Angry Doctor

Friday, November 09, 2007

Science and how we know we are wrong


A reader has questioned angry doc's self-imposed quest to "fight against alternative medicine when there are far more dangerous issues within their own western medicine to fight for", citing the specific example of the topic covered in this news article, and advising that "western doctors solve their own problems first before talking about alternative medicine practitioners":


Super-bugs lurk outside S'pore hospitals

It's an alarming discovery.

A study by the Communicable Disease Centre (CDC) suggests that drug-resistant bacteria may already be prevalent in the community at large. Based on skin swabs of 1,000 patients at the Accident and Emergency Department in Tan Tock Seng Hospital, more than 1 in 4 were found to carry the "ESBL and MRSA super-bugs" even before they were hospitalised. Some 25 per cent of the patients were found with ESBL, while 1.8 per cent were found with MRSA.

Experts had thought that these super-bugs were confined only to hospitals. Doctors say one reason for the presence of these super-bugs outside a hospital setting could be the misuse of antibiotics.

Associate Professor Leo Yee Sin, clinical director at the CDC, said: "In situations where we need to use antibiotics, we use them. But in situations like common cough and cold, where we know that it's likely caused by virus, the antibiotics are not going to be useful."

From next year, the CDC will work with grassroots organisations to collect more samples to determine the prevalence of these super-bugs in the population. — Channel NewsAsia


The cause of this problem, as pointed out in the article, is "the misuse of antibiotics".

Our reader elaborates:

"My GP often tells me that he knows about this problem but most patients want antibiotics and if he doesn't give it to them, they don't like it and he loses business. He also complained that MOH and HPB do nothing to support good doctors like him. On the other hand another clinic where the GP gives out antibiotics for every cold and flu that clinic's business is overflowing!

So much so my GP says he has started pandering to the crowd to survive.

Two wrongs don't make a right. But if the majority are doing wrong, while the minority does right....the wrong becomes the "right" to some people."


Fellow-Clearthought blogger i must be stupid points out that "[t]he problem of alternative medicine and the indiscriminant antibiotic use are 2 different types of problems... [o]ne is a regulation problem while the other is more of a problem with intellectual honesty".

angry doc agrees with him.

To angry doc the failure of western medicine shown in this article does not represent the failure of science, but the failure of the market. Actual practices sometimes fall short of evidence-based standards due to market factors, and that is an issue angry doc has blogged on many times.

In fact, this article illustrates one of the strengths of western medicine and science: that a system is in place to collect and review data, and that we are willing to change our practices based on the findings. The very fact that we recognise and acknowledge the problem of antibiotic resistance is an achievement in itself, because that is the first step towards finding a solution.

When was the last time alternative medicine looked at evidence and decided they needed to change their age-old traditional practices?

Labels: ,

10 Comments:

  • Angry doc said...When was the last time alternative medicine looked at evidence and decided they needed to change their age-old traditional practices?

    I don't know. Never?

    What I do know is that their supporters like DrOzbloke and his ilk resort to a list of fallacious arguments that range from "Appeal to Authority", "Appeal to Pity", "Science was wrong before", "Red Herring", "Tu quoque" - just to name a few that have been employed here.

    Cognitive dissonance leads to denial, self-delusion and self-deceit.

    By Blogger JB, At November 10, 2007 11:15 am  

  • Pot calling the kettle black.

    "Please don't confuse me with facts! My mind is made up!

    Objectively,
    Jim Burke"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 12, 2007 9:16 am  

  • Anonymous 9:16 said...Pot calling the kettle black.

    "Please don't confuse me with facts! My mind is made up!

    Objectively,
    Jim Burke"


    It isn't a racist pot or anything calling another BLACK ... but merely a little attempt at humour using a sprinkle of sarcasm and a dollop of sardonic charm.

    Cluelessly,

    By Blogger JB, At November 12, 2007 4:06 pm  

  • JB are u struggling with language proficiency issues? It is unbelievably cringeworthy, judging by the way you carelessly bandy about such phrases as " sardonic charm." or even naming the different types of fallacy (Do we care?). What are you trying to do, impress others? Dont make me laugh.

    And if you so badly want a piece of Good English, let me dedicate this particular word, "pastiche" to you. your posts are so deliberately and superficially garnished just for the want of impressing other people. It is terrible terrible English, makes me retch. no offence.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 13, 2007 8:53 pm  

  • Anonymous November 13, 2007 8:53 PM said...JB are u struggling with language proficiency issues? It is unbelievably cringeworthy, judging by the way you carelessly bandy about such phrases as " sardonic charm." or even naming the different types of fallacy (Do we care?).

    Ad Hominem?

    Heavens to Murgatroyd! I am dessicated with mortification!

    It really is quite simple. If you do not commit fallacies in your arguments then none will be pointed out.

    You really ought to do something about that hostility. Try a chill-pill. And if you aren't ok by tomorrow morning, consult your favorite acupuncturist. ;-)

    Stage right, exit left.

    Pastichely,

    Olde Snagglepuss.

    By Blogger JB, At November 14, 2007 12:59 am  

  • To Anon 8:53 PM - "or even naming the different types of fallacy (Do we care?)"

    WE? Please speak for yourself.

    Well you should care. And if you did, perhaps next time you would not be making the same old arguments and committing the same old mistakes.

    "Ignorance can be cured, stupidity is forever."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 14, 2007 4:04 pm  

  • Ok. Let me reposition my statement. Do I care?

    If i come across as all aggresive and rude, then i apologize.

    My personal observation has been that, as of late, many of the comments posted in various blogs tend to be more of a parade of one's vocabulary prowess rather than substantive discussion of the issue at stake.

    For example, I write that PAP is undemocratic and intolerant because it sues FEER for defamation. What can statements like " the PAP is a despotic, self indulgent party made up of supercilious, self righteous ministers who excels more in cheap talk rather than in credible actions" inform the readers? The answer is nothing. There is a whole string of powerful vocabulary that is designed to shock and awe, but really serves little beyond that.

    More informative, more analytical approach will be somewhat like, " I think democracy should encompass freedom of speech, in whichever direction. Even if we might disagree with other people, we must recognise that it is their perogative to speak their mind. Hence I think maybe PAP could have been more tolerant and restrained."

    Im sure you agree with me that this type of comments is defintely worth its salt. Unlike senseless, run-of-the-mill rhetorics like (fo r example) "Such patronising arrogance from PAP leads to denial, self-delusion and self-deceit." which does not add meaning or value to the discussion at all.

    "Ad Hominem?"

    This was deliberate, in case you asked. Which you did, so well...

    Lastly, I am not questioning the validity of your statement. They do, and have committed such fallacies, that I concur absolutely. But you prattle on and on about the different types of fallacies wihout even attempting, with the slightest of efforts, to show how these fallacies are manifested in their talks. It adds no meaning nor value.

    I dont want this thread to convolute into a boisterous, meaningless bicker. I have said my due and qualify my stand, so that said, I will not be entertaining any more comments. Whether you give a damn (or not) about what i have said is beyond me. And if you disgree with me, feel free to chuck all these tosh into the trashbin. I wont mind really.

    Peace :X

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 14, 2007 7:45 pm  

  • To anon 7:45 PM - "I dont want this thread to convolute into a boisterous, meaningless bicker"

    What a load of crap.

    You have not added anything to the discussion beyond attacking another poster's writing style.

    Please give your English language lectures somewhere else if you want to massage your ego.

    A case of projection if there ever was one with your convoluted lecturing.

    A word you should be familiar with that describes people like you found in discussion forums - TROLL.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 14, 2007 10:11 pm  

  • "Ok. Let me reposition my statement."

    You really mean to say - RESTATE your position and not "reposition" your statement.

    Pot and kettle.

    Too funny.

    Language Police.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 14, 2007 11:05 pm  

  • "My personal observation has been that, as of late, many of the comments posted in various blogs tend to be more of a parade of one's vocabulary prowess rather than substantive discussion of the issue at stake.

    Ok. Let me reposition my statement."

    This blabbering idiot reminds me of Churchill's retort when a language purist dared to rebuke him for ending a sentence with a preposition.

    "This is the sort of English up with which I will not put!"

    Reposition??? Holy English! What a load of supercilious, self-righteous claptrap.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 15, 2007 1:24 pm  

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