Saturday, July 2, 2016

#1684: Jane Guiltinan

Jane Guiltinan is the former President of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) and Dean of Naturopathic “Medicine” at Bastyr University. She was also nominated by Josephine Briggs to serve on the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NACCAM) – a pretty big name in the quackery and pseudoscience movement, in other words. Guiltinan, according to herself, “emphasizes the concepts of treating the cause of a problem, supporting the body’s own healing process and encouraging patients to create their own wellness even in the face of serious illness.” She “uses nutrition, plant medicine and homeopathy in her practice and believes that air, water, food, touch, love and laughter are some of the most powerful healing agents.” Guiltinan has also served on the advisory board for Almon Glenn Braswell’s Journal of Longevity, a pseudojournal if there ever was one and the kind of thing the expression “cargo cult science” was invented to describe.

Now, the AANP requires that its members graduate from a four-year accredited college, and Guiltinan herself has claimed that “[t]o argue that you don’t have to have any training for diagnosing or treating patients is absurd.” But although naturopathic training has the superficial trappings of a real education (with titles and classes and diplomas), they don’t seem to really grasp, you know, the point of real medical training. It doesn’t matter how long you study astrology or the quality of the paper on which your astrology diploma is printed; you don’t get any better at predicting the future. And homeopathy is sillier than astrology.

Diagnosis: Technobabble isn’t science, magic doesn’t work, and naturopathic medicine isn’t medicine. Jane Guiltinan is little more than a modern-day alchemist and witch doctor who has deluded herself into believing she’s something more. But though she cannot achieve any real results with regard to curing people, she has contributed to real results when it comes to promoting and giving her pseudoscientific garbage a sheen of legitimacy. Dangerous.

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