I think therefore I am? – Cheese, Quackers and Other Oily Things

Photo by angela pham on Unsplash

I’ve looked after thousands of patients over my 14 years of working full-time in Palliative Care settings. The patients that I see have tried all the standard treatments and their illnesses have not been controlled. Out of desperation, some may search for complementary (hardly ever complimentary) and alternative treatments. My standard policy is if something helps them to feel better then who am I to judge what is right for them? I support patient choice, even if people do not follow my recommendations or advice. But if a treatment causes them harm, then I may have to intervene.

I have often been asked by patients and their families whether or not alternative/complementary therapies are any good. Mostly, I don’t know enough about them, but from my training, the evidence does not support their efficacy. It’s not my job to extinguish all hope in their situations, and no one would be happier than me if miracles did occur. The harsh reality I have witnessed from caring for thousands of patients is that out of the hundreds who have sought non-mainstream treatments, very few are still alive.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Oil from snakes makes many palms greasy.

The cure-all panacea that has been hidden from you by the Illuminati and other conspiracies makes for a good story, but the patient thought they were buying non-fiction.

The false hope market is bullish and continues to make strong returns for a few people.

If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, smells like a duck. It probably is a duck.