Quackery Essay

1240 words - 5 pages

This year, we Americans will spend billions of dollars on products that do nothing for us - or may even harm us. And we'll do it for the same reason people have done it since ancient times... We want to believe in miracles. We want to find simple solutions and shortcuts to better health. It's hard to resist. All of us, at one time or another, have seen or heard about a product - a new and exotic pill, a device, or potion - that can easily solve our most vexing problem. With this product, we're told, we can eat all we want and still lose weight. We can grow taller or have bigger breasts. Or we can overcome baldness, age, arthritis, even cancer. It sounds too good to be true - and it is. But we're tempted to try the product in spite of all we know about modern medicalscience - or perhaps because of it. After all, many treatments we take for granted today were once considered miracles. How can we tell the difference?Not all advertisements for health products are false, of course. In fact, the vast majority aren't .So just what is quackery? Simply put, quackery is the promotion of a medical remedy that doesn't work or hasn't been proven to work. In modern times, quackery is known as health fraud. But call it quackery or call it health fraud, the result is the same - unfulfilled wishes, wasted dollars, endangered health. Often quack products are fairly easy to spot, like the magic pills you are supposed to take to stay forever young. But sometimes the products are vaguely based on some medical report that you may even have heard about in the news. In general, when looking over ads for medicines and medical devices, watch out for those that seem to promise too much too easily. Quack cures rob us of more than money. They can steal health away or even take lives. Quacks may lure the seriously and often desperately ill, such as people suffering from arthritis and cancer, into buying a bogus cure. When people try quack remedies instead of getting effective medical help, their illnesses progress, sometimes beyond the treatable stage.Quacks have always been quick to exploit current thinking. The snake-oil salesmen a few generations back carried an array of 'natural' remedies to sell to a public that was still close to the frontier. And today, quacks take advantage of the back-to-nature movement, capitalizing on the notion that there ought to be simple, natural solutions to almost any problem. Some current target areas for such promotions include:ARTHRITIS. Over 30 million Americans suffer from arthritis, and the nature of the disease makes it fertile ground for fraud. And because symptoms may come and go, or the disease may be in remission for several years, arthritis sufferers may actually believe at least temporarily, that they've been cured by a quack remedy.Before you add to the $2 billion spent annually on quack arthritis cures, remember that, although medical science offers effective treatments, it has found no cure for arthritis. The list of...

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