Sunday Tasmanian - - News -

IN re­sponse to Greg Barns, deeply en­trenched ideas are not an ob­sta­cle in the med­i­cal pro­fes­sion (Talk­ing Point,

Mer­cury, May 22). Mod­ern medicine is ev­i­dence-based. Treat­ments are rig­or­ously tested for ef­fi­cacy and side-ef­fects. Those that pass muster are adopted.

Choos­ing Ian Gawler as an ex­am­ple of en­trenched and ig­no­rant med­i­cal opin­ion is a per­fect ex­am­ple of the prob­lem with al­ter­na­tive ther­a­pies and their pro­po­nents.

The med­i­cal pro­fes­sion didn’t at­tack Gawler. They re­viewed the ev­i­dence, and the most likely cause of his can­cer “cure” is that he didn’t have can­cer. Rather, he had TB, which when treated with an­tibi­otics re­solved.

If peo­ple wish to med­i­tate and pour their cof­fee into their bot­toms in­stead of in­gest­ing it in the usual way, go for it I say.

But don’t try to pre­tend that untested, un­proven and po­ten­tially un­safe “al­ter­na­tive” ther­a­pies are a bet­ter op­tion than mod­ern medicine.

Niall Ste­wart South Ho­bart

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