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-woo in medicine.

The Burzynski Empire strikes back (David Gorski) Eric Merola has responded to Liz Szabo’s devastating USA TODAY critique of Burzynski with an ignorant rant full of his usual tropes, misinformation, and pseudoscience. He denies the known toxicity of antineoplastons and even invokes Nazi Germany, slavery, and gay bashers! Burzynski’s own response to the FDA investigation consists of unacceptable, even laughable excuses.

Faith Healing: Religious Freedom vs. Child Protection (Harriet Hall) Religious beliefs have led to horrendous cases of medical neglect, child abuse, and murder that can't be prosecuted in most states because of religious shield laws. Those laws should be abolished, as should all non-medical exemptions to vaccination. The parents' right to religious freedom doesn't mean they can endanger their children with their beliefs. It is trumped by the duty of society to protect children.

The new Surgeon General nominee and CAM: Is there a problem here? (David Gorski) Dr. Vivek Murthy has been nominated for Surgeon General. His track record with alternative medicine raises the concern that he might be too credulous about quackademic medicine. He has used CAM himself and apparently supports covering all licensed providers (including licensed quacks) under the Affordable Care Act.

Do vitamins prevent cancer and heart disease? (Scott Gavura) There’s no evidence that supplementing vitamins in the absence of deficiency is beneficial. The USPSTF recommends strongly against beta-carotene and vitamin E, but otherwise there is insufficient evidence to balance the benefits and harms of nutrient supplements for the prevention of cancer or heart disease. There’s no clear rationale for taking a daily multivitamin, and taking vitamins for “insurance” might tend to worsen dietary intake.

A Rational Approach to Managing Acute Pain in Children (Clay Jones) Children’s pain is often under-treated. Dr. Jones explains the physiology,assessment, and management of pain in children. He discusses the various pain medications and their risks, with some startling revelations about codeine.