The Instigator
JOHNNY
Con (against)
Losing
17 Points
The Contender
Tatarize
Pro (for)
Winning
27 Points

doctors versus natural medicine

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/3/2008 Category: Health
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,271 times Debate No: 4331
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (26)
Votes (12)

 

JOHNNY

Con

why do doctors not recongnize natual medicine as an alternative?

i can understand a doctors point of view because a doctor a) has years of education versus a natural path, b.) a natural pathic doctor may have gotten there decree in half the time. But gee wiz, a doctor's interest should be protecting the pattients well being not their subscriptions....

what do you think?
Tatarize

Pro

Natural medicine is namely one thing... placebo.

The idea that doctors should advocate or encourage something which shows no signs of actually having an impact on the health of their patients is absurd. Medicine has become a remarkable force for good in the world, extending lives, fixing problem, alleviating pain and saving lives.

Certainly there was once a time in history when natural medicine was successful though not because it had any benefit, but rather it did nothing. At the time, conventional medicine included ideas like leeches and bleeding which did harm. With conventional medicine doing harm and natural medicine doing nothing, there might have been an argument. There no longer is such an argument to make. I am the first to admit we need a bit more scientific rigor in medicine, but it has long since started demonstratively helping people.

Alternative medicine is, at best, a placebo. Certainly used in conjunction with conventional medicine it isn't going to hurt. You can take some sage and some antibiotics when you are suffering from a potentially lethal infection. However, nobody should forget what is really doing the work in that situation. Similarly you can take your medicine and pray or take your medicine and cast a voodoo spell. However, the worst case scenario is that a person could opt to forgo the actually helpful conventional medicine and allow an easily cured problem to progress to a point where it is no longer easily cured.

You make it sound as if conventional doctors are simply jealous and should advocate alternative medicine for the benefit of their patients. However, I believe this is not incumbent upon them to do for the benefit of their patients because it will not benefit their patients. There are very few herbal and traditional medications which showed any actual benefit in medicine. Willow bark for example is the origin of aspirin. Aspirin is traditional medicine now strictly because it showed some tangible benefits. The only reason "alternative medicine" is still "alternative" and not simply "medicine" is because it doesn't do anything. If it did do something we'd use it.

Doctors should not advocate ineffective flim-flam pretending to be medicine.
Debate Round No. 1
JOHNNY

Con

JOHNNY forfeited this round.
Tatarize

Pro

Well, that was anticlimatic.

Doctors do not have a requirement to suggest their patients should do something shown to have no medical benefits.
Debate Round No. 2
JOHNNY

Con

JOHNNY forfeited this round.
Tatarize

Pro

This debate was anticlimatic. It promised to be a debate. But was hollow and did nothing... this was the alternative medicine of debates.
Debate Round No. 3
26 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
My fairly definitive case is to note that medical research says it doesn't exceed placebo.

1994? That was 14 years ago. Honestly, you're giving a part of a quote from some crap a decade and a half ago. The studies I cited were within the last few years (last month for the ADHD study). Most treatments for depression then and now don't tend to exceed placebo for anything but the most extreme cases. Thus, you could likewise tie the results with a sugar pill also without side effect.

Lol.

Thanks for playing. Though I love the way it pretends that hypericin is something totally amazing. Made my day.

Again, does not outperform placebo.
Posted by jellyphish 8 years ago
jellyphish
Though i tend not to debate arguments with people who can not supply a definitive case, and one most certainly is not presented here, as you discussed st. john's wort, i will offer this:
As most know the fastest rising star in herbal medicine in Germany and now the United States is the St. John's wort extract standardized to contain 0.3% of hypericin. A total of 66 million daily doses of St. John's wort extracts were prescribed by German physicians in 1994 are expected to be dramatically higher when tallied for 1995, 1996, and beyond. In fact, these German doctor's now prescribe St. John's wort extract 8 times more often than Prozac.

These doctors are knowledgeable about both medicines (they are all MD's), but clearly favor St. John's wort extract. Why? The simple answer is that St. John's wort produces equal or better results in relieving depression, but has far fewer side effect. Over 25 double-blind randomized trials involving a total of 1,757 outpatients with mild to moderately severe depression have shown St. John's wort extracts standardized for hypericin to yield excellent results in the treatment in depression with virtually no side effects.
Posted by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
Alternative medicine is no better than a placebo. Look at anything you want JAMA just published a study checking the claim that St. John Wart helps with ADHD... the results came back as no better than placebo, same for depression...

The fact is there is massive amounts of very specific tests done on a large swath of such things and to date they are found to be placebos at best. Nutritional medicine is just nutrition. I haven't heard anybody in "alternative medicine" say that exercise is one of the most useful things you can do as far as your health is concerned.

Please name something from alternative medicine which has proven effective. Beyond not out performing actual drugs, and only being as effective as placebo, most alternative medicine claims are just yanked out of their @ss. There's no science behind it, no studies to gauge the effectiveness.

Even putting the best spin on it: placebo. That's for some of the more mundane herbs and crap. The crystals and voodoo are absurd on top of being ineffective.

Lol.
Posted by jellyphish 8 years ago
jellyphish
What else could you do to not use as your argument "alternative medicine" is no better than placebo? Are you kidding? Where is the evidence for such an incredibly broad statment? And which medicine are you talking about? If you are talking about nutritional medicine, then the evidence is generally much less suspect than statistical information from the pharmaceutical industry. If you are talking about nutracitical medicine, then you simply have no justification for a claim against proper protocols, the mathematics is there, it is not a matter of speculation, it is not a matter of uninformed opinion.
Lastly, the term "alternative" is archaic, walk into Duke University or Harvard University and you will find that the inclusion of so called "alternative" medicine is common place, your argument may have held up 30 years ago when the chemical industry had the hypnosis of the country, but not today.
Posted by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
Generalities? What else could I possibly point out that everything natural medicine doesn't out perform placebo and doctors have no duty to suggest people use something that doesn't work. If a doctor wanted a placebo he or she could simply give the patient a sugar pill.
Posted by jellyphish 8 years ago
jellyphish
Was sincerely hoping for an actual debate, pro simply dropped the ball and started out poorly to begin the debate anyhow. Con threw up generalities that are far removed from reality, it would have been interesting had pro actually had the information to counter.
Posted by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
Serotonin decays typically. In fact, that's pretty much what a serotonin reuptake inhibitor does... stops it from going away to keep it in the brain longer.

The problem may well prove to be the assumption that, because depressed people lack serotonin that lack of serotonin causes depression (a pretty clear logical fallacy).

My statement was simply that serotonin levels aren't clearly a diet issue but clearly is a disruption of the typical balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Adding more serotonin may eventually prove as naive as adding light to fiber optic cables in order to improve network throughput (clearly when network throughput is high those cables have more light).

I freely admit that the mainstream medical treatment of depression is largely a failure. However, I must take umbrage at the implication you are making that you have a clue as to what you're talking about. Natural medicine can't find it's hindend with a proctoscope. Just because medicine isn't a rip-roaring success in this case doesn't suggest for a moment that natural medicine isn't a failure stacking the deck with lies and uneducated guesses. Case and point, when medicine does as well as natural medicine it is said to be an abject failure.
Posted by SnoopyDaniels 8 years ago
SnoopyDaniels
"Low serotonin levels isn't a nutritional deficiency and more aptly qualifies as a chemical imbalance."

This is typical of the thought process of most doctors, which is why they never discover the root of a problem. Where do you think that chemical imbalance comes from? It's not as if people leak serotonin out of their ears...
Posted by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
gonovice, Vitamins are typically actual medicine. Although a number of woo peddlers suggest you take a lot of them when you actually need very little. A deficiency of such, in this day and age, is quite rare. Flooding your system with vitamins is a fast route to highly expensive urine (as your body just flushes out what it doesn't use and can't use that much that fast).
Posted by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
Low serotonin levels isn't a nutritional deficiency and more aptly qualifies as a chemical imbalance. However, again, there's very little evidence that giving people more serotonin snaps them out of it. The pills seem to work but they do not out perform a placebo in any but the most extreme cases.

From whence does low neurotransmitter levels arise? We don't know. We have no clue what causes depression. However the claim that it therefore is caused by a deficiency in a nutritional sense is fallacious. It is true that we are a giant complex of biochemical reactions but it doesn't follow that therefore all maladies must be an overabundance or deficiency of some chemical. The reactions might just be wrong. There are more than a few genetic aspects which cause a large number of maladies. However, many aspects of our "reactions" vary greatly from person to person. We can see this most pronounced in our diet. Some people eat a little and get fat others can eat a great deal and stay thin. What works for one person does not necessarily work for another person. Moreover, the sheer complexity of the entire endeavor is such that we need a heuristic to sort it out. We need to find out what works and for whom does it work. These are aspects of medicine completely lost by "alternative medicine" because the aspect of testing whether something outperforms a placebo is completely alien because they have no scientific backbone. If they did, they'd simply be medicine.
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