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Opinion: Alternative medicine courses damage Langara’s reputation

The questionable scientific standing of Langara's alternative medicine courses could undermine the perception of the college's evidence-based curriculum

Illustration by Perrin Grauer
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By Taran Gill

Langara College should take a closer look at its alternative medicine courses, as they sit on scientifically shaky ground with studies contradicting their legitimacy.

Medical experts, like Dr. Steve E Hartman at the University of New England, have questioned the efficacy of these therapies and have recommended academic institutions to stop offering these courses.

In an article published in Chiropractic & Manual Therapies journal, Dr. Hartman concludes, “Until outcome studies show that these techniques produce a direct and positive clinical effect, they should be dropped from all academic curricula.”

In another article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, authors Marcia Angell, M.D., and Jerome P. Kassirer, M.D., argue that the scientific community should stop giving a free ride to alternative medicine.

The study, published in 1998, concludes, “Alternative treatments should be subjected to scientific testing no less rigorous than that required for conventional treatments.”

Could distract from proven options

The temptation of these alternative medicines has the ability to distract patients from life-saving western medicine treatments.

Valuable time could be lost when patients opt for alternative therapies that mislead them about the cause and cure of their condition.

Langara offering these courses could damage the legitimacy of the other medical courses offered, the days might not be far when we see ghost-busting and Quidditch offered on the course list.

Read the related news piece here.

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