Sample records for quackery

  1. A quackery with a difference

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wahlberg, Ayo


    in which regulatory authorities in the UK have come to address what is invariably described as a ‘growing interest in CAM’, I will show how the problem of quackery today is increasingly located in an ethical field of practitioner competency, qualifications, conduct, responsibility and personal professional...... health. Yet, in this paper, I argue that this is only one form that the problem of ‘quackery’ has taken in the past two centuries or so in the United Kingdom. Just as Roy Porter showed how the mid-19th century professionalization of medicine gave rise to a ‘quackery with a difference’ as a whole range...

  2. Listening to Quackery: Reading John Wesley's Primitive Physic in an Age of Health Care Reform. (United States)

    Skinner, Daniel; Schneider, Adam


    This article uses a reading of John Wesley's Primitive Physic, or An Easy and Natural Method of Curing Most Diseases (1747) to resist the common rejection-often as "quackery"-of Wesley's treatments for common maladies. We engage Wesley not because he was right but because his approach offers useful moments of pause in light of contemporary medical epistemology. Wesley's recommendations were primarily oriented towards the categories of personal responsibility and capability, but he also sought to empower individuals-especially the poor-with the knowledge to safely and affordably treat maladies of their own. We leverage Primitive Physic to rethink contemporary medical knowledge production, especially as sanctioned by randomized clinical trials and legitimate views of experience and contemporary institutions such as the AMA. Ultimately, we suggest that the medical humanities has a key role to play in mining the discarded and dismissed for what they can tell scholars about medical knowledge.

  3. Dispensers, obeah and quackery: medical rivalries in post-slavery British Guiana. (United States)

    De Barros, Juanita


    This paper examines the ambiguous place of medical assistants-dispensers-in a post-slavery British Caribbean colony, British Guiana, from the end of slavery in the 1830s to the early twentieth century. Although the latter were crucial to the functioning of the colonial medical system, local physicians resented them, complaining about the economic threat they posed and at times condemning them as quacks. These attacks were part of a wider discussion about the composition of the medical profession and the role of medical auxiliaries in colonial society, and to an extent, they echoed debates conducted in other jurisdictions in this period. But in the British Caribbean, this discussion was significantly different. There, long-standing views about obeah-an Afro-Creole medico-religious practice-as a particularly dangerous and uncivilised type of quackery was part of the discursive context. That those participating in this debate included African-descended physicians whose arrival in the medical profession was recent and contested demonstrates the vexed and complex nature of professionalisation in a post-slavery society.

  4. Diplomat/certified knowledge alternatives in the public scene: an approximation to the quackery from the written press of the cities of Córdoba and Buenos Aires, Argentina in the 1920s

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Dolores Rivero


    Full Text Available This paper aims to study how the written press of the cities of Córdoba and Buenos Aires (Argentina defined the "continuous advance of quackery and charlatanry" at different times of 1920s. In a context of limited national historiography related to the study of the empirical practices, we want to probe this problem in two different geographic spaces that formed part, —even today— of a country with strong regional inequalities. We wonder how journalistic representations defined "quackery" as a puzzle whose pieces refer to the State, graduate professionals, the society and the empirical healers themselves. In our reconstruction, we recognize that these discourses were influenced by the editorial course and the ideological affiliation to which the newspapers of two of the most important metropolis of Argentina asserted. Based on a qualitative methodology, we put into an analytical perspective a set of news with the aim to rescue "voices and looks" that contributed to build the empirical practices of heal as a social problem of the public sphere during the years of study.

  5. [Dutch parliament legitimizes harmful quackery]. (United States)

    van Dam, Frits S A M; Renckens, Cees N M


    The Dutch parliament has recently accepted a tax law in which certain groups of alternative therapists can be exempt from VAT. To be eligible for this VAT exemption, the disciplines to which the therapists belong have to meet certain training requirements. In this article it is contended, in agreement with the Royal College of Physicians in the UK, that statutory regulation is inappropriate for disciplines whose therapies are neither of proved benefit nor appropriately tested. It legitimizes harmful therapies. This is illustrated by two serious accidents, previously described in this journal, caused by a chiropractor and a craniosacral therapist.

  6. Disclosure of the Quackery: Testing of the Bactericidal Action of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    ... supposed to have an effect on the ''structure, vitality and memory of water''. .... 8 h, including the effect on the initial microbial load (0 interval) of samples of water, ..... Consciousness: 3rd Int. Conf. on Cognitive Science- ISBN 961-6303-27-9 ...

  7. Disclosure of the quackery: Testing of the bactericidal action of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The obtained results indicate a fraud: bactericidal effect is rather a result of photocatalytic action of a hidden component used on purpose in the production of glass or subsequently applied by the use of nanotechnology (possibly antimony trioxide or titanium oxide) than of the so-called ''orgon and hydronic technology''.

  8. Making medicine scientific: empiricism, rationality, and quackery in mid-Victorian Britain. (United States)

    Weatherall, M W


    This paper discusses the strategies used to construct scientific medicine in mid-Victorian Britain. An opening section considers why it was thought desirable to create a properly scientific medicine, and outlines the empirical and rational bases of the medical establishment's projects for this. The bulk of the paper concerns an alternative approach to making medicine scientific--that put forward by certain advocates of homoeopathy--and how this approach was excluded from those arenas where scientific medicine was being created, and thereby made unscientific. This process is illustrated by the clash between homoeopathy and establishment medicine that occurred in mid-Victorian Cambridge. The final section briefly considers the complementary process of educating the public in what was properly scientific medicine, and what was not, and suggests that the processes of building boundaries to exclude competing practitioners, while keeping patients inside, created the space in which modern scientific medicine has flourished so successfully.

  9. [Freezing umbilical-cord blood and bone marrow for one's own use: present-day quackery?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Braat, D.D.M.; Mummery, C.L.; Schattenberg, A.V.M.B.; Borst-Eilers, E.


    In the Netherlands, the practice of private freezing and banking of umbilical-cord blood is increasing. In a questionnaire, Dutch midwives and gynaecologists were asked about their attitude towards cord-blood collection if asked to perform this after delivery. The response rate was 35% (125/356) and

  10. Physiatrie and German maternal feminism: Dr. Anna Fischer-Dückelmann critiques academic medicine. (United States)

    Meyer, Paulette


    Alternative medicine and reform strategies made Anna Fischer-Dückelmann a most controversial, notorious, and widely read women doctor before World War I. She published a dozen titles in 13 languages asserting that national well-being depended on maternal prowess. To her critics, Fischer-Dückelmann's commitment to medical self-help and practices of Physiatrie amounted to medical quackery. Her career has been largely unexamined, yet her feminist critiques and social concerns are not far removed from modern social medicine. For this pioneering doctor, treating physical and emotional ills and promoting the health of families were first steps toward healing the divisions of a world at war.

  11. Gustave Flaubert, Charles Dickens, and Isaac Pulvermacher's "magic band". (United States)

    Waits, Robert K


    Around 1850, Isaac L. Pulvermacher (1815-1884) joined the ranks of so-called "galvanists" who had, for nearly a century, been touting the shocks and sparks of electricity as a miracle cure for all ills, including neurological complaints such as palsy and hemiplegia. The famed authors, Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), in France, and Charles Dickens (1812-1870), in England, although contemporaries, apparently never met or corresponded. But during their lives, they both became aware of Pulvermacher and his patented Hydro-Electric Chains, claimed to impart vigor and cure nearly every complaint. Pulvermacher's chains made a cameo appearance in Madame Bovary (1857), Flaubert's controversial (and most successful) novel. Among Dickens's last letters (1870) was an order for I. L. Pulvermacher and Company's "magic band." Since the Victorian age, electrical and magnetic cures, for better or worse, continue to be products of both the medical profession and quackery. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. A Course in Science and Pseudoscience (United States)

    Taylor, Richard


    A new course at Hockaday, Science and Pseudoscience, examines what we know, how we know it, and why we get fooled so often and so easily. This is a course in which we measure things we thought we understood and use statistical analysis to test our understanding. We investigate extraordinary claims through the methods of science, asking what makes a good scientific theory, and what makes scientific evidence. We examine urban myths, legends, bad science, medical quackery, and plain old hoaxes. We analyze claims of UFOs, cold fusion, astrology, structure-altered water, apricot pit cures, phlogiston and N-rays, phrenology and orgonomy, ghosts, telekinesis, crop circles and the Bermuda Triangle -- some may be true, some are plainly false, and some we're not really sure of. We develop equipment and scientific techniques to investigate extra-sensory perception, precognition, and EM disturbances.

  13. Paranormal health claims. (United States)

    Skrabanek, P


    Faith in paranormal cures has always been the last hope of many sufferers from chronic or incurable diseases. Magico-religious rituals of healing are still around, but some have been replaced by pseudo-scientific systems, thinly disguising old superstitions in new obscurantism, more appealing to the half-educated. In medical quackery, inventiveness seems to be limitless, and only the main paranormal healing systems can be reviewed here. The increasing popularity of 'alternative' healing indicates the extent of dissatisfaction with dehumanising aspects of modern, technological medicine and its preoccupation with curing the curable at the expense of caring for the incurable. This leaves the sufferers, and also healthy people labelled with non-existent diseases, bleeding prey for the sharks roving the seas of medical ignorance.

  14. Embracing Pedagogical Pluralism:An Educator's Case for (at Least Public School Choice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J. Ferrero


    Full Text Available Pedagogical and curricular beliefs and commitments are expressions of deeper philosophical and ideological worldviews that empirical research can sometimes modify but not ultimately eliminate. The pluralism these views produce is reasonable in that they all represent plausible interpretations of liberal-republican values and professional standards of practice; they should be granted some room to flourish under a system of carefully regulated autonomy and choice. Three objections to a conception of school choice grounded in a notion of reasonable pluralism among educational doctrines are addressed: 1 that it would undermine educators' efforts to secure status for themselves as professionals by admitting that “best practices” in education offer rough guidance at best; 2 that it would leave parents and students vulnerable to quackery; 3 that it abandons the common school tradition and its aspirations. I conclude with an examination of why the conceptual basis on which a society designs a system of choice makes a difference.

  15. Cardiac risk assessment: when and who? [Retrospectroscope]. (United States)

    Valentinuzzi, M E; Arini, P D; Laciar, E; Bonomini, M P; Correa, R O


    Think about the above lines taken from the Old Testament: At 130 years of age, Adam begat a son and at 800 he kept going, quitting this earthly life at 930. These numbers surpass by far the limits our current experience teaches us, however, perhaps a life span into the hundreds of years is ? What if, in the future, science were to do away with disease? What then would cause people to die: accidents, killings, wars? How old would old age be? Aging has always been a hot topic for research (with considerable quackery, too). For example, animals with a slow metabolism tend to live longer than those with a fast metabolism. Compare the average life span of a mouse with that of a turtle. Apparently, meditators are able to slow their metabolism down [1].

  16. Typhoid ileal perforation: a 13-year experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Poras Chaudhary


    Full Text Available Typhoid fever is endemic in many developing countries with a high rate of complications. Aim of this study is to analyse epidemiological features, clinical presentations, complications and therapeutic outcomes of enteric perforation peritonitis diagnosed and treated in our hospital. Records of total number of 646 patients, who presented with perforation peritonitis due to enteric fever in the surgical emergency unit of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, New Delhi between January 2001 and December 2013, were reviewed retrospectively. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze the data. Out of 646 patients, 62 (9.59% presented in shock. Stomal, peristomal, local and systemic complications were high in these patients. Primary closure was done in 212 (33.12 patients, primary ileostomy was created in 410 (64.06 patients, and resection and anastomosis was done in 24 (3.75 patients. Thirteen patients (2.01% died of typhoid intestinal perforation. To prevent complications of typhoid fever, in addition to control sanitation, it is also important to control quackery and malpractices. Awareness and education about the disease, its nature and complications will also be of great help.

  17. What does quality maternity care mean in a context of medical pluralism? Perspectives of women in Nigeria (United States)

    Izugbara, Chimaraoke O; Wekesah, Frederick


    Abstract User priorities regarding quality care in contexts of medical pluralism are poorly documented. Drawing on group and individual interviews with women, we interrogate ideas of quality maternity care in the context of Nigeria’s medical pluralism. We found complex utilization patterns for conventional, complementary and alternative maternity care services as well as ideas of quality maternity care that stress effective coordination and integration of different typologies of maternity health services; socially sensitive and truthful providers; and socioeconomic, physical and parochial forms of safety. Informal providers were the commonly reported source of maternal health services in the study. Maternal health services in the country were also generally viewed as poor quality, characterized by pervasive abuse, quackery and lack of commitment to the needs and sensitivities of women. Convenience, availability and affordability of maternal health services, as well as sociocultural factors were major influences on women’s use of services. Results demonstrate the embeddedness of women’s quality of care notions in the vast socioeconomic inequities that typify Nigeria’s particular form of poorly regulated medical pluralism, raising need for strategies to strengthen the delivery, coordination and supervision of maternal health services in the country. PMID:29036530

  18. If it quacks like a duck: reviewing health care providers' speech restrictions under the first prong of Central Hudson. (United States)

    Fultz, Shawn L


    The First Amendment protects the speech of health care providers. This protection can limit states' abilities to protect patients from harmful therapies involving speech, such as sexual orientation change efforts. Because providers' speech is more similar to commercial speech than traditional political discourse, it is possible to create a First Amendment review analysis that better balances states' police powers with providers' First Amendment rights. Under a "single-prong" approach, the first prong of Central Hudson can be used to identify quackery, which is analogous to false or misleading commercial speech and would therefore be outside the protection of the First Amendment. Because health care must be tailored to individual patients, restrictions on speech that survive the first prong of Central Hudson would be subject to strict scrutiny in order to leave the therapeutic decision to the provider and her patient, and maintain consistency with current jurisprudence. This Comment examines litigation from California's attempted ban on sexual orientation change therapy to illustrate the conflicts created by the current approach to First Amendment review of health care provider speech. This Comment then demonstrates the benefit of the proposed single-prong approach, including how it simultaneously protects patients from harm while protecting health care providers' speech.

  19. A Prospective clinical and electrophysiological survey of acute flaccid paralysis in pediatric patients

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, M.; Iqbal, W.; Murtaza, S. M.


    Objective: Recognition of common causes of acute flaccid paralysis in children. Study Design: Descriptive study. Place and Duration of Study: Combined Military Hospital Peshawar, from Aug 2009 to Jun 2012. Material and Methods: The demographic data including age, gender and clinical data including history of injection, stool results, and final diagnosis (polio, non-polio enterovirus, traumatic injection neuritis, GBS and an unknown group) were expressed in terms of frequencies and percentages. Chi-square test was applied for the association of age-groups with various causes of AFP. A p-value of less than 0.05 was taken as statistically significant. SPSS version 20 was used for statistical analyses. Results: Injection neuritis and post-viral paralysis (polio, non-polio enterovirus) were the common causes of AFP. Conclusion: As the study identified common causes of AFP which are essentially preventable, it highlighted certain issues during the process. First is the lack of nursing staff training or iatrogenic disability due to quackery, which requires urgent intervention to prevent it. Second is a deficiency in the WHO management protocol for AFP. NCS EMG proved to be a vital diagnostic tool for AFP, which is not included in the WHO AFP protocol at present.It is suggested that this diagnostic modality should be included in the AFP diagnostic protocol for better diagnostic yield. (author)


    Karam, George H


    The design of a new medical education building sought through art to create awareness of important values in physicians. An antique silk embroidery depicting Aesculapius crowning a man charged to protect the medical profession from quackery is placed at the beginning of the space leading into the simulation laboratories to highlight the importance of competency. A charcoal drawing by an important regional artist conveys the message that trust can arise from vulnerability, with optimal mentoring being the outcome. A round table with an authentic French Art Deco lantern and a commissioned table designed as an interpretation of the lantern create the sense of importance that fosters critical thinking and professionalism. An outdoor terrace was designed to challenge residents and medical students to become in touch with their capacity for humanism in medicine. Included among the various elements to nurture this core value are an outdoor classroom, conversation gardens, open spaces under plane trees (which are within the family of trees under which Hippocrates taught), and a reflection cove (reminiscent of those sought by poets who travelled to Ravello, Italy, in an attempt to find the meaning of life). The major focal point on the terrace is a commissioned Dale Chihuly sculpture of red reeds intended to encourage art as a form of healing and as a source of humanism.

  1. Samuel Holden Parsons Lee (1772-1863): American physician, entrepreneur and selfless fighter of the 1798 Yellow Fever epidemic of New London, Connecticut. (United States)

    Mattie, James K; Desai, Sukumar P


    Samuel Holden Parsons Lee practised medicine at a time when the germ theory of disease had not yet been proposed and antibiotics remained undiscovered. In 1798 he served selflessly as the only physician in town who was willing to battle the Yellow Fever outbreak of New London, Connecticut. Because he practised at the dawn of the age of patent medicine, unfortunately his name also came to be associated with medical quackery. We argue that his contributions have been grossly underestimated. He compounded and vended medications - including bilious pills and bitters - that were gold standards of the day. Moreover, one preparation for treatment of kidney stones led to his sub-specialization in this field and was met with such success that its sale continued for nearly 100 years after his death. While a talented medical man, Lee also had a knack for business, finding success in trading, whaling and real estate. © The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions:

  2. Neurological caricatures since the 15th century. (United States)

    Lorusso, Lorenzo


    During the Renaissance, different artists began to draw medical illustrations from various viewpoints. Leonardo da Vinci was among those who sought to portray the emotional as well as the physical qualities of man. Other European artists described caricatural aspects of medical activities. In Northern Europe, Albrecht Durer, Hieronymus Bosch, and Pieter Brueghel were also famous for drawing caricatures. Later English artists, notably William Hogarth, Thomas Rowlandson, James Gillray, and the Cruikshanks, satirized life in general and the medical profession in particular. In Spain, Francisco Goya's works became increasingly macabre and satirical following his own mysterious illness and, in France, Honore Daumier used satire and humor to expose medical quackery. Also physicians such as Charles Bell and Jean-Martin Charcot were talented caricaturists. Their own personal artistic styles reflected their approach and gave a different "image" of neurology. Caricatures were popular portraits of developments in science and medicine and were frequently used whenever scientific language was too difficult to disseminate, in particular in the field of neurology.

  3. Keeping Secrets: Leslie E. Keeley, the Gold Cure and the Nineteenth-Century Neuroscience of Addiction. (United States)

    Hickman, Timothy A


    Dr Leslie E. Keeley was perhaps the world's most famous addiction cure doctor at the turn of the twentieth century, but mainstream medicine dismissed him as a quack because he dispensed a secret cure. The article aims to describe Keeley's now largely forgotten story and to draw attention to the role of contextual issues in the acceptance or rejection of any theory of addiction, particularly the neuroscientific theories of the early twenty first century. This study is a qualitative assessment and contextualisation of historical documents. Its main sources are archival and are for the most part unknown to historians. The article also offers intellectual and historical context that is drawn from leading historical and sociological analyses. Keeley's addiction cure was dismissed as quackery because it failed to meet the changing standards of late-nineteenth century professional medicine. This begs us to consider contextual issues in any assertion of the viability of addiction therapeutics, in the present as well the past. Keeley's near erasure from the historical record was a consequence of a broader, late-nineteenth century medical power struggle that took precedence over the testimony of tens of thousands of satisfied patients who claimed that Keeley's cure worked. Context matters in the assessment of the viability of theories of addiction from the past but also from the present. Historians and social scientists are well placed to make those assessments. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  4. Rationalizing 'folk medicine' in interwar Germany: faith, business, and science at "Dr. Madaus & Co.'. (United States)

    Timmermann, C


    The relationship between orthodox or mainstream medicine and heterodox or alternative practices has often been expressed in terms of dichotomies, such as science versus anti-science or rationality versus irrationality. By studying the history of a company producing herbal medicines and homoepathic remedies in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, this paper attempts to create a more differentiated picture. 'Dr. Madaus & Co.' was founded in 1919 by the three sons of a free church minister and his wife, who practised as a non-licensed healer herself. The company not only sold medicines, it also produced journals and books promoting heterodox healing methods and contributing to ongoing health political debates, for example over compulsory vaccination programmes, human experimentation, quackery, and a general 'crisis of medicine'. Gerhard Madaus, a medical doctor and one of the three founders, published in 1938 a three-volume Textbook of Biological Healing Methods, turning folk medicine into science. The essay follows the rise of the Madaus family firm and interprets the story of 'Dr. Madaus & Co.' as an example of social rationalization, emphasizing the role of commercial operations in twentieth-century alternative medicine in Germany.

  5. Médicos, cirujanos y curanderos en la capitanía general de Venezuela. Estudio de un expediente

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Texera Arnal, Yolanda


    Full Text Available

    Based on a document of the colonial period this paper aims to show the difficulties of trying to regulate and control the practice of Medecine and surgery in the Capitanía General of Venezuela at the end of the colonial period (1802-1806, moment in which quackery was prevailing.

    Se toma como punto de partida un expediente y se analizan las dificultades de tratar de regular y controlar el ejercicio de la medicina y la cirugía en la Capitanía General de Venezuela a finales del período colonial (1802-1806, momentos en los cuales el curanderismo había alcanzado gran auge.

  6. Joseph Henry's Conception of Scientific Knowledge (United States)

    Theerman, Paul


    Joseph Henry, America's premier physicist and physics teacher in the mid-nineteenth century, had decided views of scientific knowledge. These were expressed in two ways. First of all, scientific knowledge led to moral betterment. Thus the study of science was a morally good thing. This was not only because it led to the contemplation of God's creation, which was a standard reason justifying the study of science dating from the Scientific Revolution and even earlier. More importantly, the study of science itself was a moral discipline, imparting to scientists the habits and virtues of truthfulness, respect for others, care and diligence, and the discernment of meaningful patterns from experience. The moral ideals of science were expressed most strongly in Henry's upholding the international "Republic of Science"; conversely, cheapening science was a sign of moral failure. Second, for Henry and his generation, science provided a path to sure truth, separate from falsehood of both the politics and the quackery that characterized mid-century public life. Henry promoted this in his championing of the Smithsonian Institution a scientific establishment, against the ideas of others who wanted to make it a literary establishment or a training school for teachers. For Henry, the Smithsonian's scientific reputation would be established by relying on careful peer review in its publications, and supporting established scientists to write authoritative popular works. The purpose of both these activities was to raise the profile of science in the United States and further establish science and the scientific method as a guide to public life.

  7. El rol y significado de las lagunas Huaringas cerca de Huancabamba y el curanderismo en el Norte del Perú

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)


    documents let us learn about the working system in the Highland Haciendas at that time. ROLE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SMALL HUARINGAS LAGOONS NEAR HUANCABAMBA AND QUACKERY (CURANDERISMO PRACTICES IN THE NORTH OF PERU. This article proves the great importance of certain small mountain lagoons related to quackery practices in Peru. The most common among these are those of Huaringas near Huancabamba (Department of Piura. Such lagoons are believed to hold telluric and cosmic powers or virtues. Local quacks (curanderos use them in their treatments for healing purposes and the spiteful ones, to cause evil. A ritual immersion in any of these lagoons is considered the best healing treatment. Small lakes are considered are considered as magic places, basically charged with special forces and powers acquired from the first Incas. The nature beseeched is female, such as enchanted queens, ladies, etc. who are talked to, invoked, given offerings and when considered necessary, calmed in their rage. Some small lagoons are related to the surrounding mountains therefore, their nature is considered as male. Guardians and other spirits increase the force of these lakes. Magic herbs growing around them ascertain different virtues. On June 24, Holiday of Saint John the Baptist, the ritual of the solstice is divided in three steps: first, a greeting ceremony followed by invocations and offerings second, the immersion itself and third, the closing and farewell ceremony.

  8. Homeopathy as Boundary Object and Distributed Therapeutic Agency. A Discussion on the Homeopathic Placebo Response. (United States)

    Rughiniş, Cosima; Ciocănel, Alexandra; Vasile, Sorina


    We discuss homeopathy's placebo effect as the result of a distributed therapeutic agency involving humans, objects, and texts. Homeopathy has been involved in controversies for centuries, and the dispute whether it is therapy or quackery is as lively as ever. Still, homeopathy has retained significant popularity and acceptance within the medical establishment. We bracket the issue of biochemical effectiveness of homeopathic remedies as we only discuss homeopathy's potential to elicit a placebo response within its therapeutic alliance, in virtue of its social, symbolic, and material features. The review is based on literature discussing homeopathic effectiveness, including historical, biographical, sociological, and epistemological perspectives. We build upon research that clarifies the therapeutic relationship, examining its activities and meanings for practitioners and patients. Previous analyses discussing homeopathy's placebo effect stress the importance of the individualized consultation that functions as psychotherapy and generates empathy and hope. We enlarge the discussion, highlighting homeopathy's distributed therapeutic agency across humans, texts, and materials. The historical evolution of homeopathy in relation to biomedicine and science is important to understand its institutional integration into mainstream medicine and its appeal to scientifically minded doctors. Anecdotes of healing and the message of no-harm encourage patients to try homeopathy and hope for the best. The esthetics and ritual of remedies, coupled with computers' scientific legitimacy and time-saving power constitute a material infrastructure of therapeutic persuasion. Through its relation with biomedicine, its doctrine, consultation design, and treatment rituals, homeopathy offers a powerful medium to elicit a placebo response in a therapeutic alliance. By virtue of its proximity and radical difference from the scientific and biomedical enterprises, its material and textual

  9. Human resource solutions--the Gateway Paper proposed health reforms in Pakistan. (United States)

    Nishtar, Sania


    The existence of appropriate institutional and human resource capacity underpins the viability and sustainability of a health reform process within a country. Building human resource capacity within the health sector involves building the capacity of health service providers, health managers and administers as well as the stewards of health. Although capacity building is linked to a generic process closely linked to the broader economic, social and developmental context, it has specific health system connotations which should be the focus of a concerted effort. These include quantitative issues, in-effective deployment and brain-drain, qualitative considerations which stem from gaps in the quality of undergraduate as well as discrepancies in the content and format of training and absence of this in service of training health professionals and gaps in regulation. As one of the fundamental corner stones of health reform the Gateway Paper calls attention to the need to avert these issues with the development of a well-defined policy in human resource development as an entry point. This should be based on an analysis of the human resource need and should clearly define career structures for all categories of healthcare providers, and articulate the mechanisms of their effective deployment. Creating a conducive an rewarding environment, institutionalizing personnel management reform which go beyond personnel actions and set standards of performance, and develop appropriate incentives around this, would be critical. It would also be important to pay due attention to the content and format of training at an undergraduate level, at a postgraduate level and with reference to ongoing education and the allied roles of continuing medical education programs and accreditation of health systems educational institutions. The Gateway Paper also lays stress on effective regulation to curb the practice of quackery.

  10. From Hair in India to Hair India. (United States)

    Trüeb, Ralph M


    In all cultures, human hair and hairdo have been a powerful metaphor. Tracing back the importance and significance of human hair to the dawn of civilization on the Indian subcontinent, we find that all the Vedic gods are depicted as having uncut hair in mythological stories as well as in legendary pictures. The same is true of the Hindu avatars, and the epic heroes of the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata. Finally, there are a number of hair peculiarities in India pertinent to the creed and religious practices of the Hindu, the Jain, and the Sikh. Shiva Nataraja is a depiction of the Hindu God Shiva as the cosmic dancer who performs his divine dance as creator, preserver, and destroyer of the universe and conveys the Indian conception of the never-ending cycle of time. The same principle manifests in the hair cycle, in which perpetual cycles of growth, regression, and resting underly the growth and shedding of hair. Finally, The Hair Research Society of India was founded as a nonprofit organisation dedicated to research and education in the science of hair. Notably, the HRSI reached milestones in the journey of academic pursuit with the launch of the International Journal of Trichology, and with the establishment of the Hair India conference. Ultimately, the society aims at saving the public from being taken for a ride by quackery, and at creating the awareness that the science of hair represents a subspecialty of Dermatology. In analogy again, the dwarf on which the Nataraja dances represents the demon of egotism, and thus symbolizes Shiva's, respectively, the HRSI's victory over ignorance.

  11. Magnetism in Medicine (United States)

    Schenck, John


    For centuries physicians, scientists and others have postulated an important role, either as a cause of disease or as a mode of therapy, for magnetism in medicine. Although there is a straightforward role in the removal of magnetic foreign bodies, the majority of the proposed magnetic applications have been controversial and have often been attributed by mainstream practitioners to fraud, quackery or self-deception. Calculations indicate that many of the proposed methods of action, e.g., the field-induced alignment of water molecules or alterations in blood flow, are of negligible magnitude. Nonetheless, even at the present time, the use of small surface magnets (magnetotherapy) to treat arthritis and similar diseases is a widespread form of folk medicine and is said to involve sales of approximately one billion dollars per year. Another medical application of magnetism associated with Mesmer and others (eventually known as animal magnetism) has been discredited, but has had a culturally significant role in the development of hypnotism and as one of the sources of modern psychotherapy. Over the last two decades, in marked contrast to previous applications of magnetism to medicine, magnetic resonance imaging or MRI, has become firmly established as a clinical diagnostic tool. MRI permits the non-invasive study of subtle biological processes in intact, living organisms and approximately 150,000,000 diagnostic studies have been performed since its clinical introduction in the early 1980s. The dramatically swift and widespread acceptance of MRI was made possible by scientific and engineering advances - including nuclear magnetic resonance, computer technology and whole-body-sized, high field superconducting magnets - in the decades following World War Two. Although presently used much less than MRI, additional applications, including nerve and muscle stimulation by pulsed magnetic fields, the use of magnetic forces to guide surgical instruments, and imaging utilizing

  12. Labouring Under The Stone—A Literary Legacy of Lithiasis (United States)

    Moran, Michael E.


    The history of mankind's suffering greatly from calculus disease has been one of excruciating longevity. Since the first historical records, humans have formed stones and endured the wrath of these concretions' passage via the delicate mechanisms of the urinary tract. This study involved detailed investigations of historical writings of famous stone sufferers to better appreciate the circumstances of our patients. Collected histories both of textbooks and articles were scrutinized for the accounts of famous stone sufferers. Once identified, primary resources were sought with English translations given preference. Cross-referencing all informational sources was attempted. The accounts were then classified as lower urinary tract (BS), upper urinary tract (KS), by century of the individual, and whether these were ancient (before 100 years ago) or recent (from the 20th Century onwards). Many of these great men and woman suffered in relative silence. Not much is available on descriptions of their colic. However, there are others such as Michel Montaigne, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Sydenham, Sir William Osler and Richard Selzer who were able to transform their suffering into ethereal expressions of pure pain and suffering. The ancient descriptions are twofold fascinating, as the victims of stone disease faced quackery and profound ignorance from the medical profession and no effective remedy for the pain. Here again, there are two typical responses: the enlightened cerebral concerns of Montaigne, Sydenham, and Franklin versus the punitive, religious overtones from Erasmus and Pepys. Lower and upper tract stones produced equal horrors to those once thought to incur punishment from the gods, or turning to stone-like "living statues." No amount of literary expression can capture the true essence of renal colic. Medical texts from their earliest times place stone passage near the top of the pantheon of medical suffering. Each of these prolific and