The medical imposture

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Dr Constantin Dinu, Primary Specialist General Medicine, Dr in Medicine

Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder, died at age 56, regretting that he had delayed the initiation of the treatment for his pancreatic cancer. For nine months he turned to acupuncture, various fruit juices and other treatments found on the internet, even consulting a spiritualist!

Alternative Medicine or Medical Scams?

We are living in a full era of information. Along with this information explosion, the access to medical information has been greatly facilitated: medical databases, specialist articles, medical guides, expert advice forums, and so on.

Despite this revolution, we are witnessing a counter-action: the explosion of medical charlatanry!

The medical charlatan is an ignorant person, without a specialized medical training. However, using someone’s credulity and the placebo effect, these medical impostors claim they can cure incurable diseases as well! 

A first basic question: What are the main causes of the proliferation of the charlatans?

1. A reduced contact time between the doctor and the patient. The patient remains with questions and the desire for compassion!

2. Complexity and association of diseases. The patient does not want to know only what problem he has, but also “why”! But autoimmune diseases, para-neoplastic syndromes and many cancers do not have a clear causality! At most, only risk factors are known.

3. Low effectiveness of many medical treatments, especially for serious illnesses. The patient has great expectations!

4. The adverse effects of etiopathogenic medication (antibiotics, corticosteroids, cytostatics). The patient also suffers from the side effects of medication!

5. Fear of doctors in general. The patient sees a more friendly alternative to dieto-therapy, nutritional supplements, or the healing remedies of deceitful healers!

6. Disease prognosis is approached with realism by the medical team, which can be discouraging. Illusion sellers, in turn, always promise healing!

Another profitable question: what are the signs of recognition of the medical imposture?

1. Persons without medical training or with medical training that is less than their claims.

2. They have an ultra-simplifying conception of the process of illness and healing. “All illness,” they claim, “is due to a poor diet,” or of “an energetically imbalance,” or “microbes in the intestine,” or “lack of love”!

3. They treat all suffering with the same remedy or diet. The phrase “panacea” did not scratch your ears, too?

4. They have disregard for clinical evidence-based medicine. They claim that their natural treatments do not have to be combined with classical medical treatments. They do not send the patient to the doctor, but prescribe their “natural, non-invasive” cures, delaying the establishment of a statistically proven treatment – delay with devastating effects!

5. They can not submit statistics or studies, especially controlled, randomized, have no pathophysiological thinking, but rely on testimonials! First, “the cure was saving for them,” but they can not prove this healing with medical records!

6. They have a kind of “dromomania/(vagabondage)”, or the mania of the road. It moves from place to place and sometimes does not leave a valid phone number.

7. Do not perform an activity registered with the Trade Registry and have no recognition from professional medical associations.

8. Do not receive advice or warnings and generally do not work in a team !

9. They have learned “the art of healing” from charismatic people living on other continents. They claim to buy their ingredients from a long distance.

10. The charlatans benefit from the protective umbrella of influential, self-activating people of instant miracle cure!

And the most important question: how can you avoid the delusions of these medical crooks? An informed person is a protected person! Use the internet responsibly! Choose the medical information provided by professional associations!Invest in your education, invest in your health!

And yet … a little detail! Steve Jobs’s cancer was an insulinoma, a very rare tumor of the insulin secretory endocrine pancreas. What is the meaning of this? These tumors are surgically curable in 90% of cases! If they are discovered in time! … And Jobs’s tumor was discovered in time! But not enough time for alternative medicine, for medical dilettantism or dishonest charlatanry!

The medical imposture is, after all, a legal danger!

This is my opinion, Constantin Dinu, for OPINIA PRODUCTION.

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