially for chronic / non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
• Frequent side effects of biomedical treatments and rising antimicrobial resistance
• Fragmentation of care from increased specialization and the limits of a disease-based model

We are inspired by countries that are successfully integrating TCIH into their healthcare systems. However, we are concerned about:

• Countries that prevent, limit or undervalue the practice of TCIH
• Uninformed or unbalanced media reporting of TCIH
• Insufficient public funding of TCIH research
• Risk of reduced availability of TCIH and unregulated practices in some countries

OUR CALL TO ACTION

All countries

• Ensure full access to TCIH as part of the right to health for all
• Include TCIH into national health systems
• Provide accreditation of TCIH healthcare professionals in accordance with international training standards to ensure high quality care
• Ensure access and safety of TCIH medicines through specific regulatory pathways
• Fund research on TCIH and disseminate reliable information on TCIH to the public

All healthcare professionals

• Foster respectful collaboration between all healthcare professions towards achieving a person-centred and holistic approach to healthcare

_____________________________

And here are my comments.

  • “TCIH”: in the realm of so-called alternative medicine it seems popular to create a new name for the subject at hand; this one is yet another one in a long line of innovations – sadly, it is as nonsensical as most of the previous ones.
  • Person-centred and holistic approach to health: all good healthcare has these qualities.
  • We represent a worldwide community: really? Who exactly are you then, and what is your ligitimization?
  • Whole person, including physical, mental, social and spiritual dimensions: all good healthcare has these qualities.
  • Patient-centred and supports self-healing and health creation: all good healthcare has these qualities.
  • Respects individual choices: all good healthcare has these qualities.
  • Evidence-based: either they do not know what this term means or they are deliberately misleading the public.
  • Integral part of community and planetary health: all good healthcare has these qualities.
  • Natural and sustainable resources that are respectful of the health of our planet: like Rhino horn and similar ingredients of TCM products?
  • Insufficient therapeutic options that biomedicine provides: yes, conventional medicine is far from perfect, but adding something even less perfect to it cannot improve it.
  • Frequent side effects of biomedical treatments and rising antimicrobial resistance: yes, conventional medicine is far from perfect, but adding something even less perfect to it cannot improve it.
  • Full access to TCIH as part of the right to health for all: the ‘right to health for all’ means the right to the most effective therapies not the right to the most bizarre quackery.
  • Accreditation of TCIH healthcare professionals: giving respectability to every quack would not render healthcare better or safer but worse and more dangerous.
  • Access and safety of TCIH medicines through specific regulatory pathways: regulating access to unproven treatments is nothing less than a recipe for disaster.
  • Research on TCIH: yes in some areas, research might be worthwhile, but it must be rigorously testing TCIH and not promoting it uncritically.
  • Disseminate reliable information on TCIH to the public: thank you! This is my main aim in writing the ~2500 posts on this blog. Yet I do often get the impression that this gets disappointingly little support – and frequently the exact opposite – from enthusiasts of TCIH.

7 Responses to The People’s Declaration for Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Healthcare

  • Looking at the tags on this article, the declaration appears to hit every single one of them. In short, it is saying that medicine has limitations, and therefore we should be able to fill the gaps with bullshit. Same old, same old.

    Oh, and also we don’t understand the term “evidence basis”.

    • @Old “First Do No Harm” Bob
      Your inane comments are again hurting my brain. Please heed your own adage.

    • The corona deniers and anti-vaccinationists among the medical profession can be legally prosecuted if they spread lies and false information? Sounds good to me.

      • @RPGNo1

        Most reasonable people like you think that it is a good bill. But in God’s America we have a lot of gun-totting, freedumb-loving reasonable folk that are having a major meltdown because of that bill. All they want to do is protect a quack’s right to spread lies and a citizen’s right to get conned by those quacks.

        First, do no harm to quacks! Is that too much to ask?

  • Any relation to the Peoples Front for the Liberation of Judea? ( not to be confused with the Judean Peoples Liberation Front ).

  • And oh:

    … Is evidence-based by integrating clinical experience and patient values with the best available research information

    Re ‘clinical experience‘: I once experienced how a young lady on stage was sawn in half and healed again, without any ill effects, all in a matter of minutes. Maybe we should integrate this kind of ‘experience-based healing’ in medicine too? I’m sure that the trauma room will be very interested.

    Re ‘patient values’: if these ‘patient values’ encompass a firm belief in healing modalities such as the above, then this would in effect mean that completely uneducated patients are the ones diagnosing conditions and deciding on treatments, rather than the people who spent at least 10 years being trained to do so.

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