James C. McKinley, Jr. in the New York Times:
The cafeteria of the alternative medicine clinic where Coretta Scott King died this week was full of true believers on Wednesday afternoon, all swearing by the anticancer treatments of a man who never went to medical school and has a long history of fraud allegations against him in the United States.
That man, the hospital’s founder, Kurt W. Donsbach, was presiding in the brightly lighted room, asking for testimonials from his patients. Several said their doctors in the United States had told them to go home and wait to die. Then they came to the clinic and discovered that Mr. Donsbach’s treatments worked.
More here. And there’s also this: “When Trust in Doctors Erodes, Other Treatments Fill the Void” by Benedict Carey, also in the New York Times:
The most telling evidence of Americans’ dissatisfaction with traditional health care is the more than $27 billion they spend annually on alternative and complementary medicine, according to government estimates. In ways large and small, millions of people are taking active steps to venture outside the mainstream, whether by taking the herbal remedy echinacea for a cold or by placing their last hopes for cancer cure in alternative treatment, as did Coretta Scott King, who died this week at an alternative hospice clinic in Mexico.
They do not appear to care that there is little, if any, evidence that many of the therapies work. Nor do they seem to mind that alternative therapy practitioners have a fraction of the training mainstream doctors do or that vitamin and herb makers are as profit-driven as drug makers.
This straying from conventional medicine is often rooted in a sense of disappointment, even betrayal, many patients and experts say.
More here. [Thanks to Winfield J. Abbe.]