7 Comments

  1. sarah simmons

    i disagree with you. medicines are sold to you by corporations. those medicines are nothing but natural remedies stuffed in a capsule. i worked at a pharmacy for a long time and saw people take countless medications they didnt need because of poor medical therapy management.

    and several times, the pharmacist informed me of natural treatments, including the same chemicals, that so-and-so could take instead. and frequently, if a person can grow the ‘medicine’ in their garden, there’s no profit, so there’s no testing.

    i think in some cases, perhaps in mr. jobs case, you might be right. but that is no reason to slander natural alternatives in general. just like when a particular medicine is recalled, found to cause more harm than good, or just found to not work, people don’t abandon ‘medicine’ entirely.

    this is off the top of my head and isn’t a very academic response, but your article didn’t seem to be, either.

    • bonafidebob

      those medicines are natural remedies THAT HAVE BEEN SCIENTIFICALLY TESTED AND PROVEN EFFECTIVE stuffed in a capsule. important distinction. you’re not just eating weeds and hoping it makes a difference. the important thing is not where the substance comes from, it’s the evidence-based proof that it treats the condition. no one is slandering alternative sources here, but it’s idiocy to ingest random substances that have no proven therapeutic effect when your life is on the line.

  2. Ian

    Sarah, do you know what they call alternative medicine that is proven to work? Medicine. The author says that Jobs embraced an alternative medicine without “a jot of evidence.” I will allow that there are certainly experimental medicines and procedures that are still in the phase of being proven, but it doesn’t sound like that is what Jobs tried. It is also obvious that things found in nature can be medicine. What we know as aspirin is found in white willow bark. It is a shame when anyone goes with unproven medicines/techniques and dies when there are proven techniques that would give them a better chance. In this case, Jobs didn’t allow his tumor to be removed and it killed him.
    Source: Reality

  3. Bunny Goodrich

    Mr. Jobs, did have the Whipple procedure, but he waited… and tried alt med.. which I find sad, and as a nurse… I see all too often.
    In 2003 Jobs learned that he had a malignant tumor in his pancreas – a large gland behind the stomach that supplies the body with insulin and digestive enzymes. The most common type of pancreatic cancer – adenocarcinoma – carries a life expectancy of about a year. Jobs was lucky; he had an extremely rare form called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor that can be treated surgically, without radiation or chemotherapy.
    As Fortune reported in a March 5 cover story, (“The trouble with Steve Jobs”), Jobs tried various alternative therapies for nine months before the tumor was taken out on July 31, 2004, at the Stanford University Medical Clinic in Palo Alto, near his home.
    “This weekend I underwent a successful surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from my pancreas,” Jobs wrote in an e-mail to Apple’s staff the next week. “I will be recuperating during the month of August, and expect to return to work in September.”
    What Jobs didn’t tell the staff was that the operation he had undergone had radically rearranged his digestive organs and would permanently change the nature of his health.
    Nobody who has a Whipple is ever quite the same.
    The Whipple procedure, named for Allen Oldfather Whipple, the American doctor who perfected it in the 1930s, is a complex, Rube Goldberg-type operation in which surgeons remove the right-most section, or “head,” of the pancreas – as well as the gallbladder, part of the stomach, the lower half of the bile duct, and part of the small intestine – and then reassemble the whole thing in a new configuration. The severed surfaces of the stomach, bile duct, and remaining pancreas are stitched to the small intestine so that what’s left of the pancreas can continue to supply insulin and digestive enzymes.

  4. Jon

    Per Wikipedia:
    Medicine – “Medicine is the science and art of healing.”
    Scientific Method – “[the] scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.”

    Science-based medicine could therefore be termed as “using a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge into the science and art of healing.”

    What is the alternative to science-based medicine? The art and science of NOT healing? At the time Mr Jobs was undergoing his alternative medical practices, I lamented to my wife that it wasn’t going to end well. Sometimes I really hate being right. I’ve read and heard that the majority of patients with this type of cancer, that have the surgery, have a life expectancy of 10+ years. Steve made it 7, hence it can be said that his alternative failed him.

  5. Ed

    Why are “medical treatments” subject to rigorous controls, requirements of efficacy, and review when
    there are “alternative treatments” available that you can fabricate, market, and administer without fear of repercussions. It is because we all support fraud as free market, and allow con men selling snake oil on television, radio, and print to market their insidiously useless cures. We forgive these thieves when they commit murder as well intentioned idiots.
    They are neither well intentioned not idiots. They prey on the sick and disabled and their families to enrich themselves by dishonest means. We need to require providers of “alternative medicines” to be subject to the same disciplinary action and legal repercussions we do the truly medical community.

    In memory of my sister-in-law who underwent homeopathic treatments for stomach pains that were ultimately diagnosed as pancreatic cancer and resulted in her death four months later.

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