Aussie taxpayers set to fund courses in quackery like homeopathy

It looks like Aussie taxpayers are going to have the pleasure of funding coursed in quackery.

Profit-making colleges would receive taxpayer funding to teach students unproven alternative remedies such as homeopathy, flower essence therapy and iridology under the Abbott government’s proposed higher education reforms.

The move comes as the government considers stripping the private health insurance rebate from any policies covering natural therapies not supported by evidence.

As well as deregulating university fees and cutting university funding, the government’s higher education reforms would extend funding to private colleges, TAFEs and sub-bachelor degree programs at a cost of $820 million over three years.

Accredited private colleges would become eligible for grants of $6323 a year for each student enrolled in courses such as homeopathy, naturopathy and mind body medicine. This is more than public universities would receive per student studying law, economics, languages or the humanities under the new funding structure.   Read more »

Why isn’t this quack being charged with manslaughter?

In this whole tragic story I can’t for the life of me work out why this quack hasn’t been charged with manslaughter. Instead the Human Rights Review Tribunal  is going to give her a slap on the hand with a wet bus ticket.

By the time Yvonne Maine saw a surgeon about the yawning wound on her head, it had become so big her brain was exposed.

The cancerous lesion had grown from 2 centimetres to 20cm during 16 months of treatment by an unqualified iridologist, who discouraged the Feilding grandmother from visiting a doctor, a Human Rights Review Tribunal hearing was told yesterday.

By the time renowned Hutt Hospital plastic surgeon Swee Tan saw her, all he could do was ease Mrs Maine to a dignified death.

Mainstream medicine could have saved her life, he told the hearing. Instead, Mrs Maine was subjected to something he did not consider to be within the realm of “treatment”.

Read more »

Herald Promotes Loony Medicine

Some people will believe anything.

The weird science of homeopathy, where sick people pay $$$ for a bottle of water which may or may not include a quadrazillionth of an undetectable molecule of arsenic is one for the gullible.

Now the Herald, a nominally serious mainstream newspaper, is giving weight and extensive coverage  to promote a Waiheke Island (where else!) expert who claims to diagnose your illnesses by taking a peek at your eyeball.

This science goes by the fancy name of iridology.

“Irises are either blue or brown and any other colours between are a corruption of what happens in our life. For instance if our digestive system is not eliminating all toxins, these will accumulate in the body and show in the iris. But some normal conditions such as pregnancy don’t show; and ditto for some slow diseases such as arthritis and Alzheimer’s.”

I can just see the Herald’s readers rushing to the mirror and, detecting that their peepers are not a perfect blue or brown, worrying that they might have piles.

“During a naturopathy consultation, Peter notes the condition of his client’s skin, ears, nails and the face and records details such as patient and family medical history, blood pressure and pulse. He will look his client’s tongue, ask their age, and about lifestyle, diet, and drugs or supplements taken.

Then he looks at the eye where each section of the iris relates to a body part. There may be stress rings, iron, or markings or colours which indicate changes in cholesterol and blood sugar levels, the state of your immune system, memory and circulation issues”.

Looking at your eyeball can be a reliable way of detecting a hangover, if you can’t otherwise remember what you did the night before.

The rest is bullshit.

The Herald wraps up this lurch into mad science by helpfully publishing the nutty professor’s name, phone number, and consultation costs.

People are Stupid, Ctd

This was never going to end well…belief in hocus pocus. It was a stupid belief that led to her death. This is nothing short of quackery. The “health” practitioner should be prosecuted for some sort of culpable homicide.

All this mumbo jumbo and hocus pocus, like the stupid belief that homeopathic “remedies” that are nothing more than water are stronger somehow than medicine…just goes to prove that People are Stupid.

A natural health practitioner treated a woman with a lesion on her head for 18 months, even though the practitioner recognised from the beginning that the lesion “looked cancerous”.

By the time the woman sought hospital treatment, the lesion was 10 x 11cm and some underlying bones were damaged, the Health & Disability Commissioner (HDC) said.

The woman was diagnosed with cancer and underwent major surgery but died a year later.

She had first consulted the iridologist and natural health practitioner about the lesion in February 2008. At the time the woman thought the lesion was a cyst.

Iridology is the diagnosis of a patient’s health by looking at their irises.

The provider recognised from the beginning that the lesion “looked cancerous” and that it was beyond her ability to treat, the HDC said.

Despite that, the provider treated the lesion for 18 months.

“To do so, the provider spent many hours each day at the woman’s house and the woman and provider went on holiday together.”

Treatment of the lesion included picking out dead skin, cleaning the lesion, and the use of topical and oral remedies.

Although initially the lesion appeared to improve, it later grew larger, was frequently infected, bled frequently, and smelled unpleasant. The woman became weak and was in severe pain, the report said.

The provider did not retain any records of the care she provided and no other health practitioner treated the woman’s lesion during that time.