Will Ugly Facts Kill the Beautiful Theories?

Daniel Weber

Howard Moffet asks this critical question in a letter published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (Moffet December 2009).  He states;

…is time to put science above superstition? For example, is there any scientific justification for the traditional theories that alone differentiate sham acupuncture from true acupuncture? Thomas Lundeberg et al recently demonstrated quite nicely that ‘‘sham acupuncture evidently is merely another form of acupuncture from the physiological perspective’’(Lundeberg et al 2008).

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CompOnco Immune cancer

23rd Tuesday, 2010  |   Cervical Cancer, Others  |  no comments

More than 500 million years ago a set of specialised enzymes and proteins evolved to defend our primitive ancestors against assaults from the outside world. If a microbe breached the shell of some Cambrian-era fauna, the members of this early-vintage immune system would stage a savage but coordinated attack on these interlopers¿punching holes in cell walls, spitting out chemical toxins, or simply swallowing and digesting the enemy whole. Once the invaders were dispatched, the immune battalion would start to heal damaged cells, or if the attacked cells were too badly damaged it would put them to rest. continue reading

More on EBM and RCTs

22nd Monday, 2010  |   Uncategorized  |  Comments Off on More on EBM and RCTs


EBM recognises that many aspects of medical care depend on individual factors such as quality- and value-of-life judgments, which are only partially subject to scientific methods. EBM, however, seeks to clarify those parts of medical practice that are in principle subject to scientific methods and to apply these methods to ensure the best prediction of outcomes in medical treatment, even as debate continues about which outcomes are desirable. continue reading

Who’s Afraid of EBM? Is it evidence or Evidence we need?

Daniel Weber


20100122 In The School of Athens (1510–1511; Stanza della Segnatura, Vaticano), Raphael captures the rational search for truth. Plato is pointing up to the heavens, emphasising epistemic knowledge, that of theoretical universals. His pupil, Aristotle, has his hand turned down to earth, emphasising phronesis (practical wisdom). A wise clinician has a foot in both camps. The notion of an external repository of evidence, pre-graded for validity (Haynes 2002), which can be applied impersonally in a logical deductive manner, is a cherished belief of EBM advocates(Tobin 2008).

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THE RADIATION BOOM – Radiation Offers New Cures, and Ways to Do Harm


As Scott Jerome-Parks lay dying, he clung to this wish: that his fatal radiation overdose — which left him deaf, struggling to see, unable to swallow, burned, with his teeth falling out, with ulcers in his mouth and throat, nauseated, in severe pain and finally unable to breathe — be studied and talked about publicly so that others might not have to live his nightmare.

Sensing death was near, Mr. Jerome-Parks summoned his family for a final Christmas. His friends sent two buckets of sand from the beach where they had played as children so he could touch it, feel it and remember better days.

Mr. Jerome-Parks died several weeks later in 2007. He was 43.

A New York City hospital treating him for tongue cancer had failed to detect a computer error that directed a linear accelerator to blast his brain stem and neck with errant beams of radiation. Not once, but on three consecutive days. continue reading