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How many people have to die before we put an end to alternative medicine quackery?

Current Events, Friends-Romans-Countrymen, Math and Science, Politics and Activism

Another child is dead, and more parents have criminal convictions for using quackery instead of medicine to treat their child’s illness.  How long are people going to tolerate this alternative medicine crap?  How many more people have to die before we bring the weight of government down hard on these charlatans whose purpose in life is to take money from gullible people in lieu of having those people actually go seek proper medical attention?

Preventable deaths from treatable afflictions happen all over the world.  If you’re an adult, and you would prefer to go to some yahoo who can pull a healing rabbit out of her magical arse, over a professional doctor with years of education, experience and an army of bona fide research behind her, to cure your ailment… fine.  As long as the resulting failure doesn’t cost the tax payers any extra fees out of social medicine, your choice is actually fine with me.  You’re an adult, and I believe you should be free to make stupid decisions as long as they don’t impact other people.

If you subject your kids to that crap, you should be in jail.  If you are an alternative medicine quack who treats children, you should be in jail right beside the parents.  Children don’t have a choice, and they don’t have a voice.  Children trust that the adults who look after them do so with their best interests in mind.  That’s why we have laws about providing the necessaries of life.

What is more shocking is that, in Canada, we have recognized quackery colleges.  Naturopaths in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Saskatchewan.  Homeopathy is recognized by the provincial health system in Ontario.  That means taxpayers pay money to support unfounded, pseudo-scientific “treatments” that keep people from getting the real help they need.

And as the Alberta case, and so many others around the world show, this kills people and some of those people don’t have a say.

As a civilized, technologically advanced, educated, literate first-world nation, Canada should take a bold step and outlaw this sort of quackery once and for all, or at the very least treat it like tobacco… make the alternative medicine people post huge, bilingual warnings in their places of business that state something such as this:

All patients must be at least 18 years of age and not be legally 
incapable of consenting to treatment.  The advice and treatment 
offered here is provided for entertainment purposes only and is 
not backed by research.  There is no evidence that the advice or 
treatments are effective against disease or other ailments.  If 
you believe you are ill, seek the help of a bona fide medical 
professional.

Provincial support for these charlatans must be ended immediately, and they must be held to account for the people they injure and kill.

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