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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Snake Oil Salesmen

The 'alternative' medicine industry is to be regulated for the first time under a new law to come in in April. This can only be a good thing. Frankly, that conventional medicine (or, as I like to call it, 'medicine') is obliged to prove its effectiveness before trying itself out on people while the alternative lot wave their crystals about willy-nilly without having to deal with pesky concepts like 'truth' or 'effectiveness' is nothing short of scandalous.
So, all good so far - if you can overlook the fact that this council is to be self-regulated (always a highly effective way of implementing change, that is) and is backed by the clearly mad but nonetheless meddling Prince Charles. On this occasion, I think we should overlook.

However, reading the following nearly caused my eyeballs to blister:

'Millions of Britons currently spend £130 million a year on complementary treatments and it is estimated that this will reach £200 million over the next four years. Among the practices to be covered by the scheme would be aromatherapy, reflexology, massage, nutrition, shiatzu, reiki, naturopathy, yoga, homoeopathy, cranial osteopathy and the Alexander and Bowen techniques.
Research also shows that more than two thirds (68 per cent) of people in the UK believe that complementary medicine is as valid as conventional treatment.'

A majority of Britains believe that AROMATHERAPY is as valid as 'conventional treatments' like radiotherapy, you're telling me?

That makes me very angry. Very, very angry indeed.

Tell you what would calm me down a bit, though: if the government passed another new law requiring all 68% of those who believe in the validity of medicinal snake oil and the like to opt for crystal healing or Reiki as treatment when they get sick, or, say, run over by a large truck.

When my time comes, believe you me, I'm getting it scanned, cut out, burnt off, irradiated, lasered, you name it - whatever the terribly-untrendy medical establishment can throw at me, I'll take it. I quite like being alive.

And if the other cretinous 68% of the general public is off being massaged, sniffing oils or looking for fairies at the bottom of the garden at the time, it stands to reason there'll be no waiting list.


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