About the Article

Published in: Vol. 5, No. 4
Category: Analyses

About the Author

Gunnar B. Stickler


Stated Goals and Grants of the Office of Alternative Medicine/NCCAM


Review of the Evidence for the Clinical Efficacy of Human Acupuncture


“Alternative” Medicine: A Review of Studies Supported by Grants Awarded by the NCCAM

THE USE OF UNPROVEN TREATMENT PROCEDURES—called “ ‘alternative’ medicine” or “complementary medicine”—is claimed to be increasing, although others find the claims to be inflated.1 Bergman and coworkers distinguish between conventional medicine and “alternative” medicine and suggest the need to find a middle ground.2

However, there is no alternative to science-based medicine, just as there is no alternative to astronomy or chemistry unless one accepts astrology or alchemy. Therefore, a middle ground somewhere between science and validity on one hand, and pseudoscience and indeterminacy on the other, cannot logically exist or be acceptable to a rational society. Angell and Kassirer stated it also: “It is time for the scientific community to stop giving alternative medicine a free ride. There cannot be two kinds of medicine—conventional and alternative.”3

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