A Statement in Defense of Scientific Medicine
from the Council for Scientific Medicine

September 1997

In recent years a wide range of unconventional therapies has appeared on the public scene. These are offered as "alternative" or "complementary" to mainstream medicine. And they include everything from herbal medicines, homeopathy, and aromatherapy to the use of acupuncture, therapeutic touch, prayer at a distance, faith healing, chelation therapy, and "miraculous" cancer cures.

We, the undersigned, believe that the need for objective, scientific critiques of the claims of "alternative" or non-conventional medicine has never been greater. This conclusion seems inescapable because . . .

We therefore welcome the founding of The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, the first peer-reviewed journal dedicated entirely to the scientific, rational evaluation of unconventional health claims.

Its purpose is to apply the best tools of science and reason to determine the validity of hypotheses and the effectiveness of treatments. It will dismiss no claim a priori, but consider it on its merits. It will reject no claim because it fits, or fails to fit, some paradigm. It will, using scientific methods and reasonable criteria, seek justified answers to two questions: "Is it true?" and "Does this treatment work?" It will call for double-blind controlled trials of "alternative" therapies.

We believe that the launching of The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine is now imperative. We therefore call for physicians, scientists, health practitioners, and citizens everywhere to join us in supporting this important venture to advance scientific medicine and to expand the benefits of peoples free and informed choice.

Signers of the statement are Charter Members of the Council for Scientific Medicine

This article was posted on May 2, 2006.

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