Homeopathy may 'risk lives'17th July 2006
An investigation by BBC2's Newsnight has revealed that some homeopathic practices tell people they need not take conventional anti-malaria drugs in high-risk parts of the world, saying that their remedies are sufficient to protect against malaria.
Two million Britons travel to parts of the world where malaria is rampant each year, about 2,000 of them return having contracted the disease; primarily they have fallen ill because they have not taken any anti-malaria tablets. Doctors have begun noticing some cases where patients have taken homeopathic remedies instead of licensed medicines, having been told these could be used instead of conventional medicine.
Dr Ron Behrens who runs a travel clinic at the London Hospital for Tropical Diseases has seen several patients who thought they were safe because they were taking homeopathic remedies for protection, offering Britons travelling to the malaria belt 'an easy option and false hope'.
These cases led 'Sense About Science', the scientific campaigners, to send an undercover researcher into 10 homeopathic practices. The researcher said she was about to go to a country known to have malaria. All the practices recommended doses of homeopathic remedies which proved to be 99.99% water with an almost undetectable trace of quinine.
These research was followed up by Newsnight researcher with a hidden camera who told a South London practice she would be travelling in Africa for three or four weeks, including high risk areas such as Malawi. She was given a 20-minute consultation, in which there was no mention of going to the doctor, the homeopath making the claim that malaria could be prevented by taking homeopathic remedies.
Newsnight then called the clinic asking why its consultant gave that advice, and was told that this was a mistake; normally practitioners did tell people to go to their GP for serious conditions such as malaria, the clinic said.
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Thursday 11th June 2009 @ 6:24
And on the other side of the coin: 'medical professionals' are still arguing over the need to offer men over 50 annual PSA blood testing for possible Prostate Cancer. In 2009 some 10,000 men will die prematurely from Prostate Cancer and there will not be a BBC program highlighting the fatal, medical mistakes.
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Title: Homeopathy may 'risk lives'
Author: Chris May
Article Id: 526
Date Added: 17th Jul 2006