EBM Message to complementary and alternative medicine

Medical guidelines should insists on proof that time-honored medical practices and procedures that cost money and may harm or kill patients are actually effective. This Forum is about how to force organized veterinary medicine to issue Evidence Based Guidelines.

EBM Message to complementary and alternative medicine

Postby malernee » Fri Nov 05, 2004 7:52 am

Message to complementary and alternative medicine: evidence is a better friend
than power
Editorial for BiomedCentral Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Andrew Vickers PhD
Assistant Attending Research Methodologist
Integrative Medicine, Biostatistics
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
1275 York Avenue
New York, New York 10021
Tel: 1 212 639 6556
Fax: 1 212 794 5851
Email: vickersa@mskcc.org
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is being embraced by an increasing number of practitioners and advocates
of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). A significant constituency within CAM, however,
appears to have substantive doubts about EBM and some are expressly hostile. Many of the arguments
raised against EBM within the CAM community are based on a caricature radically at odds with
established, accepted and published principles of EBM practice. Contrary to what has sometimes been
argued, EBM is not cookbook medicine that ignores individual needs. Neither does EBM mandate that only
proven therapies should be used. Before EBM, decisions on health care were based on tradition, power and
influence. Such modes tend to work to the disadvantage of marginal groups. By placing CAM on an equal
footing with conventional medicine - what matters for both is evidence of effectiveness - EBM provides an
opportunity for CAM to find an appropriate and just place in health care.
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