WHO Endorses Traditional Chinese Medicine. Expect Deaths To Rise

Oct 9, 2018

By Steven Salzberg

A few days ago, a news story in the journal Nature reported that the World Health Organization, which is supposed to be devoted to improving the health and medical care of people around the globe, will for the first time endorse a belief system called “traditional Chinese medicine.” I’m labeling TCM a belief system because that’s what it is–but the WHO will be endorsing it as a set of medical practices.

The Nature writer, David Cyranoski, presents this news in a classic two-sides-of-the-story format, describing the “endless hours” that TCM proponents spent on such important topics as the “correct location of acupuncture points and less commonly known concepts such as ‘triple energizer meridian’ syndrome.” Later in the article (but much later), he points out that scientists have argued that qi and meridians simply don’t exist.

Cyranoski also falls into the trap of using the phrase “Western medicine” as if it were just an alternative point of view. An apt response is this comment from a biology Ph.D. student, who goes by @astrelaps on Twitter:

“What a weak, equivocal article from the world’s preeminent scientific journal. “For those steeped in Western medicine…” is like writing “For those steeped in climate science” or “For those steeped in evolutionary biology” when reporting on climate change denial or creationism.”

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3 comments on “WHO Endorses Traditional Chinese Medicine. Expect Deaths To Rise

  • Sounds like the world health organization doesn’t have experts working for them. What’s next? Using leaches to suck out the bad blood.

  • vrej #1
    Oct 15, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    What’s next? Using leaches to suck out the bad blood.

    Actually leaches have been properly used for certain specialist modern medical procedures for quite some time!

    http://web.uconn.edu/mcbstaff/graf/Medical.html


    Modern Medicine

    During the 1980’s, reports were published that described the successful application of medicinal leeches to rescue surgery cases with complications. During the reattachment of severed fingers and ears, or of the detached scalp, the blood flow needs to be reestablished.
    This is achieved by reconnecting the major arteries and veins. In particular, the veins can be difficult to find. If not enough veins are reconnected, the blood may initially enter the reattached organ but cannot exit. This will prevent fresh, oxygenated blood from entering and, consequentially, the reattachement procedure will fail.
    This is where the medicinal leech comes to the rescue.
    The animals are applied to the tissue and they actively remove blood and secrete numerous compounds that have vasodialator, anticoagulant, and clot-dissolving properties.
    This prevents the tissue from dying off and allows the body to reestablish good blood flow to the reattached part.

  • Even mainstream medicine is dubious in China!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-45886388

    A Chinese vaccination firm has been fined $1.3bn (£988m) after it was found to have illegally produced the human rabies vaccine.

    Changchun Changsheng had blended different batches of vaccine fluid and used expired fluid to produce some of the batches, according to state news agency Xinhua.

    The company also falsified production data for the vaccine.

    This is not the first major vaccine scandal to hit China.

    Changchun Changsheng’s pharmaceutical production licence has also been revoked and its illegally produced vaccines have been confiscated.

    A Chinese vaccination firm has been fined $1.3bn (£988m) after it was found to have illegally produced the human rabies vaccine.

    Changchun Changsheng had blended different batches of vaccine fluid and used expired fluid to produce some of the batches, according to state news agency Xinhua.

    The company also falsified production data for the vaccine.

    This is not the first major vaccine scandal to hit China.

    Changchun Changsheng’s pharmaceutical production licence has also been revoked and its illegally produced vaccines have been confiscated.

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