Ted J. Kaptchuk
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Kaptchuk TJ. More on Alternative Medicine. Ann Intern Med. 2000;132:675. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-132-8-200004180-00014
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2000;132(8):675.
Dr. Sergeant's discussion of the “inevitable truths” underlying medicine is eloquent. The term “faux medicine” is a creative addition to the groups of terms (such as “unproven” and “unscientific”) that view the common thread of alternative medicine as a bogus, primitive, and delusional conceptual model.
Indeed, science and technology have bestowed much of humanity with enormous material benefits. But for most patients in the waiting room, their health care is not reducible to a scientific event. As Dr. Sergeant has implied, disease may be a physical fact, but existential, personal, and subjective considerations necessarily linger whenever health is threatened (1, 2). Being sick inevitably involves passion and the imagination and has a deep component of narrative and fantasy (3). The suffering of illness includes “the realm of social roles, group identification, the relation with self, body, or family, or the relation with a transpersonal, transcendent source of meaning” (4). Much that is not scientific is at stake.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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