Pseudoscience / Science Criticism

Western Medicine Is Not Relative

A couple of weeks ago, the McGill Daily, a student newspaper aimed at the McGill University student body, published a mind-bogling article entitled “Decolonizing healthcare”. In it, its author clumsily argues that medicine is culture and that White people should stop imposing our beliefs in diagnostic tools and validated medical treatments on other ethnic groups.

My rebuttal appears in the rival paper, The Prince Arthur Herald. Here is an excerpt:

“However Dahm is not interested in accuracy; she has chosen the Postmodern Horse of Marginalization and is riding it highly and mightily. Her thesis is that medicine is culture. By imposing their medical knowledge to indigenous people, Western physicians are guilty of colonialism.

“I am happy to report that science-based medicine is not culture. It is based on a system of knowledge that has proved its mettle and that puts forward hypotheses that are falsifiable. Medical doctors do not care that drinking an infusion of a rare indigenous flower was once reported by a shaman to alleviate symptoms of the flu; not because they are culturally insensitive, but because this claim is an anecdote and this infusion should be trialled before being prescribed.”

You can read the full thing here.

Thanks to Chad Regan for bringing the PA Herald to my attention and to Andrew Cody for his love of logical fallacies.

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