There’s no denying: There’s a market for nearly everything and anything. As such, it’s no surprise that someone is willing pay for a pseudoscience “health” services education program. And where there’s a market, there’ll be those to enable it to grow and thrive. For example, Humber College recently announced several new education programs. This development is a critical step in the pseudo-legitimization of any alternative medicine. Another critical step is the regulation of the profession, a ship that has already sailed on chiropractic and many other alternative medicines. The final nail in the coffin for evidence-based decision making is when the services are reimbursed and/or covered by insurers.
Once there’s a feeding system for the providers to be trained (i.e., the post-secondary program), and there’s a (self-)regulated (!!!) framework to give the public the false perception that it’s safe, these practitioners essentially have a license to print money. The marketing and promotion is the easy part, because vulnerable members of the public have greater access (due to the larger number of “trained” individuals/providers), will be willing to take a leap of faith on the efficacy, and are led to believe they don’t need to worry about the safety.
I don’t blame members of the public for paying for such services. Frankly, they can be desperate. I don’t blame the universities for creating the programs. They are in the revenue-generating game, after all. I don’t blame the practitioners themselves. They’re either trying to make a living and/or have been burned by the healthcare system. I don’t blame even the government for passing the bills that allow the self-regulation of the professions. Members of government may truly believe it’s a protective measure.
I blame the conditioned or evolved absence of critical thinking by the majority of humans. Even in a libertarian environment, people could protect themselves if only they demanded scientific evidence for the products and services they consumed. Sadly, we’re not there yet. In the meantime, let’s not sit idly by. Vote for parties that do not support pseudoscience, that discourage the use of interventions that are promoted by quacks, and that cheerlead those around you to think critically.
Oh, and you can always keep your ear to the ground to support an effort like the one that got homeopathy removed from Georgian College plans.