What's the Harm? Why the Mainstreaming of Complementary and Alternative Medicine is an Ethical Problem.

Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine 4 (4):333-344 (2013)
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This paper argues that it is morally irresponsible for modern medical providers or health care institutions to support and advocate the integration of CAM practices (i.e. homeopathy, acupuncture, energy healing, etc.) with conventional modern medicine. The results of such practices are not reliable beyond that of placebo. As a corollary, it is argued that prescribing placebos perceived to stand outside the norm of modern medicine is morally inappropriate. Even when such treatments do no direct physical harm, they create unnecessary barriers to patients' informed understanding of their health.

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Lawrence Torcello
Rochester Institute of Technology


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