Summary of Principles

Summary of Principles

Conventional Medicine

Medicine, together with its allied health professions, is an applied activity aimed at preventing, curing or ameliorating human ailments and diseases. Medicine is firmly based on proven theoretical principles of modern science and on the best experimental available evidence for effectiveness; and

There is no place for interventions based in theories which do not conform with all the laws of Nature. If they do not conform to the laws of Nature discovered by science, and if there are no quality data to support their efficacy and safety, they are pseudoscience.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

So-called ‘complementary and alternative medicines’ (CAMs) represent a disparate variety of interventions, many of which are not effective and are not based on any scientific principle, they therefore deceive the public, often for financial gain; and

At their best, many CAMs ameliorate only minor ailments; they usually work because of the well-known ‘placebo effect’. At their worst, CAM interventions are unnecessarily dangerous – either because they cause direct harm or because they delay effective treatments.


Science has a well-established research methodology – it involves research which is published and able to be repeated by others – and allows a proposition to be either validated or refuted. All scientific theories and hypotheses must be amenable to research techniques. It is nonsense to claim that some of the theories behind CAMs cannot be analysed by valid research techniques;

This principle applies to all types of medications and interventions, including conventional treatments, both to maximise efficacy and to minimise side-effects;

We welcome research into traditional and herbal remedies. Many have been proven to contain valuable medicinal ingredients, which have subsequently been isolated and purified and used effectively by medical practitioners to treat illnesses; and

Research into all CAM interventions is a valid role for universities. Once a remedy has been shown to be effective and safe, it will be incorporated into conventional scientific Medicine.