© 2018

More Harm than Good?

The Moral Maze of Complementary and Alternative Medicine


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Edzard Ernst, Kevin Smith
    Pages 1-24
  3. Edzard Ernst, Kevin Smith
    Pages 25-60
  4. Edzard Ernst, Kevin Smith
    Pages 61-99
  5. Edzard Ernst, Kevin Smith
    Pages 101-121
  6. Edzard Ernst, Kevin Smith
    Pages 123-151
  7. Edzard Ernst, Kevin Smith
    Pages 153-184
  8. Edzard Ernst, Kevin Smith
    Pages 185-210
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 211-223

About this book


This book reveals the numerous ways in which moral, ethical and legal principles are being violated by those who provide, recommend or sell ‘complementary and alternative medicine’ (CAM). The book analyses both academic literature and internet sources that promote CAM. Additionally the book presents a number of brief scenarios, both hypothetical and real-life, about individuals who use CAM or who fall prey to ethically dubious CAM practitioners. The events and conundrums described in these scenarios could happen to almost anyone. Professor emeritus of complementary medicine Edzard Ernst together with bioethicist Kevin Smith provide a thorough and authoritative ethical analysis of a range of CAM modalities, including acupuncture, chiropractic, herbalism, and homeopathy. This book could and should interest all medical professionals who have contact to complementary medicine and will be an invaluable reference for patients deliberating which course of treatment to adopt.


Complementary and alternative medicine Medical ethics Informed consent Quackery and exploitation Health fraud Homeopathy claims Acupunture efficacy Chiropractic treatment Herbal medicine Patient competence

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of ExeterExeterUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.School of Science, Engineering and TechnologyAbertay UniversityDundeeUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Edzard Ernst has researched all aspects of alternative medicine for more than 20 years. He and his team have published well over 1 000 peer-reviewed papers and many books on the subject. His work has been awarded more than a dozen prizes, including the John Maddox Prize 2016. He retired about three years ago and is emeritus professor of the University of Exeter. He continues to play an active role in the public debate on alternative medicine.

Kevin Smith is a senior lecturer at Abertay University, Scotland. He researches and teaches in the related areas of bioethics and genetics. He has published a number of highly regarded academic papers in medical ethics, on subjects ranging from the ethics of gene therapy to the ethics of homeopathy.

Bibliographic information