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

Monthly Archives: January 2022

The ‘Society of Physicians and Scientists for Health, Freedom and Democracy’  (Gesellschaft der Mediziner und Wissenschaftler für Gesundheit, Freiheit und Demokratie e.V. MWGFD) recently held a press coference where they presented its 10-point plan for a Corona phase-out concept. Here are their 10 demands (my translation):

  1. Immediate cessation of COVID vaccinations and in particular compulsory COVID vaccination.
  2. End all non-evidence-based non-pharmaceutical measures (NPI’s), such as lockdowns, school closures, mandatory masks in public spaces, isolation, quarantine, contact tracing, stand-off rules, as well as RT-PCR and rapid antigen testing of people without symptoms of disease, and immediately open sports venues, restaurants, churches and cultural institutions to all without access conditions
  3. Pandemic management must be sensibly controlled on the basis of science and evidence, including correct testing of the genuinely ill and correct recording of the epidemic situation. Since this has been neglected for two years, we demand the resignation of the previous advisory experts.
  4. Drawing up easily applicable concepts for the prevention and early treatment of COVID-19 and also for the inpatient and, if necessary, intensive medical treatment of severe courses.
  5. The dominance of one single logic, namely the virological logic, must be ended. Other aspects, such as economic, social, psychological, educational and holistic medical considerations must be included.
  6. Reassuring the population about sufficient medical care for all
  7. The media should provide wide-ranging comprehensive information, according to the ethical guidelines for journalists formulated in the Press Code, without creating fear and panic.
  8. Provide programmes to treat the physical and psychological trauma caused by the operations, especially for children and adolescents
  9. Ending the care crisis through appropriate measures
  10. Separation of powers, justice and freedom

Who would put their name to such complete idiocy?

You may well ask!

The members of the MWGFD are:

  • Prof. Dr. med. Sucharit Bhakdi, Facharzt für Mikrobiologie und Infektionsepidemiologie, ehem. Direktor des Instituts für Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Hygiene der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
  • Dr. med. Thomas Binder, Kardiologe, Vorstand Aletheia – Medizin und Wissenschaft für Verhältnismässigkeit, Wettingen, Schweiz
  • Prof. Dr. med. Arne Burkhardt, Facharzt für Pathologie, Reutlingen
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Aris Christidis, ehem. Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen, Giessen Fachbereich Mathematik, Naturwissenschaften und Informatik
  • Andreas Diemer, Arzt für Allgemeinmedizin und Naturheilverfahren, Diplom- Physiker, Musiker, Leiter der Akademie Lebenskunst und Gesundheit, Gernsbach
  • Dr. med. univ. Dr. phil. Christian Fiala, Facharzt für Frauenheilkunde und Geburtshilfe, Arzt für Allgemeinmedizin, Tropenmedizin, Wien
  • Dr. med. Heinrich Fiechtner, Hämatologe und Internistischer Onkologe, Stuttgart
  • Daniela Folkinger, Psychologische Beraterin, Lehrerin, Thurmansbang
  • Dr. med. Margareta Griesz-Brisson, Neurologin, London und Müllheim, BW
  • Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Martin Haditsch, Facharzt für Mikrobiologie, Virologie und Infektionsepidemiologie, Hannover
  • Dr. Dr. Renate Holzeisen, Rechtsanwältin, Bozen
  • Prof. Dr. rer. hum. biol. Ulrike Kämmerer, Humanbiologin, Universitätsklinikum Würzburg
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Kreiß, Volkswirtschaftler, Hochschule Aalen
  • Prof. Dr. Christof Kuhbandner, Pädagogische Psychologie, Universität Regensburg
  • Prof. Dr. med. Walter Lang, Pathologe, Hannover
  • Werner Möller, Intensivpfleger und Atmungstherapeut, Stuttgart, Gründer der Initiative „Pflege für Aufklärung“
  • Prof. Dr. Werner Müller, Rechnungswesen, Controlling, Steuern, Fachbereich Wirtschaft der Hochschule Mainz
  • Cornelia Reichl, Heilpraktikerin, Passau
  • Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Karina Reiß, Mikrobiologie, Quincke-Forschungszentrum der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
  • Dr. med. Konstantina Rösch, Allgemeinärztin, Graz
  • Prof. Dr. phil. Franz Ruppert, Psychotraumatologie, psychologische Psychotherapie, Psychologie, Katholische Stiftungshochschule München
  • Heiko Schöning, Arzt, Hamburg
  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Dr. rer. nat. M. Sc. Christian Schubert, Klinik für Medizinische Psychologie, Medizinische Universität Innsbruck.
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Schwab, Lehrstuhl für Bürgerliches Recht, Verfahrens- und Unternehmensrecht, Universität Bielefeld
  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Sönnichsen, Abteilung für Allgemeinmedizin und Familienmedizin, Medizinische Universität Wien, bis Januar 2021 Vorsitzender des Deutschen Netzwerks Evidenzbasierte Medizin,
  • Priv. Doz. Dr. med. Josef Thoma, HNO-Arzt, Berlin.
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Werner Vohr, Immunologie und Immuntoxikologie, Universität Düsseldorf.
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Daniel von Wachter, Professor für Philosophie an der Internationalen Akademie für Philosophie im Fürstentum Liechtenstein
  • Prof. Dr. Harald Walach, klinischer Psychologe, Gesundheits-wissenschaftler, Leiter des Change Health Science Instituts, Berlin
  • Dr. med. Ronald Weikl, Facharzt für Frauenheilkunde und Geburtshilfe, Praktischer Arzt, Naturheilverfahren, Passau
  • Ernst Wolff, Autor, Finanzexperte und freier Journalist, Berlin

As we see, the ‘Society of Physicians and Scientists for Health, Freedom and Democracy’ does not just contain physicians and scientists but also – contrary to its name – simple non-academic loons. And, of course, an important member – the main reason for today blogging about it – it includes SCAM practitioners and – most importantly – Prof Harald Walach who has featured so regularly on this blog.

There has been much discussion recently about the best way to persuade anti-vaxxers to change their minds. As they seem completely resistant to the scientific consensus, this has so far not been an easy task. Many experts tell us that we foremost must not ridicule them. I think the ’10 demands’ show that this is also not necessary because they are so very efficient in doing that themselves.

This study investigated whether vitamin D and marine-derived long-chain omega 3 fatty acids reduce autoimmune disease risk. A nationwide, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with a two-by-two factorial design was conducted in the US. In total, 25 871 participants (12 786 men ≥50 years and 13 085 women ≥55 years at enrollment) took part.

Participants were given

  • vitamin D (2000 IU/day),
  • matched placebo,
  • omega 3 fatty acids (1000 mg/day),
  • matched placebo.

Participants self-reported all incident autoimmune diseases from baseline to a median of 5.3 years of follow-up; these diseases were confirmed by extensive medical record review. Cox proportional hazard models were used to test the effects of vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids on autoimmune disease incidence. The primary endpoint was all incident autoimmune diseases confirmed by medical record review: rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, autoimmune thyroid disease, psoriasis, and all others.

Participants were followed for a median of 5.3 years. 18 046 self-identified as non-Hispanic white, 5106 as black, and 2152 as other racial and ethnic groups. The mean age was 67.1 years. For the vitamin D arm, 123 participants in the treatment group and 155 in the placebo group had a confirmed autoimmune disease (hazard ratio 0.78, 95% confidence interval 0.61 to 0.99, P=0.05). In the omega 3 fatty acids arm, 130 participants in the treatment group and 148 in the placebo group had a confirmed autoimmune disease (0.85, 0.67 to 1.08, P=0.19). Compared with the reference arm (vitamin D placebo and omega 3 fatty acid placebo; 88 with confirmed autoimmune disease), 63 participants who received vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids (0.69, 0.49 to 0.96), 60 who received only vitamin D (0.68, 0.48 to 0.94), and 67 who received only omega 3 fatty acids (0.74, 0.54 to 1.03) had confirmed autoimmune disease.

The authors concluded that vitamin D supplementation for five years, with or without omega 3 fatty acids, reduced autoimmune disease by 22%, while omega 3 fatty acid supplementation with or without vitamin D reduced the autoimmune disease rate by 15% (not statistically significant). Both treatment arms showed larger effects than the reference arm (vitamin D placebo and omega 3 fatty acid placebo).

This is the best trial of dietary supplements that I have seen for a very long time. Yet, the authors caution: Because participants were older adults, the results might not generalize to autoimmune diseases that primarily have their onset in younger people. However, the pathogenesis of many of the specific autoimmune diseases observed (eg, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis) is similar in younger adults. The trial tested only one dose and formulation of each supplement. The relatively low number of participants with a confirmed diagnosis of most individual diseases, and the challenge of confirming diagnosis of autoimmune thyroid disease based on medical records, limited statistical power to detect an effect on individual disease outcomes and subgroups of a priori interest. Given the latency of autoimmune disease onset, longer follow-up could be informative, and participants are being followed in an open label extension study.

As regular readers know, I am not easily impressed – but today I am.

My second entry into this competition is so special that I will show you its complete, unadulterated abstract. Here it is:

Objective

To compare the safety differences between Chinese medicine (CM) and Western medicine (WM) based on Chinese Spontaneous Reporting Database (CSRD).

Methods

Reports of adverse events (AEs) caused by CM and WM in the CSRD between 2010 and 2011 were selected. The following assessment indicators were constructed: the proportion of serious AEs (PSE), the average number of AEs (ANA), and the coverage rate of AEs (CRA). Further comparisons were also conducted, including the drugs with the most reported serious AEs, the AEs with the biggest report number, and the 5 serious AEs of interest (including death, anaphylactic shock, coma, dyspnea and abnormal liver function).

Results

The PSE, ANA and CRA of WM were 1.09, 8.23 and 2.35 times higher than those of CM, respectively. The top 10 drugs with the most serious AEs were mainly injections for CM and antibiotics for WM. The AEs with the most reports were rash, pruritus, nausea, dizziness and vomiting for both CM and WM. The proportions of CM and WM in anaphylactic shock and coma were similar. For abnormal liver function and death, the proportions of WM were 5.47 and 3.00 times higher than those of CM, respectively.

Conclusion

Based on CSRD, CM was safer than WM at the average level from the perspective of adverse drug reactions.

__________________

Perhaps there will be readers who do not quite understand why I find this paper laughable. Let me try to answer their question by suggesting a few other research subjects of similar farcicality.

  • A comparison of the safety of vitamins and chemotherapy.
  • A study of the relative safety of homeopathic remedies and antibiotics.
  • An investigation into the risks of sky diving in comparison with pullover knitting.
  • A study of the pain caused by an acupuncture needle compared to molar extraction.

In case my point is still not clear: comparing the safety of one intervention to one that is fundamentally different in terms of its nature and efficacy does simply make no sense. If one wanted to conduct such an investigation, it would only be meaningful, if one would consider the risk-benefit balance of both treatments.

The fact that this is not done here discloses the above paper as an embarrassing attempt at promoting Traditional Chinese Medicine.

 

PS

In case you wonder about the affiliations of the authors and their support:

  1. School of Management, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Nanjing, 210003, China
    Jian-xiang Wei
  2. School of Internet of Things, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Nanjing, 210003, China
    Zhi-qiang Lu, Guan-zhong Feng & Yun-xia Zhu

The review was supported by the Major Project of Philosophy and Social Science Research in Jiangsu Universities and the Postgraduate Research & Practice Innovation Program of Jiangsu Province, China.

January 27 is ‘Holocaust Memorial Day’, the day to remember the victims of the Third Reich. So, please allow me to reproduce today a (slightly altered and shortened) paper that I published back in 1996 on the role of the German medical profession in the killing of millions:

 

On January 27, 1945, the concentration camp in Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army. By May of the same year about 20 more such camps were discovered. Even today, it is hard to understand how so many terrible atrocities could have happened in a cultured country, and, more specifically, under the eyes of a medical profession that belonged to the world’s finest. Here I will try to explain how many of the worst infamies happened with the active help of Germany’s medical profession.

The pseudoscience of “race hygiene” had strong roots. In the second half of the 19th century, “Social Darwinism” had become increasingly popular throughout Europe. This theory assumed that, just as animal species fight for the survival of the fittest, whole nations struggle in a similar fashion. In this process of natural selection, the fittest nation would be the one that is genetically more pure than its neighbors.

Social Darwinism originated from France (Duke Gobinau), England (Francis Galton), and Germany alike. Its German proponents, however, were to expand it significantly: Alfred Ploetz coined the term “race hygiene” (Rassenhygiene) , Ernst Haeckel first considered selection by killing “weaklings,“’ and the physician Fritz Lenz finally formulated his theory of race inequality. Lenz’s works were read by Hitler during his prison sentence in Landsberg (1924 to 1925). They had a great influence on his race politics of the years to come.’ The ingredient of antisemitism had continually been added to “Social Darwinism” and the diabolic result turned out to be race hygiene.

As the word implies, it was essentially a medical issue. Throughout his credo Mein Kampf, Hitler refers to the Jewish race as a bacillus, a parasite, a disease. The propaganda of the Third Reich adopted these medical analogies. The “biological body of the German people” (Volkskoerper) was threatened. The healer was Hitler, who promised to eradicate this assault to the nation’s health once and for all. The Jewish question had been rendered a medical problem, the therapy of which was to be realized in places like Auschwitz and Dachau.

The medical profession promoted the belief that to cure individuals was one thing, but to heal the nation was incomparably more important. Owing to the popularity of Social Darwinism, a long history of antisemitism, and a powerful Nazi propaganda, the majority of the medical profession adopted the ideas of race hygiene. These were subsequently further perverted with applied racism.

Race hygiene had been initially developed by and was later entrusted to the German medical profession. There was shamefully little resistance from organized medicine, and many have wondered why. One answer is that critical peers who could have constituted opposition within the profession had been quickly eliminated. At the Medical Faculty of Vienna, for instance, some 80% of the faculty were dismissed within weeks of the German take-over. The most frequent reason for the dismissal of doctors at all levels was being of Jewish origin. Vacant posts were filled with new staff known not for their medical expertise but for political trustworthiness. Opposition from peers was thus minimal.

Forced sterilization was introduced in order to secure the freedom of the German nation from the threat of contamination by inferior (Jewish) blood. It was legalized through the “law for the prevention of genetically diseased offspring” (Gesetz zur Verhinderung erbkranken Nachwuchs) as early as July 1933, only 5 months after the Nazis came to power. The swift move was possible because of preparatory work performed during the Weimar Republic, much of which was contributed by the medical profession. The law provided that handicapped individuals were to be identified, examined by a jury of experts who had to write a report, and subsequently sterilized. For this purpose, some 200 Genetic Health Courts were instituted. These were empowered to order involuntary sterilization. An estimated 400,000 individuals became victims of these courts.

At this stage, physicians had assumed an executive position within the Nazi state as “delegated judges” and “guardians over the law.“’ When these medical experts’ reports were evaluated after the war, the overwhelming majority were found to be of unacceptable quality and almost all had recommended sterilization. Yet in the minds of leading proponents of race hygiene, the law did not go far enough but created human “ballast” and an economic burden that had to be eliminated by other means. Therefore, the concept of euthanasia was transformed from voluntary assisted death to involuntary, medically supervised killing.

The Nazi euthanasia program started in various specialized medicine departments in 1939. It was a delicate issue even by Nazi standards. Therefore, an attempt was made to keep it a secret. In theory, the program was aimed at eradicating children suffering from “idiocy, Down’s syndrome, hydrocephalus and other abnormalities.” In practice, however, it was sufficient for physicians to fill in the diagnosis “Jew” to effectively issue a death sentence.”

At the end of 1939, the program was extended to adults “unworthy of living.” It is estimated that more than 70,000 predominantly psychiatric patients fell victim to the program. Psychiatrists became concerned about whether there would be enough patients left to keep their specialty alive.” “Action T4” was the Berlin headquarters of the euthanasia program. It was run by approximately 50 volunteer physicians.

Questionnaires were sent to psychiatric and other hospitals urging the physicians in charge to name candidates for euthanasia. In some cases, the inducement was a financial reward. The victims were then transported to specialized centers where they were gassed or poisoned. Action T4 was therefore responsible for supervised murder. Its true significance, however, lies even beyond this horror.

Hitler himself formally discontinued the program on August 24, 1941, following increasing opposition from both the general population and the clergy. But action T4 turned out to be nothing less than a “pilot project” for the extinction of millions in the concentration camps. The T4 units had thus developed the technology for killing on an “industrial scale.” It was only with this technical know-how that the total extinction of all Jews of the expanding Reich could be anticipated. Most importantly, however, this truly monstrous task required medical know-how and reliability. Almost without exception, those physicians who had worked for T4 went on to take charge of what the Nazis called the Final Solution.

While action T4 had killed thousands, its offspring would eliminate millions under the trained guidance of doctors. The role the medical profession played in the atrocities of the Third Reich was therefore critical and essential. German physicians had been involved at all levels and stages. They had developed and accepted the pseudo-science of race hygiene. They were instrumental in developing it further into applied racism. They had evolved the know-how of mass extinction. Finally, they also performed outrageously cruel and criminal experiments under the guise of scientific inquiry.

The aim of generating pure Aryans had taken precedence over the most fundamental ethical issues in medicine. German doctors had betrayed all the ideals medicine had previously embraced and had become involved in criminal activities to an extent and degree that is unprecedented in the entire history of medicine.

Ironically German science suffered the most: 16 of the Jewish refugees were later awarded Nobel prizes. Many of the brightest Jewish figures, formerly involved in German medicine, made invaluable contributions to the healthcare of the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries.

The memory of what happened during this period should fortify us against similar, future violations. Forced sterilization, and even ethnic cleansing, did not disappear from the world when 7 of the accused Germans were sentenced to death in the Nuremberg Doctor’s Tribunal. Such violations of humanity are a tragic reality even today. Understanding the greatest blot on the record of medicine could and should be a preventive measure. More importantly, perhaps, this story needs to be told and retold to honor those who became its victims.

(References can be found in the original paper)

 

 

PS

Personally, I do not need a ‘memorial day’ for remembering. I believe we must never forget.

Yes, there is a new paper on homeopathic Arnica!

And yes, it arrives at a positive conclusion.

How is this possible?

Let’s have a look.

The authors conducted a systematic review and metaanalysis, following a predefined protocol, of all studies on the use of homeopathic Arnica montana in surgery. They included all randomized and nonrandomized studies comparing homeopathic Arnica to a placebo or to another active comparator and calculated two quantitative meta-analyses and appropriate sensitivity analyses.

Twenty-three publications reported on 29 different comparisons. One study had to be excluded because no data could be extracted, leaving 28 comparisons. Eighteen comparisons used placebo controls, nine comparisons an active control, and in one case Arnica was compared to no treatment. The metaanalysis of the placebo-controlled trials yielded an overall effect size of Hedge’s g = 0.18 (95% confidence interval -0.007/0.373; p = 0.059). Active comparator trials yielded a highly heterogeneous significant effect size of g = 0.26. This is mainly due to the large effect size of non-randomized studies, which converges against zero in the randomized trials.

The authors concluded that homeopathic Arnica has a small effect size over and against placebo in preventing excessive hematoma and other sequelae of surgeries. The effect is comparable to that of anti-inflammatory substances.

This review has many remarkable (or should I say, suspect?) features, e.g.:

  • Its authors are famous (or should I say, infamous) advocates of homeopathy not known for their objectivity (including Prof Walach).
  • Some of the trials included in the analysis are unpublished conference proceedings usually only published as an abstract (ref 29).
  • Others were published in journals such as ‘Allgemeine Homoeopathische Zeitung‘ which is unlikely to manage a decent peer-review system (ref 46).
  • Some trials used Arnica in low potencies that contained active molecules, and nobody doubts that active molecules can have effects (ref 32 and 37).
  • One study seems to be a retrospective case-control study (ref 38).
  • The primary endpoints of several studies were not those evaluated in the review (e.g. ref 42).
  • One study used a combination of herbal and homeopathic arnica in the verum group which means the observed effect cannot be attributed to homeopathy (ref 31).

Perhaps the strangest feature relates to the methodology used by the review authors: “Where data were only available in graphs, data were read off the graph by enlarging the display and reading the figures with a ruler.” I have never before come across this method which must be wide open to bias.

Considering all of these odd features, I think that the small effect size over and against placebo in preventing excessive hematoma and other sequelae of surgeries reported by the review authors is most likely due to a range of factors that have nothing whatsoever to do with homeopathy.

So, does the new review show that homeopathic Arnica is “efficacious”? I don’t think so!

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the son of assassinated Senator Robert. F. Kennedy, and the nephew of President John F. Kennedy. He is famous – or rather infamous – for being outspoken in his opposition to vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Here is the relevant section from Wikipedia:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kennedy promoted multiple conspiracy theories related to COVID-19 including false claims both Anthony Fauci and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are trying to profit off a vaccine, and suggesting that Bill Gates would cut off access to money of people who do not get vaccinated, allowing them to starve. In August 2020, Kennedy appeared in an hour-long interview with Alec Baldwin on Instagram, where he touted a number of incorrect and misleading claims about vaccines and public health measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Baldwin was criticized by public health officials and scientists for allowing Kennedy’s proclamations to go unchallenged. Kennedy has promoted misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine, falsely suggesting that it contributed to the death of 86-year-old Hank Aaron and others. In February 2021 his Instagram account was blocked for “repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines.” The Center for Countering Digital Hate identified Kennedy as one of the main propagators of conspiracy theories about Bill Gates and 5G phone technology. His success as a conspiracy theorist increased his social media impact considerably; between the Spring and the Fall of 2020, his Instagram account grew from 121,000 followers to 454,000.

In November 2021, Kennedy’s book The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health was published wherein he alleges Fauci sabotaged treatments for AIDS, violated federal laws, and conspired with Bill Gates and social media companies such as Facebook to suppress any information about COVID-19 cures, to leave vaccines as the only options to fight the pandemic.[217][218] In the book, Kennedy calls Fauci “a powerful technocrat who orchestrated and executed the historic 2020 coup against Western democracy”. He claims Fauci and Bill Gates plan to prolong the pandemic and exaggerate its effects, promoting expensive vaccinations for the benefit of “a powerful vaccination cartel”.[219] The Neue Zürcher Zeitung has said of the book “…polemics alternate with chapters that pedantically seek to substantiate Kennedy’s accusations with numerous quotations and studies.”[219]

Kennedy wrote the foreword for Plague of Corruption (2020), a book by former research scientist and anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist Judy Mikovits.[220]

Kennedy appeared as a speaker at the partially violent demonstration in Berlin on August 29, 2020, where populist groups called for an end to restrictions caused by COVID-19.[221][222] His YouTube account was removed in late September 2021 for breaking the company’s new policies on vaccine misinformation

A recent analysis centered on 812,000 anti-vaccine posts shared on Facebook or Twitter between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Two-thirds of the posts were shared by what CCDH calls the “Disinformation Dozen”:

  • Joseph Mercola,
  • Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.,
  • Ty and Charlene Bollinger,
  • Sherri Tenpenny,
  • Rizza Islam,
  • Rashid Buttar,
  • Erin Elizabeth,
  • Sayer Ji,
  • Kelly Brogan,
  • Christiane Northrup,
  • Ben Tapper,
  • Kevin Jenkins.

Last week, Kennedy Jr. has surpassed himself. Addressing an anti-vaccination rally in Washington, DC on Sunday, Kennedy was reported to compare COVID-19 vaccination mandates to the Holocaust, saying that “Even in Hitler’s Germany… you could hide in the attic like Anne Frank did.”

The reaction of the official memorial of Auschwitz, the largest Nazi concentration camp in which more than 1 million people were murdered, was quick and (to my mind) justified: they accused the Kennedy Jr of “moral and intellectual decay

In (some parts of) India, lay-homeopaths, i.e. homeopaths who have not been to medical school, are now allowed to administer conventional medicines. It stands to reason that this law must create problems.

It has been reported on 22/1/2022 that a ‘doctor of homeopathy’ has been arrested for allegedly administering the wrong injection to a man, which led to his death, in Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa district, India.

Deepak Vishwakarma, who runs a clinic in Sindhi Colony, was arrested on Friday under the relevant provisions of the IPC and MP Ayurvigyan Parishad Adhiniyam, the city superintendent of police, Lalit Gathre said.

The doctor’s clinic was sealed after a complaint was lodged against him for administering a wrong injection to a trader, who died two days after taking the jab, the official stated.

During the probe, the police found that Vishwakarma, a practitioner of homeopathy, had given allopathy medicines to his patient Deepak Aartani, according to Ishwar Singh Chouhan of Moghat Road police station.

Another source reported that the patient had an infection and died two days after he was allegedly administered a wrong injection by the doctor. The paper added: This is really tragic and the fact that a doctor’s mistake cost a human life is something that just cannot be acceptable. One hopes proper steps are taken the guilty are punished. It remains to be seen what action is taken as the investigation is still underway.

A third source has this additional information: A cop Ishwar Singh Chauhan told that during the investigation it came to the fore that Deepak Vishwakarma holds a homeopathy degree and had given allopathy medicines to his patient Deepak Artani, due to which the patient contracted an infection and died.

So, the details of this tragedy are scant, too scant to be conclusive. What nevertheless seems to be clear to me is that it is a thoroughly bad idea to allow people who are not medically trained to administer medicines that they do not understand.

For all of you who, like myself, like the occasional glass or two of wine:

THERE IS GOOD NEWS!

Wine is the latest alternative measure against COVID-19.

This, at least, is what an article sent to me seems to suggest:

At the end of the year, American researchers showed in-vitro that polyphenols in grapes and wine disrupt the way the Sars-Cov2 virus that causes Covid-19 replicates and spreads.

The Taiwan Medical University found that the tannins in wine effectively inhibit the activity of two key enzymes of the virus, which can no longer penetrate cell tissue.

“Of all the natural compounds we have tested in the laboratory, tannic acid is the most effective,” said Mien-Chie Hung, a molecular biologist and president of the university, on TVBS. He also recalled the good results obtained with experimental tannic acid treatments in 2003 during the SARS pandemic.

Now I understand why I haven’t caught the bug yet, I thought to myself, while pouring a large glass of red Bordeaux, my favorite. After yet another glass, I began to feel bad. No, not because of an alcohol overdose. Because I omitted something that might be not unimportant: I should really have told you who sent me the article. It was a source entirely devoted to the promotion of wine, a source related to my wine merchant.

Ah well, I thought, pouring a further glass.

When, many hours later, I had finally sobered up, I decided to conduct a few Medline searches. This is when I found this:

Greatly encouraged, I poured another glass.

 

 

 

PS

As, in my experience, COVID deniers are not the brightest buttons in the drawer, I should point out that THIS POST IS MEANT TO BE SATIRE.

“There’s a sucker born every minute”. This phrase was allegedly coined by P. T. Barnum, an American showman of the mid-19th century pictured below. It describes the tendency of the gullible of us to believe all too readily and therefore to be easily deceived.

Gullibility can be described as a failure of social intelligence in which a person is easily tricked or manipulated into a course of action for which there is no plausible evidence. To express it positively, gullible people are naively trusting and thus fall for nonsensical propositions. This renders them easy prey for exploiters.

On this blog, we see our fair share of this phenomenon, e.g.:

  • people who are easily persuaded by anecdotes,
  • who disregard evidence
  • who fall for pseudoscience,
  • who have irrational belief systems,
  • who thrive on fallacies,
  • who cherry-pick the evidence that fits their belief,
  • who are unable to change their views in the face of evidence,
  • who interpret even contradictory facts such that they confirm their belief,
  • who have no ability to think critically,
  • who would do just about anything to avoid cognitive dissonance.

Let me give you just three well-known examples from the realm of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM).

  1. Advocates of SCAM believe that natural means safe. Yet the therapies used in SCAM are neither natural nor devoid of risks.
  2. Advocates of SCAM believe that treatments that have a long tradition of usage must be fine. Yet a long history might just signify that the therapy in question is based on obsolete principles.
  3. Advocates of integrative medicine believe that, by adding unproven therapies to our medicine bag, we might improve healthcare. Yet it is clear that such a move can only make it less effective.

If I look back on 30 years of research into SCAM, I have to say that it very much looks as though a sucker is indeed born every minute.

It was, of course, widely reported that the tennis star Djokovic refuses to get vaccinated against COVID.

Why does he insist on such a daft move?

Does he fear side effects?

No, he believes in so-called alternative medicine (SCAM)

But maybe there is another, more profane reason.

NoVax Djokovic is the main shareholder of a start-up company called ‘QuantBioRes‘. It was founded only in 2020 and aims to find cures and treatments against bacterial resistance and retroviruses, in particular Covid-19. The start-up is investigating methods of “deactivation” of Sars-CoV-2. In essence, ‘QuantBioRes’ is trying to invent a quantum-bollocks-dased SCAM that would be marketable as a replacement for the current COVID vaccines. The no vax positions of the tennis star might therefore not just be due to his love of SCAM but also to financial reasons.

It emerged that Djokovic owns an 80% stake in ‘QuantBioRes’. “At QuantBioRes, we work in utilizing unique and novel ‘Resonant Recognition Model'”. It is based on the weird notion that “certain periodicities/frequencies within the distribution of energies of free electrons along the protein are critical for protein biological function and interaction with protein receptors and other targets,” the QuantBioRes website states.

According to the Guardian, the company will “soon start testing different treatment approaches”. Prof Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases physician and antimicrobial resistance expert, said the QuantBioRes website used “fancy terms” without providing any evidence of success of the methods it promoted. “They’ve given nothing in the way of data,” he said. “People are looking out for new molecules all the time, but the website describes a way of finding a new molecule without providing any evidence of success.”

The Guardian speculates that the treatment would be akin to homeopathy but the chief executive of QuantBioRes, Ivan Loncarevic, stated: “What we do has absolutely nothing to do with homeopathy. The theory behind homeopathy is that you can transfer information from a chemical to another substance, such as water. What we do is to develop peptides with specific functionality. This is pure, classical science. Of course we are not putting our data on our website for every idiot to look at. We will soon publish an article in a scientific journal that will collect all our clinical testing.” When asked when the article will be published, Loncarevic said: “With a little luck, in two to three months, after peer review.”

I partly agree with Ivan Loncarevic: the method looks nothing like homeopathy. It seems more akin to the Lakhovski oscillator which we discussed some time ago. Whatever it is, it seems to be based on bizarre quantum bollocks and has as much chance to be an effective cure for anything as I have in winning a grand slam.

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