Cow Dung 3
angry doc: Well, you have cancer.
patient: Cancer? Are you sure, doctor?
angry doc: Quite.
patient: But how did you know? Isn't there like some sort of test you should do to prove that I really have cancer?
angry doc: Well, what you can't prove does not equate to not existing.
patient: OK... but there's a treatment for this, right?
angry doc: Sure; just rub cow dung on your forehead every morning.
patient: Cow dung? I'm sorry doctor, but that sounds like vodoo medicine to me!
angry doc: Well, we shouldn't so quick to dismiss everything non-mainstream as voodoo.
patient: OK, maybe it's not voodoo, but is there evidence to show that it works?
angry doc: While I understand the importance of evidence-based medicine, I thought it would be good once in a while to be more open to hypothesis that are not proven.
patient: But doctor, this is my life and my health we are talking about here!
angry doc: It's always about you, isn't it?
Well, that conversation didn't really happen. In fact, much of what angry doc said didn't actually come from angry doc, but from readers' comments in two previous posts (here and here).
The truth is, we all require evidence of one sort or another when we deal with people in our daily lives; we just happen to have less stringent criteria for accepting someone's claims as valid evidence when we want or wish for them to be true, and vice versa.
You wouldn't let angry doc get away with diagnosing and managing a patient in the manner as in the scenario above, so why should you make an exception for people who make claims they do not have valid evidence for?
Labels: alternative medicine