Posted: Jun 15, 2010 2:40 pm
by DST70
GenesForLife wrote:Multifactorial diseases such as heart disease, for instance, have a variety of evidentially supported practises dealing with the various factors that may contribute to the disorder in question., from dietary & lifestyle changes to reduce cholesterol to statins to block cholesterol to NSAIDS to surgery. In other words, the cause and effect relationships involved are reduced to each factor separately during testing, this in no way forbids a multi-pronged strategy to combat the disease.

Agreed, but those multi–pronged strategies come embedded in a rationalist model of medicine. In rationalist models illness is categorised by disease groups, so if you have disease 'A' you'll be treated in the way that disease 'A' always gets treated, as per the results of clinical research. This makes sense under a rationalist model where common symptoms are more important than peculiar symptoms. Whether or not this is the only way of observing human health and illness is debatable.

There's also a problem if you try and "standardize" a sample group too much. The more internal homogeneity the sample group has (more common symptoms), the less representative of the wider population any successful treatment is, so the less 'real world' application it has. Striving for homogeneity in sample groups is not always desirable; assuming it in the world at large is a very debatable concept.

I'm not denying the obvious benefits and huge improvements in medical care from this approach - that would be stupid. But the question remains whether that model is enough on its own to determine the efficacy of a treatment or cure. At least it's something considered by many people, not just alternative therapists.