The other day, I went to a magic show. The magician manipulated energy fields, pulled toxins out of my stomach, and then gave me a remedy - but there was nothing inside. Then he pulled out a prescription pad, prescribed some Tamiflu, and sent me on my way.
Seem unlikely? Well, the Ontario government is poised to give another type of magician -- the naturopath -- prescribing rights, despite the reams of evidence discrediting their approach to patient health. It's a move that legitimizes a well-meaning but baseless profession, and puts patients at significant risk.
Surely I much be exaggerating, right? After all, naturopaths practice "natural healing", and nature is good, isn't it? Unfortunately for patients, no evidence exists to suggest that naturopaths are capable primary care providers. Naturopathy is a fundamentally flawed idea - and a government blessing only entrenches and magnifies the health risks to Canadians.
Naturopathy's key premise is bogus: The key underlying premise of naturopathy is called vitalism: the idea that humans are possessed with a magical quality that transcends the laws of physics. Sometimes called vis medicatrix naturae (the healing power of nature), vitalism is essentially magical thinking: the belief that some type of "energy field" or "life force" can be harnessed and manipulated by the naturopath. Vitalism was rejected by the medical profession decades ago, about the time it was discovered that bloodletting to balance the body's "humors" was a bad idea. Substantial developments in medical science over the past hundred years have put the idea of vitalism in the dustbin of medical ideas. Naturopathic principles are, at their core, based around this profoundly unscientific and incorrect idea of health.
http://www.skepticnorth.com/2009/11/mag ... oised.html