Friday, June 12, 2009

Standards .... of .... ???

An email from the Prime Minister's Office regarding a petition to regulate quack medicine.

The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) does not promote the efficacy of disciplines practised by its registrants. The aim of the CNHC is protection of the public. Registration means that the practitioner has met certain entry standards (in terms of having an accredited qualification or relevant experience) and that they subscribe to a set of professional standards. The public will have the reassurance that the practitioner they choose meets these standards and will be subject to fitness to practise procedures should they behave inappropriately.

Regulation, whether statutory or voluntary, is about protecting the public. For this reason, the Government fully supports the work of the CNHC. If patients choose to use complementary or alternative therapy, the Government’s advice is to choose a practitioner registered with a reputable voluntary registration body such as the CNHC.

(bolding mine)

So, the public can rest assured ... not that the treatment has any validity ... but that the practitioner has subscribed to a certain set of standards. So the practitioner's behaviour is held to a set standard, but the actuall efficacy of the treatment is not. Your treatment may be costing you plenty and not be proven to work at all, but at least your practitioner will behave appropriately.

In my opinion, the government should be concerned about the efficacy of treatments, and should be concerned that people are enouraged to use treatments such as acupuncture, which has scientifically be shown to yield the exact same results if it is done incorrectly - therefore only benefitting a patient due to the placebo effect.

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