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Uganda: Do Not Ignore the Sick At Christmas

A glucometre, according to wikipedia, "is a medical appliance for determining the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood." It is used at accessible by dropping blood on it and it measures blood sugar. Kiryabwire says it can be found in pharmacies

Laetrile, Amygdalin, Vitamin B17: Different Names, Same Poison

There can be no better example of the damage done by quackery masked as "alternative medicine" than the tragic case of Chad Green . In 1977, at age two, Green was diagnosed acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). At that time the cure rate for childhood ALL with chemotherapy was about 50%. Now it is about 90% . Chad Green died in 1979, a victim of uninformed parents and quacks that exploited them.

For the full story, which is heart-wrenching, I cannot recommend highly enough the first chapter of Dr. Paul Offit's book, "Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine." Offit takes on quackery of all forms in a way that will leave readers shaking their heads in disbelief. The laetrile chapter is particularly poignant. 


In short, Green, who was initially given standard chemotherapy for his leukemia, and was responding well when his parents decided that a "natural" cure for cancer called laetrile was a better choice. The fact that the "drug" was not (and will never be) approved in the US, but was available at clinics in Mexico should have raised a red flag, but the Greens and their son were victims of horrific misinformation, which astoundingly, continues today. More on that later. First a look at the chemistry, which should explain why laetrile is not a useful drug, merely a useful poison.