Doctors in Spain and Portugal attack alternative therapies

Published:  5 Mar at 6 PM
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In spite of proven successes and a lack of deadly side-effects, alternative therapies are now under attack by medical professionals in Portugal and Spain.

Expatriates from the UK and USA have long had a free choice of conventional and alternative medicine without breaking any laws, with many older people preferring to avoid pharmaceutical drugs due to their often unpleasant side effects. Retirees emigrating to sunnier shores often prefer to continue with alternative medicines for non-life threatening illnesses, but their favourites may not be legal if objections by conventional medical practitioners are taken seriously by governments in Europe.

Spanish and Portuguese medics are now busily trying to persuade lawmakers to outlaw alternative therapies, taking the stance that they’re ineffective and can be deadly. They’re claiming patients who exercised their choice to avoid Big Pharma’s products are left in ‘serious situations’ as a result of their choice, adding ‘pseudotherapies’ are detrimental to patients’ security and health. Basically, the medics who profit in many ways by their use of pharmaceuticals are now attempting to take choice away from expats and citizens alike by demanding traditional medicines be outlawed. Not only are they attempting to make the prescribing and use of alternative therapies illegal in Spain and Portugal, they’re also attempting to enforce the same in other EU member states.

Two well-known therapies in their sights are homeopathy and traditional Chinese medicine including acupuncture, both of which are favoured by those whose experiences have been positive. In fact, Chinese medicine is fully regulated in Portugal although it’s mostly marketed as a dietary supplement. Many older expats with chronic conditions are afraid of the side effects of not only single manufactured drugs but also of those caused by the prescribing of a number of different drugs without taking into effect the combined effects of the dosages. Pharmaceutical companies reward doctors who over=prescribe, and patients have no idea of the risks of what they’re taking. One report stated doctors want anything and everything which cannot be displayed as safe, of quality and effective to be illegal, with the only proof acceptable coming from the so-called ‘scientific community’ otherwise known as Big Pharma.

One expat owner of a health store in the Algarve is a Parkinsons’ sufferer who’s taking a herb which is prohibited in the country. Without this self-prescribed medicine, she says, she’d be vomiting every morning and her balance would deteriorate to the extent she’d need a carer. Her neurologist is aware of what she’s taking and agrees it’s controlling her symptoms satisfactorily. Her dog is now on homeopathy following a vet’s telling her he could do no more for her furry best friend. He’s now doing fine and, as his owner says, ‘you can’t give a placebo to a dog!’. For both this patient and her dog, it’s all about free choice, just as it should be.
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