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What Does ND Mean?

Chronic Lyme disease almost certainly does not exist, but a growing number of doctors are diagnosing and treating it with long-term antibiotics and other remedies. They are known as LLMDs (“Lyme Literate” medical doctors). This subject has been covered repeatedly on Science-Based Medicine, here, here, here, here, and elsewhere.

I have a correspondent who joined a Yahoo group for Lyme disease (Northern VA Lyme). She shared with me a message to that group that listed the LLMDs in their area. On that list was Patricia Slusher, ND, CN (naturopath, certified nutritionist). Other messages confirmed that Slusher is treating patients for “chronic Lyme disease.” One message specifically described the treatments prescribed by Patricia Slusher:

For the first 3 weeks my Lyme protocol consist of taking 3 supplements from Percision [sic] Herbs, LLC; LYX, Spirex and Puricell and spending 30 minutes 2X a week getting a Quad Zapper treatment. After the 3 weeks, my test for Lyme was negative. But bartonella was still positive. She has changed my supplements to taking Drainage-tone and Amoeba-chord by energetix and 15 minutes 1x a week of the Quad Zapper to fight the bartonella. I have doing [sic] this protocol for approx. 3 weeks. Along with this protocol I am on several other homeopathic supplements to address some of my symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, nerve pain (feels like someone is stabbing me with an ice pick or bugs crawling on me), numbness, inflammation, low vitamin D, etc. Also, supplements to raise the functioning level of my adrenals and kidneys. [Note: the Quad Zapper is a version of one of the infamous

All NDs Are Not Created Equal: Trinity College of Natural Health

Slusher’s website says she obtained her doctoral degree (ND) in Traditional Naturopathy from the Trinity College of Natural Health. There are only 7 schools of naturopathy in the US, and Trinity is not one of them. The Trinity website explains:

Trinity School is accredited and recognized by the American Naturopathic Medical Certification and Accreditation Board, Inc. in Las Vegas, Nevada (www.anmab.org). We have not, nor do we plan, to seek accreditation through the U.S. Department of Education.

Translation: the school is not accredited by the official organization, the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Colleges.  That organization has accredited only 7 naturopathic schools, all of which offer 4-year graduate-level programs and require undergraduate science prerequisites for admission.

Trinity goes on to warn students that, although graduates can put ND after their names, there is a problem in a few states which license naturopaths. In those states, Trinity graduates cannot practice or identify themselves as naturopaths unless they are licensed, and they they cannot be licensed on the basis of a degree from Trinity, since licenses are only granted to graduates of accredited 4-year programs. They do not mention that this creates a dilemma: graduates must choose between being unlicenseable in states with ND licensing, or going anywhere else and risking prosecution for practicing medicine without a license.

The program description reads:

Total health is achieved by understanding the intricate relationships of the body (physical), mind (emotional), and spirit (spiritual). It is no accident that the Creator has numerous methods of analyzing our complex body. The Scripture says ‘at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.’ (Deuteronomy 19:15). This program encompasses the awareness of a multitude of modalities to observe circumstances in the body as well as a detailed study of nutrition, herbs and other available natural resources. The student learns how to determine the best of all natural options according to the knowledge gained from numerous information-gathering techniques.

The only admission requirement for Trinity’s ND program is a high school diploma or GED. The curriculum consists of 15 installments of a correspondence course. Total cost $3195. Estimated hours to complete: 2164. Typical time to completion: 2 years. The list of classes reads like an index to QuackWatch.org: Bach flower remedies, reflexology, iridology, homeopathy, applied kinesiology, acupressure techniques, aromatherapy, dry blood analysis, assessing health by acid/alkaline balancing, and so on. Even a course with the promising title “Chemistry of Man” is a farce based on the life work of two doctors who showed how the chemical elements of food affect the shaping of human temperament. “Anatomy and Physiology — Advanced” (there is no introductory or intermediate course) pretends to cover basic chemistry, cell biology, metabolism and anatomy in 80 hours with one textbook, The Johns Hopkins Atlas of the [sic] Human Functional Anatomy. That is not a textbook, but a popularization for the general reader — a sort of Cliff Notes — and Trinity doesn’t even get the title right. And it is obviously not about basic chemistry or cell biology.

The school philosophy is highly religious, with an emphasis on Biblical knowledge rather than science. If students have questions, there are no instructors to answer them. There are only “student services representatives.” There is a test for every installment. Tests are open-book, and students are required to get a score of 85% to pass. If their score is lower, they are asked to resubmit answers to only the questions they missed. The student services representatives who grade the tests provide assistance at their own discretion. There is no final exam. A 45-page dissertation is required but can be waived. No internships are available.

What Slusher Offers in Her Wellness Pathways Clinic

The first visit lasts 2-3 hours and includes a health history, “Quantum Reflex Analysis” (applied kinesiology), and an examination of the patient’s tongue, nails, and face. Listed under “Therapies and Additional Services” are:

  • the Zyto Biocommunication Health Evaluation (a bogus electrodermal diagnostic process using a biofeedback machine hooked up to a computer).
  • Avalon Photonic Light Therapy (quantum infrared photo energy that allegedly releases nitric oxide to accomplish all kinds of wonderful things like detoxifying, promoting cell regeneration, and helping with wrinkles and sagging skin).
  • Distance Consultation and Testing. No need to come into the office. Send a glossy photo or a handwriting sample in a #2 lead pencil.
  • Saliva Hormone Testing (notoriously unreliable).
  • “Detoxification” treatments with ionic foot baths, body packs, saunas, and purification programs.
  • Chromatherapy Light Goggles (because “God designed people to be exposed to full spectrum sunlight several hours a day”) with color pairings for various organ systems.
  • Electronic acupressure
  • Chi modulator
  • Meridian therapy

The Quad Zapper is not on the list, but her patient said it was part of the treatment. Slusher sells nutritional supplements and homeopathic remedies to her patients at a typical cost of $100-300 on the first visit.

Legal Considerations

Although Slusher claims that some of these therapies improve specific diseases like arthritis and cancer, the website carries the disclaimer that she does not diagnose or treat diseases. Her slogan is “Supporting your body holistically to restore balance and promote healing.” Naturopaths are not licensed in Virginia. If Slusher is practicing naturopathy there, she could be prosecuted for practicing medicine without a license. In the video on her website, she describes herself as an energy medicine doctor (and goes into elaborate pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo involving quantum theory); she claims that applied kinesiology is more accurate than any other diagnostic tests; and she implies that most patients come to her with a problem that she is able to resolve over a 3-4 month period with “remedies.”

She is walking a fine line. It could be argued that she is practicing medicine without a license, but she could try to weasel out of it by asserting that she is only promoting wellness to allow the body to heal itself.

Bottom Line

I find all of this deeply disturbing. It disturbs me that patients have no way of telling whether the letters ND mean the practitioner has graduated from a 4-year school with at least some level of training in basic science and medical subjects or has simply completed a correspondence course based on arrant nonsense. It disturbs me that a school is offering such a curriculum. It disturbs me that anyone ever believed in Hulda Clark’s zappers, but it’s particularly disturbing that people still believe it now, years after her death from a cancer she could not cure with her methods. It disturbs me that illegal devices like Zyto have not been eliminated by regulators who have the power to do so.  It disturbs me that Slusher is essentially practicing medicine without a license (despite her disclaimers, it seems obvious that patients perceive her as a doctor treating them for a disease). It disturbs me that patients are being diagnosed with a nonexistent disease (chronic Lyme) and are being steered to her for treatment with useless remedies instead of getting help for their real problems.

Posted in: Energy Medicine, Naturopathy

Leave a Comment (73) ↓

73 thoughts on “What Does ND Mean?

  1. daijiyobu says:

    Re: “it disturbs me that patients have no way of telling whether the letters ND mean the practitioner has graduated from a 4-year school with at least some level of training in basic science and medical subjects ['the former'] or has simply completed a correspondence course based on arrant nonsense ['the latter'].”

    Interesting, almost sounds like ND language justifying their licensure! Almost sounds like a false dichotomy because, of course, even with a naturopathy education as what I’ve quoted as ‘the former’, you’ll get ‘the latter’. Aka pick the level of pernicious pseudoqualification, keeping in mind that there are a growing number of states that allow NDs to use the initials NMD, so, patient’s in the future will even have less ways of telling!

    Pseudoqualification via AANMC schooling [who forever have used the claim upon naturopathy of "a branch of medical science"; try this Google web search, "site:aanmc.org branches" without the outside quotes] which yields:

    “American Medical Student Association (AMSA) [and] NCNM students are making an impact on a national level [...] for the association’s recent 60th annual convention [...] NCNM faculty member Rich Barrett, ND, and noted homeopathy lecturer Dana Ullman, MPH [...presented] Evidence-Based Naturopathic and Homeopathic Medicine. The two presenters were able to address a large audience of medical students, further educating the larger medical community about the benefits of naturopathic medicine, and how it can and does work in concert with all other branches of medical science.” Rich: science subset medical science subset naturopathy and homeopathy. Is it more nonsensical to be nonsense or to also present nonsense as science?

    Arrant nonsense [my point]: though it went unnoticed, an important ND died last week. It severely went unnoticed in the medical, science and health news world at large, and it was barely if even barely acknowledged within the naturopathy community! I just bought all three of his books, out of curiosity, though I don’t think there will be a run on them.

    He is the originator of the blood-type diet, ND James L. D’Adamo (see http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/3/prweb10567109.htm for the death notice) who I met once in about 1999.

    Now, if there’s one hallmark of naturopathy, it is to blend science with nonscience [see, through Google.com, "site:aanmc.org blends"] while falsely labeling the whole endeavor science.

    And I can’t make this knowledge conflation stuff up: ND D’Adamo’s eulogy will be delivered by a minister of, according to the press release,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_Science .

    -r.c.

  2. David Gorski says:

    Personally, I always say that “ND” stands for “not a doctor.”

  3. mousethatroared says:

    Warning libertarian comment ahead.

    If Slusher states her schooling on her website and Information about that school and it’s lack of accreditation are available online, then people DO have a way to tell the difference between her education and that of another ND or a medical doctor’s.

    I am for protecting consumers, but I also have a sense that one can not be free while one is completely protected from making bad mistakes. The problem is, where do you draw the line?

  4. DavidCT says:

    I do not see the training of “real” NDs to be superior to that of pseudo NDs. Since they are licensed by boards of pseudoscience practitioners and required to take continuing education courses in nonsense, I would suggest that they pose an even greater danger to the public. The range of unsupported treatments is certainly more risky. Dr. Gorski’s definition covers both classes.

  5. Janet says:

    @MTR

    Sorry, but I don’t see how denying quacks the right to peddle their quackery limits the freedom of people who haven’t happened onto this blog or some of the books that would enlighten them. Protecting public health (especially that of children) is in everyone’s interest both fiscally and morally. Letting quacks run free inhibits the rights of the unlearned to health, and possibly life, by sanctioning the quackery. If I go the polls to vote but know nothing about the candidates and simply tick a box because I like the sound of the name (or some other nebulous reason), have I really exercised my freedom or right to vote? I was taught that a democracy depends upon an INFORMED citizenry.

    Life seems full enough of opportunities to “make bad mistakes” without letting quacks put letters after their names and giving them licenses that imply that the letters mean something.

    You “draw the line” at whether or not the person attended a real medical school. Anything else should not be licensed or allowed to skirt the intent of such licensure. Let them set up shop as shamans or “spiritual healers” and let the faithful flock to them, but don’t let them put letters after their names, lecture to real doctors, or (most of all) charge fees for their nonsense. Not everyone will be able to sort through the rubbish that turns up on Google, and it is the duty of those who know better to provide a clear distinction between fact and fancy. Then, if people still want to proceed to exercise their choice, then so be it, but not with the veneer of respectability conferred by state licensure.

    I was denied a prescription last week because it is not on my insurance’s formulary (based on lack of evidence). Fair enough, and yet, the same insurance is required by state law to pay for nearly unlimited access to chiropractic “care”, with no evidence at all. This is freedom? The freedom to be ignorant? Perhaps I just don’t “get” libertarianism–the same way I don’t get “health freedom” as espoused by people like Mike Adams?

  6. mousethatroared says:

    But Janet, Harriet Hall says “Naturopaths are not licensed in Virginia. ”

    So Slusher is not licensed and it looks like she’s not claiming to be licensed. That’s what I mean. If someone chooses to take the advice of an unlicensed practitioner of “health” and give them money, how do you stop that?

    Children are another story. We do have laws and designated reporters that are supposed to try to protect children who’s medical care is being neglected.

  7. Scott says:

    @ MTR:

    You don’t stop that. You stop the quack from stealing their money. An individual patient is free to go to a quack if they like. The quack should NOT be free to lie about what they do!

  8. mousethatroared says:

    And insurance companies are another issue. If a private insurance company decides that they will be more marketable offering non-science based coverage, how can legislation prevent that?

    Maybe it can to some extent. Maybe a law requiring insurance companies selling government endorsed insurance to cover certain procedures and medications. This might provide financial pressure on insurance companies to drop unproven therapies out of cost considerations…I’m not an insurance or economic expert, though, maybe this is already happening or not workable.

  9. mousethatroared says:

    “The quack should NOT be free to lie about what they do!”

    Possibly our society doesn’t have the resources to prevent people who clearly WANT to be lied to from being deceived, though.

    This woman who is being scammed, do you think she is going to report this to the police? Will she testify in court that she was deceived? Who is going to pay for all that?

    Meanwhile we have city’s with severely underfunded police, fire and schools and lots of uninsured people. Many don’t want to pay for that. Not to mention the underfunded CPS departments, who are tasked with protecting the children from neglect and abuse (medical, and otherwise).

    There are lots of things that are morally wrong that are not illegal. Morality can not always practically or ethically be enforced. I think it’s wrong to assume that it should be.

  10. windriven says:

    The practice of medicine is licensed, to the best of my knowledge, in all 50 states. Some states also license various bits of pseudo-medicine. The delightful Ms. Slusher apparently lacks licensure under even the batcrap rules of naturopathy.

    Perhaps Jann Bellamy can weigh in on the legal loophole that Slusher has slithered through. This certainly seems a case begging for prosecution.

  11. mousethatroared says:

    But Windriven, I don’t get it. How is she practicing medicine? It looks to me like she’s practicing naturopathy. Does she say she is a medical doctor?

  12. Scott says:

    Practicing medicine is defined by the activity, not the title. If you’re diagnosing diseases and prescribing treatments, you’re practicing medicine.

    I sincerely hope (paraphrased) “let’s not bother prosecuting fraud; it’s not important” was devil’s advocacy.

  13. mousethatroared says:

    Actually, I never said that we should or shouldn’t bother to do anything. I am questioning. I asked whether it is practical to prosecute a fraud where the victim doesn’t consider themselves a victim. Particularly, if the money spent in that prosecution could instead protect people who actually want to be protected.

  14. mousethatroared says:

    Also Scott – “Practicing medicine is defined by the activity, not the title. If you’re diagnosing diseases and prescribing treatments, you’re practicing medicine.”

    Then you are going to have to prosecute about 25% of the population, because I can not tell anyone about my condition without getting an alternate “diagnoses” and “treatment”.

  15. Harriet Hall says:

    Maybe Jann can comment on the legal intricacies, but it seems to me that if patients go to the office of someone who lists ND after her name and they believe they are being diagnosed and treated by a doctor, that constitutes the practice of medicine even if the practitioner later claims she was only giving some kind of vague health maintenance advice.

  16. mousethatroared says:

    I would love to hear Jann’s thoughts, if she has time.

  17. elburto says:

    What about people who can’t read English MTR? Or aren’t computer literate, or savvy enough to check everything out when a friend recommends a “doctor”?

    That’s why libertarianism is so alien to me, it’s “I’m alright Jack, so f*ck everyone else” writ large. A Randroid fantasy world bereft of collective responsibility to make society better, devoid of any social contract, where compassion and altruism are scorned.

    Still, I’m sure the 1% are thrilled that their mentality is catching on, keeping them where they are while their converts dream that one day, thanks to unfettered capitalism, they too will one day be wealthy, and so need to protect their future fortune by being entirely single-minded.

    NDs are quacks, pure and simple. They peddle bogus “treatments”, enable the belief in memes like Chronic Lyme and Morgellons, among others.

    I await the arrival of the Lymies and Morgies soon, singing the praises of their Not Doctors.

  18. mousethatroared says:

    elburto “That’s why libertarianism is so alien to me, it’s “I’m alright Jack, so f*ck everyone else” writ large. A Randroid fantasy world bereft of collective responsibility to make society better, devoid of any social contract, where compassion and altruism are scorned.”

    Yes, of course, that why I talked about the needs of paying for the uninsured, education and child protective services, because I believe “I’m alright Jack, so f*ck everyone else”.

  19. Earthman says:

    There is mention of a Quad Zapper

    http://webdeb.com/zapper/

    If this device does what it claims to do it would surely kill the patient or cause serious harm. How on earth can they make these claims?

  20. Scott says:

    I asked whether it is practical to prosecute a fraud where the victim doesn’t consider themselves a victim.

    Ah, so only FAILED frauds are worth caring about. The fact that the victims of sCAMmers can’t tell that in fact the woo doesn’t work should not be taken as protection for the “practitioners.”

    Then you are going to have to prosecute about 25% of the population, because I can not tell anyone about my condition without getting an alternate “diagnoses” and “treatment”.

    Are they claiming to be professionals?

  21. mho says:

    @mtr “I asked whether it is practical to prosecute a fraud where the victim doesn’t consider themselves a victim”

    Just as rapists don’t stop at one, rest assured, this ND will have other victims. Some may be marginally harmed, but someone will avoid needed real medical treatment and someone else’s death will be hastened. Someone’s child won’t get a vaccine because they trusted this “doctor.” Someone’s family will be bilked out of money.

    Every complaint that makes it onto “the books” builds a file that we hope eventually WILL get someone prosecuted.

  22. Earthman says:

    Harriet a wonderful article, but so many concerns at the end – it seems to me that Slusher sits at a desk while a stream of patients come through, all on 3 to 4 month repeated visits, (possibly 30 visits at $300 a pop). She is surrounded by mirrors, and smoke fills the air. She then writes herself cheques using her patient’s cheque books

  23. mousethatroared says:

    Scott – I care deeply about the victims drug addiction. That does not mean that I believe the war on drugs was the best solution to fix that problem.

    If you see there is a problem does it follow that you MUST support every solution that anyone offers without even entertaining arguments or evidence for or against those proposed solutions OR prioritizing problems?

    Jeez people, my apologies for not being lock-step on the naturopath law issues.

    mho – rape analogies? really?

  24. elburto says:

    Sorry Michelle, you just don’t get it.

    You can’t say what amounts to “If people don’t know every law about who may practise medicine, and don’t research the educational and professional credentials of people claiming to be doctors, then they have to bear the consequences” and then take umbrage of my summation of just such an attitude.

    Caring what happens to children means nothing. That’s a basic human instinct, not a praiseworthy attribute.

    You’re lucky. You’re literate enough to look up laws, regulations, and rules about accreditation. Parts of your country have appalling literacy rates, there are people living in their cars, what of them? They have neither the means, ability or maybe even the luxury of time available to check out the background of people claiming to be “doctors”. Almost half the population lacks health insurance, and are easy prey for the sCAM artists.

    Do you investigate the medical professionals that you and your family deal with, or are you lucky enough to be part of a system you can trust?

  25. Jann Bellamy says:

    The practice of medicine is defined by Virginia law as:

    ” . . .the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human physical or mental ailments, conditions, diseases, pain or infirmities by any means or method.

    It seems to me that what this person is doing falls within this definition and that her disclaimer would not be effective to avoid prosecution for the unlicensed practice of medicine. You can’t do something and at the same time claim you are not doing it and have the disclaimer be effective.

  26. mousethatroared says:

    elburto, It’s possible that programs that increase literacy rates and consumer awareness would be a better investment and have broader benefits than legislation, monitoring and enforcement of ND.

    Locally, many of our schools are dramatically underfunded. I will be open and say that given our budgetary situation, I would rather have funds going to education, science based community health programs and safety services than prosecution of fraud.

  27. windriven says:

    @elburto

    “Sorry Michelle, you just don’t get it.”

    No my friend, I think it might be you who “just doesn’t get it.” The heart of libertarianism is the concept that one person’s freedom ends at the tip of the next person’s nose. You seem to confuse libertarianism – the philosophy – with the economic and social darwinism espoused by a few particularly moronic politicians who self identify as libertarians.

    Any philosophy can be bent to immoral purposes. Marx had brilliant insights into some of the structural defects of the capitalist model and some positive ideas about organizing a more equitable and just society. Yet Marxism was twisted into a grotesque self-parody not once, but several times.

    I am particularly put off by your wheeling out the illiterate to prop up your misconceptions. I don’t claim to know what percentage of illiterates and other social incompetents use the services of quacks. But I DO know that here in upscale, college graduate, granola and white wine NW Washington, it is the Beemers and Jags in the local quacks’ parking lots, not bicycles and ’84 Gremlins.

  28. mousethatroared says:

    @Jann Bellamy – Thanks! Excuse my ignorance, but wouldn’t that cover things as simple as health clubs or Whole Foods? How do separate typical “health” marketing from “practicing medicine”? Maybe this is covered in a post I missed at some point.

  29. Scott says:

    @ mtr:

    I think you’re missing my point. I am saying that whether the victims realize they have been defrauded or not is irrelevant. If you wanted to argue on the basis of, say, the monetary amounts involved being relatively small then that would be one thing. Arguing, as you are, that a successful con man is less important to deal with because of his success is QUITE another.

    I say that it makes it MORE important for society to take steps. Frauds who are readily recognized as such are much less harmful, all else being equal, than those who can convince their victims that they are in fact legitimate.

  30. windriven says:

    @Jann Bellamy et al

    “It seems to me that what this person is doing falls within this definition…”

    Then given the absence of prosecution one is led to believe that either:
    1. no suitable plaintiff (civil) or victim has emerged, or
    2. the activities of this person have not otherwise become widely know, or
    3. the Commonwealth’s AG is unwilling to open the can of worms that would accompany a prosecution.

    My experience with the political class argues for the third. Absent a compelling reason to prosecute there is no upside to going after some unreconstructed hippie chick* and raising the ire of the tennis club ladies who patronize her.

    *I’ve no idea if this is an accurate characterization of either the quack or the quackees but … indulge me.

  31. mousethatroared says:

    @windriven- The irony here is that I’m not even Libertarian. :) It was just one thought about the law’s ability (or possibly lack of ability) to accomplish goals that might possibly be accomplished better in other ways.

    Didn’t mean to cause such a kerfuffle on Harriet Hall’s excellent post.

  32. mousethatroared says:

    also elburto – I don’t think you need to tell me about the U.S. I have lived in both Flint and 1 block from 8 mile bordering Detroit (and not Grosse Point). When my father was diagnosed with lung cancer, he was living in the region of Mississippi were the hospitals had recently been devastated by Katrina. I have an okay idea what the U.S. is like. I don’t think I am being greedy or uncaring when I express concerns over how state resource are used. I am trying to be practical and think about directing resources where they will make the most difference to the people most in need.

  33. windriven says:

    @mouse

    I don’t identify as a libertarian either – though I admit to some strong libertarian impulses. No one economic or political philosophy has demonstrated itself to be the one true philosophy. As much as libertarianism appeals I could as easily argue the position that it is iron pyrite.

  34. mousethatroared says:

    Scott – how do you tell the difference between a victim who doesn’t know they are a victim and someone who is knowingly and willingly using a service that they prefer because of personal beliefs? If I participate in a dangerous sport, or smoke, am I a victim who needs to be protected? That is where the libertarian belief comes in, I guess.

    *against my voiced concerns, although I believe my questions and comments do something toward them continuing to see their regular doctors as well.

  35. mousethatroared says:

    Please disregard the *above, should have been edited out.

  36. mousethatroared says:

    @windriven – yeah – I suspect that 75% of Americans are 5% libertarian (or some similar variation on those percentages).

  37. Jann Bellamy says:

    @ windriven:

    A complaint that someone is engaging in the unlicensed practice of medicine is within the jurisdiction of the Virginia Board of Medicine. I can only assume no complaint has been filed against this person or that a complaint was filed and she was found not to be engaging in the practice of medicine.

  38. Harriet Hall says:

    Jann,
    But the Board of Medicine does’t have any power over those who are not licensed, does it? They have no ability to punish. What about the State Attorney General’s office?

  39. Sialis says:

    You “draw the line” at whether or not the person attended a real medical school. Anything else should not be licensed or allowed to skirt the intent of such licensure. Let them set up shop as shamans or “spiritual healers” and let the faithful flock to them, but don’t let them put letters after their names, lecture to real doctors, or (most of all) charge fees for their nonsense.

    I completely agree with the above. I don’t think the NDs or the fake NDs like Slusher should be licensed in any capacity. Let them set up shop with the psychic palm readers.

    If someone chooses to take the advice of an unlicensed practitioner of “health” and give them money, how do you stop that?

    She is deceptively advertising herself as if she has a legitimate degree in naturopathy, assuming there is any legitimacy in such naturopathic degrees, which there is not. As Dr. Gorski stated, ND simply means ‘Not a doctor’.

    The Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Health is directing patients to support groups led by people who allege to experts in Lyme disease. There are other support groups in that area, and some are led out of the national capitol area near Washington, D.C. They take on the air of being a leading national support group for patients. Many of the medical providers these support groups recommend, such as Patricia Slusher, do not hold a medical degree. Yet the Virginia Dept of Health refers patients to these same groups for support. A good place to start would be for the states not to essentially advocate, promote or led patients to such support groups.

    Meanwhile we have city’s with severely underfunded police, fire and schools and lots of uninsured people. Many don’t want to pay for that. Not to mention the underfunded CPS departments, who are tasked with protecting the children from neglect and abuse (medical, and otherwise).

    There are lots of things that are morally wrong that are not illegal. Morality can not always practically or ethically be enforced

    Meanwhile, the state-funded universities are cutting health coverage to policy holders due to excessive medical claims and healthcare expenses. Patients are being approved and reimbursed for quack treatments of placebos or worse, and other patients in real need of serious medical care are now being denied care or dropped from family policies because of budget cuts in benefit programs. It makes no sense for health insurance programs to cover pseudoscience and quack treatments, then cut beneficiaries from receiving legitimate medical treatments due to financial shortfalls in the program.

    I asked whether it is practical to prosecute a fraud where the victim doesn’t consider themselves a victim.

    You’re the victim. You’re paying for the damage done by such fraud. When patients fall prey to such practitioners, including those that are licensed but simply practice pseudoscience, their patients rarely get well. Some patients may have real illnesses which continue to progress. Eventually, they wind up being disabled, and receiving public benefits. That’s your tax money. People speak of underfunded and under-manned police – those patients who will likely never get better because they have fallen prey to such quackery could have been the needed police, or they could have filled empty jobs in the school system to teach your children. They could have filled a multitude of jobs and given back to society, instead they have become stuck in the medical system, passed around like meaningless… What does it say of a society to assume that every one who falls prey to such practices WANTS to be a victim? How is it that you decide only children should be protected? Are there no times when someone over the age of 18 could be in a position where they would need support or protection?

    A complaint that someone is engaging in the unlicensed practice of medicine is within the jurisdiction of the Virginia Board of Medicine. I can only assume no complaint has been filed against this person or that a complaint was filed and she was found not to be engaging in the practice of medicine.

    The Virginia Board of Medicine denies any responsibility to investigate those who do not hold a medical license. Allegations of people practicing medicine without a license are referred to the local police departments and Commonwealth Attorney. See comment above, the Board of Medicine, Dept of Health refers patients to support groups who advocate for this person and similar practitioners.

  40. mousethatroared says:

    Sialis – my original statement/question. “I am for protecting consumers, but I also have a sense that one can not be free while one is completely protected from making bad mistakes. The problem is, where do you draw the line?

    Department of health recommendations and state funded insurance payments to unlicensed scam practitioners? Wouldn’t that be considered actively endorsing making a bad mistake? How is that even near the line I was attempting to draw between consumer protection and individual freedom?

    If someone is not licensed and they are representing themselves as a “healer” “wellness guide” “holistic cleanser” or whatever, what steps should the government take to stop them? Let’s assume that we don’t nominate them for the Nobel Prize or give them government endorsement through referrals or insurance payments. Can we prevent them from advertising online? probably. Can they be prevented from charging for their services or accepting “donations”?If that is illegal, what is done? Are they fined? Sent to jail? How is evidence gathered in these cases?

    I think the argument that society is the victim of medical scams is compelling, but then we also have to consider that society is also the victim of alcohol abuse, dangerous sports, smoking, etc and we do still maintain some degree of individual choice in the ability to make those bad decisions.

  41. Sialis says:

    Wouldn’t that be considered actively endorsing making a bad mistake?

    The government website lists their full contact information, along with a disclaimer stating that the groups are not affiliated with or endorsed by the county, state government or the Health Department. I presume the disclaimer is to release the government from any liability or responsibility. As far as I know, the insurance payments are being paid to other practitioners who are indeed licensed but scamming the insurance company and/or their patients. As an example, a practitioner may bill and be reimbursed for one service, but actually perform another.

    I think the argument that society is the victim of medical scams is compelling, but then we also have to consider that society is also the victim of alcohol abuse, dangerous sports, smoking, etc and we do still maintain some degree of individual choice in the ability to make those bad decisions.

    In the case of alcohol abuse, smoking and dangerous sports, the state governments are not actively leading patients towards these activities or towards those who sell/promote them as if they are completely safe practices. On the contrary, some Health Departments are instead *warning* patients about alcohol abuse, smoking and dangerous sports.

  42. mousethatroared says:

    Sialis – Maybe I’m not being clear. I think it’s lunacy that government agencies are listing any of these organizations. Also, If doctors or ND are billing for one thing, but performing another THAT is outright fraud. I suspect the insurance company or Medicaid/Medicare would like to hear about that.

  43. FastBuckArtist says:

    “Chronic Lyme disease almost certainly does not exist”

    You realise its exactly this attitude driving patients away from conventional doctors to unlicensed practitioners?

    What science do you have to show Lyme disease does not exist?? Its a well documented infectious disease that causes people real problems. Your article is a personal attack on another practitioner with no “science based medicine” content in it.

  44. tjohnson_nb says:

    There are just as many victims of fraud going to “real” doctors as there are going to “alternative” doctors. The difference is that it’s institutionalized fraud and they don’t want anyone else getting into the action.

  45. mho says:

    @sialis
    I think these state groups are directing people to these support groups because the state sees a need, but isn’t set up to offer them. Or, maybe not “the State”, but the frontline medical workers in government and social work.

    The CAM people, having no real medicine, did figure out a while ago that they could have a niche in running support groups–20 years ago there wasn’t much of anything for sufferers of chronic illness. Having established themselves, they now come across as authorities. Just IMO.

    @mtr–I was kind of over-the-top with the rape examples. My point is that fraud does cause real pain, not just accounting problems.

  46. Linda Rosa says:

    I contend that the “degreed” NDs are more dangerous than the traditional naturopaths because they all aspire to play doctor.

    It was Wm Jarvis who wrote that traditional naturopaths are less dangerous because they are more likely to refer patients to physicians. We read in a SBM essay by Jann Bellamy that they have an especially dim view of science-based medicine, with the 2012 Pizzorno textbook describing it as “atheist…evolutionary nihilism.”

    I have done two surveys of the websites of “degreed” NDs in Colorado — all of whom were practicing medicine without licensure in violation of the Colorado Medical Practice Act…and they admitted this openly in legislative hearings! I found NDs advertising a full range of CAM practices, with homeopathy common to 83% of them. Several NDs were using quack medical devices, including a zapper, and offering outright dangerous practices, such as peat therapy, H2O2 infusions, chelation tx, visceral manipulation, cancer treatment, and homeopathy kits for rattlesnake bite.

    Furthermore, we know that a large 2010 study in Washington State shows that the practice of the licensed NDs is associated with significantly lower vaccination rates.

    What difference do some additional science courses make when NDs emerge practicing the same nonsense as the traditional NDs? What difference does four years of Bastyr make when diagnosing with applied kinesiology? Their very expensive schooling emboldens them to seek legitimization of NDs via state licensure, demand mandatory 3rd party reimbursement, and clamor for more and more practice privileges. They have convinced many a legislator that licensed NDs can provide primary care for poor and rural populations. They are very bad news.

  47. Linda Rosa says:

    Dr. Hall wrote: “But the Board of Medicine does’t have any power over those who are not licensed, does it? They have no ability to punish. What about the State Attorney General’s office?”

    Yes, the BOM can refer people who practice medicine without a license to the AG’s office or to the local DA for prosecution.

    CAM licensing board are supposed to protect the public, but they mostly protect the practitioner instead. This makes civil action against a licensed CAM practitioner more difficult. It is best not to license CAM practitioners and let criminal and civil law protect the public.

  48. ConspicuousCarl says:

    I think the lack of distinction between one ND and another ND shouldn’t even be the issue for this person. I don’t care if she has a “real” fake medical degree, a fake fake medical degree, a fake real medical degree, or even a real real medical degree. If not for the destruction of consumer protection due to legal exemptions for nonsense, anyone who sold “homeopathy” to a sick person would be fined and possibly imprisoned. No license is an excuse for this blatant fraud (though, apparently, “no license” is an excuse). Homeopathy is the worst, but it sounds like a lot of the other junk would qualify as gross negligence if it were held to the same standard of reason as anything else.

  49. Jann Bellamy says:

    @ Scott

    “The Virginia Board of Medicine denies any responsibility to investigate those who do not hold a medical license. Allegations of people practicing medicine without a license are referred to the local police departments and Commonwealth Attorney.”

    I spoke to both the Enforcement Division of the Virginia Department of Health Professions (which investigates all complaints) and the Virginia Board of Medicine this morning. Both said that a complaint that a person was engaging in the unlicensed practice of medicine would go to the Board of Medicine for prosecution.

  50. mousethatroared says:

    @Jann Bellamy – Thanks so much for your insights and work into this issue. I think they really offer some clarity to my thinking.

    mho – Thanks. Yes – I agree that fraud as well as poor quality medical care or advice does cause real pain.

    I’m sorry, but I can’t explain or discuss further, my symptomatic whack-a-mole is acting up and the headache and ear ache are not conducive to holding an intelligent* discussion.

    I suspect that my opinions are not as far away from others, in the end, as folks seem to think.

    *well, at least my normal standard of intelligence, which may be in question. ;)

  51. Sialis says:

    Jann, LOL! I bet they told you that after you explained that you were an attorney. I have personally spoken with them on multiple occasions in the past. They have consistently referred me to my local police department and my local Commonwealth’s Attorney. When I called the Commonwealth’s Attorney, they stated that they have no one in charge of investigating health fraud complaints, including those who might be practicing without a license. They were surprised to hear that such things happen in our town. Surprised, I tell you.

  52. Sialis says:

    @Jann, in fact, the Virginia DOH referred me right back to the very support groups who are advertising and promoting the questionable medical practices. The Commonwealth’s Dept of Health specifically directs callers towards the support groups who promote such quackery when one is seeking support and referrals or suggestions of medical doctors and treatments, etc. Other county government websites within the Commonwealth list the specific contact information for some of those same support groups.

    Clearly, the Commonwealth seemingly condones such practices, whether it is willful ignorance or not, I don’t know. They seem to embrace it under the ‘medical freedom’ agenda. Some of the key legislators in Virginia appear to be associated with the Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine, whose Director is in Roanoke, VA. It’s politics. It’s protection for alternative medicine providers being gained through the passage of creative legislation. In this case it’s under the guise of Lyme disease. These are among the same people, the same medical experts, or pseudo-experts, who succeeded in passing legislation on Virginia HB 1933.

    http://wolf.house.gov/uploads/Report_of_the_Virginia_Task_Force_on_Lyme_Disease_Final.pdf

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?131+ful+CHAP0215

  53. tjohnson_nb says:

    “I contend that the “degreed” NDs are more dangerous than the traditional naturopaths because they all aspire to play doctor.”

    But not as dangerous as degreed MD’s.

  54. daijiyobu says:

    Speaking of naturopaths playing doctor, particularly obstetrician, ND Kimata of Hawaii, an NCNM grad., is being sued:

    “a mother’s heartbreak is leading to a malpractice lawsuit. She says the people she trusted to ensure a natural childbirth failed to follow standard medical procedures [...] the delivery process went on for over two days [...] Makaio was born limp and in respiratory distress. Only then did they go to the hospital, where it was discovered he’d have permanent brain damage due to lack of oxygen from the natural childbirth”

    http://www.khon2.com/news/local/story/Heartbroken-mother-suing-alternative-medical/cHUL42Xbv0KTdDxXaAa6_w.cspx

    -r.c.

  55. BillyJoe says:

    FBA & TJ,

    As the host of QandA says, we’ll take that as unsubstantiated comment and move on shall we. :)
    (Well, he doesn’t say ‘unsubstantiated’, but….)

  56. Linda Rosa says:

    I wouldn’t be led astray by any information given over the phone about filing a complaint for the UPM. Just proceed to file a formal complaint, and board will have to deal with it.

    Sometimes administrators dismiss a perfectly reasonable complaint (and the board never sees it), but formal complaints have a chance of being assigned to investigators.

    From there, investigators report to the board, and the board can opt to put the complaint in the hands of the appropriate prosecutors. Boards can’t prosecute the UPM; they can only discipline regulated people, sometimes requiring the assistance of an administrative law judge.

  57. elburto says:

    What science do you have to show Lyme disease does not exist??

    Who said Lyme disease doesn’t exist? It does, as an acute set of symptoms related to infection by (I believe) borrelia burgdorferii.

    What does not exist is the entity referred to as Chronic Lyme disease. Just like chronic food poisoning or chronic nettle rash don’t exist.

    Your acolytes tried the same trick in the (hilaribad) “documentary” Under Our Skin, stating over and over “Lyme disease does exist”. Presumably that’s to make viewers. look it up, say “Hey, it is real! Why are these skeptics and doctors being so mean?”.

    Just like Morgellons it’s nothing more than a meme, and a quack’s dream.

    @Sialis – Well said. Societies are judged on how they treat their most vulnerable citizens. The US has been judged and found wanting.

    @Windriven -

    1. Not your friend.

    2. Not a Marxist, but thanks for the laughing fit. Totally worth the suctioning afterward.

    3. If caring about the fate of my fellow humans, and not aspiring to be a female John Galt is wrong? I don’t want to be right. I don’t care that the “radical libs” are giving the rest of you/them a bad name. The whole philosophy of “Me me me” is poisonous. It’s the toddler who has a tantrum because he doesn’t want to share his toys.

    I’ve seen the results of a society that says “The health and welfare of those outside my family/group is not my problem” It’s horrific. It isn’t a society at all, just a mass of self-involved individuals ignoring the plight of those beyond the end of their nose.

    If you don’t want to believe that sCAM artists are targeting the poor and under-serviced populations, then fine, that’s your choice. If you don’t think that people in dire economic straits weigh up co-pays/doctor fees and prescription charges against the “herbalist” or “traditional Chinese medicine” practitioner offering “treatment for $30, then you’ve probably never been there, and if you have then you’ve forgotten what it’s like.

    Having seen the results of “herbal abortion” on someone who sacrificed her entire monthly food budget for it (a whole $ 60) and then seeing response after response of “Me too, I couldn’t afford to see a real doctor, and this person had so many diplomas on their wall”, I was horrified. Had it not been for an unexpected visit from a friend she would have exsanguinated in her bed. Oh, and foetal heart tones were still present. Fortunately PayPal exists and people are generous when a community member is in trouble. You don’t have to look far (online) to find people taking St John’s Wort because they cannot afford antidepressants, and have been convinced by NDs (and other quacks) that they do the same job.

    sCAMsters prey on the vulnerable, and those people need protection.

    @MTR – I was unaware that the govt of your country endorses and reimburses the use of cigarettes and alcohol, as it does with CAM/IM. Fascinating.

    Sorry this got so long, but as someone who has been actively targeted by sCAM artists claiming to have the cure for my health issues/disabilities, and as someone who has seen people sickened and maimed because, unlike me, they had no other options and believed that if certain sCAM products would be illegal if they were dangerous, then I can have no part of “Meh, they made that choice, they have to deal with the consequences, not my problem”.

  58. Jann Bellamy says:

    @ Sialis:

    I don’t doubt that you were given different information. It seemed to me from reading the statutes and administrative rules (which are different in different states) that complaints that someone was engaging in the unlicensed practice of medicine were within the jurisdiction of the Board of Medicine. I did not identify myself as an attorney. Rather I said that I was thinking of filing a complaint against someone for engaging in the unlicensed practice of medicine and had heard that the complaint would not go before the Board of Medicine. Both offices told me that it would. I agree with Linda Rosa that whichever government agency has jurisdiction, if you want to file an unlicensed practice complaint against someone you should go ahead and file it per the instructions on the Dept. of Health Professions website. Let it be their problem what to do with it and make them tell you that they don’t have jurisdiction if that is the case.

    As for Virginia’s being complicit in “chronic” Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment, I agree that this should not be happening. I understand that the Virginia Legislature passed and the governor signed legislation requiring physicians to tell patients about the high number of false negatives in testing for Lyme disease if the test is negative. This is obviously the work of “chronic” Lyme disease advocates, and I find this and other legislative intrusions into the physician-patient relationship deplorable.
    http://www.nvdaily.com/news/2013/03/va-is-first-state-to-require-disclosure-on-lyme-test.php

  59. Sialis says:

    elburto – I’ve been working on this response all day, so forgive me if I repeat some of what you already stated.

    Dr. Hall: “Chronic Lyme disease almost certainly does not exist”

    FastBuckArtist: You realise its exactly this attitude driving patients away from conventional doctors to unlicensed practitioners?

    What science do you have to show Lyme disease does not exist?? Its a well documented infectious disease that causes people real problems.

    @FastBuckArtist, science shows that Lyme disease exists. Dr. Hall did not state that Lyme disease doesn’t exist. What exactly is a “conventional doctor” anyway? In my book, they’re either a doctor or they’re not. There is no in-between or alternative, conventional or otherwise. If someone is pretending to be a doctor and they are not, then they should find another line of work. Ship them off to the palm reader’s table or let them make license plates in a cool room somewhere.

    The condition being disputed by some mostly dubious practitioners is generally referred to as “chronic Lyme disease”, which they allege is due to a persistent stealth infection. Even worse, some physicians and other providers have reinvented the infection known as Lyme disease, expanding it to include a multitude of infectious diseases and other conditions, such as heavy metals and a variety of other toxins. They have expanded a simple diagnosis, an infection with a particular microorganism, to include a plethora of allegedly stealth infections and toxic substances, which are rarely found in any one living human.

    FastBuckArtist: Your article is a personal attack on another practitioner with no “science based medicine” content in it.

    The article mostly quoted the other practitioner and their treatments for Lyme disease. You’re right, there’s no science-based content in those therapies. Fortunately, we have experts in science-based medicine right here and they are willing to offer their time to explain such things to us. Thank you, Dr. Hall!

    tjohnson_nbon: There are just as many victims of fraud going to “real” doctors as there are going to “alternative” doctors. The difference is that it’s institutionalized fraud and they don’t want anyone else getting into the action.

    If they’re committing fraud, then report them. Supporting “alternative” providers who practice fraud outside of institutional settings does not help the patients.

    @Jann and Linda – Thank you for the input and suggestions. As you may be aware, the Lyme disease bill is based more on protecting the interests of the doctors who claim to specialize in treating “chronic” Lyme disease. There have been many articles written about the misuse of legislative authorities on this matter. Here is one, http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/09/29/930901/mitt-romneys-lyme-disease-mailers-dangerous/?mobile=nc

  60. lilady says:

    I just cannot “resist” posting on Dr. Hall’s blog:

    When I worked as a public health nurse/epidemiologist at a large suburban County health department in N.Y. State, I came across a number of quack LLMDs (no alt/CAM licensed/unlicensed *practitioners*, though).

    Sialis states (that)….

    “The Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Health is directing patients to support groups led by people who allege to experts in Lyme disease. There are other support groups in that area, and some are led out of the national capitol area near Washington, D.C. They take on the air of being a leading national support group for patients. Many of the medical providers these support groups recommend, such as Patricia Slusher, do not hold a medical degree. Yet the Virginia Dept of Health refers patients to these same groups for support. A good place to start would be for the states not to essentially advocate, promote or led patients to such support”

    I think you are mistaken Sialis. The Virginia State Health Department makes no referrals to “Lyme Support Groups”:

    http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/clinicians/pdf/Lyme%20disease%20Update%202012.pdf

    Further along Sialis refers us to two links about the Governor appointed ” Lyme Disease Task Force” and newly enacted legislation to *protect* LLMDs/Quacks when they provide extended oral and IV antibiotic *treatment* for “chronic Lyme Disease”.

    (Anecdotal)…I was the *designated* health department employee who attended monthly meetings of the Lyme disease “support group” held in a local community hospital. I *knew* that local LLMDs had the ear of the County Supervisor. The County Supervisor also appointed a LLMD to a “Lyme Disease Task Force”. When I worked at the health department I would always check the NYS OPMC website to see which LLMDs were disciplined (suspension/revocation of medical licenses) http://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/doctors/conduct/

    Sure enough, many of the LLMDs were disciplined, and the LLMD appointed to the local “Lyme Disease Task Force”, had his medical license revoked. Should/would a lowly public health nurse, have the *guts* to call the County Supervisor’s office to inform the County Supervisor about the medical license revocation of his appointee to the “Lyme Disease Task Force”? Yes! :-)

    That’s the reason why we should NEVER allow political hacks (Congressman Dan Burton), with *agendas* to drive the debate about autism, Lyme disease, alt/CAM *practitioners* and the funding of NCCAM.

  61. mousethatroared says:

    Elburto “@MTR – I was unaware that the govt of your country endorses and reimburses the use of cigarettes and alcohol, as it does with CAM/IM. Fascinating.
    Sorry this got so long, but as someone who has been actively targeted by sCAM artists claiming to have the cure for my health issues/disabilities, and as someone who has seen people sickened and maimed because, unlike me, they had no other options and believed that if certain sCAM products would be illegal if they were dangerous, then I can have no part of “Meh, they made that choice, they have to deal with the consequences, not my problem”.

    Your quotes and paraphrases are so far away from what I said, that I wonder if you actually read any of my comments, beyond my “Libertarian Warning.”

    Clearly, pointless attempting to have a conversation when the person you are conversing with is deaf to your words because they don’t match their internal script.

  62. Sialis says:

    @lilady, The Governor appointed Director of the Virginia Dept of Health Professions recommended and heavily promoted the Lyme disease support groups aka activist organizations. She was also a member of the Governor’s Lyme Disease Task Force, chaired by Dr. Michael Farris, Esq. The Commonwealth’s Dept. of Health also refers patients to their local counties for further information.

    The official Loudoun County, Virginia *government* website states:

    http://va-loudouncounty.civicplus.com/

    Are there Lyme disease support groups in Loudoun County?
    Yes. There is a Western Loudoun Lyme Support Group based in Purcellville and an Eastern Loudoun Lyme Support Group based in Sterling. These groups are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Loudoun County Government or Health Department. Information on the Loudoun Chapter of the National Capital Lyme Disease Association is available from Carol DuPuis at lymeaide4you@aol.com; beginning in April 2013 their meetings will be the second Sunday of the month from 3-5 pm at 224D Cornwall Street Community Meeting Room. Information on the Western Loudoun Lyme Support Group is available by emailing charphealy@yahoo.com. Information on the Eastern Loudoun Lyme Support Group is available by emailing sfp@lmgdoctors.com or calling 703-421-7000.

    They use a disclaimer and state that they are not endorsed by the government, but the government provides the information and referrals all the same.

    @lilady, the pdf you mentioned is by Karen Remley, the *former* Health Commissioner. She resigned due to the unethical practices and politics the Commonwealth was imposing on health matters. That’s how bad it is in Virginia.

  63. Sialis says:

    @lilady, While my comment is awaiting moderation, check out the official Loudoun County, Virginia Department of Health website for Lyme support groups. The Commonwealth’s DOH also refers patients to their local DOH. Note the listing of the support groups and their contact information.

    http://va-loudouncounty.civicplus.com/FAQ.aspx?TID=38

  64. tjohnson_nb says:

    “FBA & TJ,

    As the host of QandA says, we’ll take that as unsubstantiated comment and move on shall we. :)
    (Well, he doesn’t say ‘unsubstantiated’, but….)”

    My doctor thinks he is helping me but he isn’t, he’s prescribing harmful substances because he doesn’t know any better. This may not be fraud but its institutionalized negligence at the very least. Don’t throw bricks when you live in a glass house.

  65. Narad says:

    My doctor thinks he is helping me but he isn’t, he’s prescribing harmful substances because he doesn’t know any better. This may not be fraud but its institutionalized negligence at the very least.

    So don’t go see him. Problem solved. You clearly “know better,” so handle it yourself.

    Don’t throw bricks when you live in a glass house.

    Is there a corollary for non sequiturs?

  66. mousethatroared says:

    elburto “Having seen the results of “herbal abortion” on someone who sacrificed her entire monthly food budget for it (a whole $ 60) and then seeing response after response of “Me too, I couldn’t afford to see a real doctor, and this person had so many diplomas on their wall”, I was horrified. Had it not been for an unexpected visit from a friend she would have exsanguinated in her bed. Oh, and foetal heart tones were still present. ”

    Choose a government action that will help prevent the above from happening.

    a. Make safe birth control and abortion affordable and accessible.
    b. Make selling unsafe herbal abortifacients illegal. (Wait, isn’t that already illegal?)
    c. Make putting sham diplomas on your wall illegal.

    If you think that “a” is the best choice above c. or even b. (although b. is fine) AND you go so far as to state a preference for measures that consider a balance between safety and freedom (hint: Answer “a” increases both freedom AND safety, while “b.” and “c.” are attempts to ban unsafe behavior without considering the demand for individual freedom/choice.) Then many vocal folks on SBM will think you are a selfish, uncaring, “I got mine” kinda gal”.

    I sincerely don’t get it. But maybe I am not into the Anti-CAM mind set enough.

  67. lilady says:

    @ Sialis: That Loudoun County, Virginia health department website is another *example* of “political influence/interference” on local health departments. I can state with a good degree of experience, that the professional staff employed by the Loudoun County health department, most definitely cringe, when they view information for “Lyme disease support groups”.

    I will give them credit for listing the “American Lyme Disease Foundation” as a resource for reliable information on Lyme disease. http://www.aldf.com/ I relied on my contacts at the ALDF to provide me with their excellent brochures for “handouts” for people who attended my educational seminars on Lyme disease. John Halperin, M.D. whose research in the neurological effects of Lyme disease is “featured” on the ALDF website; he mentored me in the nuances of neurological signs/symptoms, and testing of patients, infected with the of B burdorferi bacterium.

    Take a look at ALDF’s 2-part review of the “Under My Skin” film…you’ll enjoy them. :-)

    I will also credit Loudoun County for NOT listing Lyme Disease Foundation.org…the repository of every junk scientific crap about “chronic Lyme disease”, “chronic Lyme disease” patients’ travails and referrals to LLMDs http://www.lyme.org/

    (continued)

  68. lilady says:

    @ Sialis: An excellent article about reliable internet sites for information about Lyme disease published by Dr. Sunil Sood, M.D., pediatric I.D. specialist…and another of my mentors:

    http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/4/451.full.pdf

  69. mousethatroared says:

    “Don’t throw bricks when you live in a glass house.” ?

    Demetri Martins says
    “There’s a saying that goes “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” Okay. How about “Nobody should throw stones.” That’s crappy behavior. My policy is: “No stone throwing regardless of housing situation.” Don’t do it. There is one exception though. If you’re trapped in a glass house, and you have a stone, then throw it. What are you, an idiot? So maybe it’s “Only people in glass houses should throw stones, provided they are trapped in the house with a stone.” It’s a little longer, but yeah.”

  70. tjohnson_nb says:

    Narad: “So don’t go see him. Problem solved. You clearly “know better,” so handle it yourself.”

    It’s solved for me but what about the millions of suckers who don’t know any better? They trust doctors and are being led down the garden path by MD’s every bit as much (probably more) than ND’s.

  71. xerxesc says:

    Tjohnson_nb, what all is solved, cause it seems to me your writing-stupid-things problem is far from over…..

  72. S_Dave says:

    Electro-therapy has been around since the days of John Wesley and those who have tried to improve an promote the science of electro-therapy ever since. The medical profession has always had a blind prejudice against things that might rock the boat. However, that aside, there has been progress and the FDA has published a white paper on the use of electrical pulses to kill microbes and they have even recently given approval to a zapper like device for the treatment of Gliomas / brain cancer.

    All that I can say is that it is nothing but pure ignorance to reject a theory or an idea, simply because it is not perfected. Consider the case of Ignatz Semmelweiz. One man who was persecuted for his idea but has save more lives than any man in history.

    By the same token, Dr. Hulda Clark had many things right, but not all. As the old saying goes, ‘do not throw the baby out with the bath water’. If you bother to read http://hulda-clark-quack.com/ you might learn something. Especially read about the advances in zapper technology at http://hulda-clark-quack.com/huldaclarkzapperworks.html .

    I am not so sure if you noticed, but the one group that knows little and thinks that they know it all, is teenagers. Possibly, right behind them you might find a lot of doctorates who have been taught many things that are not completely correct..

  73. windriven says:

    @elburto

    “1. Not your friend.”

    Gee, I’m sorry to learn that. Truly.

    “2. Not a Marxist, but thanks for the laughing fit. Totally worth the suctioning afterward.”

    That was one hell of a leap, elburto. I never implied that you were a Marxist. I used Marxism as a counterpoint to “Randian” laissez faire libertarianism to make a point that clearly eluded your grasp.

    “3. If caring about the fate of my fellow humans, and not aspiring to be a female John Galt is wrong?”

    Neither mouse nor I ever suggested that caring about the fate of one’s fellow humans is wrong. I not only ‘care’, I spend a good deal of my time and money doing something about it.

    The argument here was whether or not you understand the libertarian philosophy that you so gleefully loathe. But you seem bent on personalizing this and turning it into a struggle to prove that you ‘care’ more than those who don’t share your idiosyncratic philosophy. That point is moot.

Comments are closed.