delusional parasitosis

Dr. Peter W. Pappas pappas.3 at osu.edu
Fri Mar 13 06:56:21 EST 1998


On 12 Mar 1998 12:58:35 -0800, gmclaugh at IUPUI.EDU ("Gerald L.
McLaughlin, Ph.D") wrote:

>At 06:57 PM 3/12/98 +0000, Dr. Peter W. Pappas wrote:
>
>>I can not agree that these "quacks" are fairly harmless.  Sure,
>>they're harmless if you are not buying their products and putting
>>false hopes in their claims.  That's the same as saying falciparum
>>malaria is harmless, if you don't have it.
>>
>>Some (perhaps, many) are selling potions or devices that have no known
>>medicinal value.  One can argue that this "harms" no one, but it's
>>just another form of "white collar crime."
>>
>>And, just because the vendor at a flea market was not doing a good
>>business does not mean that there is no market for such treatments.
>>The web if full of very sophisticated, well designed sites that are
>>designed to entice readers to buy products.  While some of these sites
>>disappear within a few weeks, indicating a lack of business, others
>>have been online for years, indicating a measure of success.
>>
>>Many of these sites imply (or state outright) that parasitic diseases
>>can not be diagnosed, or that they are misdiagnosed as other diseases.
>>Unfortunately, there is probably some truth in this.  However, if
>>people "believe" they have a parasite, based on what they read in a
>>website, and buy the products that are advertized, they might well not
>>seek medical attention for the true cause of their symptoms.
>>
>>The literature distributed by these people (or on their websites) are
>>often filled with outrageous lies. 
>
>I've flamed some of this type of literature on the net, also, certainly when
>they are outright lies.  This one struck me as unusual in citing actual
>primary papers and books from 1800's clinicians and scientists; I will at
>least listen to what earlier colleagues say, partly to lessen the chances of
>historical errors being repeated.  Again, dominant scientific dogmas are
>often wrong.  I said "fairly harmless"; I also don't regard them as entirely
>harmless.  I do think that a case could be made, however, that they're far
>less costly and harmful to our society at this time, than are Medicare
>abuses, unnecessary surgeries, the focus on clinical treatment rather than
>prevention, and other problems and abuses with the existing health care
>system.  Loosen up!
>Gerald McLaughlin, Ph.D.
>Associate Professor
>Dept Pathology and Lab Med
>635  Barnhill Dr., MS A128
>Indianapolis, IN 46202-5120
>317-274-2651; gmclaugh at iupui.edu
>
I guess I'm a little "tight" over this whole subject, and readers may
not understand why.  But, readers also have not seen the questions I
have received from people wondering why they can't get rid of their
parasites (which have not even been diagnosed), and which of the
"cures" I would recommend.  Needless to say, I recommend none and
suggest they seek qualified medical assistance.
Dr. Peter W. Pappas
Department of Zoology
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH  43210
pappas.3 at osu.edu



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