Saturday, May 12, 2007

Alternative Medicines Proscribed

Alternative medical systems are playing havoc with the lives of the public. Superstitions and blind beliefs among the people give strong base and support the alternative medical systems.
The Center for Inquiry and Humanist organizations are fighting against unscientific medical systems since a decade. Now the central government and Supreme court support the rational stand on this matter.
But strong lobbying for the alterntive medicines are working everywhere and hence they are thriving despite the orders against practice of alternative medicines.

Brief background:
While the humanist organisations are fighting for banning the alternative unscientific medical systems, Electropathy and Electro Homeopathy approached Delhi High Court in 1998 for recognition and funding from governments. Based on the Court direction Indian Council of Medical Research constitutued a standing committee of experts from various fields under chairmanship of Director General to go into the matter. The committee consisted with: Dr N.K.Ganguley, director general of CMR; Dr S.P. Agarwal, Director General DGHS, Sri Ashwini Kumar, DCGI; Prof B.N.Dhawan, Prof S.S. Handa, Dr V.N.Pamdey, Dr R.H. Singh, Hakeem S. Khaleefathulla, Head of department of Unani medicine in Jamia Hamdard, Dr .R.Kannan, Dr Leena Mehendale, Dr Promila Chari, Dr J.N. Pande, Dr B.K. Sharma and Dr Vasantha Muthuswamy.
This committee studied alternative medicines and framed guidelines for recognition .They studies all aspects whether the system of medicine is well esablished, whether is it prevalent and has a widespread network of practitioners, whether sufficient literature on the system is available; whether the system can be recognised by the government; and they studied with scientific criteria.
The systems studied are: Electropathy, Electrohomeopathy, Magnetotherapy, Reiki, Reflexology, Urine therapy, Auto urine therapy, Aromatherapy, Colour therapy, Pranic healing, Gems and stones therapy, Music therapy and Hypnotherapy.
After analyzing the committee recommended that these systems are not fulfilling the scientific criteria and hence should not be recognised. None of the practitioners should use Doctor as sufficx. Government should not give any grant to these systems and they should be not taught to confer degrees.
The report submitted in 2002 and government of India accepted it. The Union health ministry sent orders to all state government to implement the orders at once ( 25 November 2003).
On November 24 Supreme Court bench consisting of Justice Sabharwal and Justice Dharmadhikari directed the central government to legislate on alternative medicines based on the experts’ committee report.
Center for Inquiry is consistently pleading the governments to carryout the order but they fell on deaf ears.
The Center for Inquiry is also demanding to constitute an experts committee on Homeopathy to study its scientific criteria. Dr Stephen Barret, (see under Homeopathy in website quack watch ) expert on this subject called Homeopathy as ultimate fraud and emphatically stated that it is not proved as scientific anywhere in the world. Mr James Randi, declared to give $1000000 to any one if they prove Homeo as scientific.
(See for application and details).
Goverenments should act firmly on these matters to save public from health hazardous treatments.

Center for Inquriy India

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