A group of 2750 international experts from 44 countries have signed a manifesto against pseudotherapies.
The manifesto was organized with the help of people who belong to more than thirty worldwide scientific or skeptical associations from more than twenty countries. The organizations who help to coordinate the manifesto are:
• Association to Protect the Sick of Pseudoscientific Therapies: APETP – Spain
• Association of Pharmacists in Favor of Scientific Evidence – Spain
• Collectif Fakemed – France
• Comunidade Céptica Portuguesa: COMCEPT – Portugal
• Good Thinking Society – United Kingdom
• Red UNE – Spain
• Society for the Advancement of Critical Thinking: ARP-SAPC– Spain
• Skeptical Circle of Spain – Spain
• Healthwatch United – Kingdom
• Skeptica – Denmark
• Vetenskap och Folkbildning (VoF) – Sweden
Dutch TV show EenVandaag examined the Heilpraktiker system in Germany, where about 43,000 ‘healers’ are allowed to conduct invasive irregular treatments on patients, without being trained physicians. The recent controversy surrounding Krauss Ross’ alternative cancer clinic, which was closed after several patients received fatal injections, has stirred up debate on whether the system should be changed, or even downright abolished. In the Netherlands, such treatments are prohibited, leading some Dutch patients to try their luck across the border, where regulations are less strict, and thus the treatments more dangerous.
Physician Cees Renckens, spokesperson for the Vereniging tegen de Kwakzalverij (Dutch Society against Quackery), is in favour of expelling the Heilpraktiker from the ranks of legal professions. The interviewer responded by saying that some would argue ‘that things go wrong in the regular medical world all the time, too; that wouldn’t make you advocate for abolishing regular medicine either, would it?’ Renckens replied: ‘No, but in normal medicine, in hospitals, you can at least recover, because most treatments actually work. And if there is no benefit whatsoever [in a treatment], any risk, any complication, is unacceptable.’
The Swiss skeptics have published their second discussion paper about CAM: “Evidence-based vs. complementary and alternative medicine: It’s about epistemology (not about evidence)”. In the document they present the argument that the problem with CAM is not a lack of evidence – but the defective epistemology of CAM.
Members of the Section of Medical Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS) voted unanimously for supporting the earlier proposal of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Swedish statement requested that the homeopathic remedies should go through the same efficacy trials as normal drugs should.