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1. I had occasion to visit the regional hospital in Geraldton a couple of days ago. Staff seemed competent and concerned for their patients. So far, so good.

Ouside the main entrance was a vendng machine for syringes and needles. This is a photo of the machine, and of my $3.00 worth of needles and syringes:

Needle Vending Machine Outside Geraldton Hospital

Needle Vending Machine Outside Geraldton Hospital

Needles From Hospital Vending Machine

Needles From Hospital Vending Machine

I know there is a view that the best way to help intra-venous drug abusers is to make their drug use as easy as possible.

That is a view not well-founded in research, but it is at least motivated by good-will. Well, I assume it is. It is not clear how implementing or continuing policies which have been shown to do more harm than good can really be motivated by a desire to help, but let’s give the hospital administrators and drug policy people the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe they are so busy they don’t have time to read.

What I don’t understand is how putting a vending machine in a public place so any five year old with $3.00 can get a supply of syringes and needles is helping anyone.

2. I bought some very good fish and chips yesterday evening. On the shop notice board was an advertisement for the ‘Murdoch University Chiropractic Clinic.’

Murdoch University teaches chiropractic. It runs chiropractic clinics.

How is it possible to have any confidence in the academic integrity of a university which offers PhDs in quackery?

It is a bit like Oxford offering a degree in tea-leaf reading, and running a tea leaf reading booth at the local shopping mall.

The university website tells potential students:

We are excited that we are now entering a time where more emphasis can be placed upon generating research relating to chiropractic.

They could just take note of the century of existing research, which shows that the only thing chiropractic can do is provide temporary relief of some kinds of minor back pain – about the equivalent of taking two aspirin, and that other chiropractic techniques are not only useless but harmful.

The website goes on:

In September, 2006 Murdoch University School of Chiropractic was informed by the Council on Chiropractic Education Australasia Inc. that its program had become fully accredited.

So if you decide to do a course in chiropractic at Murdoch, you can be assured that the piece of paper they give you will be accepted by quacks and charlatans around the world.

Congratulations!

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