When did you write your first term paper? I wrote mine when I was a senior in high school. One of the things I remember my teacher, Miss Lauterbur, emphasizing was that to defend the thesis of the paper, the writer must use strong, credible references.
As an editor and writer I take Miss Lauterbur’s teachings with me to work every day. And, I confess, when I read any work that presents an argument and relies of references, I scrutinize the author’s sources for credibility. If the sources aren’t credible, how convincing can the author’s argument be?
With that in mind, I’d like to refer to you Aetna’s Clinical Policy Bulletin on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (#0388), www.aetna.com/cpb/medical/data/300_399/0388.html. This bulletin is written to defend Aetna’s position on a number of CAM therapies it considers experimental. The list is lengthy, but the first item on it is Active Release Therapy. The list also includes other therapies chiropractors may use, such as acupressure and applied kinesiology.
Aetna cites 126 sources of information as the basis for this bulletin. Look through them carefully: You will find Stephen Barrett’s name, along with his Quackwatcher’s Web site (www.quackwatch.org) or similar sites he owns, listed several times.
Mr. Barrett has long criticized chiropractic and alternative medicine. In June 2007, he lost an appeal to Tedd Koren, DC, in which he said Dr. Koren had libeled him.
Aetna may have legitimate reasons for calling some of the therapies it refuses to pay “experimental.” But, it really should look more carefully at its defense sources in its written opinions. In my book, a Quackwatcher references doesn’t carry much credibility.
Until next time,