Running head: HEALTHCARE ETHICS REFLECTION PAPER
Healthcare Ethics Reflection Paper: Complementary and Alternative Medicine
ENS Thanh H. Molnar
Army-Baylor MHA Program
Ethics in Healthcare (HCA 5105)
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered to be part of conventional medicine (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine [NCCAM], 2009). According to NCCAM, complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine whereas alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine. In recent years, the acronym CAM has come into wide use to identify unconventional approaches to healing. It has become an important segment of modern healthcare. However, due to the lack of well-designed scientific research about its safety and effectiveness, the popularity of CAM raises challenges to healthcare professionals and presents a multitude of ethical issues. This paper will provide a brief overview and address some important ethical concerns relating to CAM.
CAM: An Overview
Complementary and alternative medicine is an area of intensive growth. In the United States, approximately 38 percent of adults and about 12 percent of children are using some form of CAM (NCCAM, 2009). CAM includes self-help groups, stress management, meditation, yoga, and fields such as chiropractic, homeopathy, acupuncture, biofeedback, herbal treatment, and massage therapy (Spiegel, Stroud, & Fyfe, 1998). In 2007, the National Health Interview Survey, an annual in-person survey of Americans regarding their health and illness related experiences, reported that nonvitamin and nonmineral natural products are the most commonly used CAM therapy among adults. The most popular natural products used among adults in 2007 were fish oil/omega 3, glucosamine, Echinacea, and flaxseed. People use CAM for a variety of diseases and...