Should it be illegal for alternative medicine practitioners to be the only source of medical care in some situations?
I know we have already been several rounds about complementary and alternative medicine on other threads. I am less interested in talking about whether or not it works, but if you really want to have that argument, I would appreciate holding off until this specific question has been answered:
Suppose a person has a potentially fatal illness that conventional medicine has good but not perfect odds of treating (e.g., some kinds of cancer).
As far as I know, this person can forgo conventional medical treatment completely and choose to be treated either by an alternative medicine practitioner (or not at all).
Also, as far as I know, no therapy that falls under the umbrella of “alternative medicine” has been shown to be equally or more effective than conventional medicine for treating any illness (this is not to say that alternative medicine has never had any palliative or curative effect—just that it has never been shown to be equal or better than conventional medicine).
(If anyone can provide evidence showing either of the previous paragraphs is inaccurate I would be very interested in seeing it.)
So can the alternative medicine practitioner offering this alternative treatment be held liable if the patient dies? Should s/he be held liable?
What if the person doesn’t die? Isn’t this still fraud of some kind?