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Medical support for natural therapies

Southern Cross University has rejected claims its courses in alternative and complementary medicine are non-scientific “quackery” .

Call to Remove Complementary Medicines Courses from Universities

A group called Friends of Science in Medicine has written to the vice-chancellors of 19 Australian universities calling on them to axe alternative and complementary medicine degrees. The group includes world-renowned biologist Sir Gustav Nossal, the creator of the cervical cancer vaccine professor Ian Frazer, and more than 400 doctors, medical researchers and scientists. The group criticises chiropractic studies, naturopathy, iridology,  acupuncture and homeopathy as courses in “quackery” that are being given “undeserved credibility” by universities who teach them “as if they were science”.

The group’s vision statement is to “reverse the current trend which sees government-funded tertiary institutions offering health-care ‘science’ courses not based on scientific principles nor supported by scientific evidence”.

Dr Valerie Malka, surgeon and former director of trauma services at Westmead Hospital, responded by saying, “as a qualified medical specialist and surgeon, I am ashamed of the medical profession when it so blatantly displays its ignorance and persists in attacking a profession from which we have much to learn.”

“There is nothing better than modern medicine when it comes to surgery, emergency and trauma, but for almost everything else, traditional, natural or alternative medicine is far more effective – particularly for chronic illness which modern medicine is completely unable to treat or cure. These therapies, unlike modern medicine which focuses on symptom control, work to treat the entire person, recognising and stimulating the body’s innate capability to heal the root cause of illness.

Modern medicine actually suppresses and thwarts that innate healing mechanism by unbalancing the complex human organism and its systems, particularly the immune system, with the liberal use of drugs and ignorance of the importance of diet and lifestyle.With conventional medicine’s birth came the slow and deliberate move by the medical profession to discredit what became labelled ”alternative medicine”. I can only presume that what lies at the heart of it is the threat to conventional medicine’s power base and the unhealthy relationship it has long enjoyed with the trillion-dollar pharmaceutical industry.

It is about time the Australian medical profession started educating rather than medicating. It is unfortunate that it is the public’s disillusionment with modern medicine and its inability to treat many diseases, as well as the dreadful side-effects of any treatment offered, that have increased the popularity of complementary and alternative medicine. It should have been due to the interest, enthusiasm and reason of doctors, scientists, researchers and politicians.”