[beliefs] TT Discussion - some thoughts from a Consumer Activist

From: Peter Huston ([email protected])
Date: Sat Sep 18 1999 - 16:00:03 MST

[email protected] wrote:

> Do you think the ongoing discussion about Larry Sarner's charges of
plagiarism should be moved off the list

I think it should be removed from this list and I'd really appreciate it if
the skeptics not concerned with
combating health fraud left too. I think you have lists of your own.

Rosemary Jacobs
[email protected]


I agree wholeheartedly!! All skeptics not concerned with health fraud
should leave the list immediately. No doubt about it. They have no business
being here!

But let me respond to the other controversial statement, having lived in
Taiwan for over three years, I don't really think that it's the case at all
that Westerners (probably a better term to use than Americans in this
context) automatically become disillusioned with alternative therapies by
living abroad.

There is, in some circles, of course, an idealization of Chinese and other
non-Western cultures among people who've never experienced them first hand,
but only some alternative therapies have a non-Western origin.

Chiropracty is one example. At least many schools of psychotherapy clearly
count. Personally, I've never really understood why M.D.s are so quick to
include D.O.s as colleagues. I was making a joke the other day about how a
local quack psychiatrist lost his license -at last!- after many years of
inducing Satanic Ritual Abuse memories when he finally was caught having
sex with a patient.

"If you're a psychiatrist you can F--- up your patients, but once you F---
you patients then you lose your license. You can destroy their lives as
long as you want, but once you kiss them on the lips you're out."
And at least part of the problem lies with the way some M.D.s treat their
patients like machines or peons. I think part of the problem with the rise
of alternative medicine stems from problems in the way Western-originated
scientific medicine encourages doctors to treat their patients as if they
were a nuisance.

I just wrote a newspaper article on a local rural MDs retirement. The town
she works in is actually declaring "Dr. Margery Smith Day" with a big party
in her honor as they love her so much. -and she has a wall full of official
commendations from various Town Supervisors (the equivalent of a mayor.)
She said she's retiring as "it's about time, and it's no fun being a doctor
any more."

She told me that it is actually ENCOURAGED for new MDs opening a practice
to live far away from the clinic. This prevents a "problem" called
"access." In other words, if you live close to your patients they might
come to you at strange hours looking for advice on health problems. This
used to be considered a good thing or at least a normal part of life as an
MD if you did family practice. Now it's considered highly undesirable.

In summary, I think doctors need to ask themselves WHY people are looking
elsewhere for health care. What are THEY doing wrong? How can THEY improve
themselves? It's like the Bible says, "don't worry about the speck in your
neighbors eye, until you remove the log from your own." Modern MDs offer
the best health care ever seen on this planet ever, and a growing number of
people are telling them they just don't want to use it. They'd rather go
elsewhere for something that doesn't even work, or doesn't even make
superficial sense, in many cases. I think it's missing the boat to blame
the cause of alternative therapies appeal on too few people having lived
abroad. Much of the appeal lies closer to home.
                   Peter Huston
              [email protected]

   "Time always shows me it's hard to
       understand how to be myself."
                            -Cibo Matto

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