Why alternative medicine can be scientifically evaluated: Countering the evasions of pseudoscience
2013 (English)In: Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem / [ed] Massimo Pigliucci & Maarten Boudry, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013, 305-320 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Typically, in a clinical trial patients with specified symptoms are given either of two predetermined treatments. Health endpoints in the two groups are then compared using statistical methods. Concerns have been raised, not least from adherents of so-called alternative medicine, that clinical trials do not offer reliable evidence for some types of treatment, in particular for highly individualized treatments, for example traditional homeopathy. It is argued that such concerns are unfounded. There are two minimal conditions related to the nature of the treatments that must be fulfilled for eligibility to a clinical trial, namely (1) the proper distinction of the two treatment groups and (2) the elimination of confounding variables or variations. These are delineated, and a few misunderstandings are corrected. It is concluded that the conditions do not preclude the testing of alternative medicine, whether individualized or not.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013. 305-320 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-87649ISBN: 9780226051796ISBN: 9780226051963OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-87649DiVA: diva2:501819
QC 201311042012-02-142012-02-142015-04-13Bibliographically approved