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Medicine Politics Quackery

Lowering the bar for traditional Chinese medicine for ideology and profit

In the 1950s, Chairman Mao Zedong began the “integration” of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) into real medicine. Last year, the Chinese government passed a bill to promote the sale of TCM products. This. year, we see what that means.

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Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Politics Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

In the age of Donald Trump, vaccine policy is becoming politicized, with potentially deadly consequences (revisited)

The usual stereotype of an antivaxer is a hippy dippy left wing granola cruncher. The case of Texas shows that increasingly the antivaccine movement is right wing. Worse, it’s becoming more political and harder for Republican legislators to ignore. I fear vaccine science is becoming as politicized as climate science, with results disastrous for public health.

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Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Politics Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

The new Secretary of Health and Human Services is a member of a fringe medical organization. Here’s what that means.

I’m always hesitant to write about matters that are more political than scientific or medical, although sometimes the sorts of topics that I blog about inevitably require it (e.g., the 21st Century Cures Act, an act that buys into the myth that to bring “cures” to patients faster we have to neuter the FDA and […]

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Bioethics Clinical trials Medicine Politics

The 21st Century Cures Act: Still alive, and still poised to endanger patients

it was less than a year ago that I described a bill wending its way through Congress called the 21st Century Cures Act “old vinegary wine in a new bottle.” The reason I characterized the bill that way was because it really was nothing new and it rested on a very old fallacy, namely that […]

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Medicine Skepticism/critical thinking Surgery

Hubris versus skepticism: The case of neurosurgeon Ben Carson

As a surgeon and skeptic, I find neurosurgeon turned presidential candidate Ben Carson to be particularly troubling. I realize that I’ve said this before, but it’s hard for me not to revisit his strange case given that the New York Times just ran a rather revealing profile of him over the weekend, part of which […]

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