Stop slamming homeopathy26th November 2007
As the tide of criticism against homeopathy escalates, Denis MacEoin asks in The Guardian why some critics feel the need to attack the practice so vehemently.
In the past seven days, we have seen novelist Jeanette Winterson's carefully thought out and clear argument showing her support of homeopathy. Ben Goldacre responded with a piece explaining why Winterson was wrong. On 21 November, Tom Whipple condemned the 206 MPs who put their names to a motion supporting NHS homeopathic hospitals.
Goldacre's article was sarcastic and condescending. He said homeopaths were guilty of "killing patients" and being "morons".
I am a sceptic, so I can empathise with Goldacre's desire for a scientific outlook, but I was embarrassed by his piece. I acknowledge that there are plenty of con-artists working in homeopathy. However, there are also many doctor homeopaths and non-doctors who take their profession seriously. In his article, Goldacre unfairly paints all homeopaths in the same bad light.
Goldacre launches his attack without having any homeopathic qualifications or experience. He has simply looked through some homeopathic literature and pronounced himself as the authority on this homeopathic debate.
His ignorant attitude is clearly apparent in his article's preface, where he writes: "Time after time, properly conducted scientific studies have proved that homeopathic remedies work no better than simple placebos."
This is rubbish - homeopathic medicine has never been subject to proper trials. Because of homeopathy's nature it is difficult to test it by traditional methods. In normal scientific trials all subjects receiving a particular medicine are given the same dose for the same amount of time.
This would not work in homeopathic medicine, because the process for treating patients takes much longer and is adapted or changed according to the results of comprehensive patient interviews. It may take months or years to find the right treatment for a particular patient.
Goldacre's argument is a chance to slam homeopathy rather than a well-thought out scientific argument against it. He should take the opportunity to construct trials - with the help of homeopathic practitioners - which could be used to properly test homeopathy. Until he does, his views are illogical, ignorant and not based on any scientific rationale.
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Sunday 1st March 2009 @ 18:29
Just some incontravertible facts and figures; Iatrogenic Diseases (those cased by Medicine) account for over 40% of people in hospital. A significant section of Europeans use Homeopathy , as precribed by their DOCTORS. (You have to be a doctor on the Continent to practice Homeopathy. Its efficacy is proven in plenty of Scientific Studies, Ben Goldacre MUST know this. Homeopathy is the Second most widely practiced Alternative Medicine in the World, because presumably , it works. It has never changed its Hypothesis for how it works; it doen't change its methodology nor does it need to constantly change its drugs as they are never dangerous to health, they never cause ANY side effects and yet work time after time. WHAT CAN ONE SAY? People who are very fanatical about Homeopathy , invariably have never tried it. Come on Ben, start investigating and stop ranting. Sue Prickett, Registered Homeopath.
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