I read an article yesterday that I found a little interesting. Apparently, a natural therapy clinic had been established at Whanganui Hospital but has since been put on hold due it its links with witchcraft. Okay, I admit to being a little naive about what a link with witchcraft means in 2012. To me, a link with witchcraft means that you went to last year’s Halloween party as Hermione Granger. But clearly, for some, this is still a damaging accusation, the type from which one needs to distance themselves. Given my naivety about how “Christian prayer and energy healing – including reiki and colour therapy” relates to witchcraft I can’t comment about that claim. However, I am wondering, what is the real issue?
Let me state, for the record, I’m not against natural therapies or people choosing to use them (depending on the situation, I’m critical of situations like the use of alternative therapies on children, read about the sad story of Liam Williams-Holloway here). But, if I’d had to guess what the issue was about having a natural therapy clinic running alongside a hospital it would not have been its links to witchcraft, that’s for sure. I’m wondering why people weren’t questioning whether it was good to have a clinic of this nature in a hospital.
Perhaps they had already answered that question before it was established – it was established so we can only assume they thought it was a good idea to set up. So, if they thought it was a good idea (if they had no problem with offering natural therapies along with the medical assistance one normally receives in a hospital setting) then why did they not fight to keep it? It seems to me that if it is deemed worthy to create, then a frivolous claim made by some board members (possibly in jest, for all we know) should not be enough to send the creators of the clinic running scared.
The chief executive was quoted as saying that the comments made by the board members were confusing to the public. I don’t know about anyone else who would have read the piece but I’m far more confused as to the (over)reaction. The piece does say that they’re now going to pilot the clinic on staff so I suppose if the well-being of the staff improves they might give it a go on patients. This too seems a little strange, since the needs of the staff and the needs of the patients are so vastly different. Surely a therapy designed for one wouldn’t necessarily translate to the other – but what do I know.
I make no claims about whether or not this type of clinic is a good thing but I did find the story interesting (if for no better reason than getting to relate a bioethical issue to Harry Potter).