Quackery, obscurity, religion, and more…

FSM Friends’ News and Articles

Ivermectin goes from being the new hydroxychloroquine to being the new MMS: “I don’t know if this is truly an immutable law, but it seems that way to me: Among quacks, the use of given quackery for any given condition will ultimately be expanded to be used for more conditions.” Like many who believe in ‘miracle cures’, Ivermectin fans have begun to claim conditions ranging from ‘blood sugar disorders’, autoimmune conditions, Cohen, Autism and alopecia can be cured with Ivermectin. It’s funny the way pseudo science treatments follow similar pathways. When an idea is new, it is a controversy of parties all claiming that their beliefs are reasonable, in-spite of the evidence or lack thereof. If only more evidence could found…

As time goes by, we see that evidence becomes less and less important to the believers. With the benefit of hindsight, we are able to see the progression to more an more fringe positions, and to recognise that this is the normal pattern for those that endorse pseudo-science. “The drugs and quack treatments might change, as might the specific online forums where such quack treatments are promoted, but the psychology remains the same. Until we have better strategies and tools to address that, simply debunking treatments like MMS, the Zapper, and ivermectin for autism, although helpful to an extent, will not be enough.”

Alternative medicine – the recipe for identifying biased clinical studies, by Pr Ernst “The next time you hear “a new study has shown that XY therapy works,” it might be worth asking a few questions and considering the many ways researchers can fool you with seemingly rigorous clinical studies… My thirty years of experience in the study of so-called alternative therapies have taught me that the vast majority of studies in this field are unfortunately affected by one either of these subterfuges. In case you find this all too complicated or tedious, just remember this: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

CAM for the management of heart failure: “CAM is undoubtedly popular and may be used alongside conventional treatments for heart failure, or in place of evidence-based therapies. While there are a few products (e.g., PUFAs) and approaches (e.g., yoga/tai chi) that may be beneficial, there are also a large number of products that can worsen heart failure or cause negative interactions with prescribed medications.” 


‘Agree With Dog’ and other obscure patient chart notes: A look at chart notes, the content that obscures, the content that clarifies, and the content that occasionally draws a laugh. Such as “Agree with dog…”

Health regulator’s internal problems could affect patient safety: “Despite what the public might have believed, cosmetic surgeons were not required to be registered as surgeons and that as a result AHPRA did not specifically count how many complaints were made against them. On its website at that time, it unhelpfully advised would-be patients that doctors working as cosmetic surgeons ‘may have very little experience or knowledge of the specific procedures or surgery you want’.” 

Abused Health Concepts

Mis-claims of religious freedom. A review of major religions and vaccines – almost all support vaccinations: Religious freedom is a deeply important freedom that is also deeply personal and thus very difficult to disagree about in a reasonable manor.  Unfortunately this makes the concept an easy go to for contrarians and denialists. A person who dislikes or fears vaccines for non-religious reasons will find it easy to claim that a vaccine is “against my religion”. This despite the fact that there is generally little to no theological rational that can be employed to reject vaccines. For this reason it is better not to allow special religious provisions to refuse vaccines. People already have the right to accept or refuse vaccines as a personal choice. Better to simply call it what it is.

Evidence-based medicine. Peter Götzsche is now officially anti-vaccine: While having evidence is certainly better than not having evidence, EBM doesn’t do a good job of protecting against confirmation bias. If motivated parties, such as vaccine deniers, anomaly hunt, p-hack, and cherry pick hard enough, they can find ‘evidence’ for almost anything. Then they call claim the mantle and the authority of ‘evidence based medicine’, even if their ‘evidence’ is weak and contrary to the body of available scientific literature. This is why FSM advocates for SCIENCE BASED MEDICINE. Because individual pieces of evidence do not carry authority until they are put into context with the sum total of scientific evidence that is available.