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Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Between Evidence and Absurdity


Complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) has become important, particularly because it is widely used. This article outlines CAM’s position between evidence and absurdity. It discusses misconceptions that often mislead the public and shows how CAM can and should be submitted to the principles of evidence- based medicine (EBM). Employing the example of acupuncture, the evidence as it currently stands is described. But there are numerous obstacles to applying EBM to CAM. EBM is defenseless against absurdity. We should, therefore, demarcate the absurd in order to avoid wasting time and resources. The new fad of “integrated” medicine has been proposed as a potential replacement for EBM.