The Guardian

My patient swapped chemotherapy for essential oils. Arguing is a fool’s errand | Ranjana Srivastava

I wish that as an oncologist I could see off quackery through good communication. Unfortunately that doesn’t work
‘Bottles of unknown and frequently adulterated or plainly toxic substances cost hundreds of dollars, not to mention every consultation that pretends to read the eyes and sense the energy to cure cancer.’ Photograph: Seksak Kerdkanno/Getty Images/EyeEm

“Tell me why I should have your chemotherapy when I can be healed naturally!”

His face is set, his arms defensively squared. His friend carries a pamphlet that features a suspiciously healthy woman with glamorous hair and a glowing complexion. This is the urgent appointment of the day, for whom other patients were hastily shuffled to make room.

I know I shouldn’t take the bait but, like an addict, I have the urge to say:

Go ahead then, be healed. And I will almost certainly see you again, emaciated,

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