Alternative Medicine is a Useful Concept

[eLetter]

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debateScientific

Abstract

Pekka Louhiala argues, "there is no alternative medicine" because "it escapes a meaningful definition, and 'alternative medicine' cannot be clearly differentiated from conventional medicine" [1]. I do not consider that his arguments are valid.

Louhiala does not mention the definitions that have been proposed for "alternative medicine". For example, Eisenberg defined alternative medical therapies as "interventions neither taught widely in medical schools nor generally available in US hospitals" [2]. Cochrane collaboration defined: "Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a broad domain of healing resources that encompasses all health systems, modalities, and practices and their accompanying theories and beliefs, other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period. CAM includes all such practices and ideas self-defined by their users as preventing or treating illness or promoting health and well-being. Boundaries within CAM and between the CAM domain and that of the dominant system are not always sharp or fixed" [3]. These definitions are not exhaustive, but they capture what I think is the most essential.

These definitions consider that the relevant factor for setting up the boundary around alternative medicine is by the lack of social acceptance within mainstream medicine. ...
Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Humanities
ISSN1468-215X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2017
MoE publication typeB1 Journal article

Fields of Science

  • 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health

Cite this

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title = "Alternative Medicine is a Useful Concept: [eLetter]",
abstract = "Pekka Louhiala argues, {"}there is no alternative medicine{"} because {"}it escapes a meaningful definition, and 'alternative medicine' cannot be clearly differentiated from conventional medicine{"} [1]. I do not consider that his arguments are valid.Louhiala does not mention the definitions that have been proposed for {"}alternative medicine{"}. For example, Eisenberg defined alternative medical therapies as {"}interventions neither taught widely in medical schools nor generally available in US hospitals{"} [2]. Cochrane collaboration defined: {"}Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a broad domain of healing resources that encompasses all health systems, modalities, and practices and their accompanying theories and beliefs, other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period. CAM includes all such practices and ideas self-defined by their users as preventing or treating illness or promoting health and well-being. Boundaries within CAM and between the CAM domain and that of the dominant system are not always sharp or fixed{"} [3]. These definitions are not exhaustive, but they capture what I think is the most essential.These definitions consider that the relevant factor for setting up the boundary around alternative medicine is by the lack of social acceptance within mainstream medicine. ...",
keywords = "3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health",
author = "Harri Hemil{\"a}",
year = "2017",
month = "11",
day = "6",
doi = "10.13140/2.1.5164.1127",
language = "English",
journal = "Medical Humanities",
issn = "1468-215X",
publisher = "BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP",

}

Alternative Medicine is a Useful Concept : [eLetter]. / Hemilä, Harri.

In: Medical Humanities, 06.11.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debateScientific

TY - JOUR

T1 - Alternative Medicine is a Useful Concept

T2 - [eLetter]

AU - Hemilä, Harri

PY - 2017/11/6

Y1 - 2017/11/6

N2 - Pekka Louhiala argues, "there is no alternative medicine" because "it escapes a meaningful definition, and 'alternative medicine' cannot be clearly differentiated from conventional medicine" [1]. I do not consider that his arguments are valid.Louhiala does not mention the definitions that have been proposed for "alternative medicine". For example, Eisenberg defined alternative medical therapies as "interventions neither taught widely in medical schools nor generally available in US hospitals" [2]. Cochrane collaboration defined: "Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a broad domain of healing resources that encompasses all health systems, modalities, and practices and their accompanying theories and beliefs, other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period. CAM includes all such practices and ideas self-defined by their users as preventing or treating illness or promoting health and well-being. Boundaries within CAM and between the CAM domain and that of the dominant system are not always sharp or fixed" [3]. These definitions are not exhaustive, but they capture what I think is the most essential.These definitions consider that the relevant factor for setting up the boundary around alternative medicine is by the lack of social acceptance within mainstream medicine. ...

AB - Pekka Louhiala argues, "there is no alternative medicine" because "it escapes a meaningful definition, and 'alternative medicine' cannot be clearly differentiated from conventional medicine" [1]. I do not consider that his arguments are valid.Louhiala does not mention the definitions that have been proposed for "alternative medicine". For example, Eisenberg defined alternative medical therapies as "interventions neither taught widely in medical schools nor generally available in US hospitals" [2]. Cochrane collaboration defined: "Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a broad domain of healing resources that encompasses all health systems, modalities, and practices and their accompanying theories and beliefs, other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period. CAM includes all such practices and ideas self-defined by their users as preventing or treating illness or promoting health and well-being. Boundaries within CAM and between the CAM domain and that of the dominant system are not always sharp or fixed" [3]. These definitions are not exhaustive, but they capture what I think is the most essential.These definitions consider that the relevant factor for setting up the boundary around alternative medicine is by the lack of social acceptance within mainstream medicine. ...

KW - 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health

U2 - 10.13140/2.1.5164.1127

DO - 10.13140/2.1.5164.1127

M3 - Comment/debate

JO - Medical Humanities

JF - Medical Humanities

SN - 1468-215X

ER -