December 12, 2008

Battlefield Acupuncture

Scenario: A ground war against Iran. Troops moving into the Kurdish-dominated city of Urmia and. Sergeant Harris takes some shrapnel and goes down. His second-in-command, Corporal Washington calls out "Medic!" The medic arrives and... sticks acupuncture needles along Sergeant Harris' median lines.

Does this strike you as inappropriate? Then I'm sure you'll join me in opposing the Air Force teaching its physicians deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan to use this technique to suppress pain while engaged in field operations. It's not medicine, and it's a waste of our tax money.

Hat tip to Skeptico, who rightly says that our troops deserve better than this. He also provides at least eight links to refute the claim that acupuncture is any more effective than placebos.

No comments: