July 6, 2009

Faith healer says: “Always consult a physician”

Filed under: Religion,Science by Branko Collin @ 8:51 am

When faith healer Jomanda took to the stage yesterday for one of her sessions in Bergen op Zoom, Noord Brabant, she had a big sign with her that said “Raadpleeg altijd een arts” (“Always consult a physician”), an odd move perhaps for somebody who believes she is a healing medium between this world and ‘God’. On her website she even claims that “doctors merely apply the bandages, only God heals.” Jomanda was recently cleared from charges (Dutch) of contributing to comedy actress Sylvia Millecam’s death.

Millecam had been struggling with breast cancer and had been avoiding traditional medicine. The alternative ‘healers’ she sought out suggested that she merely had a bacterial infection, after which she died. The case against Jomanda and two ‘alternative doctors’ was unique in that for the first time a court held it had the authority to address the care duty of somebody who was not a legal care giver. Indeed, the court seems to take this for granted (Dutch).

The court considered it proven that Jomanda had violated her care duty, but cleared her of the charges because Millecam had also sought regular help during the time she consulted the medium, and that the medium merely had a “comforting” influence, not a decisive one. The justice department is appealing.

(Photo by Mike Locke, some rights reserved)

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May 9, 2009

‘Serious’ quackery gets tax break

Filed under: General,Science by Branko Collin @ 12:30 pm

A judge in Haarlem ruled last month that acupuncturists who are also certified Doctors of Medicine qualify for a tax exemption that other acupuncturists must miss out on, reports NRC (Dutch). The ruling (Dutch) seems to suggest that jurisprudence and European law leave little room for the court to rule otherwise. Apparently, there is a European Union directive that says tax exemptions for healthcare can only apply to those who have had medical training.

The irony is that quacks who should know better—because they have had an education that should have emphasized critical thinking—are the ones that get rewarded by the state, which to me, you know, yuck.

(Photo of an acupuncture needle by Wikipedia User: Xhienne, some rights reserved.)

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April 15, 2008

Unemployed? We have reincarnation therapy for you

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:18 am

Sometimes, there’s news that continues to perpetuate the stereotype that the Dutch are actually all on drugs, or at least the bureaucrats on their lunch breaks.

“The City of Maastricht is pressuring the unemployed to follow reincarnation therapy. Anyone who doesn’t want to may see their welfare allowances cut. Social Services, which grants allowances and attempts to get recipients back to work, urged at least one unemployed resident of Maastricht to accept the guidance of a reincarnation therapist. Returning to a previous life would supposedly help them regain their balance and enhance their chances of finding work.

(insert astonishment here)

The local newspaper was tipped off by local councillor John Steijns. As leader of a local party, the politician came across documents revealing the alleged spiritual tendencies of the Maastricht government. The alderman responsible, Luc Winants (Social Affairs) does not want to dismiss the initiative yet. “It might very well be true that reincarnation therapy is a means to get people back to work,” said his spokesman Joep Delsing.

(insert continued astonishment here)

Winants is a member of the Christian democrats (CDA). Delsing said the case is to be inquired into “with the highest possible priority and at the highest possible level.”

(insert “It figures” comment here)

Psychotherapist Marcus Huibers, senior lecturer in clinical psychology at Maastricht University, is baffled. “We are speaking here of an entirely obscure therapy that does not even merit the term therapy”. According to councillor John Steijns, “the therapy would involve ten sessions of 90 euro each. In total we are talking about 900 euro in tax payers’ money.”

(Link: nisnews.nl, Tip: Alix)

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