I saw the acronym “FUD” many times before I finally paused to look it up: it means “fear, uncertainty and doubt,” which are often bundled together in marketing, public relations, and politics for the purposes of herding people away from something “scary” … and towards an alternative product or idea. Make them afraid … and then sell them a solution, either literally or figuratively. FUD is mostly disingenuous and has the stink of propaganda and extreme vested interest.
The idea of FUD explains a lot. Once I knew what it was, I started seeing it everywhere. Unfortunately, it is especially common for alternative medicine to spread FUD about their competition — “mainstream” medicine.
Alternative medicine practitioners often point accusingly to medical error rates, with the implication that chiropractic, naturopathy and other alternative care is much safer. That’s probably true … yes, in the sense that walking is much safer than driving, but also doesn’t get you as far. If you routinely had to treat huge numbers of people with life-threatening injuries and dire illness, your profession would have scary error rates, too.
There is no question that bad things happen in hospitals, and stats about iatrogenic (doctor-generated) medical errors can seem alarming. Medical systems deal with vastly greater numbers of much more serious cases than any chiropractor or naturopathHowever, to simply state that medicine kills and hurts people is misleading fear-mongering. Cars kill and hurt people too, and for pretty much the same reason: sure it’s risky, but the benefits are worth the risk, and huge numbers of people are willing to take that chance.
Medical systems deal with vastly greater numbers of much more serious cases than any chiropractor or naturopath, and many of them are no-win, rarely-win, or sometimes-lose situations with the highest stakes, terrible suffering and death. We should be cautious about criticizing that from the outside.
Try working in a hospital for a while, try to be perfect, try to never have anything go wrong that matters!
This issue means a great deal more to me after my wife’s survival of a terrible vehicle accident in 2010. With a major head injury and a badly crushed vertebra, she easily could have died or been paralyzed. There was nothing even remotely “safe” about fixing her, and vast and complex human systems were the only way to create the kind of care that saved her spine. Alternative medicine has nothing to offer that can even begin to compete with that.
Was the care perfect? Was “the system“ flawless? Good grief, of course not! But it was pretty dang good, and those doctors and nurses deserve far better than to be sneered at by alternative practitioners who have never once held someone’s life in their hands … let alone daily.