Ethics in Medicine

Epidemic of Absence

Kristen Sparrow • August 08, 2013


Photo of Moises Velasquez-Manoff
Author of Epidemic of Absence

I am making my way through “Epidemic of Absence” by Moises Velasquez-Manoff. (love the exotic name.)  It is a fascinating look at the research and thinking behind the theories that autoimmune conditions, including autism, may be because we’ve eradicated parasites, bacteria and some mycobacteria from our everyday environments.
I would like to recommend the book, but it is pretty dense and detailed, so not sure if most would have the patience.
What I’m most taken with is how often the researchers infected themselves with worms to see how they would react. And not benign little pinworms either.  We’re talking tape worms, hook worms, etc…  Of course this is the worst sort of unblinded experiment. where the subject has a stake in the outcome, but fascinating nonetheless.  And it reminds me of how I always try different tecnniques on myself first when it comes to acupuncture.