Bad Astronomy

Alt med: win some and lose some

In the crazy topsy-turvy world of alternative medicine, the forces of reality win some and lose some.

WIN: An alleged quack who allegedly sold herbal cures for cancer has been slapped with a fraud lawsuit. The charges are that this ordained Pentecostal minister preyed on vulnerable terminal cancer patients using religious trappings. Nice.

LOSE: The Natural News altmed website – which promotes all sorts of nonsense, including connecting vaccines and autism – reports that a “health freedom attorney” (heh) has filed a suit against the FDA to halt the distribution of swine flu vaccine. However, their claims of this vaccine being rushed, untested, and so on, are all completely false.

Y’know, if people want to take tinctures and poultices and whatever that does nothing whatsoever instead of real medicine, that’s their right. But when they try to stop others from getting real medicine – medicine that can save many lives – because of their own gross misunderstanding of science, then that becomes a public threat. I hope the judge throws this case out of court, and then fines all those involved for frivolous lawsuits.

Not-so-incidentally, the Natural News website says this suit is being filed on behalf of Gary Null, and a perusal of his website shows him to be antivax as well as an AIDS denialist (someone who doesn’t think HIV causes AIDS)… and I am shocked, shocked, to find out he has his own line of alternative cures. These are the kinds of folks we’re dealing with, and why I get so very upset about all this.

So this really isn’t a “lose” yet, but it’s a lose in the sense that people with such a tenuous grasp of reality attack it with such fervor. They are putting everyone at risk: you, me, everyone. That’s why I am so vocal, and will continue to be.