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Letters to the Editor Issue 49

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 49 - February 2000

Inappropriate Standards for Complementary Medicine

Your Editorial Issue 47 clearly hits the problem that we have had for many years around Orthodox Medicine's insistence upon standards of evidence that are neither appropriate to models of Complementary Medicine nor are achieved with most of Orthodox Medicine. However, the problems that this creates for us are immensely exacerbated when representatives of the Complementary Medicine field set us up as intrinsically subordinate to the OM profession.

I have before me a copy of the submission of the BCMA (dated 17/11/99) to Sub-Committee III of the Science and Technology Committee, House of Lords, under ref. "Complementary and Alternative Medicine – Call for Evidence." BCMA claim to be "the major Complementary Medicine multi-therapy umbrella body in the UK", speaking for "over 20,000 practitioners of 11 different therapies." Most of their submission is unobjectionable, and the normal coinage of comment among the CM community. However, they include in the submission their own definitions of "Alternative" and "Complementary", which have caused disquiet in some quarters in the past.

"Alternative is where the therapist is trained to a level in Orthodox Medicine (OM) such that he/she can be an alternative to a medical doctor, ie, can make a medical diagnosis (eg, osteopath or chiropractor) while Complementary means that the level of training in OM does not permit this but is sufficient for the therapist to complement an Alternative therapist or a doctor (with the doctor in clinical control of the case)."

Such a view denies the freedom to practise that has been assumed for many years, and denies the public the freedom to choose their path to health.

I wonder how many of the people who are represented by BCMA, either individually or as members of some affiliated organisation, are happy to be portrayed in this way. I have asked two of the registers that represent my particular discipline to publicly disassociate themselves from these damaging definitions, and others may wish to do the same.

As your magazine is not associated to any register, and is available to the public, I wonder if you might make this issue the matter of an independent article that could bring the various views and politics to the open attention of all those who are interested in the future of Complementary Medicine.

Tom Litten
Shiatsu Practitioner, Roswell Shiatsu Centre

Cosmetic Link to Breast Cancer

Dr Philippa Darbre from Reading University believes that chemicals in deodorants may be linked to breast cancer. She is investigating whether the chemical preservative, parabens, may be causing damaged cells to grow.

I studied the ingredients of my face creams and shower gels and found that many of them contain chemicals such as methylparaben. I am told that these are part of the benzene family and benzene is a proven cause of cancer.

Even some products advertised as gentle and without colouring contain parabens. Why can't they use natural ingredients such as vitamin E which acts as a preservative?

Write to manufacturers and read the labels before you buy!

A Wells, Ruislip

Homeopathic Help for OCD

I am an avid reader of the Positive Health Magazine. However, I would very much appreciate your help.

My son is nearly fourteen and lives with his father in Cyprus. Unfortunately, he has OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He is currently taking Homeopathic medication, but he is in a crisis situation at the moment. I believe the homeopathic doctor has never dealt with this condition and there seems to be very little help over there.

I myself, am over here studying Aromatherapy and Reflexology and I am finding it very difficult obtaining information on this subject that could help. We do not want to have to resort to orthodox drugs.

I look forward to any information and help on this matter and look forward to hearing from you.

From a very distressed mother,

Sara Evripidou, West Midlands

Meningitis Vaccination Questions

Some probing questions need to be asked about the massive programme to inoculate millions of children with the new meningitis vaccine. The vaccine currently being offered to students was first developed over 20 years ago and most experts frankly don't think it's very effective. New vaccines, recently developed, are also to be offered to two-, three-, and four-month-old babies.

This bears a strong resemblance to the 1994 MMR vaccination campaign which conveniently came at the time when earlier stocks of the MMR vaccine were about to exceed their sell-by date.

We should remember that many parents are seeking legal redress for their children who were damaged by the MMR vaccine. Any new drug is by definition of a relatively unknown quantity, especially with regard to any long-term consequences.

Parents concerned about side effects of vaccines can contact us at the following address:

Patrick Holdsworth
Vaccination Information
PO Box 43, Hull HU1 1AA
Tel: 01482 562079
e-mail: pat@vaccinfo.karoo.co.uk

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