Ethics in Complementary Therapies

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Ethics in Complementary Therapies

Some practitioners are strongly against complementary and alternative therapies because they do not believe there is scientific evidence that supports the use of these therapies.  Read this article about a practitioner that is against the use of alternative therapies: Practitioners Opposed to Complementary and Alternative Therapies: One Opinion. What is your response to this article?  Clearly state how you agree or disagree with the physician and patient views described in the article using insight from personal or professional experiences.  Support your response with two peer-reviewed journal articles.   Journal articles used as references must have been published within the last 5 years unless it is considered sentinel article.

Ethics in Complementary Therapies-Solution

Complementary and Alternative Therapies

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) refers to medical practices that do not incorporate standard medical care procedures (Wode et al., 2019). These therapies include meditation, yoga, botanicals, vitamin supplementation, massage, and ayurvedic medication. Wode et al. (2019) illustrate that these therapeutic approaches are popular among patients, especially those suffering from chronic conditions like cancer. Ideally, they use these procedures as a coping mechanism for the side effects of particular treatments and to justify the feeling of responsibility for curing the condition. Despite being natural, safe, and effective for some health conditions, patients must notify and seek recommendations from health experts before using CAMs (Brown & Winterstein, 2019). Some medications, including dietary supplements, may treat the desired condition while causing significant damage to other body organs, like the liver, due to inappropriate dosages.(Ethics in Complementary Therapies-EssayExample)

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Therefore, complementary and alternative therapies should be avoided at all costs in line with the oncologists’ stance against the therapies. The oncologist highlighted in the article, “What do doctors say to ‘alternative therapists’ when a patient dies? Nothing. We never talk,” strongly disagrees with CAM since their side effects outweigh the benefits (Srivastava, 2015). The therapies should be avoided due to many ethical concerns associated with their use, such as less reliability in treating chronic conditions. For instance, Taylor (2022) observes that the reliability of botanical medicines and supplementary vitamins given to cancer patients in CAM treatment is questionable due to their high mortality rates. Besides, CAMs are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), making it challenging to provide efficient therapy to patients. Taylor (2022) explains further that research on the efficacy and side effects of CAMs, such as using vitamin supplements in cancer patients, indicate reduced efficiency and exacerbation of cancer patients’ health, making it challenging for the FDA to approve its use.(Ethics in Complementary Therapies-EssayExample)

Additionally, evidence-based studies indicate that CAMs are associated with an increased risk of dereliction of duty among CAM practitioners (Taylor, 2022). The practitioners give potential clients their perspectives about the treatments based on hypothetical personal experiences, convincing patients and families to use the therapy without considering its side effects. For instance, Deml et al. (2019) revealed in a study that vaccine hesitancy among parents and families is associated with unjustified convictions of CAM practitioners, leaving children with avoidable disabilities following measle attacks. Moreover, CAM medications require a considerable duration to produce positive patient outcomes, if any (Brown & Winterstein, 2019). The long period exacerbates patients’ condition, especially those ailing from cancer and requiring immediate and efficient therapeutic care.(Ethics in Complementary Therapies-EssayExample)

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Furthermore, complementary medications are associated with the risk of adverse reactions with prescription medications (Brown & Winterstein, 2019). These CAM practitioners are not well-informed about the bioactive elements in the medications and are not administered in proper dosages (Wode et al., 2019). In this case, patient polypharmacy and sensitivity to some phytochemical elements may instigate adverse reactions with other drugs, worsening the patient’s condition or, worse, death. For example, in a previous experience, a family struggled with uncertainty about their grandfather’s recovery, consistently shifting hospitals due to the patient’s negative response to treatments. The patient was initially enrolled in chemotherapy treatment before the family sought the services of a CAM practitioner. Two months later, the patient was diagnosed with a defective liver, which doctors concluded was due to the combination of CAM and chemotherapy drugs. Therefore, medical practitioners should implement patient education and awareness to curb the risks associated with patients’ preference for CAMs over scientifically proven medical therapies (Wode et al., 2019). Patient education aligns with the principle of avoiding harm, which requires medical practitioners to enhance patient benefits throughout treatment.(Ethics in Complementary Therapies-EssayExample)

Ethics in Complementary Therapies-EssayExample

 

References

Brown, J. D., & Winterstein, A. G. (2019). Potential adverse drug events and drug–drug interactions with medical and consumer cannabidiol (CBD) use. Journal of clinical medicine8(7), pp. 989. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8070989

Deml, M. J., Notter, J., Kliem, P., Buhl, A., Huber, B. M., Pfeiffer, C., … & Tarr, P. E. (2019). “We treat humans, not herds!”: A qualitative study of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers’ individualized approaches to vaccination in Switzerland. Social Science & Medicine240, 112556.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.112556

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Srivastava, R. (2015, March 2). What do doctors say to ‘alternative therapists’ when a patient dies? Nothing. We never talk. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/03/what-do-doctors-say-to-alternative-therapists-when-a-patient-dies-nothing-we-never-talk

Taylor, R. C. (2022). Alternative medicine and the medical encounter in Britain and the United States. In Alternative Medicines (pp. 191–228). Routledge. ISBN: 9781003294900

Wode, K., Henriksson, R., Sharp, L., Stoltenberg, A., & Hök Nordberg, J. (2019). Cancer patients’ use of complementary and alternative medicine in Sweden: a cross-sectional study. BMC complementary and alternative medicine19(1), pp. 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-019-2452-5

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