POLITICS. We have a tacit understanding to exclude politics from the blog, but current events are pushing the borders. It’s not our fault, other forces are on the move. At the border last year was the Iraqi civilian body count issue precipitated by articles in The Lancet. That’s when politics intrudes into medical research and literature.
Other borders are matters of licensure, and of permitted and rejected methods and materials, encoded into licensure, food and drug laws, and a myriad of administrative edicts and court decisions. One can’t escape the politics of those, especially when Congress and states start to control as commercial entities, areas that historically belong in culture: professional behavior codes, codes of traditional relationships between physicians and patients, for instance. These are under further pressures of conformity and legal sanctions enforced by the power of central government.
Steve Salerno (web site: www.journalismpro.com, blog: www.shamblog.com), author of the WSJ article on “CAM” and the NCCAM last December that precipitated the Chopra, and Co. responses, brought to attention a recent House hearing at which Congr. Riley (D, Ohio) queried Sec. Sibelius whether she was aware of “mindful meditation” as a cost-saving method that should be included in any federal health plan.
Here we go again. Ten to 15 years ago it was Sen. Harkin legislating research and practice from halls of Congress resulting in the Office of Alternative Medicine and NCCAM. That legislation resulted in financed medical school courses, multiple more lectures and demonstrations, and now med school divisions with endowed chairs, scores to hundreds of employed associates, and with little to no scientific feedback or oversight.