Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Semantic complexities of the name

The term alternative medicine is the term adopted by the European Commission to qualify the alternative therapies that are the subject of a growing recognition in Europe since the 1990s.

It also uses the term alternative medicine, complementary medicine, natural medicine, alternative medicine, alternative medicine or holistic medicine sometimes (as some claim to treat the body as a whole).

* Speaking of "alternative medicine" seems to imply that there are two conceptions of medicine involving two health care systems operate independently of one another, with the same degree of efficiency and scientific nature: patients would therefore choose between two therapies they may consider as alternatives or as complementary and competing one another.

* The term "alternative medicine" seems to regard the aggressive practices of conventional medicine.

* The term "alternative medicine", it is envisaged these care practices as a proxy, therefore, likely to replace conventional and conventional therapeutic approach.

* The term "holistic" criticizes conventional medicine to focus on treating an organ or a specific function and not the patient as a whole. This is probably the case for medical specialties but not always for medicine in general.

* The term "complementary medicine" rather favors the idea of combining treatments that may be "therapeutic philosophies" different but able to cooperate in the interest of the patient.

By playing this way on the vocabulary, the proponents of these treatments were able to enter the culture the idea that they presented an "alternative" treatments whose effectiveness is proven by scientific research, where Sceptics prefer to speak rather of medicine based on science (an English science-based medicine) and pseudo-medicine and pseudo-science in order to avoid this rhetorical effect.

A semantic reversal has also been made since medicine is designated by advocates of unconventional medicine by the term allopathic medicine.

Alternate Medicine

The term alternative medicine refers to the West a variety of treatment methods that are not based on the experimental method, one of the foundations of the scientific approach to the facts. They are based on centuries-old traditions sometimes or practices that emerged in the nineteenth century, but generally before the advent of evidence-based medicine (in English: Evidence-based medicine). The non-conventional medicines are therefore considered non-scientific.

Depending on the country, their traditions and their laws, they may be common (Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and England ...), tolerated (as in France and some Latin countries) or be banned. They are often preventive, and build on the relationship of trust with the patient, expressing a personal search and the search for a framework of care that is outside the frameworks of modern medicine.

Some techniques are used by doctors or paramedics, other allied health practitioners in various ("health practitioners" in Germany and Switzerland, under the control of the state), and others by practitioners whose quality of training is not subject to a state diploma and can hardly be assessed, are based on assumptions not validated experimentally. They develop as a complement or alternative to conventional medicine.

The non-conventional medicine are not recognized by much of science, particularly by those belonging to the contemporary skeptic movement.

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