Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Questions to which the answer is "yes".

The ABC’s medical reporter Sophie Scott looks at a recent critical report from House of Common’s science and technology committee into homeopathic remedies and asks “Are patients being hoodwinked”.

The answer, of course, is a resounding “yes”.

The report notes;

A new British parliamentary report says patients are being hoodwinked by ineffective homeopathic treatments.

The report found that homeopathy is "scientifically implausible" and works no better than placebos.

Homoeopathy is a natural therapy where an active ingredient is diluted again and again until there is very little of the original substance left.

It originated in Germany in the 1700s, and is widely used in Britain and some parts of Europe, with a growing following in Australia.

British MP and United Kingdom science and technology committee member, Phil Willis, says homeopathic products are not medicines and should no longer be licensed by the British National Health Service (NHS).

"This is a fundamental point of principle as to whether we are actually hoodwinking individual patients, and they are being given a treatment that the NHS knows does not work," he said.

The report couldn’t be plainer; homeopathic remedies are nothing more than water and any beneficial result is purely as a result of the placebo* effect. Sure, you can use them if you want to and it’s entirely up to you if you’re the sort of dill that believes this guff but the danger arises if you use homeopathic remedies instead of scientifically proven remedies – such as taking homeopathic remedies against malaria.

But I do like this response from the Australian Homeopathy Association's Michelle Hookham who says the committee was biased and only considered "one kind of scientific evidence".

Yeah, that kind of beastly scientific evidence that uses empirical research and double-blind trials instead of the magical effect of pixies.

* Not the band.

12 comments:

Pepsi said...

Isnt marijuana considered a homeopathic remedy for pain relief for cancer patients?

I have no problems with that one.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

No, it isn't a homeopathic remedy Pepsi.

For it to be a homeopathic remedy, a single atom of the marijuana would have to be diluted many hundreds of times.

Puss In Boots said...

Homeopathy irritates me. I hate it when people try to tell me I need to visit one to rid myself of headaches. No, I don't. I just need a new cervical spine.

RandomGit said...

The party is at Ben Goldacres' house! I think the only succusstion the world needs is upside the heads of those that pedal this fucknittity.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

It's been a bad week for gibberish, RG.

First Andy Wakefield comes a gutser and now this!

Pepsi said...

The hippie world folk in the UK should congratulate themselves for getting this shit on the NHS in the first place.

Did any of you do the save the music march yesterday?

Alex said...

It's been a bad week for gibberish, RG.

First Andy Wakefield comes a gutser and now this!


I wonder if the chiropractors will be next.

squib said...

Whatever happened to that writer from the Guardian who was being sued by the Chiropractic Association for saying chiropracters couldn't really cure everything under the sun?

Alex said...

You mean Simon Singh? Last I heard he was appealing a court ruling on the manner in which he would be allowed to defend his statements, when the case eventually makes it to court; or something to that effect. Might be a long one.

Dr. Golf said...

My sister suffers from depression, anxiety and a dash of paranoia. She didn't know this a few years ago, she just wasn't feeling normal.

The conventional doctors were telling her there was nothing wrong with her, so she went to a homeopath. She was told that certain essential elements were being locked up, or something. The homeopath never alluded to the possibility of mental issues, it was all linked to diet, toxins etc. She spent a fortune having tests to eliminate the possibilities and trying find out what was missing. As you can imagine this didn't help her mental state.

In the end she couldn't afford to keep going and left without any answers. She's recently started on anti-depressants and is doing much better.

Ideally the conventional doctors could have helped diagnose her mental issues. But it was shameful the way the homeopath took advantage of them.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Simon Singh has had his case heard this week.

If you're interested, you can follow the entire thing here.

squib said...

Yes, that's the one. Unbelievable