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To wonder why so many otherwise intelligent people are so against modern medicine?

(111 Posts)
toptramp Thu 06-Oct-11 17:53:23

I do have time for some complimentary medicine but i knoe some people who would rather do homeothapy than vaccines etc. Am i right in thinking that modern medicine is fab generally?

LadyThumb Thu 06-Oct-11 17:58:11

I'd be dead without it, tbh.

BedHog Thu 06-Oct-11 17:58:46

I think partly it's because the pharmaceutical industry has a bit of a bad reputation for just being interested in money, so some people are a bit cynical about the necessity of various medicines, vaccines etc. And partly because our generation doesn't remember the relatively large number of children who died or developed lifelong complications from common illnesses in the past. My gran said it was usual to lose a couple of children from her school each year.

GeraldineAubergine Thu 06-Oct-11 17:59:05

Modern medicine is amazing, I work in a huge theatre department and am surprised and delighted every day by what can be done to help people. However that is not to say every advance is right for every person. Personal circumstances, history, fears, research and personal knowledge leaves people to make their own choices. What's right for me may not be right for you. At the end of the day the best that can be done is to inform and educate and empower people tommale the best available choice.

Flisspaps Thu 06-Oct-11 18:00:53

Generally yes. But at the other end of the scale you have people who think that the Doctor's word is Gospel and that the medical profession can never do any wrong, and that they must know best in ever matter even though they are only human.

It's about finding the balance between the two smile

toptramp Thu 06-Oct-11 18:01:55

There are so many conspiracy theories and it makes me tear my hair out with frustrtation.
I am aware of the greed of the pharmeceutical industry and watched the constant gardener with interest but on the whole I think it is marvellous stuff. Of course whoever has teh cure for anything is sitting on a potential goldmine and it can therefore be used to hold power over people etc.

solidgoldbrass Thu 06-Oct-11 18:02:40

The vast majority of people are not very clever, not very logical, and very prone to irrational superstition. If this were not so, crooks would not get so rich.

WishIwereAtTheWiesnProst Thu 06-Oct-11 18:03:38

It's easy not to trust the pharmaceutical industry. It makes me uneasy to think a multi billion dollar industry is telling my doctor what to prescribe me.

That said, I don't really like most "alternative" medicine, and think it is equally peddeled to desperate people.

Mostly I just suck it up and go without|!

toptramp Thu 06-Oct-11 18:09:07

My exes mum was into all the alternative healer and tried to stop me getting vaccinated when I went to India. She told me to take homeopathic medicines instead. Needless to say I ignored her. wierdo.

NotADudeExactly Thu 06-Oct-11 18:24:49

I often wonder if there is a degree of "my enemy's enemy is my friend" type of thinking involved in this, i.e. if people assume that Big Pharma being bad must automatically mean that quacks are good.

If so, this is obviously a huge logical fallacy.

The other thing that I often seem to find is a desire for an approach that is a bit more touchy feely cuddly. Alternative medicine generally provides this - not least because practitioners have a lot more time for each patient than overworked NHS staff. The thing is, of course, that more time is in no way equal to better medical training.

There seems to be a strong wish to believe in many people. My mother frustrates me endlessly in this regard: she readily admits that homeopathy cannot work in theory, hasn't been shown to work in practice, and still insists that it does work anyway. confused. It's something I've seen in other people too. I'd almost call it willful irrationality.

Mathewbellamyismyman Thu 06-Oct-11 18:26:32

Both my prem babies wouldn't be here without science. My husband would be dead without his cancer treatment.

I love evidence based medicine.

seeker Thu 06-Oct-11 18:29:49

To quote Brian Cox "because they're not very good at thinking"!

GrimmaTheNome Thu 06-Oct-11 18:30:36

Mainly its because people don't understand (a) science (b) statistics

TT, if you haven't read Ben Goldacre's 'Bad Science', you'd probably enjoy it. lambasts homeopathy and Big Pharma badness (though on the whole, Big Pharma is a bloody good thing - lots of dedicated clever people doing extraordinary things to improve peoples lives)

SauvignonBlanche Thu 06-Oct-11 18:33:10

Unfortunately a lot of people are stupid.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 06-Oct-11 18:35:42

YANBU... My old lodger was a devotee of alternative medicine. She was convinced she had some mystery ailment and, because regular doctors didn't agree with her self-diagnosis, spent £££s on chinese herbs and every other whacko therapy known to mankind. I think mostly they provide something between hope and indulgence... Hope for the incurably ill. Indulgence for the 'worried well'.

fastweb Thu 06-Oct-11 18:37:06

We undersell the value (and fun) of Thinking and oversell the value (and usefulness) of Feeling.

Hence the breeding ground for conspiracy theories and psudosicence.

Ayoop Thu 06-Oct-11 18:37:08

Homeopathy is a complete crock of shit. End of.

mycatsaysach Thu 06-Oct-11 18:37:29

not all science is good or correct and a lot of modern medicine is about money pure and simple.
of course if you have had a good experience you will be impressed by it if on the other hand you haven't then - not so much.surely an intelligent enquiring mind is a good thing.

NotADudeExactly Thu 06-Oct-11 18:39:01

I think putting it all down to stupidity or a lack of knowledge is too simplistic, though.

Most of the people I personally know who buy into these kinds of things are well educated. I'm talking degrees, in some cases even PhDs. Of course they tend not to be in the natural sciences - but I'd normally expect a teacher, historian or engineer to have as good a grasp of basic biology as a taxi driver or SAHM without qualifications. Still IME the former are a lot more likely to buy into chakra cleansing than the latter, ...

Can't help but think that there is an element of deliberate rejection of rationality to a degree.

silverfrog Thu 06-Oct-11 18:41:10

I don't know anyone who is 'against' modern medicine.

I do know some people who use alternatives alongside. and I know some people who disagree with the 'instant fix' element that is sometimes seen - like when antibiotics were being regularly asked for and prescribed for no good reason (you can't really blame the public for 'taking too many antibiotics' without also blaming the doctors for prescribing those anti-bs needlessly. more than once I was unable to stop a doctor writing a prescription for dd1 which she did not need)

apart from the vaccine issue you mention in your OP (there is a vaccination section if you want to discuss jabs), is there any other part of 'modern medicine' you think is regularly shunned?

buzzskeleton Thu 06-Oct-11 18:41:22

I always think the "Big Pharma's" all-about-the-money argument is a bit daft - as if the alternative/complementary therapy market isn't just as big and money-making? I mean, it's in every supermarket.

hiddenhome Thu 06-Oct-11 18:42:14

Modern medicine is fine. It's just the doctors who're doling it out that I don't trust hmm

RollingInTheAisles Thu 06-Oct-11 18:45:59

Both are important and both have their downfalls, obviously. Western medicine tends to treat symptoms and naturopathic medicine holistically. I think the times I've ad most success is when both are used in tandem and both doctors (when I've been using separate ones) are tolerant of both.

fastweb Thu 06-Oct-11 18:46:10

.surely an intelligent enquiring mind is a good thing.

Define an enquiring mind.

Read some thing that "sounds" impressive science wise, seek out more stuff that agrees with the first. Embark on "reseach" that is designed to confirm a growing bias. Add a dash of "gut feeling" in place of fact checking claims, add a sprinkle of "common sense" that "chemicals" are bad without establishing a solid comprehension of what "chemical" means and why such a sweeping statement is utter bollocks. Shift in a slight confusion between anacdote and data ....

That is what passes for "an equiring mind" when the people around me wish to evangelise something "that science hasn't caught up with enough yet to truely understand, let alone be able to test, so that.s why there is no data to support it"

Witchofthenorth Thu 06-Oct-11 18:50:08

I don't shun modern medicine, I actually quite like it, it works (most of the time smile), but I also at times use alternative medicine alongside.

I think I may leave it at that....I am still receiving therapy from the last thread I got involved in that spoke of alternative therapies! <twitch>

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