In Patients’ crowdfunding campaigns for alternative cancer treatments, published by researchers from Simon Fraser University in The Lancet Oncology (Sci-Hub mirror) we learn that thanks to Gofundme, 13,000 people have raised $1.4 million to help 200 desperate cancer patients pay for ineffective homeopathic “treatments.”
A third of these fundraisers were launched by people who explicitly rejected evidence-based medicine and were seeking money to commit an especially grisly form of suicide, while enriching scammers who sell water as medicine.
“I have a huge amount of sympathy for these people. They’re very sick and desperate,” Snyder said. “But it’s concerning to see them be taken in by these claims.”
That’s to say nothing of the kind people who are being roped into donating their money to medical charlatans. Other researchers studying the topic have argued these sites are essentially jumpstarting a new era of snake oil medicine, a sentiment Snyder agreed with. Yet despite repeated criticisms from scientists and other journalists, sites like GoFundMe have stayed mostly silent in the matter.
“I’ve talked to them a little bit, and I know they’re aware of these studies,” Snyder said. “But I haven’t gotten very far with them personally.”
Patients’ crowdfunding campaigns for alternative cancer treatments [Jeremy Snyder and Timothy Caulfield/Lancet Oncology] (Sci-Hub mirror)
GoFundMe Is Still Enabling ‘Garbage’ Cancer Treatment Scams, Study Finds [Ed Cara/Gizmodo]
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