According to Joe Schwarz, Director of the McGill Office for Science and Society, the lack of doctors in Quebec is driving people towards alternative medicine – and he doesn’t mince his words when asked to share his thoughts on this development. “The problem with some of the alternative medicines is that since they are not regulated, a lot of claims are made that aren’t supported by scientific evidence,” said Schwarz, organizer of the seventh annual Lorne Trottier Symposium, to be held on Nov. 7-8. The Symposium will bring four leading health experts to Montreal to discuss the merits of alternative medicine.
Invited experts will discuss subjects ranging from the history and practice of acupuncture to the claims about the link between cell phones and brain tumours.
“Alternative practitioners are mostly marketers of hope, which is a good thing when you have conditions like cancer where the outcomes are generally poor,” Schwarz added. But, he says, the main problem comes when patients with serious diseases substitute alternative treatments for evidence-based medical treatments.