There’s something about the death of a child that hits us in a particular way. Maybe it’s the feeling of perversion at seeing death come so early, unnaturally, or our hidden parental instincts kicking in high gear. In the case of 5-year-old Billie Bainbridge‘s untimely death at the hands of an aggressive tumor lodged in her brain last weekend though, there’s another feeling that should pop up from under there, a feeling of anger towards one Dr. Stanislaw Burynski.
With college becoming a necessary reality for anyone looking to avoid weekly Tuna Can Dinner Thursdays (I like Seakist myself), it’s even more important to make sure colleges are offering as top notch a course load as they can muster. Whether they’re a premier research institute or the McDonalds Community College of Queens.
Colleges aren’t made equal, of course, but we should insist on standards, especially when it comes to the sciences. That’s why it’s so alarming that more universities worldwide are offering courses and degrees in the equivalent of 19th century medicine.
Earlier this week, a group of medical experts and advocates sent off a open letter to an Australian college, Central Queensland University (CQU), urging them to reconsider offering students a degree (B.S.) in chiropractic come 2012.
Condemning it as an unscientific and “non-evidence-based” field, the group was especially fearful about the potential for future graduates to begin practicing chiropractic for diseases and conditions that have nothing to do with spinal manipulation, like asthma and bed-wetting, especially if their patients turn out to be kids.
At a time where resources are tight, it makes no sense to legitimize crank science at the expense of shoving aside reality-based medical training (or even a communications degree for that matter). Sadly this story is only becoming part of a trend as so-called integrative and complementary medicine is seeping its way into higher institutions under the auspices of offering a greater range of health disciplines to students. But medical diversity should be second to medical accuracy, and a degree in chiropractic should be no more valued than a degree in astrology or palm reading would be.
That’s the popular myth about chiropractic though, that it is a legitimate form of medicine fully endorsed by the greater scientific community. After all, we are fully expected to call our chiropractors “Doctor”, and “chiropractic medicine” just seems to roll off the tongue better. The truth about chiropractic is decidedly more murky.
Let’s save that for next week though.
That wraps up this week. Follow me on Twitter or subscribe to get more Demon Haunted World fun on the go. Catch ya soon.