Time for Chuck to grow up

Speaking of stupid stuff, the struggle continues to persuade the future king to act like a responsible adult and not endanger the health of his ‘subjects.’

The Prince of Wales is being challenged today to withdraw two guides promoting alternative medicine…The documents, published by the Prince and his Foundation for Integrated Health, misrepresent scientific evidence about therapies such as homoeopathy, acupuncture and reflexology…Edzard Ernst, Professor of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter, and Simon Singh, a science writer and broadcaster, call on the Prince to recall the publications, one of which was produced with a £900,000 grant from the Department of Health…Professor Ernst and Dr Singh say the Prince accepted the importance of “rigorous scientific evidence” to alternative medicine, in an article he wrote for The Times in 2000, and point out that more than 4,000 research studies have since been published…The first document is a pamphlet, part-funded by the taxpayer, that gives advice on finding practitioners of alternative therapies. It is misleading, Professor Ernst said, because it includes disorders for which alternative remedies have been shown to be ineffective. It states, for example, that chiropractic is used to treat asthma, digestive disorders and migraine, when it has been shown by rigorous trials only to be useful for back pain. The guide also promotes acupuncture for addiction, when studies suggest that it has no benefit, and homoeopathy, which a major review for The Lancet has indicated works only as a placebo.

That’s a good wheeze, isn’t it – to describe worthless treatments as being ‘used to treat’ diseases it can’t treat. It’ll be true, because there are people who ‘use’ them that way, but it’s misleading, because ‘using’ them that way is like me using a hammer to paint the wall blue. It doesn’t work.

Natasha Finlayson, of the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health, said: “We entirely reject the accusation that our online publication Complementary Healthcare: A Guide contains any misleading or inaccurate claims about the benefits of complementary therapies. On the contrary, it treats people as adults and takes a responsible approach by encouraging people to look at reliable sources of information . . . so that they can make informed decisions.”

That’s rather disgusting. It’s manipulative bullshit to talk about ‘treating people as adults’ by giving them misleading pseudo-information. It’s not treating people as children to give them information that is careful not to mislead, especially when it comes to medical treatments. It’s disgusting that Chuck abuses his unearned power and influence to do this kind of thing. He’s not a doctor, he’s not a medical researcher, he’s not a physiologist, he’s not even a competent journalist, but here he is pushing quack medicine on people who will take him seriously because of who he is. Bad, very bad.

14 Responses to “Time for Chuck to grow up”