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

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by jm - Friday 16 November 2018 15:28
Jashak, I've told you my opinion on the matter - it's not my business to dictate morals/values for others. And yes, probably best to end this. 🙂

by Jashak - Friday 16 November 2018 09:56
jm, I see no point in having a discussion with a person that has no opinion on the matter at hand, so I think this is a good (maybe even a bit late?) time to end our exchange. Before, allow some final remarks to illustrate what I mean with “moral high ground”. The magnitude of the effect that religion has on daily live will of course depend on factors like age, gender and home country. I will leave you with two examples, one personal and one general. • Many years ago, I had a Muslim colleague from Egypt who did part of her PhD project in our lab. I once asked her about the state of religion in Egypt. She said that nearly everybody was a Sunnite Muslim. I asked if other religions were also present and she replied that yes, to her knowledge, some Christs were also practicing their religion in Egypt. Then I asked: ”How about persons who do not believe in any god?” She said something like: “Oh, no! Such persons do not exist. And how could they? They would have no soul and be on one level with dogs.” As you will understand, I did not mention that I was one of them. • Physician-assisted suicide is illegal in most countries in the world (including my home country Germany), even if a terminally ill person will have to go through a lot of pain and suffering during the process of dying. In Germany, both Protestant and Roman Catholic Church (having a strong influence on politics) reject physician-assisted suicide. One year ago, a person very close to me died from lung cancer. Although I do not know if she would have chosen the option of physician-assisted suicide to end her suffering (the option was obviously not available), I know that I would like to have this option if I was affected by such a disease. So what is the moral justification that religion interferes with such private matters of persons that might not even share the belief? It is: God is the creator of all life; therefore God is the judge when to end life. That´s what I call moral high ground, and for no good reason at all. Feel free to continue our exchange once you have formed an opinion on the matter, but then I prefer to do this privately via Email.

by jm - Thursday 15 November 2018 18:09
"Because traditional medicine has been around for long, it deserves respect" Nope. You have a habit of reading whatever you want/need into things. Which, hey, also a trait shared by fundamentalists!

by jm - Thursday 15 November 2018 17:59
Jashak, Your earlier comment implies that respect is only given after ‘correct’ deeds have been demonstrated. You even rephrased, implying the same thing. Which I’ve never heard from a secular humanist. Which is why I commented. “...“basic setting”...but that I immediately withdraw this respect once he/she ACTS against basic, objective moral rules…” That’s competely different, and a normal debate I hear between SH’s - one side arguing that respect is given regardless, other side respect is rightfully withdrawn, or can be 'lost', etc. “...you avoid taking a stand…” No, I told you I have no stand on that matter. My stand is that it’s none of my business. I don’t know what a moral high ground would conceivably be. The whole matter is above my pay grade.

by Jashak - Thursday 15 November 2018 16:47
Thank you for the heads-up, James, I didn´t plan to spend (i.e. waste) much more time on this exchange anyways. 😉

by James - Thursday 15 November 2018 15:26
Jashak, in case you have missed some exchanges, take a look at the thread subset starting after that comment (or higher above, if you wish). This may help you put jm in context, especially his take on the multiple interpretations of the word "evidence" (except for the literal one, of course). This comment also begins a rather intricate exchange that can help you put jm's purposes of posting on this blog into perspective as well. Jm enjoys having endless possibilities to interpret life, many systems of medicine, many fantasies. Why hide behind a single reality when you can believe whatever you like. The posts and comments are full of what constitutes ‘real’ medicine, promotion of universal conformity to a particular model for understanding and organizing natural phenomena, re-defining terms used by other systems, etc. This is a fundamentalist site. Not a criticism, it’s just what it is. This is honestly a local maximum for jm (though I wouldn't go so far as to call it a global one). There is no "real" medicine model, as jm does not want to understand, only countless fake ones, and a neat one that stands out merely because it searches, traces, accepts and tries to correct its errors to the maximum possible extent. We call this evidence-based medicine as a system. Sounds funny, but we don't take it personally, we make the best choice. The only case evidence-based medicine stretches a bit too far is when it steps into other fake-medicine territory to warn patients of lack of treatment efficacy and this is the curse of evidence-based medicine. It does not believe in uninformed patient choice, only informed one. (And then you have jm redefining "information", of course). You may understand, then, Jashak, where jm's phrase "redefining terms used by other systems" stems from. For jm, medicine, as everything else in this world, is a philosophically dominant "First come first served" system. Because traditional medicine has been around for long, it deserves respect and if you don't agree with it or criticize it, you are religious fundamentalist and you don't even have the benefit of the doubt. To jm, its observations are never criticism, it's pure reality. Jm sure knows how to reshape reality!

by Jashak - Thursday 15 November 2018 11:05
jm, don´t worry, I am quite clear about my position and can´t see how I contradict myself. Explain to me why it should be a contradiction that my “basic setting” is to respect a person as a fellow human being (who has the right to have any OPINION/BELIEF that he/she wants), but that I immediately withdraw this respect once he/she ACTS against basic, objective moral rules (e.g. hurt or kill fellow humans)? Furthermore, you are off in that you compare my original post with someone “knocking on other peoples´ doors”. In your analogy, R. Guerreiro would be the one knocking and I would be the one responding to his claim. And again, you avoid taking a stand on the matter that I was addressing, which basically is that religious persons often try to occupy the moral high ground simply because of their belief.

by jm - Thursday 15 November 2018 09:58
Jashak, Thanks for the rephrase, but it really wasn’t necessary. I can see why you’re not sure if I agree or disagree with your position. I’m not sure if YOU agree or disagree with your position :). Can you see how you’re contradicting yourself? "As a humanist, it should be obvious that I think that EVERY person deserves to be respected as a HUMAN BEING, no matter what they believe.” "In my opinion, a person deserves my respect when his/her deeds go along with ideals that are of objective moral valuable, such as increasing human well-being.” I’m sorry you see my comments as smug or deprecatory - that’s not my intent. Re-read the last couple of paragraphs of your initial response to R. Guerreiro, as objectively as you can. If it helps, imagine someone knocking on your door and saying that to you - substitute in some sort of religious book/youtube video for the ones you recommended, if you like. My point of view (you seem interested) is that I don’t really care what other people believe. Not my circus, not my monkeys. But I've learned that it's a good idea to be a bit wary of fundamentalists. Particularly fundamentalist evidence based medicine practitioners. They can be lethal. There's probably a reason to be wary of fundamentalist secular humanists...but I'm not sure what that reason would be.

by Jashak - Thursday 15 November 2018 00:05
jm: • I don´t consider myself to be a “humanist missionary” (if such a thing exists), but responded to a comment from R. Guerreiro, which I think is not justified. • He/she posted that “Catholics deserve respect”. As a humanist, it should be obvious that I think that EVERY person deserves to be respected as a HUMAN BEING, no matter what they believe. This is a decisive difference compared to religious fundamentalists, which is why your initial comment is off. To be clear: I don’t think that belief in any supernatural being should be a justification for respect, which obviously was what R. Guerreiro insinuated. Imo, “Catholics deserve respect” is the same as e.g. saying that “fairy-believers deserve respect”. • Yes, I think that humanist values are a far better moral fundament than stories from old books (which, btw, are full of clearly immoral stories). • Since you obviously (and maybe deliberately) misunderstood the sentence that you cited from my initial comment, let me rephrase it for you: In my opinion, a person deserves my respect when his/her deeds go along with ideals that are of objective moral valuable, such as increasing human well-being. • After all this back-and forth, I am not even sure if you agree or disagree with my position, because you avoid revealing your own point of view. I find this behavior odd, and the fact that you prefer posting on this blog instead of continuing our exchange in a private setting leads me to believe that you just want to make smug, deprecatory comments and are not really interested in the issue at hand.

by Leigh Jackson - Friday 16 November 2018 12:58
People are more likely to try something if they don't have to pay for it. Who knew that? CAM proponents - for that is what this group of "researchers" are - think we should consider making it available on the NHS. Well, I'll be damned!

by Christine Rose - Friday 16 November 2018 12:30
Why do they have yoga and Pilates on this list? Yoga as practiced in the US (and probably the UK) has little in common with the ascetic and meditation practices of the the original. The exercises most people think of are actually gymnastics borrowed from Europe. There's no woo in real Pilates. It's a series of exercises designed to work smaller muscles which most people, especially athletes, don't use much in ordinary life It's somewhat outdated so not necessarily the best possible way to correct muscle imbalances and prevent injury.

by Richard Rawlins - Friday 16 November 2018 10:13
As is nearly always the case with this type of article, the authors conflate some modalities which probably do provide benefit for some patients, with those which certainly do not (other than non-specific placebo effects). This skews their results from the get go, and the publication of such an article merely serves to strengthen the widely held opinion that this journal promotes quackery. Sigh. Massage can help some musculo-skeletal conditions; some osteopaths do massage, but unless it can be shown that manipulating the skeleton has an effect on tissue vascularity, that ain’t osteopathy; likewise, unless adjustments can be shown to have released ‘innate intelligence’, that ain’t chiropractic; yoga and meditation, shorn of their esoteric elements and fake rationales, do help many folks, as does hypnosis. (Indeed, I contend that placebo effects generated by CAM modalities result from auto-hypnosis, facilitated by an empathic practitioner.) The modalities in above paragraph should not be regarded as ‘CAM’ as they do have support from a reasonable evidence base. The others listed do not. To conflate them is mischievous (and unethical) – as the authors must well know.

by Trent Mozingo - Friday 16 November 2018 12:52
Yes. you are facetious. Not sure if they teach that in medical school, or you just pick up some undeniable entitlement on your own. I still can not figure out why MDs are so hell bent on discrediting wholistic medicine. I am aware that hate is taught, so maybe this is the case. You dream to feel superior, maybe you need to see a psychologist about that. Not my specialty. Your anger is noted though. It is a little unsettling though. Life is too short to try and be a keyboard warrior. No real satisfaction can come from that. Maybe you should get a massage, reiki, or just talk to someone. A wise person once told me. It is a lonely feeling at the top of the mountain. Maybe this is where you have found yourself. My book is not about the human "back" . Wait. Why are their quotations around that word? are you implying the human "back" is theoretical?

by Michael Kenny - Friday 16 November 2018 03:42
@deeptrench: perhaps if you have the capacity you might look up the definition of ‘mocking’....and if your mother allows you a few extra minutes on her computer; facetious. Words (such as Doctor or healthcare)...actually have standardized meanings and denotations. As you write your book you should consider that. Perhaps if I use them in a sentence: “The MD referred to Trench as “Doctor” ....but everyone could tell he was just being facetious”....and “a DC degree makes a mockery out of a real doctorate-degree but their arrogance makes them unwilling and unable to recognize that fact”. I’m sure Stuart McGill and Dr. Bogduk are anxiously awaiting your profound insights if you are authoring a book regarding the human “back”......unless of course you’re delving into a more appropriate topic for a chiroquacker....a book of children’s fables?

by trent mozingo - Thursday 15 November 2018 13:53
No, mike. I was mocking you. You can surely do better than "Trench" though.

by Michael Kenny - Thursday 15 November 2018 12:25
@Trench: thank you. Knowing the effort a chiroquacker goes to, to consistently find gullible-marks, make up profound-sounding “evidence”, adjusting-theatrics, jargon and fake credentials suggesting “real-doctor” status....I take that as a compliment. As I’m sure you intended it.

by trent mozingo - Thursday 15 November 2018 12:21
Awe. You googled me. Thats adorable. Keep reading. You might learn a thing or two. Well, maybe, not sure you even have the capacity. Any chance that you will note my website on here? All traffic is good traffic. Ya know? I have a book coming out in a month or so too. I hope you get a copy. Pretty enlightening stuff really. Carry on.

by Frank Collins - Wednesday 14 November 2018 22:38
@trent mozingo on Wednesday 14 November 2018 at 17:06 I am surprised you think you can take a superior air given the nonsense on your website and the lie you use evidence-based treatments. If their is any credible evidence for anything you do, I, for one, would love to see it. Won't hold my breath though, trenty.

by bill jewell - Friday 16 November 2018 03:41
Excellent reply Peter!!!

by Dr Julian Money-Kyrle - Friday 16 November 2018 00:13
I think you were a bit unfair on Dr Rigg, who was recommending taking a supplement equivalent to the recommended daily dose of Vitamin D, on the grounds that many in the UK are deficient, and that it is required for normal calcium metabolism, and also that it is important not to overdose. She did not make any claims about the effects of vitamin D on cancer growth, but only mentioned that there was a theory to that effect. Indeed, it seems to me that vitamin D must do something pretty important over and above its function in calcium metabolism, as it is thought to be the reason why those in Northern latitudes evolved their fair skin, even though this gives an increased susceptibility to skin cancer. I would be very interested to see how future research pans out here. I am rather worried about my colleague in Guildford, Chris Eden, and Dr Myhill in Wales taking such large doses of vitamin C. There is robust research going back decades showing that it can substantially increase the risk of cancer. How an orthopaedic surgeon can believe that a collagen supplement is in any way beneficial baffles me. He should know that, along with other proteins, it is digested and broken down into its constituent amino acids, and so is no different from ingesting any other kind of protein. Personally I prefer my collagen in the form of slow-cooked casseroles. As a cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist in a large specialist unit, I would expect Glyn Thomas to be very familiar with the effects of magnesium on cardiac rhythm and also with relevant research. The paper you quoted in refutation seems irrelevant; it was a pilot study with the stated aim of assessing the feasibility of doing a larger scale trial looking at magnesium supplementation and atrial fibrillation, and they concluded that their methods were workable in such a trial, both in terms of compliance and in the supplements being effective in raising serum magnesium levels. Dr Thomas's description of suffering from "an extra heartbeat" does not to my mind conjure up atrial fibrillation at all, and from what he said I would imagine that he is suffering from frequent extrasystole, which can be ventricular or supraventricular, and which can be uncomfortable but not dangerous. This is his area of specialist expertise, and if he is taking magnesium supplements he probably has good reason for it. Of course many of these supplements are important in the treatment of other condition. For instance the cytotoxic drug cisplatin causes magnesium loss through the renal tubule and supplementation is routinely given intravenously. I believe high doses of vitamin C are used in the treatment of certain kinds of poisoning where oxidising agents have been ingested. I was also interested to read of a study recently looking at the problem of restoring normal gut flora after antibiotics, and a probiotic supplement was found to replace the normal flora, slowing down recovery; the most effective measure was to give a preparation of bacteria derived from the patient's own stools. I would imagine the Daily Mail's choice of doctors was a matter of rounding up the usual suspects (i.e. those who have previously been sources on other health-related topics).

by Edzard - Thursday 15 November 2018 15:51
maybe they did not find any scientist who take supplements?

by has - Thursday 15 November 2018 14:00
It goes without saying that most doctors are not scientists. Can’t imagine why #DailyFail would consult the former, not the latter. #ScienceOfHandwaveology #PrimarySourcesOrGTFO BTW, dunno about the others, but MyHill certainly (notoriously) has form.

by Jonathon Spode - Thursday 15 November 2018 23:28
News reports today of Acupuncture and Homeopathy to be banned in Spain. Meanwhile in the UK people are seriously misinformed about the racket that is acupuncture. My ex-partner has spent thousands of pounds attempting to become an acupuncturist, through a college in Reading, which offers a degree in acupuncture. The degree is accredited by an organisation calling itself the "British Acupuncture Accreditation Board" which operates out of the same address as the similarly official sounding "British Acupuncture Council". There must be something fishy going on at this address where one company accredits degrees from the schools that supply members to the other trading entity. Upon qualification, it became apparent that there is no legislation covering the practice of sticking needles into people! An acupuncturist would need a qualification to work in the NHS, but she couldn't get a job in the NHS with these qualifications - it prefers doctors and nurses. Loans were taken out - tens of thousands of pounds spent to arrive in a similar professional standing as she had before "training". Fake news!! Healthy lifestyle press releases peddled as news or information in the papers and online have bought forth an environment where innocent people are drawn to pursuing a career that seems meaningful or helpful to others. Sadly, said career does not exist. Her classmates had similar experiences and could not create even a basic subsistence living as self employed acupuncturists.The whole acupuncture scheme in this country reeks of exploitation, but for some reason journalists don't tell this story. Even "Watchdog" type TV programmes which should be investigating these cons are more likely to present an item with a theme of "acupuncture works, needs more evidence". A sad state of affairs.

by Björn Geir - Wednesday 14 November 2018 23:46
This may be the story: https://www.gpposner.com/rosenfeld_sram.html Let's see if I can post the photo here: https://imgur.com/a/XD3q3S9 Too a surgeon (me) this certainly looks faked.

by Michael Kenny - Thursday 15 November 2018 14:12
Perhaps if you are still in the mood to send a birthday wish next year to another narcissistic, highly educated no-nothing, conniving-fraud, undeserving billionaire figure-head of a powerful western democracy...Trump was born on June 14th.

by Brick wall - Wednesday 14 November 2018 23:35
I saw the same thing and my first thought after reading this article was to post here, you beat me too it! Critical thinking and consistency are obviously not his strong suit. I almost thought he sounded reasonable in the interview on climate change but knowing his history and specifically his views on homeopathy I found it hard to take him seriously. It is a credibility issue.

by Edzard - Wednesday 14 November 2018 21:26
THANKS yes, you can call me lots of things, but sycophant is not amongst them.

by Kevin Smith - Wednesday 14 November 2018 18:56
Haha, what a brilliant open letter to HRH, on this day when all else we hear about the man from the media is simpering obsequious nonsense.

by Edzard - Wednesday 14 November 2018 21:24
https://edzardernst.com/2012/12/ad-hominem-attacks-are-signs-of-victories-of-reason-over-unreason/

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