The ethics of anomalous, unconventional therapies: a utilitarian response

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Abstract

Consequences arising from the assimilation of anomalous therapies into health-care and educational settings are of key ethical concern. Consideration of such consequences is particularly important in light of the increasing prominence of ineffective therapies in clinical practice and in universities. This paper highlights negative outcomes likely to arise from support or tolerance afforded to unconventional therapies. Such outcomes include a diversion of public and private resources from methods predicated on logic and evidence and a weakening of commitment to science-based medicine. In addition, an important spiraling effect occurs in which support for unconventional therapies leads to an amplification of negative consequences. Each instance of tacit support given to unconventional therapies (regardless of source; e.g., health-care systems, hospitals, or universities) represents a contribution against effective medicine. From this, it is concluded that rational health-care practitioners and educators have a moral duty to take a position against anomalous and ineffective therapies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-28
JournalThe Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine
Volume7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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