Research: WEIR M,

Listed in Issue 202

Abstract

WEIR M, Faculty of Law, Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia. Michael_weir@bond.edu.au studies the provision of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and suggests guidelines for CAM practitioners who might consider regarding referral for orthodox medicine treatment.

Background

Concern that has been expressed about the provision of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in an orthodox medicine context with regard to the possibility of a client not being referred to the latter when the condition is readily dealt with by it.

Methodology

There have been some negative outcomes for clients when orthodox medicine has not been used when it was clearly indicated.

Results

Complementary and alternative medicine has many strengths for clients but it behoves a CAM practitioner to consider circumstances when it is appropriate to refer a client to orthodox medicine or to work in a complementary manner with orthodox medicine.

Conclusion

This article suggests some guidelines that CAM practitioners should consider when assessing the circumstances when referral to orthodox medicine is indicated to support ethical practice for the benefit of the client.

References

Weir M. An ethical protocol for complementary and alternative medicine practitioners in an orthodox medicine regime. Source Journal of Law & Medicine. 18(4): 728-36. Jun 2011.

Comment

It has always been my contention that the dichotomy between alternative / CAM and orthodox medicine is a false paradigm. Healthcare is multi-faceted and multi-disciplined, with a multitude of clinical treatment approaches encompassing a spectrum from acupuncture, MRI, physical therapies to weight loss techniques to women’s health disciplines. The division between alternative and conventional / orthodox appears to be arbitrary, with the proviso that so-called alternative medicine is grounded in sound clinical practice.

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