Friday, 19 June 2009

health research

Why is it that medical authorities are unable to incorporate new discoveries about health? One reason is the myth, perpetuated by the American Medical Association, that only their practices are based on scientific proof, while alternative approaches are supported only by anecdotal evidence. The fact is-medicine as it is practiced today is anything but scientific.

In 1989, the United States government formed the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR). Its purpose is to assist in the development and maintenance of national health practice guidelines in order to control runaway medical costs, which, if left unchecked, will soon equal the Gross National Product. In 1992, Dr. David Eddy of Duke University, an advisor to the AHCPR, evaluated 21 areas in the field of medicine. Here's what he found: 17 of these areas had little or no scientific validation and existed simply because they were traditional; 99% of the articles in medical journals were scientifically unsound; and 85% of medicine had no scientific basis. It would appear from these findings that the term "medical science" is as much an oxymoron as "military intelligence."

The AHCPR also investigated an area of medical practice particularly relevant to muscle-back problems. According to a study released in December 1994, one of the most costly, non-validated medical areas is back surgery. This report found that both surgery and physiotherapy were ineffective in treating acute back pain. It stated, "Despite and extensive medical literature on failed back surgery and evidence that repeat surgical procedures for low back problems rarely lead to improved outcome, there are documented examples of patients who have had as many as 20 spine operations." Evidently these "scientific" surgeons consider reports of their failures to be anecdotal.

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