Last month, we were among many scientifically minded groups that were critical of UC Irvine's decision to accept a $200 Million gift from Susan and Henry Samueli, a couple who have deep pockets and even deeper beliefs in the power of alternative medicine.
In a follow-up article, Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times recently noted a new change in the UC Irvine system website –- the removal of "homeopathy" as a service available to patients. Homeopathy used to appear alongside stress reduction, herbs and dietary supplements, manipulative therapies, and detoxification.
As alternative as some of those therapies are, they apparently make the cut for UC Irvine to continue offering them. Why cut homeopathy then? The removal of homeopathy is a mystery and we can only surmise the reason. For example, perhaps the backlash from the enormous financial gift by the Samuelis made them take a second look at their offerings. But, it's not like scrapping homeopathy makes the Samueli center a vision of science-based medicine.
The rest of the website is not shy about their embrace of alternative (or integrative) medicine. They state,
As part of our focus on maintaining wellness and promoting health and the treatment of illness, we offer clinical services in acupuncture, naturopathy, Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional supplements, a therapeutic lifestyle program and education at our Birch Street center in Newport Beach.
This move by UC Irvine is like someone ordering an ice cream sundae with chocolate sauce, nuts, and whipped cream, but leaving off the sprinkles because they are too many calories.
You can't cherry pick your alternative medicines, UC Irvine. You are either practicing medicine or you're practicing something else.