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WHO Endorses Traditional Chinese Medicine. Expect Deaths To Rise

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by Sly Saint, Oct 17, 2018.

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  1. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Article by Steven Salzberg

    "A few days ago, a news story in the journal Nature reported that the World Health Organization, which is supposed to be devoted to improving the health and medical care of people around the globe, will for the first time endorse a belief system called "traditional Chinese medicine." I'm labeling TCM a belief system because that's what it is–but the WHO will be endorsing it as a set of medical practices."

    "Actually, it's much worse than this. Here's what TCM really looks like: the horrific slaughter of the last remaining rhinoceroses in Africa in order to hack off their horns, which are sold to become part of elixirs that some people mistakenly think confer strength, virility, or other health benefits. Last year, National Geographic ran a heart-wrenching photo essay showing some of the awful results of rhinoceros poaching in Africa; take a look at these photos here."

    "There's no legitimate reason to use terms such as "Chinese" medicine, or American, Italian, Spanish, Indian, or [insert your favorite nationality] medicine. There's just medicine–if a treatment works, then it's medicine. If something doesn't work, then it's not medicine and we shouldn't sell it to people with false claims."

    full article here:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/steven...orses-tcm-expect-deaths-to-rise/#65c40dcc6418
     
  2. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It's crazy. Why doesn't Nature do a piece saying how scandalous this is?
    Nobody cares any more about reality. Everything is gloss.
     
  3. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    You've noticed that as well? Possibly I'm not mad then.
     
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  4. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Well I'm mad, and proud of it, and so might you be too, but maybe we are perspicacious with it?
     
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  5. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I've started to get a frantic sense that caring about what's true is coming to be viewed as dysfunctional behaviour. The fact that the data Matthees got from the PACE trial led to embarrassed silence from those with power, followed by an enthusiastic endorsement of the SMILE trial is just a bit too much.
     
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  6. Sisyphus

    Sisyphus Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This seems to be a general pattern across many areas of culture in the West. It’s not neatly related to our disease or to medicine in general. I don’t understand quite what’s going on, it feels like a family business when the founder’s airhead but inheriting grandchildren take over.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
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  7. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Well, @Esther12 at least it looks as if the Larun review has gone down!
    Unless I have misread this - on another thread.
     
  8. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    In the Nature article, I think I may have spotted a clue here:
    Look's like it's in a few people's interests to take Mao Zedong's idea and run with it. This will allow governments to say they're keeping their promises to deliver universal healthcare. The fact that the treatments are ineffectual or can be harmful doesn't matter - it's "treatment" and it's cheap. Proving that the treatments are ineffectual and harmful makes no difference - the policy makers, like Mao Zedong, already know that. They aren't implementing this to cure people or make them better, so why should they care when people point out that it doesn't?

    People are going to need something to fall back on if the big plan to save money by psychologising everything fails. And if it doesn't, two options are better than one. Would you like GET or to have your energy lines realligned?

    Here's another little clue from the article:
    They'll more than bloody accept it, they'll welcome it with open arms! I'm afraid our policy doesn't cover Spleen Qi Deficiency unless you have tried all rehabilitative measures, and if you have, you're cured. Next!
     
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  9. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Enjoy the rhinocerous, tiger, shark etc while you can because this could see the end of them.
     
  10. Lisa108

    Lisa108 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I strongly disagree with this article. I'm too fogheaded today to elaborate on it, but
    it is so outright ethnocentristic, that it makes my skin crawl. There is so much wrong with it, I can't believe you all agree with it.

    I just want to put these points in contrast:

    - "Expect deaths to rise" - this is what the headline says. This is just a personal opinion of the author. He does not offer facts to explain this. Clickbait.

    - 230,000 adverse effects per year? ONLY. Find out how many people in China are using TCM and how this affects the statement. Contrast this with finding out the numbers for adverse drug effects in your country per year. What kind of adverse effects were reported? What are the reasons for them? (Thinking about polluted products.)

    - Exploiting animals is bad and must be banned. It is not a Chinese-only problem, though. Ever heard of blood farms? The hormons gathered from pregnant mares are used to fatten the pigs in your country. Can you think of Western medicine/Biomedicine being possible without using animals?

    - The wild animals that are slaughtered for TCM products are mainly used to enhance sexual function in men. So this is a cultural problem, not one with TCM. Culture is not fixed, it is changing constantly. To inform and educate the new generation of Chinese men could solve this problem. Pfizer could earn a fortune if they were able to capture the market.

    - Most treatments used in TCM do not contain animal parts or products, but herbs. Many of these are found (in biomedical/-pharmaceutical studies) to have antibacterial, antiviral, antimycotic, etc., properties. You may even use them yourself: Scutellaria baicalensis root (Huang qin -> Baicalin), Sophora flavescens root (Ku Shen -> Oxymatrine), Artemisia annua (Qing hao ->Artemisin). To say it is just 'one success' that TCM can claim for an effective treatment is rediculous.

    - Some of you might even exploit the ressources of Tibetan people, by buying wild gathered Cordyceps sinensis (Dong chong xia cao).

    - Our pharma industry is constantly searching for new (and best: cheap) active substances. So they are looking all around the globe, to find out how people locally treat their ailments. Then they take samples (mostly herbs), investigate possible effect mechanisms, and try to extract the 'active ingredient'. This is what happened with artemisinin. There are a couple of problems with this approach: 1. Patents 2. Exploiting local people and nature 3. Not considering the accumulative effect of all ingredients of a plant, which makes it 4. easy for germs to become resistant.

    - TCM is not a belief system. It is a well researched medical system, that is using a different approach than the biomedical/western system.
    To say that only Western medicine is science-based is... ignorant at best. Western or Biomedicine is not a common entity. Even if you compare countries like France and the U.S., you'll find striking differences.

    ______

    I'm not saying that one is better than the other. We should be able to choose the best of both.
     
  11. Philipp

    Philipp Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This is something I would wish was more widely accepted as being so abundantly obvious that it never needs to be said again ever. I do not understand the entire division between 'naturopathic' and 'allopathic' and other types of medicine - stuff either works or doesn't, and you either know about it or you don't. Apart from marketing and legal stuff, there is no reason to make this overly complicated.

    Is it actually well researched though? It was always my impression that there is a lot of anecdote and rather sloppy science, but not much in terms of the genuine hard work you have to put in when you really want to understand something. There might be a lot lost in translation or selective bias in what we get to read, but what was easily accessible when I tried to research some herbs like the ones you mentioned was 'we got some people with some sort of symptoms, tested traditional concoction xyz, got these here results' - which may be a very first step that tells you where you want to look further, but it is not something that would make me confident in e.g. advising my sister in what to take for her rheumatic condition vs my mum for her osteoarthritis since - at least I assume - the type of pain they experience must be different in some way and subsequently optimal treatment will likely be as well (...even if I was an expert in evaluating this stuff and a health care provider, both of which I am absolutely not). Did I just miss or not have access to translations of the stuff that I would want to read or how is this done?
     
  12. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @Lisa108 I realise you were responding to the thread as a whole, which I haven't read in full. I would like to try to clarify my position though:

    I really don't care which tradition a treatment is from. I do want it to be evidenced for efficacy and safety TCM needs that just as other types of treatments do. I know there are problems with western medicine, and with healthcare in my country

    The quote I refered to in my post suggests that the Chinese government don't care sufficiently about evidence and regulating TCM in China as much as they should and that money is more important. That's a lot of people who don't have enough evidence about what they're taking whether it's cultural or not. I mind about that just as I mind about poorly evidenced treatments and money saving coming before lives in my own country. I also mind about rare animals unnecessarily being mutilated and killed for stupid reasons (not just TCM, I know).

    There's plenty of content on this forum criticising other types of medicine and medical science including mainstream western medicine and healthcare. :)

    edit - to add last sentence and to be clearer
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
  13. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Nah that would only happen in a world where the truth mattered.

     
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  14. Webdog

    Webdog Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    So I can go buy some shark fin and ground tiger penis at the Chinese herb shop 2 blocks away and stop seeing my doctor? What a crazy world we live in. But on the other hand, this will probably help destroy it a bit faster.
     
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  15. Sisyphus

    Sisyphus Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    There’s a nice takedown of TCM on another blog, named respectful insolence. It’s not a recent post, you may have to use the search function for it.
     
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  16. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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  17. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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  18. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    BBC website today:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-46027702
     
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  19. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

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    So much stupidity in the world.

    I've seen a young Sumatran rhino, quite hairy and with big eyes with long eyelashes. Very beautiful. It's unlikely that its species will escape extinction. It's a good thing there are videos and photos, because our grandchildren probably won't have the chance to see these animals. It's not just a dreadful loss for us but also for the ecosystems that evolved with the rhinos.

    Baby rhino video:

    Wikipedia
    And then there's the 'pangolin hoover' - poachers have swept through China and Indochina and now across Borneo, essentially systematically eliminating pangolins from ecosystems to meet demand for traditional medicine products. Their scales are supposed to fix psoriasis, cancer, asthma... the scales are made of keratin, the same material as rhino horn and, as I'm sure you all know, fingernail clippings.

    Pangolin
    baby-pangolin-interpoliert.jpg
     
  20. Webdog

    Webdog Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Including the oceans...
     

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