Pete McMartin: Call the doctor - this government is making me sick
Premier Christy Clark's throne speech proposal for a government-financed school of traditional Chinese medicine raises questions about safety and costs.
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#1 Feb 22, 2013
TCMABC Response to Vancouver Sun article
Posted on February 22, 2013
A recent article in the Vancouver Sun has provided an excellent opportunity for us to do some TCM myth busting. In fact, a lot of people in our community were quite offended by the article and asked us to respond, so we did. Our friends and colleagues at the QATCMA also felt the need to respond. Best of all, just as the final amalgamation documents for the creation of our new association are being prepared for print, everyone is coming together with a show of support with a response from the soon-to-be-new-association president, too.
We encourage you to participate in opportunities to dispel the popular myths around TCM, and we are supportive of higher education and its critical role in good health.
TCMABC’s response to the Vancouver Sun
It is obvious that Pete McMartin (“Call the Doctor: this government is making me sick”) has never entered a TCM clinic. He clearly mistakes myths as facts. Even more appalling is that someone might mistake his opinions as truth.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is not only rooted in strongly scientific principles, it is leading the way in modern health care – including sports medicine, gynaecology and obstetrics, fertility clinics, and integrative oncology to name but a few. Look how many physiotherapists, dentists, and MD’s are lining up for acupuncture-like courses! If it is “dubious”, why are other healthcare professions cherry-picking the very best of TCM practices and even claiming them as their own?
Pete thinks herbal medicine is unproven, and he scoffs at TCM in oncology, demonstrating he hasn’t learned to use the search engine “Scholar.Google”, either. This study demonstrates that TCM herbs help cancer patients. In fact, an integrated approach to healthcare benefits by using the best both systems have to offer; this is the model of a healthier future.
Sadly, Pete chose uninformed sources:“… not sure there is enough scientific evidence that traditional Chinese medicine is equal to Western medicine”... Equal? Is a peach equal to an apple? Perhaps the true, unstated fear here is that TCM may be superior to Western medicine for certain conditions. After all, it is proven safer. Look up number of “iatrogenic”(ie: caused by doctors) deaths every year, versus number of deaths (zero) attributed to registered acupuncturists in BC. Just for fun, how about number of deaths from prescription drugs versus number of deaths due to TCM herbal medicines?
Pete’s resource also threatened:“If (patients) delay their treatment by the use of Chinese medicine,” Ross said,“we’re concerned they may miss the window of treatment with western medicine.” The sad part is that, patients who come to our clinics in a last ditch act of desperation too often miss the window where TCM could have helped them. Drawing lines in the sand is futile and ultimately hurts patients. Integrated care hospitals have been flourishing in other countries for decades, providing excellent clinical outcomes and enviable cost efficiency.
TCM is not just for Asian people, Pete. Acupuncture and TCM herbs are in demand because they work for everyone. That’s why the need for a University course of study. We can never learn about something until we learn about it.
#2 Feb 22, 2013
I have seen comments posted by cancer patients who used conventional and alternative cancer treatments together. Specifically, one individual reported that after doing a great deal of research he chose to augment his traditional treatment with TCM and had wonderful success with it.
The public should know that one study in particular vividly points out the fact that traditional cancer treatment alone is not adequate and that the focus must be shifted to integrative cancer treatment programs. The authors (one medical oncologist and two
#3 Feb 22, 2013
-- Continued --
....two radiation oncologists analyzed the results of all randomized clinical trials performed in the U.S. and Australia that reported a statistically significant increase in 5-year survival due to the use of chemotherapy in adult malignancies. The trials that were analyzed were performed for 15 years. The authors concluded that:
- The 5-year survival rate in Australia was 2.3%.
- The 5-year survival rate in the U.S. was 2.1%.
- Lung cancer survival increased by 2 months in the past 20 years.
- An overall survival benefit of less than 5% had been achieved in the treatments of breast, colon and head and neck cancers.
"The contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adult malignancies"
British Journal of Clinical Oncology, December, 2004
There is no question that governments should support every system of medicine that benefits people and especially those that do no harm.
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