Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.  

Another blow to the anti-vaccine movement as legislation change forces a name change (Rachael Dunlop) The Australian Vaccine Network is an anti-vaccine organization. The government revoked their fundraising license and issued a public warning; they sued the government and won, but their short-term victory had unforeseen long-term consequences. The NSW government changed the law to prohibit “a name that is likely to mislead the public” and the AVN was ordered to change its name or be closed down.  

Anti-psychiatry and anti-vaccine activists shamelessly taking advantage of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings (David Gorski) Natural News claims we need medication control instead of gun control. They demonize mental illness and psychiatry and blame Lanza’s rampage on Big Pharma even though we don’t yet know whether he was on any medication. They are taking advantage of a tragedy to advance their personal agenda.  

An Alternative “Truth” About Flu Shots (Harriet Hall) An acupuncturist has spoken out against flu shots, distorting the facts and contradicting himself. He claims the evidence of efficacy and safety is insufficient, but the alternatives he recommends are based on far less evidence.  

Why Do People Turn to Alternative Medicine (Steven Novella) The argument that people turn to CAM because mainstream medicine has failed them is belied by the evidence. Studies show that most users are satisfied with their mainstream care and turn to CAM because of their philosophy and to expand their options. Users are often misled into thinking CAM treatments are evidence-based. The answer to conventional medicine’s flaws is not to abandon science for fantasy.  

Naturopathy Embraces the Four Humours (Jann Bellamy) The ancient system of health based on the mythology of four humours has been thoroughly discredited but it is alive and well in naturopathy. The latest edition of the foundational textbook of naturopathy has a whole chapter on it. There is no richer source of argument against CAM practices than the CAM literature itself.  

780.6 (Mark Crislip) 780.6 is the ICD-9 code for fever. Normal temperature is not limited to 98.6: it covers a wide range. Misconceptions abound about the definition of fever, its physiologic role, and its treatment. Dr. Crislip sets the record straight.