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June 2018 (Vol. 3 Issue 4)

Alternative medicine "the same as pornography or tobacco", says university professor
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Alternative medicine "the same as pornography or tobacco", says university professor image

Complementary and alternative medicine should be viewed in the same light as pornography, tobacco and gambling, a university professor has claimed, as they are all 'morally tainted'.

Dr Kevin Smith of Abertay University in Scotland added that he is concerned that Prince Charles—the future king of Britain—is a proponent of homeopathy. Smith has co-authored a new book, More Harm Than Good?, with Prof Edzard Ernst, former professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, who has previously called the Prince a "snake oil salesman".

In their new book, the duo accuse the Prince of putting lives at risk by advocating alternative and complementary therapies. They say that diagnostic techniques such as iridology, which they claim the Prince advocates, has no evidence it works. "Given that the evidence for iridology and other alternative diagnostic techniques is either negative or absent, why does the heir to the throne advocate using them? Does he not know that he has considerable influence and endangers the health of those who believe him?" they write.

Like his co-author, Smith is no stranger to controversy. In 2015, he argued that all 18-year-old men should have their sperm frozen in case they wanted to start a family in their 40s, when the quality of their sperm would have deteriorated, and they were more likely to have a child with disabilities.

His recommendation was met with ridicule. Allan Pacey, a professor at the University of Sheffield, described it as "one of the most ridiculous suggestions I have heard in a long time." He said that risks from older fathers were very small.


References

(Source: Daily Telegraph, January 18, 2018)

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