The terms used to describe the plethora of non-science based medical modalities has changed and transformed over time. Descriptors using the word “holistic” have given way to “alternative, complementary, and integrative” perhaps in an attempt to find ways to penetrate more effectively into mainstream consciousness.
Interestingly, Dr Novella and others have interesting posts about this phenomenon finding analogies in evolution-like processes where fringe pseudo-sciences continually mutate their appearance in an attempt to become “accepted” into the scientific fold much like creationism dressed itself in the mantel of intelligent design. This is reminiscent of the mimicry used by the chameleon and, unfortunately, has met with a measure of success.
The bottom line is, no matter how much complementary and alternative medicine or veterinary medicine (
The fact is the claim that
On the other hand, science based medicine works within a true holistic framework as a matter of routine. Done well, it takes into account a patient’s condition in the context of whole systems utilizing tried, tested, and effective methods. At the same time, the crucial pillars of science based medicine involve change, flexibility, and self-doubt which guard it, for the most part, against becoming excessively rigid.
Granted, there are huge problems, especially in human medicine with respect to the organization of health care. Though this is a topic well worth discussion, it has nothing to do with what science based medicine is. Unfortunately, this is an area where
Ramey and Rollins in their book “Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine Considered” state “CAVM practitioners may assert that it is necessary to consider an almost limitless number of factors in deciding which approach or combination of approaches is best suited for the diagnosis and treatment of the patient. However, all of the available evidence suggests that this is not the case. That is, a huge body of research has demonstrated that human judgment can not compete with a more objective process that involves evaluating a small number of relevant variables….There is, in fact, no indication that CAVM practices offer any diagnostic or therapeutic advantage over science-based approaches and every reason to believe that no such advantages exist or will be forthcoming, given the long history of their use and concomitant lack of supporting evidence.”
In essence, because of this,
Sadly, as they succeed, the doors towards medical anarchy open a little wider.