March 14, 2020
Alternative Medicine as a Drug War Creationby Ballard Quass
a philosophical review of The Quantum Doctor by Amit Goswami
In "The Quantum Doctor, Amit Goswami discusses the different uses of so-called alternative (or "integral") medicine versus allopathic medicine, in an effort to claim that each has its proper place in the medical world. What he fails to point out, however, is that this distinction between homeopathy and allopathy is really a creation of two related forces: the drug war and capitalism, and is not fundamentally a result of differing medical views. If there are different medical ideologies at play here, they themselves were fostered, if not created, by the drug war (its stark limitations on what may be legally prescribed) and capitalist practice (the need to find one-size-fits-all cures that will be most profitable to the doctor and pharmaceutical companies that provide them).
Amit Goswami, for all his valuable insights, makes the mistake of almost every other author when it comes to discussing these subjects: he ignores the role of the drug war in influencing the "facts on the ground," writing as if the American healthcare system existed on a level playing field when it comes to deciding what sorts of medical treatment we should value and pursue. The fact is that literally all of the most powerful and efficacious "mood medicines" of Mother Nature have been outlawed by the drug war, so that we can only guess what sorts of treatment Americans would choose if they were actually given the freedom to make such a choice.
Amit's goal seems to be to promote "alternative" therapies in a way that will not be a turn-off to allopathic doctors, by saying that each treatment style (homeopathy and allopathy) has its usefulness. A better approach would be to argue for complete medical freedom via the abolition of drug-war restrictions, after which a doctor will be encouraged to use all possible approaches, without attempting to recognize or draw a sharp line between the medicines based on the philosophical systems that their use seems (to us at least) to presuppose. As Amit himself points out, some allopathic drugs function homeopathically (in preventing illness). Amit, however, claims that "alternative" therapies do not function rapidly -- but, again, he is reckoning here without the drug war. The fact is that many natural (alternative) "mood medicines" DO function rapidly. The problem is that they are illegal and simply cannot be used.