Thursday, September 19, 2013

Paul Offit plugs his own magic

I have criticized Paul Offit on vaccination, as have others on places like but I expected to agree with much of his new book, Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine. I listened to his podcast promoting the book, and it turns out that Offit favors physicians prescribing homeopathic pills in order to trick patients into getting the placebo effect!

He also defended vaccines by saying that Wakefield should never have been allowed to publish his suspicions about the MMR (measles) vaccine. He bragged about how Wakefield has been so thoroughly discredited that no one dares criticize the vaccine establishment anymore.

I am not sticking up for chiropractors, homeopathy, Dr. Oz, acupuncture, but I find that mainstream physicians like Offit have very little appreciation for scientific thinking. A real scientist would let Wafefield pushlish whatever he wants, and then do studies to disprove him. An honest physician would not lie to his patients about placebos.

He leaves me wondering whether he is pushing vaccines for their placebo effect, in part.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The "magic" as far as Offit goes is his canny ability to persuade many (ignorant) people with his misinformation. A fitting example of this is his "Do You Believe In Magic?" book where he makes numerous misleading and false statements about dietary supplements (read ). This corroborates your impression that he has "very little appreciation for scientific thinking" to put it mildly. It appears that the placebo effect only, or predominantly, comes into play with alternative therapies, according to Offit. Hence, your suspicion about him giving significance to the placebo effect with vaccines probably plays a minor role. Basically, Offit is but a hack for the orthodox pharmaceutical-medical establishment.