Bogus claims of alternative therapists are legion, particularly in homeopathy. But bogus claims are neither ethical nor legal. Homeopathy works for no human condition, and therefore any medical claim made for homeopathy is unethical, false, misleading and illegal.
This is not just my view (after studying the subject for more than two decades) but also that of the UK regulators. In case you doubt it, please read the full notice which the UK ‘Advertising Standards Authority’ has just published (dated 29/9/2016):
This week, our sister organisation, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Compliance team has written to homeopaths across the UK to remind them of the rules that govern what they can and can’t say in their marketing materials, including on their websites.
Homeopathy is based on the principle of treating like with like; in other words a substance which causes certain symptoms can also help remove those symptoms when it is diluted heavily in water before being consumed. Practitioners believe that this stimulates the body to heal itself. However, to date, despite having considered a body of evidence, neither us nor CAP has seen robust evidence that homeopathy works. Practitioners should therefore avoid making direct or implied claims that homeopathy can treat medical conditions.
We have no intention of restricting the ability of practitioners to advertise legitimate and legal services, nor do we seek to restrict the right of individuals to choose treatment. However, when advertisers make claims about these products or services, in all sectors, they must hold appropriate evidence to back up those claims. If they do not, then we have a responsibility to intervene to protect consumers by ensuring that those ads are amended or withdrawn.
If you are a practicing homeopath, please ensure that you carefully read CAP’s advice and guidance. It includes a non-exhaustive list of the types of claims you can and can’t make. You will then need to make changes, as necessary, to your marketing materials, including on your website, if you have one.
Further guidance can be found on the Society of Homeopaths’ website. We have worked closely with the Society over the course of the last year, to help them produce detailed guidance to support their members.
If you are a homeopath but have not received a letter from us, please download a copy here, together with supporting FAQs about Advertising Regulation.
I think this notice speaks for itself. All I want to add at this stage is my hope that UK homeopaths comply asap to avoid getting penalised and – much more importantly – to avoid continuing to mislead consumers.
Maybe the easiest way for homeopaths to comply would be a blanket statement:
Perhaps you should read the research that has proved the effectiveness of homeopathy time and again. Homeopathy should be used alongside allopathic medicine as it is in other more dnlightened counties gw
would you care to quote the research you are referring to?
Perhaps you could enlighten me and provide me with some references. I would be delighted to read some research that proves homœopathy is effective, and I am sure I am not alone in this.
No, reearch deos NOT show that homeopathy works. 4 out of 5 Cochrane reviews are negative and the latest (Australian) metastudy is alos negatve.
I note CAP advice:
“Some homeopaths may be medically qualified and therefore regulated by the General Medical Council. Those who are medically qualified may make claims about treating conditions but would need to make clear that efficacy is due only to conventional treatments unless they hold robust clinical evidence to support claims of efficacy for individual homeopathic treatments.
Those practitioners who are not medically qualified should not refer to serious medical conditions (Steve Scrutton Homeopathy, 18 September 2013; Society of Homeopaths, 3 July 2013; Dr Batras Positive Health Clinic (UK) Ltd, 27 April 2011).”
(i) Regretably, the GMC does not properly regulate medically qualified homeopaths, unless they do something very wrong professionally/ethically. Consulting with a patient, diagnosing a condition, prescribing a homeopathically prepared remedy, is not considered ‘very wrong’ because as far as I know, no patient has complained to the GMC they have been misled. Patients buy into the fantasy being offered, and appreciate it. Thus enhancing their own response expectances.
And medical qualified homeopaths regard homeopathy as ‘conventional’. The GMC has no definition of the term, nor does CAP.
(ii) Why does CAP only refer to ‘serious conditions’? And what are they? (Definition please).
Being deluded enough to believe homeopathic remedies can have any effect on a specific ailment, condition, or pathology is a very serious matter.
Homeopaths who are not medically qualified should not be making a diagnosis of any ‘medical condition’ (again, will CAP define please) – save in the most general terms. Much as a nurse would.
IMHO homeopaths should not claim their ‘remedies’ have any effect whatsoever – not even placebo effects. The remedies may have an effect as part of a ‘homeopathic consultation’ – and that may have beneficial placebo effects, (consolation, hope, TLC) – but the remedies themselves have no effect whatsoever. They simply act as a trigger for response expectances and compliance with the suggestions of the homeopath that ‘you will feel better’. Much as a patient may respond to a hypnotists swinging watch. The watch itself does nothing.
(I know that is an old fashioned technique, but please allow the analogy. You can think of others. I’m going to have to prepare a second edition of ‘Real Secrets of Alternative Medicine’ and emphasise remedies are not placebos, they are triggers.)
(iii) The practice of ‘homeopathy treatment’ has two dimensions: consultations should be distinguised from the remedies. Consultations (care) may be beneficial. Pillules are not. And if homeopaths cannot make that distinction they should move on and take up other careers, perhaps medicine. Or if they are doctors, stick to the knitting and be better doctors – but conventional and orthodox, bearing in mind that it is orthodox to push the boundaries and make progress.
Hear! Hear! Many pro-CAM commenters on this blog say “Of course, you need proper medicine for serious diseases.” I have often responded by asking where the boundary lies between trivial conditions, which may be successfully entertained by CAMists, and serious conditions that require medical treatment. I have never yet had a response.
I don’t know who can benefit from consultations with homeopath. They are, after all, based on the principles of homeopathy. OK, if person is very lonely, he/she may be glad to talk to anybody, but that does not mean a psychologist or psychotherapist won’t do a better job for him/her. Homeopaths cannot advise on anything, be it nutrition or exercise regime, because this has nothing to do with homeopathy, so why waste time, instead of going to real expert who can suggest real treatment?
I quite agree, except for the fact that some folks like TLC and sugar pills.
As long as they understand the ‘position’ of evidence-based medicine on the issue, and give fully informed consent – well, it’s a free country.
I suspect that medical homeopaths are actually not so deluded that they would give their nostrums in place of real medicine, unlike that mad vet who was on the TV recently.
Why wouldn’t they – if they believe in homeopathy.
If they do not, they are quacks. QED.
I am preparing a case for referral to the GMC, so if any reader has evidence of quack homeopaths (is that an oxymoron? No, probably tautology) – let me know.
“(ii) Why does CAP only refer to ‘serious conditions’? And what are they? (Definition please).”
I don’t know of a definition or list of serious conditions but from reading many adjudications I’ve surmised that this means anything that would normally be under the care of a medically qualified doctor – so things like hypertension and diabetes are serious conditions and occasional headaches typically wouldn’t be. After going through a bunch of adjudications (though most come from this one https://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2014/6/Happy-Homeopathy/SHP_ADJ_258024.aspx) and info in the CAP guidance I put together this list but it’s not exhaustive of course. Presumably this list has now been superseded by the much stronger catch-all language in the latest ASA letter to homeopaths in the UK.
dengue fever (prevention of)
‘flu (see influenza)
influenza (prevention of)
Japanese encephalitis prevention (‘homeoprophylaxis’)
loss of libido
other skin problems
“serious medical conditions” (this could include asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure etc)
side-effects of the Pill
tick-borne encephalitis prevention
yellow fever prevention
This is an advertising code not law. So there can be no prosecutions by trading standards unless a law has been broken. So what ‘penalties’ are you referring to Edzard?
the penalty of being publicly disclosed as a charlatan.
Being ‘disclosed’ on the website of a non accountable, non transparent organisation that gets few visits from members of the public. That is not what I call public.
PERHAPS THIS IS WHY I PUT THIS ON MY BLOG!?!
So being outed on your blog is a penalty! Keep on entertaining us Edzard.
I will! that’s a promise!!!
It must really grate that the ASA has been working with Trading Standards to prosecute and shut down the websites of quacks and fraudsters.
Cognitive dissonance is a bitch, eh?
My guess is that such disclosure would increase the probability of being caught by the legal authorities.
Well, if a homeopath advertises a treatment which does not work, this could be prosecuted as fraud. Is that law enough for you ?
You are obviously ignorant of UK law.
Maybe you’re not aware of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, the Consumer Rights Act 2015, the Trades Description Act 1968, the Cancer Act 1939 and the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 to name but a few?
Then there’s the House of Commons Library Note: The role of the Advertising Standards Authority.
Maybe you’re also not aware of the 28 referrals the ASA have already made to trading Standards (many of which were advertising various sorts of CAM), the 15 websites that they have already taken down and the successful prosecution by Trading Standards after referral by the ASA?
Or perhaps you think these laws and regulations shouldn’t apply to homeopaths?
Alan- Despite your considerable efforts over almost 6 years Trading Standards have not prosecuted a single homeopath. The one successful prosecution you link to was a company with some electric gadget claiming to cure AIDS. So why is this Alan? Why the miserable failure for you. Are you just useless? Or is it that the laws as you state do not apply and you are therefore either delusional or misinforming?.
Good grief. But no need to take my word for it. Even the Society of Homeopaths agrees with me.
Do you think homeopaths shouldn’t abide by these laws and regulations?
EVERY REGULAR ON THIS SITE SUPPORTING ERNST,s WRITINGS TURNS OUT TO BE A LIAR.
I AM AMAZED.
stop discrediting yourself with moronic pseudo-arguments
Perhaps you might like to have a go at identifying the lies your referring to?
@Edzard on Sunday 02 October 2016 at 16:37
“stop discrediting yourself with moronic pseudo-arguments”
Check these out and clear the air on data manipulation made on you.
My experience with congenital liars is that they do so without realizing. If the above lies are true, there will be numerous others.One has to only start digging. You will see more exposure here in the coming days.
It seems that you were responsible for 700 research papers running down complementary medicine as a person RESPONSIBLE for complementary medicine. This was done in a period of 20 years. Assuming that you went ahead with your maligning program from day one, with estimated 225 working days/year, you churned out 1 paper every 6.3 days. That gives some idea. If you spent some time (say two years) to prove to the complementary medicine practitioners to improve and then started your vilification campaign, then the time window for each study reduces to 5.79. Very efficient indeed.
The University did not consider this exemplary work before accepting Price Charles’s suggestion?
you are talking utter tosh!
I had ~20 staff to supervise and lead; so divide your figures by 20 and you might have a rough figure of man hours per paper. subtract 50% of the articles for being editorials, comments letters etc, and your figure get even more realistic. and then account for about 6% of our research reposting positive results, you are almost there.
but in one thing you are correct: we were the most successful team in alt med research in terms of publication record.
Did you meant “Every person disagreeing with me is a liar” ?
Yes, everyone is mad but you, classic. This is quite a dull statement.
@Edzard on Monday 03 October 2016 at 11:16
“I had ~20 staff to supervise and lead; so divide your figures by 20 and you might have a rough figure of man hours per paper.”
All 20 were researchers? That would be quite a top heavy organization. What was the break up?
“.. subtract 50% of the articles for being editorials, comments letters etc,”
Editorials writing takes no time? Out-sourced? Comments like that you make here? Letters : what kind?
“… and your figure get even more realistic.” This is becoming disappointing.
“…but in one thing you are correct: we were the most successful team in alt med research in terms of publication record.”
The person responsible for Complementary medicine spends 20 years of his term to run down complementary medicine by hook or by crook and claims to be the most successful team in alt medical research. I was not aware this is how success was measured.
All 20 were researchers?
yes – why don’t you read up a bit before you start discussing? mine was a RESEARCH institute.
“Editorials writing takes no time? Out-sourced? Comments like that you make here? Letters : what kind?”
you are really, really, really clueless!
look me up on Medline, if you know what that is.
I have better things to do than to discuss with you
have a good life!
The penalties that I’m aware of include
1) Listing on the ASA’s website (also sent as part of a press release so occasionally these are picked up by the news media, and often by bloggers)
2) Search engines removing marketer’s advertising / listings in search results at the ASA’s request
3) Search engines making prominent an ad prepared by the ASA which highlights the adjudication results
4) Referral to Trading Standards for further action (which may include prosecution).
Should prosecution go ahead I’ve no idea if a previously-ignored ASA request will be considered by the Court but I can’t imagine it would go down too well if it is.
It certainly seems to be true that no homeopath has yet been prosecuted by Trading Standards. It will be interesting to see if there are any homeopathy prosecutions to come – however I suspect most homeopaths will take the more sensible and cheaper option of amending the claims on their websites rather than get caught up in legalities.
In fact two of the three homeopaths added to the ASA’s persistently non-compliant online advertisers (Jennifer Hautman of Islington Homeopathy Clinic and Steve Scrutton Homeopathy) have already done this and have made their websites compliant with the ASA. That leaves only Teddington Homeopathy who were listed in August 2015 but don’t appear to have been referred to Trading Standards.
The letters and emails I’ve received from the ASA in response to my own complaints about homeopaths are usually informing me that the homeopaths have agreed to amend their claims, which brings the matter to a close – requiring no further action and certainly no prosecutions. I’d much rather homeopaths, and any marketers, bring their health claims in line with the ASA’s requirements and avoid wasting time and money on defending a doomed case. Hopefully the ASA’s recent letter will ‘focus the mind’ somewhat for those not yet compliant.
Does anyone know what homeopathic remedy is best for treating “those who are deluded and are unable to focus their minds”?
Is there any evidence it works? Do they recover?
Nosods in homeopathy are made on the same principles as allopathic vaccines are made they are working like cure like principles.How u can say the homeopathy is not working .
Dr Ram Singh
vaccines contain active molecules and lead to measurable immune responses. most homeopathic remedies contain nothing and cause no effects whatsoever.
@Edzard on Sunday 02 October 2016 at 07:38
“………vaccines contain active molecules and lead to measurable immune responses.”
Law of SIMILIA SIMILIBUS CURENTUR: the same rule is used for vaccines. Theory 1 is OK.
The active molecule theory is to be discussed against :POTENTIZATION -Theory 2.
Is Alopathy Is a scientific method of treatment? Everyday they to change their principles and medicines. It is simply a trial and error methods of treatment. Suppression of a disease is the only principle. What they know about Homeopathy. They can not simply cure a wart, any viral disease, malaria, joints pain, hyperactivity,tumor except acute emergency and surgery to save a life.
It is dispeacable to say the least that Homeopaths and Homeopathy are being harassed by conventional medical reps, and it is illegal ! So, the opposite is true!
Conventional medicine means exactly what the definition of this is : not real, artificial, unproven, hypothetical, and make belief. It is employed by the governments to control people by illnesses, to torture them and to make them die from illness, not from old age.
It is developed to mimic real medicine , which is made of herbs, true knowledge of the body and food, air and all the natural resources of the universe. It is based on years of scientific studies.
You can Not deceive Life!
Give it up, and go with the program ! Life will overcome your vile intentions, Government sponsored Death Doctors!
it should be the ethical duty of every healthcare professional to point out what does and what doesn’t generate more good than harm. this is not despicable, it is responsible! it is not harassment but evidence-based medicine.
@Edzard on Sunday 02 October 2016 at 07:37
“…not despicable, it is responsible! it is not harassment but evidence-based medicine.”
Please list out some evidence based medicine and what it cures.
Iqbal seems to live on a different planet, or he’s totally ignorant 😀
@Björn Geir on Sunday 02 October 2016 at 23:32
“… to live on a different planet, or he’s totally ignorant ?”
No. Securely on this planet. Look at the western hemisphere: This is where the biggest and brightest medical brains are supposedly located:
Deaths by medical mistakes hit records
It’s a chilling reality – one often overlooked in annual mortality statistics: Preventable medical errors persist as the No. 3 killer in the U.S. – third only to heart disease and cancer – claiming the lives of some 400,000 people each year. At a Senate hearing Thursday, patient safety officials put their best ideas forward on how to solve the crisis, with IT often at the center of discussions.
Hearing members, who spoke before the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, not only underscored the devastating loss of human life – more than 1,000 people each day – but also called attention to the fact that these medical errors cost the nation a colossal $1 trillion each year.
“The tragedy that we’re talking about here (is) deaths taking place that should not be taking place,” said subcommittee Chair Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in his opening remarks.
Among those speaking was Ashish Jha, MD, professor of health policy and management at Harvard School of Public Health, who referenced the Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report To Err is Human, which estimated some 100,000 Americans die each year from preventable adverse events.
“When they first came out with that number, it was so staggeringly large, that most people were wondering, ‘could that possibly be right?'” said Jha.
Some 15 years later, the evidence is glaring. “The IOM probably got it wrong,” he said. “It was clearly an underestimate of the toll of human suffering that goes on from preventable medical errors.”
It’s not just the 1,000 deaths per day that should be huge cause for alarm, noted Joanne Disch, RN, clinical professor at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, who also spoke before Congress. There’s also the 10,000 serious complications cases resulting from medical errors that occur each day.
In the hearing’s closing questions, when Sanders inquired as to why this crisis was not constantly splashed across front page news, he was met with this: “When people go to the hospital, they are sick. It is very easy to confuse the fact that somebody might have died because of a fatal consequence of their disease, versus they died from a complication from a medical error,” Jha said. “It has taken a lot to prove to all of us that many of these deaths are not a natural consequence of the
underlying disease. They are purely failures of the system.”
Welcome to the world without homeopathy.
The only problem here, of course, is that claims for medicine being a leading cause of death evaporate under any kind of scrutiny.
If a patient has a ruptured aneurysm and is admitted to hospital, there’s a 50/50 chance they will die in surgery, but a 100% chance they will die if untreated. The anti-medicine cranks attribute the 50% who die in surgery, as deaths-by-medicine. This is self-evidently stupid, but it’s what they do.
Iqbal still doesn’t understand or want to learn. The least he could do is keep some consistency in the estimated numbers he keeps echoing and try to understand that the state of modern medicine cannot be guesstimated from opinionated estimates of american healthcare problems.
This is certainly true. Which is why we now live quite a bit longer than a century ago, thanks to these “Government sponsored Death Doctors”.
@Bart B. Van Bockstaele on Sunday 02 October 2016 at 08:14
“Which is why we now live quite a bit longer than a century ago,”
You have no understanding of living longer. Take all the known medicines with you and relocate to a slum in Bangladesh and let us see how long you live because of advanced medicine.
“thanks to these “Government sponsored Death Doctors”.
This is THE REAL TRUTH.
The clear message is “Keep away from allopathic doctors and hospitals, you will live longer and healthier.”
Annie, first of all, there is no conventional medicine. There are only treatments that work and treatments that do not work. Homeopathy and much of Naturopathy belongs to the latter.
Second, for homeopathy you do not need knowledge of the body. Homeopathy is a pure symptom based treatment. You do not even know which disease the patient has, hoever this knowledge may be the difference between life and death.
Third, you seem to think that nature made something (like herbs etc) for us to use. Well, mother nature is a true bitch since she does not care about you or humans in general. The reason why plants are a rich source of drugs is that they are very flexible chemical factories which – by pure coincidence – produce chemicals that can be used as drugs.
Why do people spend so much time and energy trying to prove that it doesnt work? Are people feeling threated? Are doctors loosing jobs? Is big pharma loosing money? I just dont get it who cares? People seem to be loosing thier rights to make choices and that is a problem we should spend time and energy on.
NOBODY HERE IS TRYING TO PROVE THAT IT DOESN’T WORK
we simply point out that there is no plausibility nor evidence for it to work [proving a negative is not possible].
perhaps you want to read this: http://edzardernst.com/2013/03/saving-lives-with-alternative-medicine-research/
@Edzard on Sunday 02 October 2016 at 07:33
“perhaps you want to read this: http://edzardernst.com/2013/03/saving-lives-with-alternative-medicine-research/”
Papers by you would have a meaning if you are NOT biased.
First explain to every one the charges against you in below papers of tampering with data to change results.
Iqbal seems to selectively forget what has already been discussed here at length. Keeps repeating himself.
The article by R. Hahn he keeps refering to we need not go over again and the others are laughable attempts at incriminating Prof. Ernst by people who do not understand statistics and research methodology, published in journals aimed at their respective cult-followers. No need to spend time elaborating on this as Iqbal wouldn’t even begin to understand the reasoning anyway.
Only idiots would do that. If homœopathy worked, it would be a fantastic breakthrough.
Not that I know.
This suggests you could be from another planet. There is a shortage of doctors just about everywhere. People sometimes have to wait months to be able to see a doctor. There are waiting lists. Doctors have more work than they can handle. If anything, they would be delighted to have some work taken off their hands by homœopathy.
Actually, many Big Pharma companies have bought and are buying Big Placebo companies, because the profit margins are huge in that industry. Think of it: no research required, a few empty claims based on some old book, an expensive-looking package and the money comes rolling in.
Even that is not true. People can go to every quack from here to China and back. Nobody is preventing them. But taxpayers are a peculiar bunch. Politicians are finding out that their voters really don’t enjoy paying for stuff that doesn’t work, so if you want to be treated by some quack, you are welcome, but you (should) have to pay for it yourself, and be prepared to be disappointed. Quackery is a luxury, just like asparagus water.
Conventional medical reps feel threatened by homeopaths as homeopathic works when conventional fails. Don’t be disappointed if allopathic doctors given up on your disease go for homeopathic and aurvedic medicines which work like miracle .
any evidence for this bold statement?
You will find million of evidences by searching homeopathic medicines on internet. Below is one of the example taken from Yahoo answers:
Does anyone have any solutions for food allergies?
Even I had symptoms like yours and I tried all kinds of medications which worked temporarily. One of my relatives suggested me Homeopathic treatment and it worked like a charm. I don’t know where you live, but there is a very popular German homeopathic brand called Dr. Reckeweg. I was given Dr. Reckeweg R83 Food allergy drops and it worked like a miracle. It is so easy to take with no side effects. Just 10 drops 3 times a day in half a cup of water. Although I cannot say the allergy is 100% controlled, still my life is so much better now. 95% of my allergy is gone now.
Hope you can give this a try, Good luck 🙂
Ria Angel · 5 years ago
you do not seem to know what the word means!
please read this: http://edzardernst.com/2012/11/what-is-and-what-isnt-clinical-evidence-and-why-is-the-distinction-important/
the methodology of research will have to be changed for finding the evidence. our modern research methodology is based on pure science that is what we perceive . homoeopathic science is more advance than man made science. it cures the cases, I don’t know how ? But if homoeopathy cures a single one case, then it would be researched out. don’t try to make evidence about homeopathic efficacy on existing research methodology. no doubt homeopaths are fail when we come to discuss on evidence level but on practical ground homoepathy gives more authentic result than allopathy. the evidence based science only manages your disease as long as possible but having no ability to cure.
i have this so often: the results of RCTs are not what we wanted – so the methodology of the RCT must be inadequate. this is nonsense. what are you a professor of?
Do you want to change the methodology such that you are guaranteed the result you want, or would you accept a negative result if the “right” methodology was used? I am prepared to wager a tenner that you would not accept a negative result as evidence you are wrong, whatever methodology they used.
Another sorry excuse for lack of evidence. Gupta, the method does *not* have to be changed. For the parameter patients get better sooner the treatment in question is completely irrelevant. It can be surgery, personalized medicine, raindances, atztec sacrifice rituals or … homeopathy. The latter fails since 200 years. A prime example is belladonna in scarlet fever. I guess we both agree that if belladonna would be an effective treatment of scarlet fever death rates would have dropped during the period it was in fashion, i.e. the 19th century. Guess what, the death rate did *not* drop. Well, Belladonna is *still* used.
If you know how ”Belladona works, you won’t need to take antibiotics. I feel sorry for the people who are not aware of the miracles of homeopathy, they don’t know what they are missing out in their life.
Rita, Belladonna as a drug against scarlet fever was widely popular in the 19th century. If it would work mortality due to scarlet fever would have to drop, do we agree on that ? Now guess what, it did not.
Aside that, Belladonna in scarlet fever is a prime example demonstrating observational bias. If you read essays of the time they are full of praise. That is until a British doctor looked into the mortality rate. Now guess what ? Medicine quickly dropped Belladonna as an option for scarlet fever, homoeopathy did not. Rita, with all respect I am sorry for people who are that learning resistant.
Does this mean that homœopathy has an ability to cure?
Rita singh said:
Fortunately, they are not licensed in the UK. But you failed to provide any good evidence they are efficacious. Do you get all your medical advice from Yahoo Answers?
Yahoo answer as evidence ?
Are we in same world ? Since when yahoo is the gold standard of clinical evidence ?
Rather than Yahoo, why not try Wikipedia? It has a comprehensive and well referenced article which includes supportive and negative studies. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy
The only thing a sick person wants is to be happy and healthy. If conventional medicines can’t fix the problem what should he do? He will try everything and nothing is better than homeopathy and Ayurveda. As long as they make a person healthy and happy who cares about golden clinical trial. Positive blood test results are the best proof.
We all should care if vulnerable and gullible patients who are suffering are persuaded to waste time, trouble, and money purchasing pillules which have no effect.
Homeopaths should stick to counselling (at which some may be very good), even if they do have to retrain.
It’s called having honesty and integrity.
A necessary component in any professional practice wouldn’t you say?
I have a friend who had a problem conventional medicine couldn’t fix. She tried homeopathy and Ayurveda but they didn’t help either. So she moved in turn to acupuncture, chiropractic, traditional Chinese medicine, reiki, aromatherapy, ear candling, reflexology and dietary supplements. Still no fix, even though all of these promised ‘help’ or ‘cures’. So your claim that nothing is better than homeopathy and Ayurveda can’t be true: nor the claims of the other practitioners.
Oh, by the way, what was my friend’s problem? Naive belief in everything people told her.
Rita singh said
You’re right there… It’s cheaper.
…and doing nothing at all is cheaper still!
Bogus discussion – NO use of discussion with someone who have FIX MIND like the so-called scientists before 18th century. After Hahnemann’s it became clear and proved that diseases can be cured by applying the Nature’s therapeutic law i.e. let likes be treated by likes.
If someone have clear this, then I will challenge for open debate.
Nobody is supposed to say BOGUS
Dr (Prof) Anant Prakash Gupta
“…clear and proved…”
please post links to what you consider proof
It is not a court in which we have to post our links.
Please, First try to understand the difference between
homeopathy and HomOeopathy.
Nature’s law of cure and therapeutic law of Nature
Like cure like and Let likes be cured by likes
Law of SIMILIA SIMILIBUS CURENTUR
Principle of POTENTIZATION
Theory of Vital Principle
then it will be clear that HOMOEOPATHIC medicines and claims are not BOGUS and this your duty/work to prove what you think.
Dr (Prof) Anant Prakash Gupta
but only for a complete nutter, I am afraid.
Dr (Prof) Anant Prakash Gupta said:
Please enlighten us.
For understanding any subject, FIST WE MUST HAVE POSITIVE ATTITUDE, otherwise the discussion will remain fruitless. Regarding the difference between homeopathy and HomOeopathy, have written in books for the same you have to go through ORGANON OF MEDICINE written by Dr Hahnemann
our positive attitude consists in wanting to promote the best treatments for patients?
It so happens that I am – slowly – rereading Hahnemann’s Organon, the original German version. If Hahnemann made a distinction, I am unaware of it. Maybe I forgot it, which is eminently possible, or I overlooked it. Please *do* give some references.
Hahnemann made no such distinction – I am sure of it.
That is my opinion as well. The first is just a more modern spelling of the latter. It makes no sense to me that Hahnemann, a translator, would make such a distinction. But, one never knows, I am certainly willing to be proven wrong.
I assume that by “FIST WE MUST HAVE POSITIVE ATTITUDE” you want us to start by uncritically accepting the basis of homeopathy? Assuming homeopathy works, thus, voila! itr works. Only, that’s not how science is done.
These are dogmas, not laws. There is no evidence supporting “similimum” as a basis of cure, the basis on which Hahnemann stated it was refuted over a century ago. The conjecture of vital principle is also unsupported. The so-called principle of potentisation is divorced from reality: if it were true it would not only point to a new and powerful property of matter, it would also undoubtedly effect a large number of areas of reality-based science where in actuality no such effect is seen.
What you have basically done is state the tenets of your religion, as if merely stating them grants them the status of fact. That is not how it works.
We are making progress.
Hahnemann was a good doctor. When he (should that be ‘He’?) came up with ‘homeopathy’ he made a valuable advance – ditching the then conventional bleeding, purging, polypharmacy and poisoning of his contemporaries.
Well and good.
Those contemporariesand their successors have learnt the lessons and rarely use those methods now.
Hahnemann however lost his way. He was not adept at clinical research (he had no controls), and drew wrong conclusions, which he promoted to support a theory he quite literally invented, (in the form he devised).The concepts were of course ancient.
Some folks have faith in his concepts. Fair enough. I hardly approve, but I support the right of folks to hold beliefs such as they may.
What is unacceptable is for ‘homeopaths’ to expect, demand even, that ‘atheists and agnostics’ in respect of that faith are obliged to take it seriously and even spend other persons’ money (taxes, insurance premiums), time and trouble on that faith. I apply that consideration to all faiths, but this theme is about homeopathy. No red herrings please.
Homeopaths’ insights into psychological and emotional determinants of health may be valuable. So let us move onwards further, thank those folks for their kind consideration, and ask them to continue to conduct such research as they may (at their own expense, in which I include Borion and other remedy manufacturers and bearing in mind the null hypothesis which demands they start from the premise homeopathic remedies have no discernable effect on any pathological conditions). Then let us know when they are prepared to stop silly ad hominem attacks and join the rational community. They will be welcome. Their remedies will not be.
we do not like to have your stamp. But Homoeopathy rests upon very sound foots, which is proved so many times.
what are you a professor of?
you profess nothing but nonsense!
If that is the case, why is it so hard to find? I have been asking homœopaths for years to give me some solid evidence. Surely, if homœopathy is so great, homœopaths should be very happy to show us that evidence, yes?
Dr Gupta, please move on.
You owe such progression to your self and your students.
Hahnemann has had his day.
His remedies have no effect (unless they act as triggers for placebo effects).
Why is it so hard for some folks to accept that?
Does anyone nowadays really believe Aesculapius has a big sick with entwined serpents, and lives with other gods on Mount Olympus?
Why cannot those with faith in homeopathy simply get on with their lives without berating those who do not share their faith?
It is a waste of time trying to apply modern science to a faith.
That’s the definition of a faith – no plausible evidence required, or available.
Let’s just accept that, and move on.
Anant, let’s have a look how homoepathy came into being, i.o.W. the famous Chinchona bark experiment. Hahnemann prepared Chnchona bark tea, took it, had almost the same symptoms as malaria and concluded that the known effect against malaria was caused by the hyppocratean like cures like law. With our knowledge we can dissect this experiment:
First, chinchona bark does NOT regularly cause the symptoms Hahnemann experienced. They are, however, well known but rare side effect of quinine. Since he was a really bad scientits he did not reproduce this experiment (which others also failed to do). Consequently he overlooked that he was dealing with an outlier. Today the mode of action of Chinchona-bark is well known and has nothing to do with homoeopathy.
His further “research” concentrated on detecting symptoms in healthy people in order to “develop” drugs. Not once in his writings you find the slightest attempt to test whether these drugs actually worked, despite the fact that clinical trials where already known. Quite contrary, you find lots of cases Hahnemann claimed to have cured which are clearly self-limiting diseases.
One of the first recorded RCTs dealt with a homoeopathic preparation (the Nuremberg salt experiment) and was disastrous for Hahnemann – it did not impress him or make him think that something could be wrong.
Taken together homeopathy is founded on a badly designed experiment, carried out by a bad scientist who drew the wrong conclusion. This is *not* “very sound foots”, that is not even an athlete’s foot.
Alan and Guy do not know or pretend to not know the difference between law and the unofficial CAP code. Alan quotes laws like the Cancer Act and the Human Regs Act. Anyone including any homeopath who breaks these laws will get prosecuted and probably sent to jail. Homeopaths haven’t broken these laws so there have been no prosecutions- simple as that. Trading standards cannot prosecute if an individual or company just breaks the CAP code which isn’t law. Breaking the CAp code happens all the time with dozens and dozens of cases listed for many large companies. Homeopaths have to comply with the law.
However, if homeopaths wish to comply to the CAP code it is entirely up to them. If they don’t then neither the ASA, Guy or Alan can do anything about it except bleat about it and try to spin the facts.
Actually we know it very well. Failing to abide by the CAP is not an offence in and of itself, but it may be evidence of a breach of the unfair trading terms regulations, and claims noted in the CAP as unacceptable may also breach other statutory regulations covering food labelling and other areas.
That’s why Trading Standards have been doing the enforcement.
Feel free to keep ignoring the rules, but if you expect trading standards and the courts to accept your alternate reality then I a, afraid you are doomed to disappointment.
Wow we have a breakthrough here folks! Guy Chapman actually accepts that ‘failing to abide by the CAP code is not an offence in and of itself…’
Meanwhile Alan is quoting the Cancer Act and the Human Regs Act that homeopaths do not breach. Sigh!
At least we might now be able to pin it down as to whether Trading Standards see a breach of the Code as unfair trading. Then they would have to see it as in the public interest to prosecute not just homeopaths but everyone else who breaks the code. If they do then they are going to be busy.
From the ASA adjudications page you can see that searching for a few H/C companies it can be seen that in recent years Boots have 10 ASA rulings , Lloyds Pharmacy 4 and Procter and Gamble 3 rulings.
Search for any well known company and you can see by the number of cases that the code is clearly just that and not law.
I think that Guy is doomed to even more disappointment.
Straw man. Guy was already well aware of that and never claimed otherwise.
LOL! You’re having comprehension difficulties again. Or does your fail stem from ignorance?
That repeated straw man gets you another LOL!
But at least the hilarity continues. Please keep it up.
Feel free to point out where I have said that failure to abide by the CAP is an offence, I am pretty confident I have not said that anywhere – however, persistent failure may be evidence fo an offence under the consumer protection from unfair trading regulations 2008.
We already know whether TS see breaches of the Code as unfair trading. Websites have been shut down.
Ultimately the problem for homeopaths is very simple: their trade depends on making fraudulent claims. Hence the rearguard action you’ve fought against any requirement to keep marketing claims within the bounds of objective fact. You might choose to inhabit an alternative universe where homeopathy works, but the law exists in the real universe where we have known for over a century that homeopathy is bollocks.
Oh I do. You’re not showing any awareness, though.
Maybe, maybe not.
Will I leave it to you to realise your errors in that?
Did anyone claim they would?
Yup. And CAM advertisers.
Glad we can agree on that!
You’re not quite getting the hang of this are you?
Did Guy or I claim we could? But you’re still not quite getting the point about the ASA referring cases to Trading Standards…
You honour me Alan by spinning one of your deconstructions line by line! Especially the line where you deny quoting the Cancer Act when you clearly did in the above thread! Black can be white and white can be black to Alan.
You are getting very excited about this Alan just like you were so excited and triumphant at the time of the 2012 Human Regs Act. You predicted the end of homeopathy then and you had to take a huge defeat as your proposals were totally rejected. The same could happen again Alan- you never know.
“You honour me Alan by spinning one of your deconstructions line by line!”
You flatter yourself 🙂 . To be fair, the dismissal of a series of inanities one by one isn’t ‘deconstruction’. Think of it as simply swatting flies compared to meticulously dissecting each one. I’ll try to do better.
“Especially the line where you deny quoting the Cancer Act when you clearly did in the above thread! Black can be white and white can be black to Alan.”
Well, no, not really. You see, in English “quoting” is primarily defined and understood to mean “to repeat (a passage, phrase, etc.) from a book, speech, or the like, as by way of authority, illustration, etc.”
“4. Prohibition of certain advertisements.
(1)No person shall take any part in the publication of any advertisement—
(a)containing an offer to treat any person for cancer, or to prescribe any remedy therefor, or to give any advice in connection with the treatment thereof;”
All Alan did was helpfully provide a link.
By the way, your claim that homeopaths haven’t broken this law appears to be based on the mistaken belief that,
P1. “Anyone including any homeopath who breaks these laws will get prosecuted and probably sent to jail.”
P2. Homeopaths haven’t been prosecuted
C: Therefore homeopaths haven’t broken the law.
Your first premise is wrong so your argument isn’t sound. Think about it. Does anyone want to waste money on a prosecution when a simple warning will suffice? A case in point, some years ago I came across leaflets in my local optician that claimed homeopathy could treat cancer (if you’re in any doubt, I’ve published a screenshot on my blog). Complaints were made (by Alan) to all relevant bodies including Trading Standards and the ASA. I don’t know which of these contacted the culprit first but the leaflets were swiftly withdrawn, never to be seen again. You call this a “miserable failure”? We don’t. 🙂 The truth is you have no idea how many homeopaths have broken the law. And nor do I, but at least I know the answer isn’t ‘none’.
“You are getting very excited about this Alan, just like you were so excited and triumphant at the time of the 2012 Human Regs Act. You predicted the end of homeopathy then and you had to take a huge defeat as your proposals were totally rejected.”
And you’re getting very silly. No, he’s not in the least excited by your daft posts and he wasn’t remotely excited about the 2012 Regulations (not Act). Nobody was – except a bunch of homeopaths who misunderstood it.
“You predicted the end of homeopathy then and you had to take a huge defeat as your proposals were totally rejected.”
Um, really? Where did he “predict the end of homeopathy”? He’s certainly never done so in my hearing. And to whom did he make “proposals” and about what? I’m beginning to think you’ve got him confused with someone else – the big skeptic bogeyman of your imagination, perhaps?
Aw, bless, were you hoping your Gish gallop of fallacious nonsense would get a free pass?
dear all researchers i want to say only one thing , try to find out how homoepathy works because we are the practitioner we can give the results, patients evidences but can’t give you the evidence, what you want i mean to say the full research evidence. the methodology to judge homoeopathic efficacy is not appropriate it may be right for judging the action of drugs which based on physiology or science of body known till now but homoepathy acts by way we people don’t know.
And one personal suggestion from my side if you people have capability to research then research how homoepathy acts? by this only you can prove yourself. don’t waste your time to prove it doesn’t work.
thank you for pointing out yet again how clueless you really are. research never does what you think it does; IT TESTS HYPOTHESES!
how come you did not know that?
WHAT ARE YOU ARE PROFESSOR OF?
Is that you? http://srhomoeopathy.com/about-ussr-homoeopathy/know-your-doctor/
I am a homoeopathic doctor,running my own clinic with the name Sriram homoeo healing and obesity center. I trust upon constitutional mode of homoeopathic treatment because it is most reliable natural process of giving permanent cure. My keenness to homoeopathy developed and progressed year by year by seeing miraculous results on chronic troublesome cases during my study period. After a long study period and successful practice, I feel that homoeopathy is a bit different and superior mode of treatment. Now I am very confident about my mode of practicing medicine and treating chronic, tedious and incurable cases like allergic disorders, autoimmune disorders, psychiatric disorders, organic diseases and life style disorders. I am trying to give the best of my knowledge to every sufferer of disease.
It is very essential to make a difference between functional disorder and organic disorder because modern medical system (scientific system) only focuses on sick organ or observable pathology and continuously forgetting suffering of patients. This is inhumane and incorrect scientifically because every disease chronic or acute has its disease process. The observable biochemical changes, structural changes sets after a while, at abnormal functional stage we are not able to catch them through investigation like x-ray, ultrasound, blood pathology, biochemistry etc.
Human beings are nature’s creation. The medicines of natural origin are most suited, compatible and beneficial for us.
You had better take Homoeopathic medicine for treatment purpose and Allopathic medicine for management purpose, when disease at its severity and needs quick management.
For every disease we should take homoeopathy at first, If you are under a good homoeopath don’t be impatient, certainly he will help you
Exercise + Balanced diet + Constitutional Homoeopathic medicine are the best healer for all the diseases we have in nature.
My academic – at a glance
I have completed M.D.(hom)by Sri Sai Nath post graduate institute of Homoeopathy Allahabad running under Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar university Agra.
I have completed my B.H.M.S. degree from Pt. Jawaher Lal Nehru Homoeopathic Medical College Kanpur running under Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar University of Agra
I have done one year course of HEALTH PROMOTION from National Institute of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration withMinistry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India
I have also taken clinical experience of 2 years from Ursula Horsman District Hospital of Kanpur in practice of medicine, surgery, orthopedic, skin, dental, ophthalmology, pediatrics, ENT, cardiac and emergency medicine.
Do you accept ‘Homeopathy’ has two components or dimensions – the practitioner and the product?
(i) A constructive therapeutic relationship with an empathic practioner prodices type I effects due to inducing auto-hypnosis, placebo effects, response expectances and good old TLC.
Great. Keep it up.
But don’t get confused and think the pillules have any type (ii) effects themselves – effects on any specific pathology resulting from the pillule.
I do hope the pillule salesmen have not misled you into thinking their products have any value other than as a trigger for auto-hypnosis and enhancing imagination.
Have you tried giving patients placebo pillules? (lactose pills but no ‘homeopathic preparation’.)
Or even the ‘wrong’ pillule? (As by your diagnosis).
Now if that were to be shown (plausibly) you’d really be onto something.
Otherwise, keep taking the tablets as God told Moses.
Richard Rawlins – homeopaths all. I am not a Homeopath but please may I respond? There seems to be an assumption, repeated incessantly on this blog, that Homeopaths are Counsellors and ‘the pills’ don’t work: it is just a cosy little chat with an empath.
Well. like most posters, I have lots of chats with those that are happy to give me time – we often put the world to rights – you know the usual? I have been consulting homeopaths and other complementary practitioners for around 40 years, and I am sorry to say your theory of sympathetic listener having the same affect as homeopathy is erroneous – in my experience. I can’t speak for the millions who consult homeopaths, but I guess it’s ‘the pills’ that count or they would seek counselling.
Prescribing homeopathy is not easy, even for the experienced Homeopath. Sometimes, the remedy doesn’t work: now I am having difficulty equating that fact with your assertion (well to be fair most posters’ assertions) that the engagement between practitioner and client is key to efficacy, it really is not. Currently, I am having a little break from my homeopath – his suggestion ( I know anathema that a CAM practitioner has not got the ££’s signs uppermost – according to Skeptics’ law but not my experience). We have been addressing a particular symptom over maybe 5 consultations, spaced quite far apart. The Homeopath’s protocol and demeanour was about the same at each consultation: according to you I should now be without this particular symptom, because I have been listened to. At other consultations ‘the pills’ have worked for a different health issue – same Homeopath, same protocol. I am a Counsellor : please be assured Homeopathy is a totally different discipline.
I do get the constant accusations of regression to mean, placebos (some excellent books out there) but it is not working according to those rules. I like my homeopath – he has integrity and experience, but has not identified the correct remedy at this time. It seems however much my thought process wants to be involved, it makes not an iota of difference to efficacy: if only it was that easy.
My first experience of homeopathy when I was very young was a revelation. I saw a GP/Homeopath at the suggestion of a medical professional who was at a loss in how to help me. I had no idea what homeopathy was then, there was no cosy little chat; in fact, I felt a little uncomfortable as I kind of conversed with myself that it was insane. But the end justified the means – the problem cleared – and it was physical, so I could see, and I was amazed, I have continued to be amazed by its efficacy for myself, family and friends over many years. However, sometimes the prescription process isn’t that easy and can be time consuming: and no amount of empathy effects a cure: only the correct remedy.
I am sure you will be seeking to argue my points. Meanwhile I and many millions follow the path of wellness : and we are grateful to,have Homeopaths, Acupuncturists, Chiropractors etc etc in our lives. Caveat for that last statement: mainstream medicine is amazing in this country. Just this past year I have been Impressed with the NHS. I am a taxpayer, this is a democracy : we should have choices in our healthcare.
do I understand you right?
if someone wants on the NHS interferon for a cold, or bone marrow transplant for cervical cancer, or crystal healing for warts, I [a UK tax payer] should pay for it. and not only that, I should tolerate that sensible and effective treatments are withhold because the money has been spent on bogus ones???
No you don’t Professor Ernst. Let me clarify : the post was ostensibly a response about homeopathy. I would never advocate bogus treatments take precedence over life saving treatments. This is a very muddled issue isn’t it? I have not seen crystal therapy offered on the NHS. My last (caveat) statement was to highlight that those who use complementary therapies also appreciate our NHS ( it is often said by your supporters that good health is compromised by only using CAM and ignoring mainstream medicine, and I disagree with that view). I have family members and close friends who have received lifesaving benefits of the NHS in the past few months. I might even have flagged in previous posts my admiration for our excellent medical professionals: and I trust them to refuse Interferon for a cold if asked by an uninformed patient.
My point, and apologies for the lack of clarity, was to offer that, as a taxpayer, I am happy for CAM to be offered on the NHS if appropriate : I think we can all be assured that Medical doctors will suggest the optimum treatment for their patients, that is their oath. Many, like me, pay privately for our complementary therapies.
“…appropriate…” WHO DECIDES?
“I think we can all be assured that Medical doctors will suggest the optimum treatment for their patients…” YOU ARE TOO OPTIMISTIC ABOUT MY PROFESSION, I FEAR.
There is nothing remotely alternative abut complementary therapies, and there is no remotely plausible reason why quacks and charlatans should be allowed to claim them as their own. I have received complementary therapies from a doctor, who gave me a proper reality-based assessment of their effect.
The NHS absolutely should fund complementary therapies that can be shown to work, and should provide these in clinics run by qualified health professionals. No NHS practice should ever send a patient to a homeopath, chiropractor, acupuncturist or any other breed of make-believe medic.
A, You seem to have misinterpreted points made by critics.
Some people benefit from a consultation with someone who gives them time, a sympathetic ear and a lot of interest and homeopaths can fulfil this role. This does NOT mean that having cosy chats or counselling sessions with anyone who gives you the time of day is going to result in the alleviation of all or most medical conditions and nobody is suggesting that.
“I guess it’s ‘the pills’ that count or they would seek counselling.”
Only the first part of your guess is correct and not for the reason you think. It is belief in “the pills” that counts. People often seek consultation with healthcare practitioners in the expectation that a medical intervention of some kind is needed. It is an expectation that may be correct but, with some conditions, it is an expectation that can be satisfied by a placebo and that is what homeopathy is. More commonly, conditions clear up of their own accord anyway – as happened to you in your early experience. People who have come away from their consultation feeling more positive and with a container of what they believe to be a genuine remedy, understandably attribute their recovery to the product. Even people who self-prescribe and buy a homeopathic product OTC, without any of the care or difficulty supposedly involved in prescription, are likely to attribute any recovery to the homeopathy because they wrongly believe that correlation=causation.
That is why the best quality evidence comes from trials that strive to eliminate bias and the evidence from those trials is overwhelmingly that homeopathic products do not have any effect on any known condition. This is not an assumption, it is a fact and it is unsurprising, given that homeopathic products typically contain no active ingredients. Ask a homeopathy manufacturer how to tell their 30c “remedies” apart. The answer is by the label on the bottle – analysis in a laboratory reveals them to be just sugar pills.
That your homeopath has “not identified the correct remedy at this time” is no surprise to any of us who are aware of the above. What happens now? Most likely one of the following and this holds true regardless of any homeopathy treatment: your condition will clear up of its own accord; your condition will remain the same indefinitely; your condition will get worse. I hope it’s not the latter and I wish you a speedy, spontaneous recovery.
Maria – I don’t think I misinterpreted points made by critics: critics on this blog churn out the same critiques: it’s standard to say ‘it’s not the pills but the consultation, tlc etc’. If that is the case, why didn’t that work in ‘my early experience’ as you put it? I had a few consultations with ‘proper’ doctors ( because in my youth that’s all I knew). One would have thought my expectation would have created a cure. They didn’t. The cogency of my point is ( although I do realise nobody wants to hear) that it was the non expectation with the Homeopath/GP and his pills that effected the cure, despite the TLC/beside manner or whatever you call it being missing. There was no expectation but I can assure you that just after I took the pills, the cure happened. How strange is that?
The above is a rhetorical question otherwise we are going to continue the ping pong between us with you obviously having the answers to 40 plus years of my experiences, and that can’t be the way forwsrd in any sensible way, because I shall respond with repeating my experiences – too boring for an erudite blog like this.
Regression to the mean will be flagged once again – all skeptics love this expression. I am fascinated by the timing : regression to the mean happened just after I took the homeopathic remedy. May be regression to the mean and homeopathic pillules have formed a little contract! I think it was with Frank Odds I had lengthy discourse about babies crying : he told me: of course babies naturally stop when they are ready, nothing to do with the remedy. However, I thought better of telling the babies’ mummy ‘ darling, don’t worry about the remedy, they will stop anyway’ I can imagine the response. But that’s the problem isn’t it? All skeptics know exactly what is going on in CAM users’ lives: it is quite a skill and may be could be bottled for posterity.
Of course I am being facetious – it is Friday so maybe I am a little tired as it does not sit comfortably with me to be impolite unlike most of Prof Ernst’s supporters; but really the constant ‘ I am a critic of CAM so I must be correct’ gets a little tedious towards the end of the week…..
Thank you Maria for your good wishes for this little medical issue, however, I know exactly the prognosis – it will stay about the same, and although the remedy to address it didn’t work, it did work for something else – it’s amazing what the holistic approach can achieve……….Look I have read nothing on this blog that remotely changes my mind about CAM that I use – my experiences you cannot know, as I know not yours. You like to propound about evidence, but evidence isn’t always the answer: there are too many questions around trials, too many ‘experts’ and often no definitive conclusions.
Off topic, but think ok as one of the skeptics mentioned a judge and tarot cards and evidence. I sat through a murder case ( don’t ask) and the judge obviously had decided a guilty verdict early on – his demeanour, or maybe tarot cards, made it obvious. The jury were bored if not half asleep, the police presence was oppressive and the barristers were in competition to deliver the best acting skills. There was no forensic evidence and very little circumstantial evidence, and the defendant was found guilty; lack of evidence created a severe consequence. Before the onslaught ensues, nay I clarify I have no issues around justice or the judicial system: just highlighting the possible obfuscation around evidence.
So there we are Maria – there lies the problem : your organisation and others may succeed in blacklisting complementary therapies in some small way, but there are many millions of us that continue to use that which is optimum for our health, and this blog and its critics and your skeptics’ organisations are unsuccessful in changing our minds. Wishing you well, also.
For Mr A (whose ‘cure’ does indeed fall into the catergory of ‘miracle’) and for the record:
I am not a ‘supporter of Edzard Ernst’ in the sense I am an acolyte.
I support what he (and everyone else) is doing to apply reason, critical thinking, a dose of scepticism and application of scientific methods to problems of health care.
Please do not confuse the messenger with the message – that way lies the egregious fallacy of ‘ad hominem’.
That’s also one of the criticisms Richard Dawkins received from religionists when he published “The God Delusion”. Quack lovers seem to forget that their ‘arguments’ have been analysed and criticised to death. If their arguments remain the same, why would the criticisms have to change?
Indeed: a given bogus argument always attracts the same refutation. It makes you wonder why homeopathy shills bother bringing the same refuted arguments every time, really.
We do know how homeopathy “works”, it’s homeopaths who don’t. Expectation effects, observer bias, regression to the mean, natural course of disease. These well documented and testable phenomena explain all the observed facts, including the patient testimonials, with no need to engage in conjecture.
Sublimely succinct sensible statement.
While it is certainly interesting to know how something works, you should concentrate on showing that it actually works in the first place, but homœopaths don’t seem to be interested in trials that could demonstrate this. Why is that?
Why do you want us to do your work? You make the claim, you do the work, as it is done for everything.
We don’t. Even if we wanted to, which we do not, it would be unnecessary. You are already doing that by refusing to provide evidence that it does work.
that’s the thing which i want to clear you that doctors should only know how to implement a medicine to a sick person either he is from allopathy or homoeopathy. no doubt homoeopathic science is firstly based on a hypothesis of hahnemann and with continuous experiment it was found that drug gave reults in potentised form but here again i am going to repeat again that methodolgy which you people opt to judge a drug is not appropriate for homoeopathy. a general doctor can give you the evidence of cure only.
you people are working like an agent of allopathy and making a fuss only.
the 1st controlled trial of homeopathy took place in 1935 … and was NEGATIVE!
That’s actually a typo, I suspect. It is March 1835.
I am looking at it right now. “Die homöopathischen Kochsalzversuche zu Nürnberg.” [The homœopathic table salt trials in Nuremberg]. I don’t know if there is an English translation. If not, I might very well decide to do it myself. It is an important document, in my opinion.
sorry – yes, of course, a typo.
Edzard, with respect, you err. The first trial was conducted 1835 (the nuremberg salt test) and was negative.
correct, I did a typo
No, you are wrong. Hahnemannian dogma is conjecture, not hypothesis, and absolutely not science. A hypothesis is testable and tested: Hahnemann never tested his doctrine of similars to see if it is true (had he done so, he would have found that it is not, which is why science does not use it). Science consists of tests designed to try to falsify hypothesis. No homeopath has ever honestly tried to prove their beliefs wrong, or accepted a disconfirming result. No “remedy” has ever been discarded from the repertories or the Organon. Homeopaths appear to operate on the belief that theirs is the sole field of human endeavour which is immune from error.
You may want to check out this website. It explains really nicely how homœopathy works:
A passionate defence of Alan Maria. You must be related. Worried about the possible failure of his 6 year ASA project are we? Give him a hug.
Aw, you’re running away without answering the question!
No surprise there. I already knew your claim that he ‘predicted the end of homeopathy’ and ‘made proposals that were rejected’ were fabrications as was your claim that homeopaths don’t break the law. That’s OK – I never expected you to man up and admit you’re wrong.
No, not in least worried about failure with the ASA given how successful it’s been so far. But I’ll give him a hug anyway. 🙂
LOL! After six years there are robust guidelines in place for the claims quacks can make, some websites have already been shut down, and there have even been prosecutions. We can stand any amount of that kind of failure!
“Conventional medicine” is one of those weasel phrases. What you mean is: medicine. If medicine can’t cure someone then there are many reasons why you would not go for the refuted nonsense that medicine replaced. All you need to do is replace ayurveda with bloodletting and purging in your rhetorical question and the answer becomes absolutely clear. Ayurveda is less dangerous than bloodletting and purging, but it is still an archaic practice whose valid elements have already been incorporated into medicine. If medicine doesn’t work then ayurveda won’t either. Making the patient happy by scamming them is never a good idea.
Nothing is indeed superior to homeopathy, as nothing has the same effect as homeopathy without the cost. Ayurveda normally includes use of pharmacologically active substances (the theories of ayurveda and homeopathy are actually contradictory) so while homeopaths give the patient none of a substance that has nothing to do with the condition, avurvedists give them some of a substance that may or may not have anything to do with it.
Maria tells me to ‘Man up’! I think a bit of gender awareness training is in order for you Maria.
As both you and Alan have huge issues with anyone who has a belief in homeopathy then I suggest diversity training for you both as well would help, along with awareness training for the Human Rights Act Article 9.
Alan has been campaigning non stop with the ASA regarding homeopaths since 2011 with little success. He failed to prevent the SoH PSA accreditation despite the huge file he sent them . He had numerous communications with the MHRA (available for FOI)in his failed attempts to influence the 2012 Human Regs Act.
I therefore suggest that whoever(I think we know who) is funding Alan should place him on capability.
Maybe you should be on the naughty step too Maria.
So please do give Alan a big hug and your cats too and please recognise your responsibilities.
“…huge issues with anyone who has a belief in homeopathy …”
have you considered the possibility that the ISSUE is rather with bogus claims, lies, misleading consumers, endangering public health, etc. etc.?
So much wrong in that but you can’t even get the name of the Regulations correct despite already having been given a clue about it, so what hope is there?
But regardless of whether you believe we had anything to do with it or not, do you think homeopaths should abide by the rules, laws and regulations that are in place to protect the public?
An Alan ROFL is even better than an Alan LOL.
Straw man argument for Alan to focus on my abbreviation of the rather wordy ‘MHRA human medicine regulations 2012’ to ‘2012 Human Regs Act’ but hey he deflected it all pretty well.
Everyone Alan has to abide by the laws of the land. The CAP code isn’t law though as much as you try to think it is and Trading standards know this hence your failure over 6 years.
Drs are the group best placed on the front line to see what is truly going on in the world of health. If anything you said about homeopaths was remotely true then Drs would have long ago been acting in their 100s and 1000s supporting you rather than just the one or two. This is because Drs experience on a day to day basis very few issues with homeopaths. Please don’t tell me they are ‘too busy’ as I hardly think this would stop them from acting if it clearly was in the best public interest to do so.
Still wrong, so I have to wonder if you have any clue at all.
Phew! Glad you agree.
And there goes your straw man yet again.
And your logical fallacy this time is: appeal to personal incredulity.
this might be of interest.
The reason why most physicians and for that matter most people avoid engaging in dialog about or with homeopaths is much simpler.
Almost generally, doctors mistakenly consider homeopathy harmless because its remedies are nothing more than pure shaken water sprinkled on sugar pills. Therefore they do not consider it worth their time, energy to get into inane arguments with irritatingly obsessive and irrational (and sometimes belligerent) religious zealots.
Bristol And London Are Now The Only Two Places You Can Get Homeopathy On The NHS
Maybe my 29-page consultation submission had some effect this time…
Alan- What has the Wirral CCG got to do with this thread which is about homeopaths not NHS homeopathy? You call straw man and then you break the camel’s back with an example of your ultimate straw man quote totally unrelated to the thread!
But do you believe homeopaths should abide by the CAP Code?
@Alan Henness on Tuesday 04 October 2016 at 15:13
Great job. Now watch improvement in the data generated below:
“European data, mostly from European Union Member States, consistently show that medical errors and health-care related adverse events occur in 8% to 12% of hospitalizations. For example, the United Kingdom Department of Health, in its 2000 report An organisation with a memory, estimated about 850 000 adverse events a year (10% of hospital admissions). Spain (in its 2005 national study of adverse events) and France and Denmark have published incidence studies with similar results.
Infections associated with health care affect an estimated 1 in 20 hospital patients on average every year (estimated at 4.1 million patients) with the four most common types being: urinary tract infections (27%), lower respiratory tract infections (24%), surgical site infections (17%) and bloodstream infections (10.5%). Multiresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is isolated in about 5% of all infections associated with health care. The United Kingdom National Audit Office estimates the cost of such infections at £1 billion per year.
While 23% of European Union citizens claim to have been directly affected by medical error, 18% claim to have experienced a serious medical error in a hospital and 11% to have been prescribed wrong medication. Evidence on medical errors shows that 50% to 70.2% of such harm can be prevented through comprehensive systematic approaches to patient safety.
Statistics show that strategies to reduce the rate of adverse events in the European Union alone would lead to the prevention of more than 750 000 harm-inflicting medical errors per year, leading in turn to over 3.2 million fewer days of hospitalization, 260 000 fewer incidents of permanent disability, and 95 000 fewer deaths per year.”
In USA deaths due to medical errors increased over 200% in 15 years. With UK out of Europe and homeopathy out of NHS, money starved people will move to the allopathic system. There is no doubt, in 15 years medical errors would be the largest killer in the UK.
Great job. You do your country proud.
Iqbal, let me explain something to you: You can rant, whine and cant about medical errors as much as you want. As long as you do not present data on homeopathy working we assume homeopathy having no beneficial effect whatsoever (vz. Belladonna and scarlet fever) that means that the death record of homeopathy is abysmal. Alone in breast cancer 50% of patients would die unecessarily if they would chose homoepathy over state of the art treatemt. We are not talking here about a few tenthousands. We are talking about millions in the US alone. So, for God’s sake, quit canting. Homeopathy kills by non-treatment. Period.
Once again it is necessary to point out the fallacies in your reasoning. For example:
So, how many of those people would be absolutely fine if they had stayed home? Hospitals tend to cater to sick people. Attributing all ill-effects to medical treatment without allowing for proven benefits is a completely pointless exercise.
@ASNA: Which other trades besides your own do you think should be exempt from regulations and the requirement to advertise honestly?
Alan and Guy should visit the ASA rulings page and see the extent of non compliance to the CAP code from just about every sector. Search for any well known company. No sector seems to treat the CAP code as law. I am not sure than even Alan and his massive dossiers could facilitate a change from code to law.
I read the ASA adjudications every week. I also follow the endless bitching by loan sharks, gambling companies and used car salesmen about the unfairness of the ASA. Oh, wait, no: they are more ethical than homeopaths and don’t bitch about enforcement. How does it feel to be less honest than Wonga?
Most advertisers who have been adjudicated, change the advert. A few don’t and are put on the “naughty step“. This has only started since the remit was extended to cover online advertising, because previously noncompliant advertisers were blacklisted by publishers. ASA can also withdraw mailing discounts for direct mail companies.
Most quacks did not advertise in print, at least not before WDDTY went glossy. WDDTY actually offers an interesting study, because you can review every advert every issue. Most of the misleading adverts have gone: most quacks do not make claims in WDDTY any more.
Still trying to erect your straw man?
What exactly are the “responsibilities” you want me to recognise, grumpy one?
You’re trolling is getting boring but feel free to man up and explain why anything I write isn’t gender aware enough and I’ll explain why you’re wrong.
Our issues, as I’m sure you know deep in your bitter heart, are with those who promote homeopathy or any other cult nonsense to people with health complaints. However, I appreciate your reference to the Human Rights Act Article 9 and your implicit admission that homeopathy is akin to a religion and that people should be free to believe in whatever nonsense they like. I’ve never said any different, actually. Where I would part company with you is that I don’t think holding a faith-based position is sufficient to lie to the public in pursuit of profit. Talking of which…thanks to intervention by the ASA, hundreds of homeopaths have changed or removed their websites altogether. I’ve no idea why you would pretend to be in denial about this. Most homeopaths aren’t.
“He failed to prevent the SoH PSA accreditation despite the huge file he sent them. He had numerous communications with the MHRA (available for FOI)in his failed attempts to influence the 2012 Human Regs Act.”
Déjà vu. We’ve been here before, Grumpycat, or whatever you’re calling yourself today – I can’t believe you’re still flogging that dead horse. And Alan did not have “numerous communications with the MHRA (available for FOI)in his failed attempts to influence the 2012 Human Regs Act.” This is a blatant fabrication on your part and there is no evidence to support it through FOI or anywhere else. As for your blether about the PSA, the responses I gave you back then still hold true.
Now point to where Alan predicted the end of homeopathy. And stop being so creepy.
What! You are saying that Alan has never made a FOI request to the MHRA? An FOI request to the MHRA is a communication.
Alan’s dramatic NC headlines don’t predict the end of homeopathy?
Yes Maria. If you say so.
You’re all over the place. Please try to focus.
No, I’m obviously not saying he hasn’t made an FOI request to the MHRA. I’m saying Alan did not have “numerous communications with the MHRA (available for FOI)in his failed attempts to influence the 2012 Human Regs Act”, which is what you claimed. Don’t change the goalposts and expect me not to notice. And, no, there is not a single NC headline predicting the end of homeopathy, which is why you can’t point to one.
Now, for the second time, what are those “responsibilities” you want me to recognise?
If we were running a sweepstake on the identity of the ASA troll, I would be torn between Chris Wilkinson and the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Thanks to God, that we have Ernst who passionately 24/7, every single day, devotes his life to Homoeopathy and to Science. No Sunday, no rest, no holidays, no peaceful weekends. Every day a new blog, few twitters, no rest. Thank you.
Back to Mr A who posted at 17:35 on 4th October.
I do not suggest ‘a cosy chat’ is equivalent to ‘counselling’.
Counselling needs a different skill set, which possibly might suit those homeopaths who move on from prescribing valuless pillules and remedies.
I am trying to help those homeopaths who want to move on but are stuck with the ‘sunk cost fallacy’ – having spent so much time, trouble and money ‘studying’ homeopathy.
I note that A’s homeopath has yet to find the ‘right remedy’.
I ask A to let us know how he comes to the conclusion that for his ailments homeopathic pillules have made a difference. Is he sure his homeopath was not giving him placebo lactose pillules? (They would have been cheaper surely).
I simply find it more comfortable, and easier, to challenge homeopaths about the value of their pillules rather that their practice. That’s too close to ‘ad hominem’ for me.
And its NHS expenditure on worthless pillules that sticks in the throat.
So too many orthodox pharmaceuticals, but this thread is about homeopathic remedies, so no ‘tu quoque’.
@Richard: This is a point often missed. We all know that a homeopathic “consultation” is just talk therapy, which may or may not have some benefit, but in their keenness to claim this as a benefit the homeopathists forget that they have no training in this area. If it works – and the jury is out, I think – then it is safest to deliver it in the context of properly trained counsellors, not delusional quacks.
There is no situation in which a homeopath would be a better choice than a reality-based practitioner, even if they are doing exactly the same thing.
I am trying to be polite, and gentle.
Homeopaths who wish to man up would need training as counsellors, but their vocation to help the suffering should hold them in good stead.
I am quite bemused as to why they still cling to their faith in sugar pills, come what may.
Is this what is meant by delusion?
Or do they understand the situation, and simply wish to quack and defraud?
Orthodox practitioners are expected to ‘move on’ when the evidence dictates, and use whatever seems ‘best’.
And acknowledge that what is ‘best’ now may well change.
Well, in respect of:
I suspect that a lot of lay homeopaths cannot do this because they are none too bright. They can make a living just fine by making shit up, but studying actual reality-based knowledge where there are answers that are wrong? That is harder.
There’s also the issue of sunk cost and emotional investment. Britt Hermes is remarkable for having been able to admit she wasted her time and money.
That said, I think the tiny cadre of medical homeopaths are a more serious problem. It’s like a court employing a judge who sometimes uses tarot cards instead of the rules of evidence. The GMC should start the process of preventing reality-based doctors from taking up nonsense.
@Richard Rawlins on Wednesday 05 October 2016 at 15:25
“Is this what is meant by delusion?…..Orthodox practitioners are expected to ‘move on’ when the evidence dictates, and use whatever seems ‘best’….And acknowledge that what is ‘best’ now may well change.”
This statements is thrown around basically to say “homeopaths are stuck in 200 year old idea.”
What is the fact?
The 2003 WHO report stated that” No studies showed any clear benefit for the use of paracetamol in therapeutic doses in febrile children with viral or bacterial infections or with malaria. Some studies suggested that fever may have a beneficial role in infection, although no definitive prospective studies in children have been done to prove this. The use of paracetamol in therapeutic doses generally is safe, although hepatotoxicity has occurred with recommended dosages in children. In developing countries where malnutrition is common, data on the safety of paracetamol are lacking. The cost of paracetamol for poor families is substantial. No evidence shows that it is beneficial to treat febrile children with paracetamol.”
Have doctors stopped administering paracetamol to febrile children? Children are still dying. http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f403
How many died since 1950 when paracetamol, a drug with no curative benefit was introduced?
Arthroscopic surgery for de-generative knee:
Many studies showed no benefit. Some actually showed harm. Are these stopped?
By pass surgery: this came to me from a cardiac specialist:
“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”
Have Doctors stopped by pass surgeries?
I am sure this is only a small list. There will be numerous such instances. HRT, spine fusion, bone marrow transplant etc. rtc,etc.
And what do you do for the patients who were unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? Shrug off collateral damage as part of the learning process?
This what is meant by delusion.
Iqbal, Belladonna has been shown to be ineffective in scarlet fever. Have homoeopaths abandoned that ? No. So quit your hypocritical and patheitc cant.
For the audience:
Iqbal keeps cherry picking and taking out of context, texts that he is not able to understand himself. He can hardly spell the terms.
He is desperately thrashing about in an inept attempt to divert the attention from the real question, which is the safety and efficacy of homeopathy. The examples he is trying to muster into a general assault on medicine may look ominous to those not able to put them into context. This kind of clippings from real science need to be seen in context and interpreted with a knowledge about the whole picture.
Iqbal asks at the end:
The answer to this question is: Not altogether. But constant scientific scrutiny of results and safety issues has led forward so today, coronary bypass is much more seldom necessary and the overall results and safety for patients have improved enormously (That is more than can be said for homeopathy).
Iqbal’s “old news” copy-pasting exercise contains select morsels of information giving only small glimpses into the process of medical progress.
Where is the progress in homeopathy?
The provings of a remedy made from the common housefly perhaps?
Or this proving of a remedy made from common plastic (yes, that’s plastic as in a drinking cup or insulation material) by one of the more “eminent” names in homeopathy?
They don’t come any sillier.
The best critics of homeopathy are the homeopaths themselves, they are simply to stupid to realise it themselves.
Yes, Iqbal is right, much of ‘medicine’ leaves a lot to be desired.
But so what? ‘Tu quoque’ is a logical fallacy.
100% of ‘homeopathy’ and homeopathic remedies leave a lot to be desired.
Come on Iqbal, face up to it (the truth about homeopathy), and move on, for your sake, please.
Or accept you are involved in a faith which has no place in scientific diescourse.
Valuable though it may be to those of faith.
@Richard Rawlins on Saturday 08 October 2016 at 09:43
” much of ‘medicine’ leaves a lot to be desired.”
What do you do about the patients who are at the wrong place at the wrong time and bear the brunt of “lot to be desired.”
” ‘Tu quoque’ is a logical fallacy.” How does it apply to homeopathy?
“100% of ‘homeopathy’ and homeopathic remedies leave a lot to be desired.”
Why do you say so? What do you know about homeopathic medicines? Can you see the difference between Aconite and Belladona. I use these as first remedy on my children whenever they have fever.
And before you start to describe chemical pharmacology, please confirm that human body only responds to chemicals as medicines, and in measured quantities. And recheck the dose section of the homeopathic materia medica, referred above.
“… (the truth about homeopathy), and move on, for your sake, please. Or accept you are involved in a faith which has no place in scientific discourse.”
I believe Ernst has been quite successful in brain washing you. Homeopathy is not faith.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1297497/ Doctors used Arsnic 30 for treating arsenic poisoning.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085232/ Traumeel: before you start writing about potency, compare the potency in the mixture to the dose recommended for the remedy in the materia medica.
And an interesting transcript: “… aware that ideology plays a part in these meta-analyses. For example, Ernst makes conclusions based on assumed data when the true data are at hand . Ernst invalidates a study by Jonas et al. that shows an odds ratio of 2.19 (1.55–3.11) in favor of homeopathy for rheumatic conditions, using the notion that there are not sufficient data for the treatment of any specific condition . However, his review deals with the overall efficiency of homeopathy and not with specific conditions. Ernst still adds this statistically significant result in favor of homeopathy over placebo to his list of arguments of why homeopathy does not work. Such argumentation must be reviewed carefully before being accepted by the reader.”
In spite of repeated questions Ernst has refused to answer to the reason for manipulating data he is accused of.
“Or accept you are involved in a faith which has no place in scientific diescourse. Valuable though it may be to those of faith.”
A scientific answer is expected. No faiths or beliefs.
you don’t have to insist on making yourself ridiculous – we believe you by now.
Iqbal, presenting bad studies on arsenic posioning does not help your cause, it only demonstrates that you are absolutely ignorant. First, the statistics in this study is crap. Second, as apparent in figure 1 there are confounding factors. It is amazing which sort of crappy science can be done in India.
The fact is that homeopaths are stuck in 200 year old idea. Did Hahnemann support bloodletting and purging because it had been i use for two thousand years? About the only thing he got right was to question orthodoxy.
There’s a famous quote by Carl Sagan which is relevant here:
“In science it often happens that scientists say, ‘You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,’ and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.”
Homeopathy, of course, is essentially a religion. It has no method of falsification, it is based on doctrines handed down by the initiates, and it believes itself infallible (no remedy has ever been removed from the repertories after being found to be wrong).
The medical examples you give, *are* changing. Washout surgery is in steep decline because it’s now known it doesn’t work. There’s wide publicity about the ineffectiveness and risk of paracetamol. Medicine is not perfect, but it at least tries to be reality-based.
And again, the telling thing is looking for the parallel examples in homeopathy. There are none. Homeopaths disagree on some pretty fundamental things, but there is no mechanism for objectively solving these disputes so they merely schism, like any other religion suffering doctrinal differences.
It is my understanding that the standard dilution used by homeopaths would result in one molecule of the diluted substance being present in a sphere of water equal in diameter to the orbit of the Earth around the sun. Obviously water, a liquid, is not the sort of substance to “remember” the shape of anything dissolved in it, but if it did then we would have to worry about being affected by past substances dissolved in it such as dinosaur urine.
@Edzard on Saturday 08 October 2016 at 12:01
“you don’t have to insist on making yourself ridiculous – we believe you by now.”
I am going to make sure, every blog that refers you as an expert on complementary medicine: Science based medicine, Quackometer, Skeptics, Respectful insolence etc. get a copy of this paper along with details of your education and training in homeopathy that you have been projecting in the past.
Many would like to see these NEW FACTS.
oh, yes please!
I would like to ‘train in homeopathy’, but in UK at any rate I cannot identify what such training involves, until I commit, and pay.
The Homeopathic College (which may not be typical) advises, “We believe in the magic of homeopathy” and starts its courses considering the chakras and the ‘soul of remedies’.
“Understanding chronic disease allows you, the prescriber to assist your patients in clearing up hidden psychological negative influences. Once miasms are understood, homoepathy makes sense. We’ve honed our ability to explain this philosophy simply.”
No minimum entry requirement stated.
So it is quite clear we are dealing with a faith (in a theory which has been disproven and in practice for which there is no plausible evidence of benefit).
Some real scientists have faith in all sorts of things for which there is no evidence, including organised religions. But to suggest that no one (Edzard especially) can or should comment on a faith and its central tenets on the grounds he has not been trained (brainwashed?) into believing them, is arrogance of a most unacceptable nature.
So, those who bleat “you cannot comment on homeopathy as you haven’t been trained in homeopathy” are not only deluded, but misguided and sad.
Well, that’s what I believe! I might be wrong. I’m very humble.
But we’re not going to get anywhere trying to apply reason to an irrational faith.
This thread is about homeopaths being told not to make false claims.
The fact that homeopathy amuses some patients and provides some folks with a living (treating patients or ‘training’ students) is of interest, but is not the subject of this particular thread.
As an aside, and a bit ad hominem (but anyone contemplating studying with The Homeopathic College needs to give fully informed consent to be exposed to their ‘education’) – I reproduce below, vertabim, pieces from their web site on ‘Meet the Team’.
“Our teaching faculty hold the same intention in mind: To provide you with a comprehensive, easy-to-understand education studying homeopathic principals in a heart-felt, safe and nurturing enironment. Simply, we aim to help you become great homeopaths who want to move homeopathy forward and embrace new prescribing strategies suited for todays times.
Robert has held the role of Vice Principle since 2008 and has much practice in facilitating homeopathic training. He has worked as course developer at the Lakeland College, Clinical Supervisor at the North West College of Homoeopathy in Manchester and as Principle at CPH in Birmingham.”
Iqbal, you are going to make sure that everybody who refers to Prof. Ernst as an expert will receive your rant ? Maybe we should forward to them your post where you state that a treatment has a null hypothesis ? I am sure your e-mails will end up unopened in the trash bin. Iqbal, you do not have the slightest idea how science works – as many homeopaths I have met.
That means you are not in the position to assess Prof. Ernsts qualification since you lack the very knowledge to do so.
don’t be so harsh with him; I do like his assessments very much: IF HE INSISTS I AM A CROOK, I MUST REALLY BE INCREDIBILY HONEST [something to do with ‘like cures like’ I suspect]. His compliments make me blush [almost].
@Björn Geir on Friday 07 October 2016 at 10:38
“For the audience: … cherry picking and taking out of context, texts that he is not able to understand himself.”
Please start explaining for the audience “how does SCIENCE based medicine” kills and maims over 43,000,000 (43 million) humans EVERY YEAR. How many cherries would it total up? And this is going on for many years.
“… the real question, which is the safety and efficacy of homeopathy.”
How about putting up 10% of 43 million cases here. (10% of allopathic kills/year).
“…… into a general assault on medicine may look ominous to those not able to put them into context. This kind of clippings from real science need to be seen in context and interpreted with a knowledge about the whole picture.”
You sound if I wrote these figures or picked them out of air. The data is generated by a study done by Harvard Medical School.(I hope you are aware of this institution)
“… to this question is: Not altogether. But constant scientific scrutiny of results and safety issues has led forward so today, coronary bypass is much more seldom necessary and the overall results and safety for patients have improved enormously.
So what was done for the patients n the past, who suffered? On what scientific basis was this started? What was the expected outcome? Do you have some audit data that shows OUTCOME as safe with long term improvement? I would be very keen to see such study.
” (That is more than can be said for homeopathy).”
This is a pure unadulterated rhetoric coming from a selectively blind individual. Dr. Hahn (remember him?) calls such people ideologically biased. Very polite way of saying: FRAUDS.
“…. “old news” copy-pasting exercise contains select morsels of information giving only small glimpses into the process of medical progress.”
What is new? Friday 7 October 2016 :
“People are getting healthier, living longer – and spending more time with often debilitating illness and disability. The gains in medical and health are masking an increasing amount of illness, disability and death from non-communicable diseases, according to a major new study.”
“But overall life expectancy has increased by 10.1 years over the same period. That suggests that people are now having longer lives, and much more of those lives spent living with ill health.”
Just the right scenario developed by the medical industry for long term profitable business.
“Where is the progress in homeopathy?”
Over 2000 remedies developed over many years. All without adverse effects. Combination remedies making doctor’s prescription easier. Millions of patients paying for homeopathic treatment from their own pocket even though regular insurance is available. Many of these come on homeopathy bashing blogs to confirm their experience without being paid for it while the experts writing these blogs tell them that their experience is not real.
“The provings of a remedy made from the common housefly perhaps? Or this proving of a remedy made from common plastic. They don’t come any sillier.”
Silly people are found in all disciplines. What do you think of your self, when you deride Dr. Hahn (on behalf of Ernst) for his beliefs based upon your belief and not his analysis. A silly man in the scientific domain?
“The best critics of homeopathy are the homeopaths themselves, they are simply to stupid to realise it themselves.”
I am impressed with this circular argument. It will be more apt if you replace “homeopathy/homeopaths” with “Björn Geir.”
Iqbal’s assessment of the killing power of us doctors keeps incresing. Now its 43 million 😀
The rantings that follow in his latest opus are just as incoherent and imbecile as most of his prose. But my eyes hooked on the words:
Of course, where there is no effect there cannot be any adverse effects.
I gather he is referring to the list on Helio’s webshop? Where you can buy everything from the memory of cowdung to the memory of light of venus and the memory of a cellphone transmission. Look up Helios homeopathic, I don’t have the time to find and paste the link, the plane is about to land and the stewardess is eyeing my computer sternly.
I recommend a small journey through the lists of remedies on Helios’ repository of ridiculous remedies. It is fun.
You can make a game with your kids to find the most ridiculous remedy, or to find stuff that isn’t listed.
Then go and Google some “provings”, like that of a common housefly remedy (the memory of the housefly 🙂 ). They are long and garbled reading but they give an insight into the delusional, disordered and oftentimes unsound mindset of homeopaths.
Homeopaths are masters at demonstrating their own absurdity.
@Björn Geir on Sunday 09 October 2016 at 20:06
“….. assessment of the killing power of us doctors keeps incresing. Now its 43 million ?”
My assessment? No way. My assessment is that the REAL figures for death/adverse effects are many times larger to 43 million. But I would like to go along with a figure generated by Harvard Medical School.
What are your figures and source for those figures? What is YOUR contribution to these numbers?
Looking at WHO figures, Closer home:
“While 23% of European Union citizens claim to have been directly affected by medical error, 18% claim to have experienced a serious medical error in a hospital and 11% to have been prescribed wrong medication. Evidence on medical errors shows that 50% to 70.2% of such harm can be prevented through comprehensive systematic approaches to patient safety.”
Assuming an average family size of 4 persons, every family in Europe has been directly affected by medical error. Every second house has a person who has experienced “serious medical error” and one in 3 homes has been prescribed wrong medication. Great scientific medicine.
Ernst has been very successful in managing to take the horses to the lake, the water from the lake has queered the pitch. It is time for the likes of Ernst to ask for a fee raise: getting the horses to the lake will become harder with such first hand personal experiences.
“Of course, where there is no effect there cannot be any adverse effects.”
This is a very STUPID, IRRATIONAL chemical logic. How long have you been drinking water, eating rice, or eating fruits… Do these have an effect on you, does it necessarily have to be adverse effect? Your comparison of homeopathic medicines with crude chemical drugs of allopathic system is irrational. Rice can have an adverse effect under some conditions, as would a homeopathic remedy.
“I gather he is referring to the list on Helio’s webshop? ”
This is where you learn your homeopathy? I have a more suitable reference. http://www.homeoint.org/books/boericmm/preface.htm
This gets continually updated. There is a long list of combination remedies.
“Homeopaths are masters at demonstrating their own absurdity.”
Do you have a clear logical statement or just childish gibberish?
It is always a good idea to read the references you want to use in support of your attempts at argumentation. At least try to contemplate what the title is saying.
Iqubal, I note you quote ‘Homœopathic Materia Medica’ by William Boericke, M.D, but I am afraid you have been duped or have misunderstood.
Boericke commented on the work of Dr. Constantine Hering, but refers to him as ‘she’! Perhaps Boericke was confused with Constance. Oh dear. Is there a remedy for confusion?
Boericke said, “Our Materia Medica must include all substances which have been proved and which have been used with apparent efficacy.”
I quite agree, but Boericke misunderstood what is meant by ‘proving’. As do many English speaking homeopaths today.
The German word used by Hahnemann in his ‘Organon’ was ‘pruefung’ but that means ‘experiment’ or ‘research’. ‘Pruefung’ does not mean ‘proof’ in the sense of ‘being valid or true.’ The word for ‘to prove’ is ‘beweisen’ – but Hanhnemann did not use that word. So the ‘substances’ were not proved, but merely experimented upon.
And what were the answers, the outcomes of the research? Boericke does not tell us. He provided no plausible evidence for efficacy.
Moreover, as Anthony Campbell has pointed out, though Hahnemann’s experiments were painstaking, he did nothing to eliminate the effects of suggestion. The subjects knew what medicines they were taking and what effects they might experience.
Carry on studying!
@Richard Rawlins on Tuesday 11 October 2016 at 10:24
“Boericke commented on the work of Dr. Constantine Hering, but refers to him as ‘she’! Perhaps Boericke was confused with Constance. Oh dear. Is there a remedy for confusion?”
If Dr. Boericke refers to another doctor as she in place of he, it is confusion? Or a typing error? Send me the link, let us determine the exact confusion and then the relevant remedy.
“I quite agree, but Boericke misunderstood what is meant by ‘proving’. As do many English speaking homeopath today.”
2 days back, you were planning to join homeopathy classes. Now you are evaluating Dr. Boericke? You manage to beat Ernst in the learning of homeopathy.
“So the ‘substances’ were not proved, but merely experimented upon.”
What is the outcome after the experiment is closed and summarized? What is the summary treated as?
“He provided no plausible evidence for efficacy.”
What do YOU understand by efficacy? How would you determine efficacy to a remedy: Rhus tox?
“…Anthony Campbell has pointed out, …. he did nothing to eliminate the effects of suggestion. The subjects knew what medicines they were taking and what effects they might experience.”
This statement is not clear. How would one joining the experiment would know what symptoms to expect from say: venom of bushmaster snake?
Look at some provings. The so-called symptoms are often hopelessly vague or bizarre, and suggestion clearly plays a large part in deciding them.
Iqbal – the link to Boericke is the very one you gave us!
Hahnemann gave no comprehensive statement as to the outcomes of his research, merely a report on what his co-workers ‘felt’. There were no controls. The researchers knew they were expected to ‘feel something’ – that was the point of the exercise, but without a control group being given fake pillules/remedies for comparison, no valid conclusions can be drawn.
Hahnemann did not ‘prove’ anything in the sense of the English word’s meaning of ‘demonstrate the truth or existence of (something) by evidence or argument’.
Hahnemann simply did not do the science – a disclipine only slowly being developed 200 years ago.
But we do now have well developed methods for finding things out and can make progress.
I have no idea why English speaking homeopaths persist on using the words ‘prove’ and ‘provings’. It only adds to the confusion. Perhaps that is what they intend.
I commend the methods used by scientists to you, but if you do apply them, you will join the majority of posters on this theme. Otherwise you must remain content in the comfort of your faith.
And as God told Moses, “Keep taking the tablets.”
So homeopathy works by manipulating your feels. I am sure there is comedy potential in that.
Comedy there is.
My own alter ego, Professor Riccardo, Consultant Charlatan and Specialist in the Care of the Gullible, reveals all in his entertaining talk ‘The Magic of Alternative Medicine.’
But then as well as being a surgeon, I am a member of the Magic Circle!
(You’ll get 20% discount on my fees!)