Practicing Non-Evidence Based Medicine

Check this out.  Don’t spend a lot of time on this link, but this blog post poses an interesting question. Should doctors be willing to use therapies that, although they are not consistent with medical guidelines, seem to work?  

Take colonic irrigation, for example. Or yoga. Or probiotics. Or a gluten free diet for patients who don’t have Celiac Disease. Little or no medical evidence exists for the use of these health interventions, but they are certainly used by millions of people. Go figure.

Bottom Line. This blogging physician reaches an interesting, compromising answer to the question. More specifically, he recommends that physicians slavishly adhere to the practice of evidence based medicine. To routinely fail to do so, he opines, is tantamount to quackery.  

BUT. He is also realistic enough to acknowledge that patients want to do something, arguably anything, that has even a chance of making them feel better. Colonic irrigation, for example, is believed in by enough people that it must be working for somebody. All he asks is that when a practitioner recommends a therapy for which there is not good medical evidence, he acknowledges that he is doing so, both to the patient and to himself.

Sounds right!

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