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Is alternative medicine effective? Show more Show less

Complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products for diagnosis, treatment and/or prevention which are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. Complementary means to improve the effect of something and suggests a treatment that complements mainstream, orthodox treatment, whilst alternative means instead of. However, the terms are often used interchangeably.

Yes, alternative medicine is effective Show more Show less

Alternative medicine has proven to be effective and reaches those who may not trust mainstream medicine.
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Alternative medicine helps those who distrust the mainstream

Alternative medicine appeals to people with a distrust of authority or belief in conspiracy theories.
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Context

The Argument

With many diseases now curable we are left with a profile of multiple long-term health conditions that cannot be cured, only managed. People therefore are looking for alternative treatment. Society has increasingly embraced the desirability of natural and organic things, and CAM appeals to these ideals. The lack of health care coverage in USA increases the chances of people disliking traditional medicine as they are less familiar with it and associate it with a system that oppresses them. Similarly, 80% of people in developing countries cannot afford the most basic medical procedures, drugs, and vaccines so are drawn to cheaper, more available care.[1] This is supported by the rise of disinformation allowed by the internet where truth and quackery carry equal weight. The Big Pharma conspiracy theory suggests pharmaceutical companies, regulators and politicians are secretly working in consort against the public interest[2] and are withholding effective treatments and cures to line their own pockets, or developing diseases in order to sell their products.

Counter arguments

Far from being natural and organic, CAM is a multi-billion dollar industry with strong political lobby groups and clever marketing tapping into the desire for nature. In a lightly regulated market it is relatively easy be highly profitable. CAM that involve oral supplements are equally as toxic as conventional medicine – without the checks and balances to identify them.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Traditional medicine is associated with oppressive systems. [P2] Alternative medicine works for those who do not trust these oppressive systems.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Alternative medicine does not work outside of these oppressive paradigms.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. http://downloads.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/376327.pdf
  2. https://journal.emwa.org/media/2008/2047480613z2e000000000142.pdf

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This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Apr 2020 at 08:46 UTC