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issue of regulation, resolved. placebo? questionnable…

Last night, was a spectacular debate between André Saine, ND (President of the Quebec Association of Naturopathic Medicine) and Joe Schwarz (PhD, Office of Science and Society, McGill), graciously and humorously moderated by Dr Mark Ware, Director of Clinical Research and Pain management. The debate seemingly came to the resolution by both debaters that yes, naturopathic medicine should be regulated in Quebec and there should be oversight of the profession. Next question, what will be the scope of practice for NDs?

A detailed summary of the debate will be posted soon on the QANM website, please stay tuned.  

The arguments for and against naturopathic medicine, coming from conventional medicine, lie focused on the issue: is naturopathic medicine scientific? What is the evidence? Are NDs qualified and trained? What are the limits to naturopathic medicine? Some of these questions were covered during the debate, yet a large part could be further explored. The crux of the debate related to: is there evidence for naturopathic medicine (André Saine argues yes), what about conventional medicine (similarly, it has evidence for treatments and also largely insufficient evidence for…), does naturopathic medicine self-correct (an argument by Dr Joe), and the greatest argument of all, homeopathy is no more than a placebo effect (Dr Joe) – which will be discussed and debated for a second debate to be held in the late fall of 2012.

Placebo effect….interesting in and of itself because medicine has no explanation for it, yet it is argued that it works!!! Sounds a lot like homeopathy to me…. And so, perhaps there are still unexplainable occurrences in nature that science cannot explain just yet. Conventional medicine does not discount the placebo effect, yet it discounts homeopathy. It was argued that just the act of giving a medicine can create a placebo effect, can this be true for conventional medicine as well? Can the placebo effect be nature healing? What actually goes on in a placebo effect? Why does conventional discount everything else that could potentially help someone as placebo and move on, and have we studied the long-term effects of the placebo??


Une réflexion au sujet de « issue of regulation, resolved. placebo? questionnable… »

  1. Your point about conventional medicine’s belief in placebo effect as an explanation to everything they cannot explain(or choose not to explain) is excellent!

    It’s funny when conventional medicine plays up « placebo effect », and yet they downplay the « side effect » of pharmaceutical drugs.

    All « side effect » is as valid an « effect » as the primary physiological effect of a drug’s function.
    The beauty of naturopathic medicine is the fundamental concept of « first, do no harm ».
    Look at how long has it has taken them to put a overdose precaution label on Tylenol to warn about liver damage.

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