Case Against Alternative Medicine

Today, the average person in the world has the best medical treatment in history and the quality of the overall available medical treatment is only getting better. Granted, many of the poor countries can not offer their citizens adequate health-care, but more people than ever have access to exceptional medical treatment of their choosing.

There is a common divide in the Western world over the type of medicine is better. Some people think that the scientific approach and modern Western medicine gives better overall care. Others believe that Western medicine is too driven by money, and causes as many problems as it cures. For the ladder reason, many people are choosing alternative treatment over traditional medicine.

A big problem with alternative treatments is a lack of quantification. Doses are poorly measured, no clinical trials are performed, and side effects are generally little known and unpublicized.

Scientific medicine, on the other hand, is typically under such scrutiny that by the time a treatment of any sorts hits the consumer market, side effects are pretty well known, doses are measured with extreme care, and the consumer is generally more aware of the types of benefits he or she is able to reasonably expect.

Another benefit of Western medicine is that the course of treatment is usually more thorough than alternative approaches. Western doctors are taught to systematically approach problems and iterate on possible diagnosis testing and cure attempts. Additionally, prior to treatment, Western medicine has far surpassed any alternative approaches in diagnosis of the problem. There is nothing worse for the patient than being treated for a problem they do not have, and having the original problem go untreated and actually get worse.

While there is a lot of room for alternative medicines within the overall treatment cycles, the consumer is probably best off in trying both, alternative and western medicines, although in my opinion, western medicine should be attempted first.