Roundtable Synopsis

As two practitioners for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) square off with a traditionally-trained medical doctor and a leading public health advocate, their strongly-felt disagreements center on a question of proof:  how do you tell what works and what doesn’t? All bemoan the disturbing number of bogus therapies being peddled on the Internet to desperate people, the lack of safe manufacturing for many alternative medicines, and the instances where certain natural approaches cause real harm. Yet the two sides remain adamantly opposed over whether or not CAM can ever do any good; even the issue of licensing for CAM practitioners becomes a point of contention as they debate what guidelines should be used to determine who would qualify. For CAM’s critics, most alternative medicine is at best “self-delusion” foisted on a gullible public with misleading advertising and misguided legislation by Congress.  For its advocates, it holds the key to a better understanding of the “mind-body continuum” and more effective treatment for a wide range of disorders. With Hyla Cass, William Jarvis, Daniel Labriola, Wallace Sampson.

Who Gets to Validate Alternative Medicine?

Discussion