Homeopathy gets spanked by British Medical Association

It looks like science is finally pushing back hard against the pseudoscience that is homeopathy. The British Medical Association has come out publicly and stated it’s nothing more than “witchcraft”, and the National Health Service should cease to fund this quackery.

Homeopathy is witchcraft. It is a disgrace that nestling between the National Hospital for Neurology and Great Ormond Street [in London] there is a National Hospital for Homeopathy which is paid for by the NHS”.

Already strapped for cash, the NHS is looking for ways to trim the fat, and there’s no bigger dead weight than the ineffectual vials of water that pass as medicine. Of course, there’s always some idiot trying to argue even if homeopathy is no different than a placebo, the mental health of patients is vastly improved by its consumption. This, homeopaths argue, somehow justifies the public paying for it, even when no measurable effect has ever been demonstrated.

Homeopathy helps thousands of people who are not helped by conventional care. We don’t want it to be a substitute for mainstream care, but when people are thinking about making cuts to funding, I think they need to consider public satisfaction, and see that homeopathy has a place in medicine

“Public satisfaction” is not the way you measure the relative success of medical treatment. It either works or it doesn’t, and if it doesn’t, it has no business calling itself “medicine” in the first place. I’m sick and tired of the argument because helpless morons feel better after consuming sugar pills, that somehow “alternative medicine” is just as effective as conventional treatments (did I mention how ridiculously expensive nonsense can be?).

If you want to call yourself “medicine”, you have to pass the rigors of the scientific method, and since homeopathy has utterly failed every single attempt to show a demonstrable effect, it should be tossed aside like so many of its quack predecessors, like phrenology, iridology, and crystal healing. Would any other of these failed treatments be considered effective if people claimed it helped them?

Comments (2)

  • avatar

    Scion

    I had an interesting conversation the other day with someone in the UK’sNHS medical policy division – which made me think a bit more deeply about the issue.

    The interesting question that they were tackling was – if people who are currently taking homeopathic remedies were to stop, and seek proper medical attention – how much would that cost the NHS instead. Now, if they had a real problem, this should be a quick and simple fix, but most of these people don’t have real problems, but imagined ones or psychosomatically exacerbated ones. How does medicine treat these people? Well, the answer is that they would get tests run, and more tests, and more – and they wont stop taking tests to find out what’s wrong with them – the argument of the policy person, was that the loss of homeopathy from the NHS could end up costing a lot more than the homeopathy itself.

    Now I loathe everything about homeopathy – was part of the 10^23 campaign here in Oxford etc etc, but this is an interesting argument. It comes down to:
    Homeopathy managed to harness the power of the placebo effect through delusion – is there a way we can harness this affect without the delusion? Possibly not.

    Of course its a sorry state of affairs when you have to accept that deluding your citizens with withcraft and quackery is a better course of action (and I’m not saying that it is) but like I said, I find it an interesting argument… would be keen to hear what others think.

    cheers

  • avatar

    joe Botelho

    Scion makes a valid point which is shared by many nurses and doctors. But it’s the same question people purpose for kepping religon, that it helps people cope and deal with tough issues instead of going on meds for depressison when you finally figure out that we are all going to die and NOT come back. That being said i feel that it’s alwways better to tell adults be they stupid or smart the truth no matter how much it sucks, and let’s be honest the truth sucks most of the time.

    Joey botelho

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