MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

In a recent PJ article, Michael Marshall from the ‘Good Thinking Society’ asked “WHY ON EARTH IS THE NHS SPENDING EVEN A SINGLE PENNY ON HOMEOPATHY?”. A jolly good question, given the overwhelmingly negative evidence, I thought  – but one that must be uncomfortable to homeopaths. Sure enough, a proponent of homeopathy, Jeanette Lindsay from Glasgow, has objected to Marshall’s arguments in a short comment which is a fairly typical defence of homeopathy; I therefore take the liberty of reproducing it here (the 12 references in her text were added by me and refer to my footnotes below):

I wonder if people such as Michael Marshall (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2016;297:101), who would refuse [1] patients the option of NHS homeopathic treatment, have considered the plight of people failed by evidence-based medicine ? [2] Where are those with chronic, disabling conditions to turn when the medicines available on the NHS do not work, or worse, are positively harmful? [3]

Take the instance of a woman with multiple drug allergies who has no means of treating her severe inflammatory arthritis and no suitable analgesia. [4] It has been demonstrated that disease states with immune system involvement are particularly susceptible to the placebo effect but how does one induce this? Current thinking precludes treatment with placebo medicines but it so happens that homeopathic remedies would appear, from the results of clinical trials [5], to be a good substitute. [6] Used properly, there is a good chance that in this case homeopathic treatment may achieve a real therapeutic effect. [7]

Patients who cannot tolerate allopathic [8] treatment do not just go away because they cannot take the prescribed medicine. [9] They suffer and surely deserve a better range of options [10] than those provided by the current obsession with evidence-based medicine. [11] The availability of homeopathic treatment is important and should not be denied until better alternatives become commonplace. [12]

[1] Michael Marshall does not ‘refuse’ homeopathy on the NHS; that is not in his power. He merely questions whether NHS funds should not be spent on treatments that demonstrably do more good than harm.

[2] I am sure he as carefully considered such patients.

[3] Depending on the exact circumstances, such patients have many options: for instance, they could change their physician, have their diagnosis re-considered, or try a non-drug treatment.

[4] An allergy to one drug is rarely (I would even say never) associated with allergies to all drugs for any given condition. Even if this were the case, there are several non-drug treatments for arthritis or other diseases.

[5] I think this is fantasy; there is no good evidence from clinical trials to show that homeopathy is efficacious for either inflammatory or degenerative arthritis.

[6] Is this an admission that homeopathic remedies are placebos?

[7] I am not aware of sound evidence to support this statement.

[8] ‘Allopathic’ is a derogatory term introduced by Hahnemann to defame conventional medicine.

[9] I have never seen a patient who could not tolerate any prescription medicine. I suspect this is fantasy again.

[10] Patients deserve the optimal therapy available for their conditions – that is a therapy that demonstrably generates more good than harm. Homeopathy is clearly not in this category.

[11] An obsession? Yes, perhaps it is an obsession for some dedicated healthcare professionals to provide the best possible treatments for their patients. But the way it is put here, it sounds as though this was something despicable. I would argue that such an ‘obsession’ would be most commendable.

[12] For practically all conditions, symptoms, illesses and diseases that afflict mankind, better alternatives than homeopathy have been available since about 150 years.

It seems to me that Jeanette Lindsay has been harshly disappointed by conventional medicine. Perhaps this is why, one day, she consulted a homeopath and received the empathy, understanding and compassion that she needed to get better. Many homeopaths excel at these qualities; and this is the main reason why their patients swear by them, even though their remedies are pure placebos.

My advice to such patients is: find a physician who has time, empathy and compassion. They do exist! Once you have found such a doctor, you can benefit from the compassion and empathy just as you may have benefitted from the homeopath’s compassion and empathy. But in addition to these benefits (and contrary to what you got from your homeopath), you will also be able to profit from the efficacy of the treatments prescribed.

To put it simply: homeopaths can help patients via non-specific therapeutic effects; responsible physicians can help patients via non-specific therapeutic effects plus the specific effects of the treatments they prescribe.

 

53 Responses to “The availability of homeopathic treatment is important” Oh, really?

  • “A jolly good question, given the overwhelmingly negative evidence, I thought – but one that must be uncomfortable to homeopaths.”

    Circular reference. Written by a person who has fudged data to prove alternative medicine does not work, wether it is homeopathy or other.

    https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/355916
    http://homeopathyusa.org/uploads/Research/SebastianErnst.pdf
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22998971

    How can it be uncomfortable, when the writer does not know homeopathy,

    ““Edzard Ernst, Professor of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) at Exeter University, is the most frequently cited „expert‟ by critics of homeopathy, but a recent interview has revealed the astounding fact that he “never completed any courses” and has no qualifications in homeopathy. What is more his principal experience in the field was when “After my state exam I worked under Dr Zimmermann at the Münchner Krankenhaus für Naturheilweisen” (Munich Hospital for Natural Healing Methods). Asked if it is true that he only worked there “for half a year”, he responded that “I am not sure … it is some time ago”!”

    and is on record lying about it: http://edzardernst.com/2016/03/about-my-controversial-qualifications/
    “I have no formal ones in alternative medicine, and I have never said otherwise.
    I am not even sure that such qualifications existed when I was in my ‘qualifying years’ (late 1970s).”

    “The qualification of physicians in homeopathy is regulated since the mid 50’s. Qualifying courses are offered by the DZVhÄ (German Central Association of Homeopathic Physicians).”

    • Iqbal, to assess the efficiency of homeopathy you do not need a homeopathy course. You need a in depth knowledge about clinical studies and this is something Prof. Ernst really has. Therefore your argument is moot.

      • @Thomas Mohr on Thursday 29 September 2016 at 11:49

        “… to assess the efficiency of homeopathy you do not need a homeopathy course.”

        I agree. the requirement is the ability to fudge Figures.

        FUDGE: present or deal with (something) in a vague or inadequate way, especially so as to conceal the truth or mislead.

        Then, if he is the paid by the homeopathy lobby, clinical studies on homeopathy will be done well, and homeopathy will be good medicine. If he is paid by the allopathic lobby, the result will be exactly in reverse.

        I believe you saw the comments against Ernst here:

        https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/355916
        http://homeopathyusa.org/uploads/Research/SebastianErnst.pdf
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22998971

        • To quote your own paper: “Clinical trials of homeopathic remedies show that they are
          most often superior to placebo.”

          According to one of the most extensive metastudies, the one done by the Australian government, they do. NOT. Iqbal, apparently you fail to grasp two concepts: If you do not see a therapy effect pretty clearly, it rarely makes sense to search for some minor things.

          Second, even a few “positive” studies do not prove that homeopathy works, thanks to a thing called prior probability.

          • @Thomas Mohr on Friday 30 September 2016 at 05:19

            “According to one of the most extensive metastudies, the one done by the Australian government, they do. NOT.”

            Check for references. Does the name Ernst Edzard figure in the list doing this meta analysis?

            What is the normal action in the allopathic system, if studies show that the procedure is not working or harmful?

          • “Does the name Ernst Edzard figure in the list doing this meta analysis?”
            the answer is NO
            you make less and less sense; try to calm down and become at least a tiny bit rational.

          • The normal proceder for nonworking treatments is abandonment, contrary to homeopathy which STILL uses treatments that have been proven ineffective almost 200 years ago.

  • “[1] Michael Marshall does not ‘refuse’ homeopathy on the NHS; that is not in his power. He merely questions whether NHS funds should not be spent on treatments that demonstrably do more good than harm.”

    Selling your soul to pharma can make you selectively blind: 43 million deaths/disabilities around the globe on account of medical errors are “demonstrably more good than harm”.
    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/millions-harmed-each-year-from-unsafe-medical-care/

    What is the target for medical errors considering it has continued to increase every year.

  • “[2] I am sure he as carefully considered such patients.”

    The guy must be as delusioned as you are. The medical system cannot resolve simple cold: and you agree that chronic problems will be resolved? This is when most difficult diseases are because of the drugs and antibiotics used:

    http://www.npr.org/2014/04/14/302899093/modern-medicine-may-not-be-doing-your-microbiome-any-favors

    The only disease supposedly eradicated: small pox: created a new epidemic much more severe: HIV AIDS.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/did-smallpox-vaccine-limit-hiv-10-05-18/

    • please don’t give up – you are simply too amusing!!!

    • “[3] Depending on the exact circumstances, such patients have many options: for instance, they could change their physician, have their diagnosis re-considered, or try a non-drug treatment.”

      Incorrect terminology. “such patients have many options”. The patients are referred from one specialist to another to ensure no one knows why the patient died or is bankrupt-not everyone is covered by insurance.

      “…. such as bone marrow transplants for breast cancer. Women and doctors demanded the treatment, even though there was no evidence it saved lives. Insurers who refused coverage usually lost in court. “I was the bad guy,” Eddy recalls. When clinical trials were actually done, they showed that the treatment, costing from $50,000 to $150,000, didn’t work. The doctors who pushed the painful, risky procedure on women “owe this country an apology,” Dr. David Eddy says.”
      “…….clinical judgment is woefully outmatched by the complexities of medicine.” Think about the implications for helping patients make decisions, Eddy adds. “Go to one doctor, and get one answer. Go to another, and get a different one.” Or think about expert testimony. “You don’t have to hire an expert to lie. You can just find one who truly believes the number you want.”

      • thank you for persevering to make a fool of yourself
        COMIC GOLD!

        • “COMIC GOLD!” I beg to disagree. Iqbal is a tiresome master of tu quoque who repetitiously raises ‘arguments’, most of which demonstrate his ignorance of science and medicine. At first I found him laughable, but by now he has become a waste of space.

          • Odd Frank(or is it Frank Odds) is at it again with his incessant claims of tu quoque. Why doesn’t he actually engage in disputing Krishna’s comments, instead merely typing “tu quoque”whenever he confronts a message which doesn’t reconcile with his own dogmatic meta-narrative? Odd is a cynic who seemingly lacks the ability to out-argue his “foes” thus he foists kindergarten-esque claims at them.

            Come on, Odd Frank…man up! I for one would enjoy seeing you actually try to academically refute Krishna’s comments from your medical perspective. I doubt you will try, though. You don’t seem to have the intellectual chops or the energy to do so. I would like to see you try, however.

            Be well

  • “[4] An allergy to one drug is rarely (I would even say never) associated with allergies to all drugs for any given condition. Even if this were the case, there are several non-drug treatments for arthritis or other diseases.”

  • “[4] An allergy to one drug is rarely (I would even say never) associated with allergies to all drugs for any given condition. Even if this were the case, there are several non-drug treatments for arthritis or other diseases.”

    “The several non-drug treatments for arthritis or other diseases.” meet your good evidence from clinical trials. Or is it that in the hands of allopaths it is accepted other wise the gold standard missing.

    What was the requirement to introduce Vioxx if the arthritis can be resolved without allergic drugs? I am positive, that you do not accept that Vioxx could cause cardiac failures. In Physics, exact location calculation can be made to 1/100000000 inch. The pain in the knee was separated from the heart by 36 inches: minimum.

  • “[5] I think this is fantasy; there is no good evidence from clinical trials to show that homeopathy is efficacious for either inflammatory or degenerative arthritis.”

    Even if there was, you know how to convert that into poor evidence. Ideology crisis. Or cost of soul?
    https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/355916
    http://homeopathyusa.org/uploads/Research/SebastianErnst.pdf

  • “[6] Is this an admission that homeopathic remedies are placebos?”

    Incorrect understanding. The comparison is to allopathic drugs.

  • “[7] I am not aware of sound evidence to support this statement.”

    Used properly, there is a good chance that in this case homeopathic treatment may achieve a real therapeutic effect. [7]

    REAL THERAPEUTIC VALUE is a Greek word in your dictionary. You prefer drugs that have to be used as pain killers. Take the next tablet when the effect of the earlier tablet wears off. I agree the Cure concept is difficult for you to understand.

    Traumeel is OK for arthritis.

  • “[8] ‘Allopathic’ is a derogatory term introduced by Hahnemann to defame conventional medicine.”

    What is derogatory about the word “ALLOPATHY”.

    The practices covered under allopathy have converted it into poor value. How would you have described it?

    • >> “[8] ‘Allopathic’ is a derogatory term introduced by Hahnemann to defame conventional medicine.”
      >
      > What is derogatory about the word “ALLOPATHY”.

      For you to even pose that… What is that? A question or a statement? Anyway, for you to even pose that demonstrates that you don’t actually know what the word means, how it is used today and how it was used when it was originally made up.

      Edzard is correct. The term, when coined, was derogatory. Edzard didn’t go far enough though. It was derogatory towards anything that *wasn’t homeopathy*. That includes all the alternatives to medicine that we have today that were around back then that like to group themselves in the “not allopathy” category.

      • @Gold (@unifex) on Thursday 29 September 2016 at 04:49

        “Anyway, for you to even pose that demonstrates that you don’t actually know what the word means, how it is used today and how it was used when it was originally made up.”

        “Allopathic medicine is an expression commonly used by homeopaths and proponents of other forms of alternative medicine to refer to mainstream medical use of pharmacologically active agents or physical interventions to treat or suppress symptoms or pathophysiologic processes of diseases or conditions. The expression was coined in 1810 by the creator of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843).”

        This is known.

        Derogatory use: was not known. If Ernst remembers it as such, there must be many reasons he would be aware of. And hopefully valid one’s at that.

        • allo- +‎ -pathy – term coined by Samuel Hahnemann (the founder of homeopathy) as a pejorative term to indicate medicine that in his opinion treated something “other than” the disharmony that caused the disease. James C. Whorton – Nature Cures: The History of Alternative Medicine in America
          (THIS IS FROM: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/allopathy )

  • “[9] I have never seen a patient who could not tolerate any prescription medicine. I suspect this is fantasy again.”

    As usual. you lie or do not know the subject. How many people would have died of penicillin shock? Then there are numerous deaths you have no clue about.

    The figure is 43 million deaths from medical errors for the world and these include prescription medicines.

  • “[10] Patients deserve the optimal therapy available for their conditions – that is a therapy that demonstrably generates more good than harm. Homeopathy is clearly not in this category.”

    Unless a drug has adverse effect, it cannot have good effect. Why a therapy as dangerous as allopathy: that generates more harm-patients die, get new diseases (MS, cancer, asthma etc.) , go bankrupt or in debt.

  • [11]”An obsession? Yes, perhaps it is an obsession for some dedicated healthcare professionals to provide the best possible treatments for their patients. But the way it is put here, it sounds as though this was something despicable. I would argue that such an ‘obsession’ would be most commendable.”

    The language was: “than those provided by the current obsession with evidence-based medicine.”

    It is good that you took away “evidence based medicine” : you know the serious drawbacks of evidence based medicine: THERE ARE NO EVIDENCES.
    Obsession: is not to treat patients and cure them but how to make more money.

    “”Because there are no definitive answers, you are at the whim of where you are and who you talk to,” says Dr. Gary M. Kirsh at the Urology Group in Cincinnati. Kirsh does many brachytherapies — implanting radioactive seeds. But “if you drive one and a half hours down the road to Indianapolis, there is almost no brachytherapy,” he says. Head to Loma Linda, Calif., where the first proton-beam therapy machine was installed, in 1990, and the rates of proton-beam treatment are far higher than in most other parts of the country. Go to a surgeon, and he’ll probably recommend surgery. Go to a radiologist, and the chances are high of getting radiation instead. “Doctors often assume that they know what a patient wants, leading them to recommend the treatment they know best,” says Dr. David E. Wennberg, president of Health Dialog Analytic Solutions.

    More troubling, many doctors hold not just a professional interest in which treatment to offer, but a financial one as well. “There is no question that the economic interests of the physician enter into the decision,” says Kirsh. The bottom line: The conventional wisdom in prostate cancer — that surgery is the gold standard and the best chance for a cure — is unsustainable. Strangely enough, however, the choice may not matter very much. “There really isn’t good evidence to suggest that one treatment is better than another,” says Klein.

    Once a hospital installs a shiny new catheter lab, it has a powerful incentive to refer more patients for the procedure. It’s a classic case of increased supply driving demand, instead of the other way around. “Combine that with Americans’ demand to be treated immediately, and it is a cauldron for overuse and inappropriate use,” says Thompson.”

    Great obsession.

  • [12] For practically all conditions, symptoms, illesses and diseases that afflict mankind, better alternatives than homeopathy have been available since about 150 years.

    Spanish flu: 1920: American Doctors with aspirin killed more American soldiers that Germans did in the first world war.
    Arthritis cured by Vioxx killed 140,000 Americans.
    http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/DrugRecalls/ : the recall is consequent to reports from doctors? What happens to the illness and the patient? Forget 150 years, The recalls are dated up to 2016.

    You are aware that homeopathic remedies for what ever reason: manage to cure patient.

  • “My advice to such patients is: find a physician who has time, empathy and compassion. They do exist! Once you have found such a doctor, you can benefit from the compassion and empathy just as you may have benefitted from the homeopath’s compassion and empathy. But in addition to these benefits (and contrary to what you got from your homeopath), you will also be able to profit from the efficacy of the treatments prescribed.”

    You are completely out of your depth, parroting a line that is extremely stupid and devoid of any rationale and reality. A homeopath who consults over 50 patients in 8 hours can hardly devote average of 10 minutes for each patient. This is far less than an allopath: who checks blood pressure, weight and lists out half dozen tests. The cranky old homeopaths are aggressive, bad tempered and often refuse to consult patients who do not exactly follow instructions. Still the treated patient gets well and many of these homeopaths run 60 day appointment schedules based upon the results,

    • i advise you change your homeopath

    • Edzard didn’t know that he had to have at least an infinitesimal level of knowledge about homeopathic practice to be able to comment cogently on the subject. His acolytes on this site make the same mistake.

      Be well, Krishna.

      • your posts get more and more deranged – are you alright? do you need help?

        • Thank you for your kind concern, Edzard. I am well.

          My post regarded Krishna’s 11:46 comments and my statements were quite clear. Krishna demonstrated the farsical nature of your allegation that time(and empathy/compassion) spent with patients by homeopaths is what essentially helps the patients. I pointed out that your comments belied your knowledge about homeopathic practices. The fact that you were unable to discern such is quite disconcerting, especially for a man of your prodigious intellect. Are you well?

  • This is one of those rare occasions where you DO want to feed the troll.

  • “It’s hard to win an argument with a smart person, but it’s damn near impossible to win an argument with an idiot”
    These wise words are usually attributed to actor Bill Murray.

    • on the other hand, you cannot loose it either – in fact, you cannot have an argument with an idiot!

      • As so often, it makes me doubt. I would love to accept the idea that this individual is an idiot, but I have trouble accepting that someone who seems to be literate is, in fact, an idiot. I’m inclined to think something more sinister, i.e. that this individual is simply playing the con game, and either doesn’t care about the health and well-being of people or has a perverse pleasure in seeing them suffer and die horribly, and in so doing, is creating a medical version of l’Histoire d’O.

      • It is true that one cannot have an argument with an idiot. Perhaps this is proven by the cynics/idiots on this site who are afraid to engage Krishna in arguing their points. Are the cynics’ collective knowledge bases inadequate to refute Krishna’s comments? Sans such engagement towards attempted refutation, one must conclude the answer to be YES!

        Pitiful it is when “esteemed men of science” are afraid(ill-prepared) to address comments which happen to be different than theri own world views. Instead of artful rebuttal, this site’s cynics instead proffer sophomoric insults and sarcastic, pseudo-aphorisms.

        Be well

        • @Logos-Bios on Thursday 29 September 2016 at 02:51

          “Pitiful it is when “esteemed men of science” are afraid(ill-prepared) to address comments which happen to be different than theri own world views. Instead of artful rebuttal, this site’s cynics instead proffer sophomoric insults and sarcastic, pseudo-aphorisms. ”

          This purpose of this blog writing is to run-down alternative medical practices. The writers in the comment section are the same group. that you find on similar blogs. The cross references come from the same sources. The comments, language and rhetoric is almost the same making me wonder if the same people operate with pseudonyms.

          The references that I put here are totally contrary to their assumptions of showing how great the “scientific medical system” is (which it is not). They cannot provide rebuttal as these references are from highly respected allopathic doctors from Harvard Medical (Lucine Leape: errors in medicine) John Hopkins (Barbara Starfield) or doctors like David Eddy (Father of evidence based medicine). A personal attack on any of these personalities opens these commenter’s to ridicule. What is left for them to write about? Personal attacks on anyone who was to write contrary view: which as you said is a clear sign of lack of information of medicine they support, education or simply not being fit for the job.

          • @ Krishna

            I know nothing about homeopathy, but I do appreciate earnest discussions. The biased, close-minded cynics in this forum seem unwilling or intellectually ill-prepared to discuss issues you mentioned. Yet they have criticized you for spending the time to present them. Whether they are too weak-minded to debate you or are simply too enamored with sharing jokes about paramedical health disciplines to actually try to challenge your statements is unknown. Blatantly obvious, however, is their collective retreat from academically trying to discredit your position or from supporting their own positions. It seems they simply don’t have the chops to engage you. As Trump would say, “So sad”!

            Be well, Krishna

          • Thomas is not faring very well in attempting to refute Krishna’s comments. As per usual, Thomas deflects from responsibly and convincingly countering Krishna’s arguments; some things never change! He states Krishna’s “claims are imagination.” The only thing imaginary in their discussion is cogent commentary from Thomas which would refute the thesis of Krishna’s posts.

          • Logos-Bos, once again we are NOT discussing most of the arguments Iqbal brings up. We are challengening him to provide proof for his claims. The death rate due to medical mispractice is NOT topic here. Aunt Annie from Timbuktu is NOT topic here. Whether homeopathy works or not is. I am sorr you do not seem to comprehend this, but in a scientific discussion changing the topic to defend the own position does not fly.

        • Logos Bios, Iqbal Krishna is a perfect example for somebody trying to deflect criticism with tu quoque arguments instead of providing proof of his claims. Prime example is his claim about deaths due to “allppathic” treatment. It is deflection pure from the fact that homeopathy has never ever been demonstrated to be better at that. Most likely it is even worse because people chosing homeopathy often miss the therapeutic window.

          Such a tactics might fly in a “discussion” among people, but not with real scientists. Scientists drag you back on topic whether you want that or not and this has nothing to do with cosed mindedness. The same goes for you and your HPV concerns. In a thread about the efficacy of homeopathy that has nothing whatsoever lost.

          • @Thomas Mohr on Friday 30 September 2016 at 11:00

            “Prime example is his claim about deaths due to “allppathic” treatment. It is deflection pure from the fact that homeopathy has never ever been demonstrated to be better at that.”

            I have never said that homeopathy is demonstrably better at killing patients compared to allopathy.

            “Most likely it is even worse because people chosing homeopathy often miss the therapeutic window.”
            I pointed out that this missing out on “therapeutic window” is beneficial for patients going for homeopathic treatment because allopathic doctors and drugs do more harm than good.

            Effect of doctors on patients for past 40 years.
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18849101

            I thought you had seen this information earlier from Harvard school: 43 million deaths and adverse effects.
            https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/millions-harmed-each-year-from-unsafe-medical-care/

            “Such a tactics might fly in a “discussion” among people, but not with real scientists.”

            Mr. Scientist, is your Physics and Chemistry updated for the human body or is there a new subject you wish to debate? You are implying that end results do not matter. You state that knowledge of subject does not matter, (Ernst has no background in complementary therapy and still his word is gospel truth).

            Pick up a conman, serving term in your country, and make him the chief of a bank. Let us see what he ends up doing to the bank. He need not be educated in economics or banking.

          • Iqbal, let me explain something to you:

            First, doing more harm than good means that hard measures like mortality, duration of illness or similar rises under treatment. If such a thing happens, real medicine abandons the treatment. Aside that, almost all treatments are tested under a superiority design which *per definition* contraducts your claim.

            Second, your citations are completely irrelevant. What you have to present is data that homeopathic treatment is not only superior to a placebo, but superior to treatment in real medicine while being safer. Up to now you have failed to do so.

            Third, in order to support your claim, you have to present data that homeopathy is safer. Have you done so ? No. I will tell you why. If you miss the therapeutic window in really serious diseases like cancer, you likely die. The few data that are available are horrible and point towards a surival rate that is less than half compared to standard therapy.

            Your “claims” are imagination.

          • @Thomas Mohr on Friday 30 September 2016 at 14:08

            “First, doing more harm than good means that hard measures like mortality, duration of illness or similar rises under treatment. If such a thing happens, real medicine abandons the treatment.”

            I regret to note that as usual, you have ZERO clue about allopathic system of medicine. Are you aware of by-pass surgery for the heart?

            “A large study of 18,151 patients who underwent bypass surgery immediately after a heart attack or following an attack of crescendo angina (unstable angina) showed that they were nearly four times more likely to have a subsequent stroke than those who did not have bypass surgery. (1)
            Death in these stroke patients following bypass surgery was much higher! This study showed, in addition, that bypass surgery was the most important predictor of stroke followed by past history of stroke, diabetes, and older age group. Most glaring finding of this study is that the existence of an onsite catheterization laboratory facility was also a risk factor for subsequent stroke in those hapless patients with a heart attack admitted to such hospitals.
            This study did not show statistically increased stroke following angioplasty. Those wanting to sell angioplasty could use this as their marketing strategy. They cannot, however, escape the findings of another study that showed that “angioplasty may lead to greater reduction in anginal pain compared to medical treatment but at a cost of more coronary artery bypass grafting, although all the randomized controlled trials done all over the world and published between 1979 and 1998 do not give enough data about death and subsequent revascularization, the trends so far DO NOT FAVOUR ANGIOPLASTY.” 2
            Curiously, another study has shown that “initial angioplasty may complicate the bypass operation and may increase postoperative mortality and morbidity.3
            An audit on an earlier study of bypass surgeries did show that in those without symptoms a large majority of 84% recipients of bypass surgery did not get any life expectancy benefit from their interventions. Only 16% did get some small benefit. This study had audited a large number of such procedures running to nearly 60,000.4
            Other studies in the past have also thrown light on the side effects of bypass surgery on the brain.5
            These studies showed the incidence of stroke following bypass surgery to be anywhere between 1.5 to 5.2%, postoperative delirium to be 10-30%, and cognitive decline to be ranging from 53% on discharge to 42% on a long term basis.6
            1. Joesefson D. Early bypass surgery increases the risk of stroke. BMJ 2001; 323: 185
            2. Bucher HC, Hengstler P, Schindler C, and Guyatt GH. PTCA verses Medical treatment for non-acute coronary heart disease. BMJ 2000; 321: 73-77
            3. Kalaycioglu S, Sinci V, and Oktar L. CABG after successful PTCA. Is PTCA a risk for CABG? Int. Surg 1998; 83: 190-193
            4. Yusuf S, Zucker D, Peduzzi P. et.al. Effect of CABG on survival.. Lancet 1994; 344: 565-568
            5. Hornick P, Smith PL, Taylor KM. Cerebral complication following coronary bypass grafting. Curr. Opin. Cardiol 1994; 9: 670-679
            6. Selens OA and McKhann GM. Coronary Artery Bypass and the Brain. N. Engl.J.Med 2001; 344: 451-453”

            These studies ended in 2001. Is by-pass surgery stopped now?

            “Aside that, almost all treatments are tested under a superiority design which *per definition* contraducts your claim.”

            Like by-pass surgery?

            “Second, your citations are completely irrelevant. What you have to present is data that homeopathic treatment is not only superior to a placebo, but superior to treatment in real medicine while being safer. Up to now you have failed to do so.”

            How many deaths do you know of from homeopathy? Not even 0.0001% of what is achieved under allopathic treatment. If people don’t die because of homeopathy, don’t add a new disease because of homeopathy and get well because of placebo action, why is it not better than conventional medicine? Because Ernst distorted data to change results?

            “Third, in order to support your claim, you have to present data that homeopathy is safer. Have you done so ? No. I will tell you why. If you miss the therapeutic window in really serious diseases like cancer, you likely die.”
            So, you expect allopathic system to create cancer and homeopathic system to cure it to prove it is better than allopathic system? What stupid logic is this?

            https://www.drugwatch.com/actos/ Cancer from Actos.
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18704945 Antibiotic use predicts an increased risk of cancer.
            http://www.livescience.com/46076-antibiotics-colon-cancer-risk.html

            “The few data that are available are horrible and point towards a surival rate that is less than half compared to standard therapy.”
            This is in relation to what process?

      • Pigeon, meet chess board.

    • @Björn Geir on Wednesday 28 September 2016 at 13:47
      @Edzard on Wednesday 28 September 2016 at 14:12

      “It’s hard to win an argument with a smart person, but it’s damn near impossible to win an argument with an idiot”

      Liars just get exposed.

    • Now Geir claims that Bill Murray knows him. Priceless!

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