Two Pseudo-Medicines Simultaneously Inflicted on Helpless Children

Two Pseudo-Medicines Simultaneously Inflicted on Helpless Children

One of the themes of science-based medicine is that techniques that are applicable to reality-based medicine do not function for pseudo-medicine.

My favorite example is the Cochrane meta-analysis from 2012 on the efficacy of Oscillococcinum® for treatment of flu:

There is insufficient good evidence to enable robust conclusions to be made about Oscillococcinum® in the prevention or treatment of influenza and influenza-like illness. Our findings do not rule out the possibility that Oscillococcinum® could have a clinically useful treatment effect but, given the low quality of the eligible studies, the evidence is not compelling.

Really? As if 200C duck liver and heart could have any effect whatsoever on influenza. You cannot apply the rules for reality on works of fiction.

Where the system is more than broken is informed consent and the use of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) to serve as a protection for patients, especially vulnerable patients like children who have no ability to supply informed consent.

For example Clinical observation on chiropractics combined with acupuncture at Sifeng for treatment of infantile anorexia.

The article is in Chinese so I assume that the study was approved by an IRB, but I could be wrong. There are issues with IRB's in the developing world and it is argued that there are different ethical standards in different cultures.  So perhaps abuse by research is OK in China.  Somehow I doubt it.  Perhaps the study was using the same ethical framework as Andrew Wakefield. If so, then the study should be retracted.

Either way, this study was beyond awful whether approved or not by an IRB.

Babies who were not eating we given not one but two useless pseudo-medicines to stimulate their appetite. Acupuncture AND chiropractic.

Sixty-two cases of infantile anorexia were randomly divided into a treatment group and a control group, 31 cases in each group. The treatment group were treated with chiropractics plus acupuncture at Sifeng (EX-UE 10), and the control group with oral administration of zinc gluconate granules made by the pharmaceutical factory of the hospital, for 2 weeks.

And they stuck the kids for blood draws as well.

I realize the Chinese may be invested in Traditional Chinese-Pseudo Medicine and useless acupuncture studies will likely continue as long as there is a China. But chiropractic? There are actually five RCTs with 371 participants that have used this pseudo-medicine to treat infantile anorexia.

In TCM, chiropractic therapy is used for this condition.

Chiropractic is TCM? Who knew. But as one study notes,

the control group was given routine western medicine treatment, the treatment group was given the chiropractic treatment

East or West, inflicting pseudo-medicines upon children is not the best.

IRB's continue to fail in their mission of protecting the helpless.  

It is one of the unfortunate end results of the belief in pseudo-medicine.

Points of Interest 05/04/2016
Points of Interest 05/03/2016

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