Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has resurrected the antivax claim that the childhood vaccine schedule has never been tested in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with a saline placebo controls (and therefore the vaccine schedule is unsafe). This is an old and deceptive antivax half-truth that ignores both what constitutes a scientifically valid placebo and the ethical requirements for RCTs.
Thanks to RFK Jr. the deceptive claim that the childhood vaccine schedule has never been tested in a randomized controlled trial with a saline placebo control is making the rounds again.This is an old and deceptive antivax half-truth that ignores both what constitutes a scientifically valid placebo and the ethical requirement that RCTs have clinical equipoise.
Professor Fabrizio Benedetti is the most famous and almost certainly also the most influential researcher investigating the physiology of placebo effects. In a recent commentary, he asks whether placebo research is fueling quackery, as quacks co-opt its results. The answer to that question is certainly yes. A better question is: How do supporters of science counter the placebo narrative promoted by quacks, in which placebos represent the “power of the mind to heal the body”?
As results from randomized clinical trials show that alternative medicine is nothing more than placeboe, quacks like to argue that they are “harnessing the power of placebo” with their methods and that placebos have real healing effect. They’ve even gone so far as to make up a genomics-based concept: The placebome. But is there such a thing as the placebome?
Meet Dr. Jason Fung. Dr. Fung is unhappy with skeptics and thinks they’re hypocrites behaving like religious fanatics. Unfortunately for him, his arguments are a combination of the worst methodolatry of evidence-based medicine combined with rants against conventional medicine and a defense of quackery.