Hospitals Capitalize on Alternative Medicine

 

Hospitals are selling their souls to the almighty dollar. At a time when their profits are soaring due to ObamaCare they are also cashing in on alternative medicine.

My father was a hospital administrator. I grew up listening to him talk about the purpose of a hospital and its commitment to the community to provide high quality, scientifically based medicine. Something has changed in recent years from that kind of commitment.

I have served as the chief of the medical staff and the president of the governing board of a hospital. During that tenure I can honestly say we would have never allowed the hospital to provide treatments that could not be backed by scientific reasoning. The reputation of the hospital in the community was too important. We closely guarded that reputation and turned down requests for hospital privileges from any physician that would sully that reputation.

Alternative Medicine

Today, even the most prestigious hospitals in America are offering Alternative Medicine treatments that have no basis in scientific understanding. These treatments include the following:

  • “Energy healing” for multiple sclerosis
  • Acupuncture for infertility
  • Homeopathic bee venom for arthritis and nerve pain
  • Reiki – to “unleash” a cosmic energy flow to heal naturally
  • Ayurveda – an ancient Indian practice

 

Jim Meyers, writing in Newsmax, says these treatments are being offered at highly esteemed institutions such as Yale, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Pennsylvania. He says a UCLA study found that more than 60 hospitals are now offering alternative-medicine programs – and business is booming. Alternative medicine is projected to rake in an eye-opening $37 Billion this year!

Here are some examples of prestigious medical facility offerings:

  • Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia) offers intravenous vitamin and mineral therapies as well as homeopathic bee venom.
  • The University of California, San Francisco, offers Chinese herbal medicine along with Ayurveda, a holistic approach, and has a class on “laughter yoga.”
  • The University of Pittsburgh’s integrative medical center offers unconventional treatments for ailments ranging from ADHD to whiplash.
  • The University of Florida held a public forum suggesting herbal therapy could help with Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Proponents of this practice argue that conventional medicine cannot cure everything. Critics say this practice undermines credibility for scientifically proven treatments.

STAT, a national medical news website, recently examined alternative medicine practices at 15 academic research centers across the nation. They found “these therapies have become embedded in prestigious hospitals and medical schools.”

Doctors are pushing back against this trend, however. Dr. Irene Extores, medical director of the integrative medicine program at Florida, said: “The important thing about practicing in an academic center is that we must hold ourselves to certain standards.” The University of Pittsburgh acknowledges on its website that alternative therapies “generally have not been subjected to the same level of research as standard approaches.”

STAT makes a stronger statement. They say that alternative medical practices being promoted at major medical centers, “have little or no scientific backing.”

“We’ve become witch doctors,” protests Dr. Steven Novella, a professor of neurology at Yale School of Medicine and a fervent critic of alternative medicine. Novella told the STAT medical news website that by promoting alternative medicine, doctors are forfeiting “any claim that we had to being a science-based profession.” He also noted that when famous medical institutions offer a treatment, patients are less likely to question its validity, or whether techniques are based on scientific evidence. “They see a prestigious hospital is offering it, so they think it’s legitimate.”

There was a time when people had to go to Mexico or other countries to find such treatments because American hospitals refused to offer them. Today, it seems as long as there are consumers there will be hospitals selling this modern “snake oil.”

My father might turn over in his grave.

 

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