Journal of Gerontological Nursing

NEWS 

Flush Out the Quacks

Abstract

They're much more sophisticated than snake oil salesmen, but they're still medical quacks, and their favorite prey is the elderly. They offer hopes of becoming younger, cures for cancer, preventions for Alzheimer's disease, and relief for arthritis. What they deliver, though, is false hopes or even life-threatening regimens. But how can you distinguish between quacks and the real thing? Be on the lookout for "alternative" health procedures or cure-alls, or unproven diagnostic methods such as applied kinesiology, hair analysis, iridology, or live cell analysis. The majority of the "cures" are nothing more than high doses of vitamins and, as in the case of cancer, are potentially life-threatening if they are chosen in favor of more conventional, proven medical treatments [American Council on Science and Health. Special Report: Quakery and the Elderly. 1990].…

They're much more sophisticated than snake oil salesmen, but they're still medical quacks, and their favorite prey is the elderly. They offer hopes of becoming younger, cures for cancer, preventions for Alzheimer's disease, and relief for arthritis. What they deliver, though, is false hopes or even life-threatening regimens. But how can you distinguish between quacks and the real thing? Be on the lookout for "alternative" health procedures or cure-alls, or unproven diagnostic methods such as applied kinesiology, hair analysis, iridology, or live cell analysis. The majority of the "cures" are nothing more than high doses of vitamins and, as in the case of cancer, are potentially life-threatening if they are chosen in favor of more conventional, proven medical treatments [American Council on Science and Health. Special Report: Quakery and the Elderly. 1990].

10.3928/0098-9134-19900701-18

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