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October 2021

Z Arztl Fortbild Qualitatssich. 1997 Nov; 91(7): 674-81.

[Special therapeutic practices from the viewpoint of naturopathy]

Bühring M.

Lehrstuhl für Naturheilkunde an der Freien Universität, Berlin.

Naturopathy being orientated towards natural science and conventional medicine does not lead to basically different judgements about unconventional treatments nor about special therapies such as homeopathy, phytotherapy or anthroposophic medicine. It may, however, be more open-minded towards new ideas and theoretical even philosophical concepts and it is more likely used to question the 'state of the art' of actual medical knowledge. It is only for a relatively small part of unconventional treatments, that naturopathy recognizes a certain plausibility, which causes scientific investigation of the method to be meaningful. Naturopathy sometimes proposes traditional anthropologies and nosologies to be used for the election of suitable indications. A variety of psychologic effects of different methods of naturopathy may not be excluded by protocols used for clinical studies. As far as the majority of unconventional and paramedical treatments is concerned, naturopathy raises ethical beside scientific objections. Beyond a probable success of the treatment, it insists on a certain rationale and intellectual honesty. A differentiation between the more pragmatic interests of a health insurance and the scientific obligations of university medicine is given. An important and decisive criterium for the health insurances results from the demand for economics.

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