Should Alternative Medicine Be Taught In Medical Schools?

It’s great to see this issue being discussed openly. In South Africa homeopathy is a branch of their medical training, with students choosing this stream after 2 or 3 years learning the basics with the other medics. That seems a great idea to me.

As the article hinted at, the UK has been at the centre of a well-organised, well-connected, well-funded campaign against complementary & alternative medicine for perhaps five years now. I see this ‘denialist’ onslaught as a reaction to the explosive growth of alternative medicine in the 1990s & early noughties. But I think they are fighting a losing battle, it’s becoming ever clearer that industrial medicine is making us sick, big-pharma doesn’t have the answers.

As Ivan Illich says in ‘Limits To Medicine’,

“(modern) medicine is but a device to convince those who are sick & tired of society that is it they who are ill, impotent, and in need of technical repair.”

And,

” The recovery from iatrogenic (illness caused by medicine) disease…must be based on a grassroots consensus about the balance between the civil liberty to heal & the civil right to equitable health care. During the last generations the medical monopoly over health care has expanded without checks & has enroached on our civil liberty with regards to our own bodies. Society has transferred to physicians the exclusive right to determine what constitutes sickness, who is or might become sick, and what shall be done to such people. Deviance is now ‘legitimate’ only when it merits & ultimately justifies medical interpretation & intervention. The social commitment to provide all citizens with almost unlimited outputs from the medical system threatens to destroy the environmental & cultural conditions needed by people to live a life of constant autonomous healing (my emphasis). This trend must be recognised & eventually reversed.”

This book was written 35 years ago & it is still very relevant today. It’s sad to see almost no public discussion about how we could reshape the NHS in our corporate media, there are just stories about how services will need to be cut to save £20 billion.

Economist Article

The comments to the article are fantastic, lots of positive open-minded discussion & opinions.

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