Ethics be Damned, We have Curses to Remove

Ethics be Damned, We have Curses to Remove

Sadly, money always triumphs truth and ethics. Well, almost always. I recognize that one person's ethics is another's opportunity to separate a patient from their money.

A recent article, Alternative Medicine and the Ethics Of Commerce, concludes

Central cases of CAM can be shown to violate all three of the fundamental principles presented above. We conclude that there are significant ethical problems, from the perspective of the ethics of commerce, with the production, advertising and selling of complementary and alternative medicines.

So selling pseudo-medicines is unethical. As I have mentioned, my favorite comparison for CAM is the curse removal scam, which is considered fraud and the perpetrators often end up jailed.

This scam involves convincing the mark that she and her valuables, including cash, are cursed and that the con artist, posing as a psychic, Tarot card reader, Gypsy, clairvoyant or the like has the power to cleanse the person and her money and jewelry, thereby lifting the curse. Modern con artists sometimes claim the problem is "negative energy" rather than a curse, which might appear too old-fashioned a term for people hip to the New Age.

The curse removal scam is no different at its core than most SCAM's (supplement, alternative and complementary medicine).

I have always wondered why IRB's, charged with making sure that clinical trials are, among other things, ethical, allow so many studies on pseudo-medicines. And I also wonder why hospital Boards allow what in my opinion is the moral equivalent of the medical curse removal scam. Like the Albany hospitals:

This month I am calling attention to the complementary services that are available for patients admitted to our Albany hospitals, St. Peter's and Albany Medical Center.

What forms of curse removal are they calling attention to?

  • Reiki
  • Reflexology to "improve circulation, stimulate nerve function, clear toxins, and renew energy."
  • Acupressure Bands
  • Massage to "balance the nervous system, remove toxins, "
  • Clinical Aromatherapy
  • Healing Touch
  • Eden Energy Therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Thought Field Therapy, a "form of energy psychology"
  • Emotional Freedom Techniques "an alternative therapy that uses tapping to stimulate certain meridian points (acupuncture points) to provide physical and/or emotional relief."
  • Buteyko Breathing Retraining
  • Hemi-Sync Audio Technology "musical tones and verbal suggestions to influence brainwave patterns which promote mental, emotional and physical comfort. "
  • MagnaBand Device "a Velcro "bracelet" with a magnetized button insert worn on the wrist"

I have to admit that is the one that flabbers my gaster the most. Magnets. They are offering magnet therapy. I know these hospitals are proudly advertising a cornucopia of unethical and worthless quackery and pseudo-science. But magnets in 2016?  I can only shake my head in disbelief and wonder.

This is not a naturopathic or chiropractic clinic, where would expect to see innumerable therapies divorced from reality. No.  These are accredited medical centers. With evidently zero scientific and evidence based standards.

Psychics are so last century. The future of curse removal is now and appearing in hospitals and clinics across the US. There you will never have to worry about either ethics or prosecution for fraud. 

Points of Interest 02/15/2016
Points of Interest 02/11/2016

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