Why Steve Jobs’ Magic Doesn’t Work In Medicine
Like Matthew Herper from Forbes I have great respect for Steve Jobs and even had the privilege thanks to our company CEO Paul Ricci in hearing first had from Walter Isaacson as he addressed our annual corporate kick off and provided individually signed copies of Steve Job’s autobiography.
We heard how Steve Jobs had deeply regretted his decision to delay treatment of his cancer – preferring to try “alternative therapies”. And while I have an appreciation for alternative therapies (who cannot when you consider how much of our innovation has come from things that came from plants or concepts that were completely foreign until we understood the science) I remain steadfastly behind science based medicine.
Alternative therapies are great but not based on heresy and anecdotal evidence. I find the whole idea very troubling that we spend millions on therapies that are unproven and in some cases are positively dangerous. Especially when the unsuspecting patent is coaxed into believing the alternative can heal them and decline or cease using any regular medical treatment.
Vaccinations spring to mind – where the anti vaccine lobby continues to damage a program with proven benefits that save lives that have to be measured in millions. Yet with one faceless comment from a politician or worse a celebrity and suddenly clinicians are fighting an uphill battle to persuade patents of the need to vaccinate their children and themselves. We’ve heard all about the autism association but seen no proof tat this is linked to vaccination (correlation does not imply causation). When their theory of the mercury in vaccines causing the autism was disproven – not least of all when the Mercury was removed and the autism rate continued to climb yet there was no pull back and honest assessment.
The same is true of alternative therapies and patients should assess treatments in the light of real science and not anecdotal medicine. Is these therapies work why oh why would the medical profession not adopt them and treat patents with these alternatives. We want our patients to get better…..