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marnixR
Post  Post subject: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:52 am
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for starters, "believers" in a medical context is a rather strange word to
i know about the placebo and the nocebo effect which depend on belief, but when it comes to healing the real nasties, belief just doesn't enter into it

the reason why i'm posting this is that last night i saw on the "One Show" about a man selling fake cancer pills, in fact the pills being apricot kernels which are sold as containing vitamin B17, but in fact could make you seriously ill with cyanide poisoning

on digging a little deeper, if found the following on Yahoo Answers :

Quote:
Why don't doctors tell you to eat a diet high in B-17 vitamins.. including the seeds of apricots, apples, and watermelon instead of spitting the seeds or taking them out? No one I know.. including myself has ever been educated on ways to not get cancer or encourgaged to eat this way. I just found an interesting video. It is a 6 part video, that gives doctors names that have proven the b-17 theory and stand behind this claim that is cures cancer and shrinks tumors IF you can and do choose to adapt a diet rich in B-17 vitamins. It is sad that the medical community chooses profit over lives and will prosecute if necessary to keep this all a secret, in order to fund Big Pharma and the Lobbyist and line the pockets of the Politicians who live longer lives then most.. probably because they know these deep dark hidden secrets and utilize them. Sick World we live.

http://www.conspirazzi.com/a-world-without-cancer/

Update: Do Not... And I Repeat... Do Not Answer Me If Your A AMA Doctor Or A Believer In The AMA that are killing people with the greed behind Chemo and the money involved to line the pockets in WA and big pharma.. and the doctors. IF you are trolling in this category.. your come to the wrong place. This category is for believers of non traditional medicine. There are plenty of YA for that. This is not the place for haters of alternative methods and practices. It is for those who know and believe there are cancer cures out there.. and have proof.


Yahoo Answers selected this one as "best answer"

Quote:
Apricot seeds in low doses is safe, effective and potent against all repeat all forms of cancer. There are hundreds of research papers to prove this.


whereas to me the most complete answer was the following :

Quote:
There is no such vitamin as B17; it was invented by the makers of Laetrile, a commercial preparation of apricot kernels, as a cynical marketing ploy when they decided to relaunch their product as a cancer preventative/cure.

Apricot seeds contain cyanide, and in the amounts recommended by those who peddle it as a cancer treatment, this can be - and has been - fatal.

Laetrile/B17/amygdalin is one of the few 'alternative cancer treatments' that has been thoroughly tested and trialled - and it has been found to be totally ineffective against cancer.
This link is a report of a clinical trial of amygdalin/Laetrile/'B17' in the treatment of human cancer:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7033783

"One hundred seventy-eight patients with cancer were treated with amygdalin (Laetrile) plus a "metabolic therapy" program consisting of diet, enzymes, and vitamins. The great majority of these patients were in good general condition before treatment. None was totally disabled or in preterminal condition. One third had not received any previous chemotherapy. The pharmaceutical preparations of amygdalin, the dosage, and the schedule were representative of past and present Laetrile practice. No substantive benefit was observed in terms of cure, improvement or stabilization of cancer, improvement of symptoms related to cancer, or extension of life span. The hazards of amygdalin therapy were evidenced in several patients by symptoms of cyanide toxicity or by blood cyanide levels approaching the lethal range. Patients exposed to this agent should be instructed about the danger of cyanide poisoning, and their blood cyanide levels should be carefully monitored. Amygdalin (Laetrile) is a toxic drug that is not effective as a cancer treatment."

More information on the whole scam:

http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRel ... trile.html

In a number of countries it is illegal to sell Laetrile and other 'B17' products because it is illegal to claim to be able to cure cancer without being able to prove that claim.


so my question is : what is that makes some people excessively suspicious of pharma while at the same time being overly gullible for quackery ? if a proposed medicine doesn't work and has serious side effects, why blame Big Pharma for its non-availability ?

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:31 am
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apart from the gullibility, there's also the issue of closed-mindedness
the final comment is spot on :

Quote:
Are you going to block everyone who doesn't give you the answer you want?


mind you i've seen this on other forums like A.I. Jane : your argument isn't rated on its own merit, but on what part of the political spectrum you come from

it's something that the internet has contributed to : rather opening the whole world to all comers, people tend to stick to their ghetto where no-one is going to contradict them
you could argue that when it comes to politics it's all a matter of opinion, but unfortunately when it comes to science (and medicine) opinion counts for naught

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:02 am
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If the patient consumes enough apricot kernels, they wouldn't suffer with cancer, they wouldn't suffer at all... :roll:

I think the reason people buy into alternative therapies for which there is no scientific validation is because they want to believe that something can cure them. They don't want to face the reality that there is nothing more that can scientifically be done to improve their condition - so they choose not to. In some cases this ties in with a general suspicion of big pharma, medical authorities and even Science itself. When you look at the behaviour of big pharma it is easy to understand patients' concern - personally I would not trust such companies to be ethically sound, because their entire motivation is financial profit; I would and do trust the academic research culture to prioritise patient wellbeing over profit. Do you really think, that if big pharma knew of some freely available and ubiquitous substance effective against cancer, that they would publicise the fact? These guys go out of their way to invent demand for products that in reality are not needed.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:25 pm
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As much as we wish it were otherwise, rationality and evidence based thinking among humans may be the exception, not the norm. Wish thinking is what I've called it in religious discussions, and it's the same reason people deny climate change, evolution, and even the effectiveness and safety of vaccines.

In fact, the anti-vax mindset is very closely aligned with your OP. No amount of evidence seems to change their view, and in fact seems to counterintuitively cause them to dig in their heels even farther.

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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:49 pm
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I'm just going to be the asshole here and say, maybe it would be good if all of these gullible morons ate their apricot kernels and removed themselves from the gene pool? Yes, we all probably have these sorts of people in our lives, and hell some we probably even care about. However, from what I've seen for the most part there is no changing the minds (or singular brain cells in the case of some :lol: ), this may seem harsh, but humans have always learned which things are poisonous by watching the idiots try them.

Unfortunately, the leave them alone strategy really doesn't work since they try their best to infect others with their stupidity. The anti-vaxxers are even worse because they are not just endangering their children's lives, but the lives of other people. :(

Maybe all of the intellectual people should just move to one region, take it over peacefully by sheer numbers, and then expel the ignorant morons from there. :mrgreen:

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:22 pm
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Falconer360 wrote:
... (or singular brain cells in the case of some :lol: ) ...


tee hee, reminds me of the following joke:

Q. what do you call a chav with 2 brain cells ?
A. pregnant

Falconer360 wrote:
The anti-vaxxers are even worse because they are not just endangering their children's lives, but the lives of other people.


i suppose even Roald Dahl's letter written on vaccination (his daughter died of measles complications when there was not yet an effective vaccine) would leave them cold ?

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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:48 pm
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marnixR wrote:
Falconer360 wrote:
... (or singular brain cells in the case of some :lol: ) ...


tee hee, reminds me of the following joke:

Q. what do you call a chav with 2 brain cells ?
A. pregnant

Falconer360 wrote:
The anti-vaxxers are even worse because they are not just endangering their children's lives, but the lives of other people.


i suppose even Roald Dahl's letter written on vaccination (his daughter died of measles complications when there was not yet an effective vaccine) would leave them cold ?


I like that joke. :lol:

Here is a comment from that article:
Quote:
Drug companies routinely bribe doctors, falsify data, defraud the government, commit felony crimes, falsify efficacy data, exploit children for deadly vaccine trials, invent fictitious diseases to sell more drugs, unleash bioweapons to cause a profitable pandemic, spread fear to promote vaccinations, silence whistleblowers, give people cancer via stealth viruses in vaccines, destroy the careers of medical scientists who question Big Pharma and force a medical monopoly on the entire population. Got your flu jab, chump?

Bold parts are my edit.

I can't help but hope that if that user actually believes those things that he(or she) either gets run over by a bus or dies of the flu. He/she is the living embodiment of what is wrong wrong with the world.

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:58 pm
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Quote:
Falconer360 wrote:
Maybe all of the intellectual people should just move to one region, take it over peacefully by sheer numbers, and then expel the ignorant morons from there.


Then the normative versus meta-ethical moral relativists will start to disagree. And then every one will retreat to their own individual island, as is the natural order.

Quote:
Falconer360 wrote:
I can't help but hope that if that user actually believes those things that he(or she) either gets run over by a bus or dies of the flu. He/she is the living embodiment of what is wrong wrong with the world.


But big pharma do bribe and/or blackmail doctors:

Quote:
An immense scandal involving pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been unfolding in China over the last year. It centers on a massive bribery operation uncovered by Chinese police that included nearly every aspect of GSK’s business in China. Billions of yuan in bribes were channeled through an immense network to buy off doctors, hospitals, healthcare organizations, and even government officials to boost sales of GSK drugs.

The most recent headlines involve GSK’s former head in China, Mark Reilly of the UK, who is accused of ordering staff to carry out the widespread campaign of bribery and subsequent cover-up. The Wall Street Journal’s May 14, 2014 report, “Glaxo’s Ex-China Chief Accused of Ordering Staff to Commit Bribery,” would claim, “Gao Feng, a ministry official spearheading the probe of the U.K. pharmaceutical company, said revenue that came from alleged bribery amounted to several billion yuan since Mr. Reilly joined Glaxo’s China operation in 2009. Glaxo pushed up the prices of drugs in China—in some instances as much as seven times the price compared with other countries—to fund its own bribery, Mr. Gao alleged.


http://journal-neo.org/2014/06/04/glaxo-s-china-scandal-exposes-big-pharma-s-ugly-underworld/

Image

Look at all the glass in that building! Man, they must be “successful”

Big pharma also over-medicalise non-pathological states, as a way of creating a market for their products:

Quote:
So the story of “disease mongering” goes like this: because they cannot find new treatments for the diseases we already have, the pill companies have instead had to invent new diseases for the treatments they already have. Recent favourites include social anxiety disorder (a new use for SSRI antidepressant drugs), female sexual dysfunction (a new use for Viagra in women), the widening diagnostic boundaries of “restless leg syndrome”, and of course “night eating syndrome” (another attempt to sell SSRI medication, bordering on self-parody) to name just a few: all problems, in a very real sense, but perhaps not necessarily the stuff of pills, and perhaps not all best viewed in reductionist biomedical terms. In fact, you might consider that reframing intelligence, loss of libido, shyness and tiredness as medical pill problems is a crass, exploitative, and frankly disempowering act.


http://www.badscience.net/2008/09/the-medicalisation-of-everyday-life/

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:27 pm
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i've also read Ben Goldacres' writings, and i agree that Big Pharma has major issues with hiding data they don't like, having their products advertised by "independent" academics, lobbying politicians etc.etc.

however, refusing the good that vaccines do definitely is throwing away the baby with the bath water

on the other hand, Ben Goldacre also (and rightly , imo) takes the vitamin supplement industry and alternative medicine industry (yes, they ARE industries and they are just as greedy for gullible people's money) to task for peddling wares that are even more cynical about inventing diseases and medical conditions that their products are supposed to cure

however, when it comes to the real nasties like cancer i think i'd rather take the advice of a medical doctor, whatever their links with Big Pharma - if Steve Jobs had done the same, he might still be alive today

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:56 pm
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Didn't Steve Jobs live for 7 years post-diagnosis? I'd regard that as pretty good and a lot longer than most terminal cancer patients experience.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:27 pm
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Rory wrote:
Didn't Steve Jobs live for 7 years post-diagnosis? I'd regard that as pretty good and a lot longer than most terminal cancer patients experience.


Even he admitted he'd made a mistake by pursuing alternative medicine instead of just using proven western techniques early enough when it would have mattered, especially since he had one of the more survivable cancers.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalto ... t-regrets/
Quote:
According to Steve Jobs’ biographer, Walter Isaacson, the Apple mastermind eventually came to regret the decision he had made years earlier to reject potentially life-saving surgery in favor of alternative treatments like acupuncture, dietary supplements and juices. Though he ultimately embraced the surgery and sought out cutting-edge experimental methods, they were not enough to save him.

Jobs’ cancer had been discovered by chance during a CT scan in 2003 to look for kidney stones, during which doctors saw a “shadow” on his pancreas. Isaacson told CBS’ 60 Minutes last night that while the news was not good, the upside was that the form of pancreatic cancer from which Jobs suffered (a neuroendocrine islet tumor) was one of the 5% or so that are slow growing and most likely to be cured.

But Jobs refused surgery after diagnosis and for nine months after, favoring instead dietary treatments and other alternative methods. Isaacson says that when he asked Jobs why he had resisted it, Jobs said “I didn’t want my body to be opened…I didn’t want to be violated in that way.” His early resistance to surgery was apparently incomprehensible to his wife and close friends, who continually urged him to do it.
<snip>
“We talked about this a lot,” says the biographer. “He wanted to talk about it, how he regretted it. … I think he felt he should have been operated on sooner.” By the time Jobs finally opted for surgery, the cancer had spread.

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:50 pm
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Tragically ironic that a scientific and technological mind would seal his own demise by giving up on the philosophy that built his life. Maybe at a subconscious level, he wanted to die?

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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:14 pm
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Rory wrote:
Maybe at a subconscious level, he wanted to die?


I don't think so, considering how much he regretted it for the rest of his life. I would say that he just was naive and put hope in foolish pseudo-medicine.

And to your earlier post: yes big pharma does do some underhanded things and is generally pretty greedy. But they do not "give people cancer via stealth viruses in vaccines," or "spread fear to promote vaccines." Nor do they "unleash bioweapons to cause a profitable pandemic," as the user I quoted suggested that they do. People like that user are conspiracy whackjobs no better than the climate change deniers or 911 truthers.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:42 am
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Falconer360 wrote:
I don't think so, considering how much he regretted it for the rest of his life. I would say that he just was naive and put hope in foolish pseudo-medicine.

Agreed. QFT

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:36 pm
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Falconer360,

Well, pharmaceutical companies probably don't initiate pandemics for profit, but since neither you nor I are capable of monitoring their behaviour directly, 24/7, then theoretically it is possible that they do - even if the probability is 0.0000000001%.

It is not inconceivable that one group of people might decide to harm another group of people for profit - this has happened throughout human history with fighting between tribes, slavery along race lines, and today the milder form of exploitation that is consumption of the labour of the working classes by higher classes. Moreover, the fact that a company is, on the face of it, professional, does not mean necessarily that they will not be corrupt enforcers of institutionalised abuse - consider the corruption of governments and police agencies.

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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:29 pm
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Rory wrote:
Falconer360,
Well, pharmaceutical companies probably don't initiate pandemics for profit, but since neither you nor I are capable of monitoring their behaviour directly, 24/7, then theoretically it is possible that they do - even if the probability is 0.0000000001%.


You are correct in this, however this also applies to everything that cannot be observed continuously and that we assume to be true based off of our observations. To blatantly say that big pharma companies create pandemics (as in actually distributing disease, not creating fake diseases) for profit, when there is no evidence of it, is delusional and paranoid.

Rory wrote:
It is not inconceivable that one group of people might decide to harm another group of people for profit - this has happened throughout human history with fighting between tribes, slavery along race lines, and today the milder form of exploitation that is consumption of the labour of the working classes by higher classes. Moreover, the fact that a company is, on the face of it, professional, does not mean necessarily that they will not be corrupt enforcers of institutionalised abuse - consider the corruption of governments and police agencies.


Undoubtedly, big pharma companies are probably corrupt. However, I would bet that they are not unique in this when compared to companies of similar size. Also it's important to realize that it's not the company that gets corrupted or is corrupt, it is the people that get corrupted. Which is a very common thing to happen, in fact I would argue that completely ethical people that are incapable of becoming corrupted are in the minority. Anyways, I feel that big pharma and the government may shift the focus of the public to certain viruses and diseases to draw peoples attention from things they don't want seen. Like how one year a disease/virus will be a major health threat then you won't hear about it for a few years, even though if you research you will see plenty of cases of it still occuring (West Nile, Mad Cow, Bird Flu, etc). This may have more to do with the media than with either big pharma or the government though. However, I don't think they are creating these viruses and diseases.

You seem like you are defending the anti-vaxxers and other pseudoscience people.

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:42 pm
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I'm not defending pseudoscience, I just think it would be irresponsible to ignore the (mostly, financial) conflicts of interest that risk putting profit before patient wellbeing. Just because the Science is rigorous does not mean to say that it is ethically sound or even in the public interest. Consider the historical cases of forced clinical trials performed on prisoners and on those in remote exotic locations. Once trust has been undermined in one area, and awareness of the underhand tactics of pharmaceutical companies grows, it is difficult not to ask where the pharmaceutical companies would draw the line. Do they draw the line at suppression of data? At bribing doctors? At massaging data? At inventing 'diseases'? At planting a disease (ahem, market)?

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:15 pm
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Rory wrote:
Didn't Steve Jobs live for 7 years post-diagnosis? I'd regard that as pretty good and a lot longer than most terminal cancer patients experience.


pancreatic cancer is a very aggressive type of cancer, and early diagnosis and remedial action are of the essence
subsequent action may have extended his life, but those missed few months at the beginning may well have been crucial in the end

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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:06 pm
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Rory wrote:
I'm not defending pseudoscience, I just think it would be irresponsible to ignore the (mostly, financial) conflicts of interest that risk putting profit before patient wellbeing. Just because the Science is rigorous does not mean to say that it is ethically sound or even in the public interest. Consider the historical cases of forced clinical trials performed on prisoners and on those in remote exotic locations. Once trust has been undermined in one area, and awareness of the underhand tactics of pharmaceutical companies grows, it is difficult not to ask where the pharmaceutical companies would draw the line. Do they draw the line at suppression of data? At bribing doctors? At massaging data? At inventing 'diseases'? At planting a disease (ahem, market)?


Just for clarity, I want you to know that I wasn't accusing you of defending the whack jobs. I just wanted to point out that is how your posts in this thread would seem from the perspective of someone new to the site.

I've always thought that it was a conflict of interest for pharmaceutical companies to have the "goal" of eliminating illness and helping people, yet be a for-profit business. I'm not saying that they shouldn't be paid for their efforts, but they should either be a non-profit or the R&D of pharmaceuticals should be a government division that is open to public scrutiny and not all cloak and dagger. I don't have the answer though, and even if I did there is no way I could bring about a reform of that scale.

I don't trust pharmaceutical companies completely, and in no way should we ever become complacent and just let them do their own thing. They need to be tightly regulated and monitored.

On a side note you mention clinical trials on prisoners, I may not support the death penalty, but I do support the use of life sentenced prisoners for such things, especially if they are rapists, pedophiles, or murderers. When you commit such a heinous crime that warrants a lifetime sentence, you have officially lost your rights to be treated like a human being. I know that's not very moral or ethical, but the circumstances in my life have led me to have no mercy or compassion for most types of criminals.

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: "believers" in alternative medicine  |  Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:31 pm
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marnix, you're probably right, I had a look and it turns out Jobs had an endocrine pancreatic cancer, and apparently it is not uncommon for those patients to live for 5 years post-diagnosis; that is, the endocrine pancreatic cancer is less aggressive and more amenable to treatment than other subtypes of pancreatic cancer. Certainly if earlier treatment could have prevented metastatic spread then Jobs' decision represents a monumemtal mistake from an otherwise rational mind.

Falconer360, I think it would help if the pharmaceutical companies were rewarded financially in direct correlation with achievements in terms of positive clinical outcomes - e.g. for every improvement in mortality rate for a given disease, the company receives a fat cheque.

I hope that you have not suffered at the hands of criminals - I have, once, but only in a mild way, and I guess that once in a few decades is pretty good going! I too have confused thoughts on punishment versus rehabilitation - the rational part of my mind urges rehabilitation but when I see a horrific crime carried out in cold blood, my emotions swing the other way towards punishment. Glad I'm not in public office and so don't have to worry about it too much.

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