Classical medicine operates in a climate of rational discourse, scientific knowledge accretion and the acceptance of ethical standards that regulate its activities. Criticism has centred on the excessive technological emphasis of modern medicine and on its social strategy aimed at defending exclusiveness and the privileges of professional status. Alternative therapeutic approaches have taken advantage of the eroded public image of medicine, offering treatments based on holistic philosophies that stress the non-rational, non-technical and non-scientific approach to the unwell, disregarding traditional diagnostic categories and concentrating on enhancing subjective comfort and well-being, but remaining oblivious to the organic substrate of disease. This leads to questionable ethics in terms of false hopes and lost opportunities for effective therapy.
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