spin-off: parenting and health care choices - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-08-2008, 10:40 AM
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i was skimming the parents choosing prayer over medicine thread, and it was an interesting read. it got me thinking about other aspects of parenting decisions and how much legal/gov't regulation people feel is appropriate in their lives and the lives of others in regards to choice.



right now, the general legal situation in the US is that individuals get to decide for themselves what sorts of health care they want provided and when, and that parents get to decide this for their children. there are cases where the state steps in--for the welfare of the child or the individual, whereby parents and individuals have to be considered somehow incompetent or the state's interest in that child outweighs the parent's right to choose (eg. a georgia case asserted that a woman close to her due date could not refuse medical treatment of any kind, if deemed necessary by the doctor, in order to safeguard the child. of course, other cases have asserted the opposite.)



now, we have discussed the religious reasons, but i also was curious about philosophical differences in regards to medical care.



often, when people think of medical or health care, they think of the western, allopathic model of care as being the "best" or in some cases, the 'only' real form of health/medical care available.



but, there are many other theories of health/medical care out there--homeopathic, osteopathic, traditional medicine from various cultures (chinese medicine, ayurvedic medicine, etc).



beyond these sort of "big theories" of medical care, there are also levels of "general health care" such as herbalism, nutrition/nourishment, rest and moving that contribute to overall health and wellbeing. and this also may include work, spiritual endeavors, etc.



now, looking at this, how much latitude should a parent have in regards to providing health care to their children?



legally speaking, we have great latitide, so this is really about what the folks on VB think about health care and parental choices.



if we were to say that a parent chose traditional chinese medicine as a 'better' philosophical perspective as well as a 'better' form of health care, and consistently provided that care to a sick or injured child, and then, if the child became incredibly ill (cancer or some such) and the parent decided to continue with traditional chinese medicine rather than switching to the western, allopathic model, would you have the same impulse toward the parent as toward those parents that chose prayer to medicine?



would you encourage the state to step in and force the family to utilize allopathic medicine?



and, what of those situations where a child is sick and given allopathic medicine, and yet still dies? are these parents given a social "by?" and if so, why?



i'm just curious.
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#2 Old 04-08-2008, 02:06 PM
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In any country with 'universal' health care the State should have the final say on everyone's health care, including children.



For instance in Canada the Provincial Government should be allowed to compel anyone to undergo any treatment deemed necessary by a physician. The Provincial Government should also have the power to deny any treatment and to refuse to further treat anyone pursuing any kind of medical treatment which is not part of a physician approved program.



Because every resident of Canada pays for every other resident of Canada's health care the Government should be empowered to dictate treatment options for every Canadian, including children.
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#3 Old 04-08-2008, 03:07 PM
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I think they should be protecting children, but when it comes to me, they can stay the hell out of it.
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#4 Old 04-08-2008, 03:10 PM
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ok, assuming that, then, which form of medical care should be utilized?



should it only be the western, allopathic model, or should another model be utilized, or multiple models?



obviously, this is a very political question. it's about what people believe. in some areas, for example, doctors believe that the safest mode of birth is c-section, and scheduled ones at that. yet many other people (including many doctors) believe that this is not the case.



if the state chooses to 'side' with those doctors who believe that all should get c-sections, would that not infringe on the health and welfare (and the right to protect one's health and welfare) of the mother and child?



it certainly is a interesting question.
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#5 Old 04-08-2008, 03:13 PM
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ok, but "how" should "they" protect children?



should parents be forced to accept or agree to a specific model of care, simply because it is most fashionable in that area?



and which model of care is chosen and why and how and by whom?



why is it ok to subject one's child to heavy allopathic medicine, in the hopes of healing, and even when that fails it is "you did everything you could" but if that parent didn't try chinese medicine or homeopathy or what have you, and another parent did try that method (yet not allopathic), would that second parent be considered "negligent or abusive" while the first parent wouldn't?
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#6 Old 04-08-2008, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Sketchy View Post

In any country with 'universal' health care the State should have the final say on everyone's health care, including children.



For instance in Canada the Provincial Government should be allowed to compel anyone to undergo any treatment deemed necessary by a physician. The Provincial Government should also have the power to deny any treatment and to refuse to further treat anyone pursuing any kind of medical treatment which is not part of a physician approved program.



Because every resident of Canada pays for every other resident of Canada's health care the Government should be empowered to dictate treatment options for every Canadian, including children.



Does this way of thinking scare the hell out of anybody else, or is it just me?



I agree the gov't needs to protect children from nutcase parents but otherwise should keep their nose out of healthcare.
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#7 Old 04-08-2008, 04:54 PM
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Does this way of thinking scare the hell out of anybody else, or is it just me?



I agree the gov't needs to protect children from nutcase parents but otherwise should keep their nose out of healthcare.



I totally agree. I was hoping I just read it wrong and was waiting for someone else to say something before I formed my opinions.



While I do think children need to be protected and that traditional medical care should be required for children ( homeopathic, prayer,etc can be used in addition), there need to be limits on that. Dangerous and/or experimental procedures are now and should remain the parents choice. Adults should have the right to choose what procedures they do and do not want independent of what the government says is the "right choice".
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#8 Old 04-08-2008, 06:10 PM
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As a social worker my recommendation would be a compromise :P Allow the traditional medicine to continue in conjunction with the western medicine as long as there is no harmful interaction between the two (as the safety of the patient should be paramount). If a child has a fatal disease that can be cured using western medicine and the parents deny it, then I do feel the parents should be compelled to allow the treatment. That said, somewhere in between their denial and a court order, there needs to be communication between the physicians and the family to understand why the treatment is being denied and whether there are cultural or moral reasons the family is against it, and whether any of those could be resolved through further education or compromise.



There's a book called The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down about cultural incompetence and misunderstanding in the treatment of a Hmong child with epilepsy from an immigrant family. It's quite famous, at least in social work circles, if this sort of reading material interests anyone.

http://megatarian.blogspot.com
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#9 Old 04-08-2008, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post

Does this way of thinking scare the hell out of anybody else, or is it just me?



I agree the gov't needs to protect children from nutcase parents but otherwise should keep their nose out of healthcare.



Yes, it does scare me... and I agree as well.
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#10 Old 04-08-2008, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post

Does this way of thinking scare the hell out of anybody else, or is it just me?

No, its not just you.



If I make choices for my own health care that I consider superior to profit-based legal drug pushing, and I find them effective, how can I, as a parent, be expected to allow something I consider dangerous and inferior to be done to my child? There is no one, right way to deal with illness. It always seems like children who die from an illness treated in an unconventional way are seen as victims of abuse, but if they die because of the drugs they are prescribed by a doctor, the doctor was doing the best he could.

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#11 Old 04-08-2008, 08:45 PM
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Did anyone notice my comment is referential to 'universal' (socialized) health care?



No matter the approved course of treatment in a social health system underwritten with tax dollars you can't just let everyone spend it however they please. If a treatment is available and necessary it shouldn't matter what the family or even the patient thinks, the doctor (and the State) should have the power to apply that treatment in the interest of both public health and the social system.



That's how socialized medicine works.



I don't particularly agree with that approach either, but the OP wanted to know "how much latitude should a parent have in regards to providing health care to their children". In a national or socialist system, none.
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#12 Old 04-08-2008, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketchy View Post

Did anyone notice my comment is referential to 'universal' (socialized) health care?



No matter the approved course of treatment in a social health system underwritten with tax dollars you can't just let everyone spend it however they please. If a treatment is available and necessary it shouldn't matter what the family or even the patient thinks, the doctor (and the State) should have the power to apply that treatment in the interest of both public health and the social system.



That's how socialized medicine works.



I don't particularly agree with that approach either, but the OP wanted to know "how much latitude should a parent have in regards to providing health care to their children". In a national or socialist system, none.



Universial or not adults should have choices over their healthcare.
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#13 Old 04-08-2008, 09:25 PM
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Universial or not adults should have choices over their healthcare.



Not if everyone else is compelled to pay for it.
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#14 Old 04-08-2008, 09:31 PM
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I'm against socalized healthcare for more reasons than I have time to list. But adults have the right to make their own choices, socialized system or not.
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#15 Old 04-08-2008, 09:47 PM
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Any service funded by public dollars is beholden to the public. Private services are a free for all. Anything in the middle will eventually go one way or the other.
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#16 Old 04-08-2008, 09:52 PM
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Not if everyone else is compelled to pay for it.



They still have the right to choose their course of treatment.
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#17 Old 04-08-2008, 10:35 PM
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yeah, Ontario also pays for buses and schools and subways... That doesn't mean we all have to take the bus on the route the busdriver suggests, or that an 18-year-old in public high school has to stay there or take certain electives because the taxpayers are paying for it.
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#18 Old 04-08-2008, 11:27 PM
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yeah, Ontario also pays for buses and schools and subways... That doesn't mean we all have to take the bus on the route the busdriver suggests, or that an 18-year-old in public high school has to stay there or take certain electives because the taxpayers are paying for it.



Um, yeah, we do have to take the bus route the driver suggests - that is pretty much how mass transit works. You can take any bus or train you like, but you can't change where the stops are.



Education in Canada is not socialized / universal as many believe heath care is or should be. Also the goals of education are very different than those of a health system.
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#19 Old 04-08-2008, 11:58 PM
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I'm saying, you don't have to get off at Leslie if you want to get off at Yonge. Unless you're being an idiot on the bus, of course. >_<



You might say to the bus driver, "I want to go to X place" and the bus driver will say, "Oh, make sure you get off at stop 7". But maybe stop 7 is dangerous for you for whatever reason so you get off at stop 8 instead and walk to where you want to go. Who cares?
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#20 Old 04-09-2008, 04:15 AM
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ok, but "how" should "they" protect children?



Well in this case, I think if you have children you're pretty much duty bound to give them scientifically backed medical care for their problems, within your abilities. To avoid that and go for praying or what-have-you when there are alternatives is pretty much neglect.



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should parents be forced to accept or agree to a specific model of care, simply because it is most fashionable in that area?



Um... see above. It's to do with what there is actual evidence of, I don't even know what you meant wrt fashion in this case.



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and which model of care is chosen and why and how and by whom?



Again, whichever can be shown to work.



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why is it ok to subject one's child to heavy allopathic medicine, in the hopes of healing, and even when that fails it is "you did everything you could" but if that parent didn't try chinese medicine or homeopathy or what have you, and another parent did try that method (yet not allopathic), would that second parent be considered "negligent or abusive" while the first parent wouldn't?



Not unless there is a good reason to believe it would have worked.
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#21 Old 04-09-2008, 07:05 AM
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Well in this case, I think if you have children you're pretty much duty bound to give them scientifically backed medical care for their problems, within your abilities. To avoid that and go for praying or what-have-you when there are alternatives is pretty much neglect.



That should just be common sense.
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#22 Old 04-09-2008, 07:28 AM
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That should just be common sense.



Common sense often isn't very common.
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#23 Old 04-09-2008, 08:11 AM
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see, i don't see western allopathic medicine as "common sense."



chinese medicine has been practiced (and thereby demonstrated to be effective) over the course of 6000 years. western, "scientific" medicine is only about 100 years old, wi th scientific method being only about 150 years old, and with that method being considered to be limited because of it's process of objectivism and isolating certain components rather than working with a system.



according to chinese medical practices, everything from ear infections to cancer can be cured via their methodology (and ayurvedic assertst he same), but of course not everyone will be cured (which is the same situation as allopathic medicine).



so, why do we value allopathic medicine--honestly a "new fangled" form of studying, researching, and utilitizing care--one that is not always effective, or even effective the majority of the time, and particularly not effective for curing disease so much as treating it. . .



why would a parent be considered negligent for using *this* form of common sense--that an older system utilized over thousands of years is obviously more "practically based" than a newer system for which we find that something that was a cure yesterday is a curse today?



why would that parent be forced to use other methodologies about which they do not agree, or subject their children to medication simply because a group of people feel/think that this is better than another form?



some of you answered that it would be fine to utilize "alternative methods" as long as one was also utilizing western medicine, assuming their are no interactions. If the interaction of western medicine would cause problems for the alternative version, would you have the parent forgo the alternative for the western? and why? particularly if 6000 years of practice demonstrates that the 'alternative' method can and usually does work?



that is, why is western medicine being prized as the one that has the most logical basis, and that it is common sense that one would utilize it?
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#24 Old 04-09-2008, 09:22 AM
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chinese medicine has been practiced (and thereby demonstrated to be effective) over the course of 6000 years. western, "scientific" medicine is only about 100 years old, wi th scientific method being only about 150 years old, and with that method being considered to be limited because of it's process of objectivism and isolating certain components rather than working with a system.



the fact that it was around for a longer time doesn't mean it works any better. nor does it make the more recent advances in medicine less effective. as for the system, i'm not sure what point you're trying to make. it doesn't seem to me like there's anything wrong with isolating a specific problem.



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according to chinese medical practices, everything from ear infections to cancer can be cured via their methodology (and ayurvedic assertst he same), but of course not everyone will be cured (which is the same situation as allopathic medicine).



so?



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so, why do we value allopathic medicine--honestly a "new fangled" form of studying, researching, and utilitizing care--one that is not always effective, or even effective the majority of the time, and particularly not effective for curing disease so much as treating it. . .



because there is evidence and study behind it. speaking of which, where are you getting that it is not effective the majority of the time, and do you have any information of the success rate of the chinese version to compare to?



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why would a parent be considered negligent for using *this* form of common sense--that an older system utilized over thousands of years is obviously more "practically based" than a newer system for which we find that something that was a cure yesterday is a curse today?



...what?



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why would that parent be forced to use other methodologies about which they do not agree, or subject their children to medication simply because a group of people feel/think that this is better than another form?



it is not just because they happen to feel or think that: it's to do with research. if people want to remain ignorant of that with themselves, i don't care, they can go ahead and die. when they do it with their children, who cannot make informed decisions about it, then it should be illegal. they should be given the best available treatment based on the existing evidence at the time.



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some of you answered that it would be fine to utilize "alternative methods" as long as one was also utilizing western medicine, assuming their are no interactions. If the interaction of western medicine would cause problems for the alternative version, would you have the parent forgo the alternative for the western? and why? particularly if 6000 years of practice demonstrates that the 'alternative' method can and usually does work?



again, what do you have to show that this "usually does work"?
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#25 Old 04-09-2008, 04:48 PM
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i think that, for most of us, it is relatively simple to compare the issue of science vs faith. but, in this question, i'm asking about different philosophies of science (methods of scientific inquiry that differ) and therefore the different medicinal practices that come out of these methods of inquiry.



when we're comparing one philosophy of science with another, and therefore comparing what medical philosophy (methodologies of medical care) comes out of one vs the other, why and how is one methodology prized over another?



with this, we might also question how the myriad of medical philosophies that come from a single form of scientific inquiry are valued when, ostensibly, all of the medical philosophies that come out of a single form of inquiry have the same type and amount of information demonstrating it's efficacy.



and from there, how does this valuation of one methodology over another lead to an assumption or somehow indicate another individual's ability to utilize common sense or to act in a healthy, appropriate and responsible manner?



and how does this assumption, then lead to the concept that such individuals should be encouraged or forced to behave in accordance with this assumption via various governmental standards and regulations (such as child protective services, court orders etc)?







and yes, there are plenty of western, scientific studies (notably from harvard) that indicate that chinese medicine is as effective or more effective in the treatment of many diseases and disorders than western medicinal practices. and, one need only read about the success rates of various treatments of western medicinal practices (and their side effects) to determine the effectiveness of the process as compared to any alternative method (the alternative methods generally have assertions, based on their method of inquiry as well as western-modeled studies about the effectiveness of the treatment).
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#26 Old 04-09-2008, 04:52 PM
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I can't speak for anyone else but I would be willing to try anything that has been proven to be effective using the scientific method, regardless of the origin.
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#27 Old 04-09-2008, 05:41 PM
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see, i don't see western allopathic medicine as "common sense."





Western medicine regards red meat and cows milk as essential components of a child's diet, and not providing these is often looked on as neglect.
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#28 Old 04-09-2008, 08:51 PM
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Bof is correct. I believe in a balance between western and eastern ideals... I choose doctors who have no qualms with me rejecting any more immunizations, practicing yoga to help with anxiety, using a chiropractor to help with my fibro, or eating a healthy vegan diet. At the same time, I definitely get antibiotics for UTI's that don't respond to cranberry extract or for something potentially really dangerous, like my heart condition.



As far as the actual topic of debate... I think in general that if it's something easily treatable with western medicine and potentially dangerous (strep throat, UTI), chronic and not responsive to holistic medicine (recurring constipation or a cough that lasts more than 2-3 weeks), or very dangerous (heart problems, seizures, diabetes), THEN the parent should seek out western medicine.
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#29 Old 04-10-2008, 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by zoebird View Post

when we're comparing one philosophy of science with another, and therefore comparing what medical philosophy (methodologies of medical care) comes out of one vs the other, why and how is one methodology prized over another?



individually it doesn't really matter: as far as government intervention goes, they should stick with what there is evidence of.



Quote:
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and from there, how does this valuation of one methodology over another lead to an assumption or somehow indicate another individual's ability to utilize common sense or to act in a healthy, appropriate and responsible manner?



because it is logical to go with the evidence, and when it comes to those who are under your control then you have a responsibility to put their health before your own preferences.



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and yes, there are plenty of western, scientific studies (notably from harvard) that indicate that chinese medicine is as effective or more effective in the treatment of many diseases and disorders than western medicinal practices. and, one need only read about the success rates of various treatments of western medicinal practices (and their side effects) to determine the effectiveness of the process as compared to any alternative method (the alternative methods generally have assertions, based on their method of inquiry as well as western-modeled studies about the effectiveness of the treatment).



then you do agree with the scientific process after all? the great thing about this kind of thing is that if something is found to have basis in fact, say something from the chinese medicines, it can be incorporated into "western" medicine after being subjected to more research. so, assuming for a moment that's true, it doesn't make much difference in the end.



ETA: and I will be away without internet as of tonight.
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#30 Old 04-12-2008, 09:50 PM
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i think that, for most of us, it is relatively simple to compare the issue of science vs faith. but, in this question, i'm asking about different philosophies of science (methods of scientific inquiry that differ) and therefore the different medicinal practices that come out of these methods of inquiry.



What do you mean by different scientific philosophies? AFAIK, science has one definition: a study of the natural world and things that can be proven or disproven. Many Eastern medical traditions may have benefits. If they do, they can be proven and utilized. However, they are generally not tested for effectiveness. At least Western medicine makes an attempt to verify results.



ETA:
Quote:
if something is found to have basis in fact, say something from the chinese medicines, it can be incorporated into "western" medicine after being subjected to more research.

QFT
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