Journal of the American Medical Association Doctors Call for Censorship of Quacks, Phony Experts, & Snake-Oil Salesmen


An Op-Ed recently published by two M.D.s in the Journal of the American Medical Association essentially calls for on- and off-line censorship of what the authors decry as health or medical misinformation. This apparently means quashing any discussion of approaches outside the conventional Big Pharma paradigm or surgical interventions.

“While censorship targeting sites on the worldwide web is challenging in most jurisdictions, social media companies own their platforms and can take action,” the doctors insist, among other things.

Political censorship on social media is emerging as an enormous problem. To see where these “global consensus,” establishment doctors, moreover, are coming from, the editorial contains this revealing passage:

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“The result [of online access to information] has been torrents of misinformation on topics as varied as the safety and effectiveness of vaccinations, the Zika virus outbreak, water fluoridation, genetically modified foods, and treatments for common diseases. Moreover…negative attitudes about science appear to have risen in lockstep with ultranationalist sentiments and the emergence of populist leaders and movements. For those disadvantaged, despairing, and understandably distrustful of government, these ‘alternative truths’ align with shared skepticism about scientific medicine and belief in traditional remedies.” [Bold added for emphasis]

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Thus, the authors imply that a healthy, as it were, skepticism about some aspects of “scientific medicine” is no longer healthy if it is aligned with nationalism or populism. Globalism and Big Pharma in a joint venture…is that surprising?

And politicizing science while suppressing dissenting views always works out well, right?

Related stories:

Are the Gatekeepers Looking Out for Patients?

In commenting about the JAMA article, integrative physician and syndicated talk show host Dr. Ronald Hoffman responded on his Intelligent Medicine website that the we-know-best authors have it backward:

“What has undermined people’s trust in government is its persistent inaction in relation to dangerous environmental pollutants and harmful food additives, its permissive regulation of drugs and devices with ultimately devastating side effects, its condoning of aggressive marketing of opiates, its wasteful and inefficient administration of government health programs like Medicaid and the VA, and its dogged adherence to anachronistic diet recommendations that have fostered obesity and disease! In baseball, they call those ‘unforced errors.’ The JAMA op-ed outlines a sweeping action plan to stem the tide of ‘misinformation.’ As befits a medical journal, they couch their language in terms reminiscent of efforts to contain viral pandemics…”

 

Dr. Hoffman also implies that the JAMA writers may be engaging in fear mongering, particularly given the current measles outbreak:

“The authors of this ambitious manifesto take aim at the legitimacy of complementary and alternative medicine. They conflate all forms of dissent from mainstream orthodoxy with extreme vaccine denialism and invoke media-stoked hysteria over measles resurgence as a rationale for policing content deemed ‘unscientific.’ Like dangerous antibiotic-resistant pathogens, complementary and alternative medical approaches are said to ‘persist’ despite efforts to eradicate them.”

Is Scientific Medicine Settled Science?

Dr. Hoffman further explained on Twitter that “Consensus’ used to be: Don’t bother washing your hands after examining patients; the earth is flat; the sun and planets revolve around the earth; saturated fat and cholesterol are the prime drivers of cardiovascular disease; bloodletting; mercurials for syphilis.”

Obviously, there is no one panacea when it comes to health challenges. Any illness or condition requires due diligence and guidance from a professional healthcare professional.

America is also blessed with incredibly sophisticated medical technology, access to which hopefully won’t be ruined by the drumbeat for Medicare for all and other forms of failed, socialized medicine.

Alternative Medicine Is Health Freedom

Big Pharma meds routinely prescribed by physicians often come with severe side effects, causing some patients to seek alternative healthcare to address the cause of an illness rather than its symptoms.

In that context, many Americans, and people around the world say they have obtained good results with integrative medicine. This is a combination of conventional or allopathic healing techniques with alternative/complementary health practices.

Complementary approaches can include herbal medicine, homeopathy, dietary modifications, and nutritional supplementation and other natural products. Mind/body methods can include tai chi, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, shiatsu, reflexology, as well as care delivered by Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and chiropractors.

That said, when it comes to supplements, there are some products in the over-the-counter market that contain substandard ingredients and/or fall way short of the hype, if not useless. Other such products and regimens have turned out to be effective and safe according to their proponents, including complimentary physicians.

Censorship Is Not A Good Prescription

Some alternative health products or practices indeed are far from legit, Dr. Hoffman freely acknowledged, but he concluded that establishment-enforced censorship provides no solution:

“Commercialism is rampant, and misleading claims abound. Part of my mission statement on Intelligent Medicine is to call out the BS. I’ve done so when it’s deserved even at the risk of alienating some of my integrative medicine colleagues. Crazy, unfounded conspiracy theories need to be credibly challenged. But a concerted campaign of censorship—undertaken by biased stakeholders in Big Medicine, Big Pharma, Big Food, Big Government and their abettors in Big Media—is not the way to go.”

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