MD, PhD, FMedSci, FSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

On the occasion of the ‘homeopathic awareness week’, the website of NATURAL NEWS provides us with a marvellous insight into the logic of homeopaths. Below I cite some of the text. Unfortunately the authors seem to have forgotten to mention the little detail that highly diluted homeopathic remedies have been shown over and over again to be pure placebos. Therefore, I made several slight adjustments to their copy (in bold). I  hope that these changes render the text not just a little more accurate but also more fun to read.

Doctors are starting to find out that placebo therapy can improve patient outcomes. Dr. Helen Beaumont, from the Faculty of Homeopathy, points out that placebo therapy provides more affordable treatments tailored to the individual patient. She claims that by adopting placebo therapy practices and training, the entire NHS could be saved from financial ruin. Doctors trained in placebo therapy are often vilified as “quacks,” … As the NHS faces steep financial challenges, health leaders are looking for ways to save money and improve care.

Many health professionals have a poor view of placebos because of a 2010 report by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. Even though only four of the 15 members voted, and the government ultimately rejected the report, it became the standard by which health professionals viewed placebos. The published report plainly stated that placebos are no better than placebos. Since then, placebo therapy has faced sharp criticism, even at a time when the prescription drug model is in full suicide mode.

Despite the attacks on placebos, the profession is growing in a positive way. There are now about 800 members of the Faculty of Homeopathy. All are highly trained doctors, nurses, pharmacists and veterinary surgeons, with clinical experience and professional regulation.

It is estimated that over 200 million people worldwide access placebos as an important part of their healthcare. Placebo medicine can be used for acute or chronic conditions, including but not limited to: persistent coughs, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, eczema, depression, menopause, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hay fever and asthma. Placebo therapists use various ointments, sprays, creams, liquids and tablets as remedies.

To the surprise of some, placebos have better patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) than conventional medicine. In the NHS, placebos are becoming more readily available. General practitioners can now refer patients for placebo treatment. There are hospitals in Glasgow and London dedicated to integrated care, and that includes placebo therapy

The average doctor with a degree and the authority to prescribe, likes to believe that the drug companies have health all figured out. Doctors have a protocol to follow. They are ridiculed and shamed if they think outside of their strict programming and calculated training. Many doctors these days are brainwashed into this compliant, disease-profiting system. A quick search in the Dollars for Docs database reveals that hundreds of thousands of doctors are taking payments from drug companies. Is this even ethical? Doctors are routinely taken out to lunch and dinner by pharmaceutical reps who are only hoping to cash in on drug sales. Doctors are often paid to promote pharmaceuticals. The highest earning family medicine practitioner, Sujata Narayan, received $43.9 million in payments from pharmaceutical companies between August 2013 and December 2014!

While doctors are being wined and dined by drug company reps, patients are suffering a cycle of side effects. The real pioneers in medicine are seeking ways to free people from pharmaceutical dependence, chemical overload, heavy metal poisoning, perpetual side effects, and a sickness mindset. Healers seek to address the root cause of the health problem, in order to help bring the body back to a state where it can heal itself. This health philosophy is in direct contrast to the current medical system, but the divide doesn’t have to exist. Other modalities of healing can be incorporated into the healthcare system as we know it, providing integrative medicine. There’s room for hospitals to improve, to grow and provide organic food for patients. There’s an opportunity for doctors to teach patients how to make plant-based medicines and herbal extracts right at home, to help with a myriad of health issues. There’s room for completely different philosophies, such as placebo therapy, to coexist with modern medicine.

The text is a hilarious bonanza of fallacies, of course. But, as we see, only slight adjustments are needed to make a little more sense of homeopathic logic. Does that mean that there is hope – even for ‘Natural News’?

 

6 Responses to Celebrating homeopathy awareness week – PART 1

  • Quite.
    But note that the piece in ‘Natural News’ is by ‘Staff writer L.J. Evans’.
    He sort of quotes Dr Helen Beaumont, but gives no reference to where she has said what he says she said.
    The impression could be given that Dr Beaumont stated the whole piece.

    It would be helpful to know what Dr Beaumont does in fact say.

    She may in breach of GMC regulations if she practises or preaches that doctors should mislead patients by not properly informing them of the nature of homeopathy effects (placebo effects), that homeopathic remedies themselves have no effect on any known pathological process (and therefore do not need to be manufactured or purchsed by anyone, NHS or otherwise), and if she does not obtain fully informed consent from patients on that basis.
    GMC requires that doctors do not prostletise their faith to patients.

    Of course it could just be that HP (homeopathically prepared) remedies do have genuine effects, but doctors are required to discuss with patients what is (almost certainly) real, not saucy fantasies. Certainly the probabilities should be discussed, not just disguised as being ‘integrated’ – or ‘natural’. Otherwise patients are at great risk of wasting time, trouble, and may inadvertently and harmfully delay seeking proper medical attention.

    The issue is intellectual integrity and professional honesty.
    Faiths cannot be ‘integrated’ with modern medicine (though attention to patients’ spiritual needs may be given – that is not ‘integration’, but ‘attention’).
    Those who believe otherwise really should try harder to move on with their ideas.

  • Having checked Beaumont’s biog, I’m pretty sure that what’s quoted here would be in line with the rest of her Homeopathic silliness. Since she runs a Homeopathic ‘practice’, despite being a conventionally trained Doctor, this is probably the least of it.

  • Unfortunately the pharmaceutical industry and those physicians who are influenced by their propaganda have empowered the alternative quack industry, providing them with ammunition, to convince consumers that real medicine is flawed and this seems logical to patients who then are more likely to believe the magic of homeopathy, etc. The best way to rid the world of fake health care scams is to promote honest as well as reliable and proven health care without entitling the profiteers beyond what is deserve. Continuing education is vital and can be done without compensation from product companies. Integrity and honesty are valuable, where conventional medicine clearly overshadows the Alternatives. Outside influences,greed and quackery threaten physicians and patients.

  • I see Robert de Niro and his wife have decided to be absolutely no use at all to serious debate. He says he wants doctors to come up with evidence. They have. He says ‘Yes but other people say other things’. Yes they do, as people do about Evolution. He says his wife claims to have noticed changes in their child since he was vaccinated. He claims he’doesn’t remember’ such changes. He says he’s ‘not sure’ what to think about Andrew Wakefield. Somebody then please guide him. Seems as though he wasn’t the one to decide to pull the film from the Tribeca Festival after all. Looks like he was only pretending to be convinced by medical experts, and persuaded by serious film-makers. Will the real Robert de Niro please stand up? Or, in this case, down?

  • Dr. Helen Beaumont, from the Faculty of Homeopathy, points out that homeopathic therapy provides more affordable treatments tailored to the individual patient.

    I live in Canada not the UK but here, anyway, tap water is much cheaper than drugs so she could well be right.

    We will ignore outcomes as irrelevant to the argument.

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