MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

Dr. Dietmar Payrhuber is not famous – no, by no means. I had never heard of him until a watched this TV discussion about homeopathy (it’s in German, and well-worth watching, if you understand the language). I found the discussion totally mesmerising: Payrhuber is allowed to come out with case after case alleging he cured cancer of various types with homeopathy. Prof Frass is also there to defend the indefensible, but hardly intervenes, other than repeatedly and pompously stating that he is a professor with 200 publications who runs a homeopathy clinic at the university hospital of Vienna and therefore he is a cut above.

There are also three very bright and eloquent sceptical disputants who do their best to oppose Payrhuber’s moronic monstrosities. One of them even alerts us (and the broadcaster!) to the fact that some cancer patients might watch this and conclude that homeopathy cues cancer. Yes, TV can be dangerous!

After watching Payrhuber, I felt the urge to learn more about this man. On TV, he mentioned repeatedly his publications, so I first of all conducted a Medline search; it turns out that Medline lists not a single article in his name. However, I did find his (self-published) book: ‘HOMOEOPATHIE UND KREBS’ (HOMEOPATHY AND CANCER). It greatly impressed me – but not in a positive sense.

The preface (in English) is by Jan Scholten (who IS quite famous in the realm of homeopathy); here is a short quote from it:

[Payrhuber’s book] … is an important book for several reasons. The first reason is that it shows that homeopathy is a real healing art. Often homeopathy is seen as good for superficial, light and self-healing diseases such as colds, eczema’s, bronchitis and the like. Together with this view goes the opinion that it is not a real medicine, because it cannot treat „real diseases“. But this shows the opposite: cancer can be healed, cured with homeopathy. It shows that homeopathy can have very profound effect and can really cure deeply. Of course cancer was cured already in the past with homeopathy by famous homeopaths such as Grimmer and Resch. But Dietmar shows that it can be done in a consistent way. Homeopathy cannot be set aside as superficial anymore…

But it gets worse! Payrhuber himself is equally clear that homeopathy can cure cancer; here is a quote that I translated from his German text into English:

The book shows options to treat cancer; this is not an exclusive option of homeopathy. However, it offers an alternative for therapy-resistant and slow-responding cases treated conventionally… The question whether homeopathy is an alternative or a complementary therapy is superfluous. As the cases presented here demonstrate, homeopathy is part of medicine, a method which is more scientific than conventional medicine, because it has clear principles and laws. In certain cases or in certain phases of cancer, homeopathy is quite simply indicated! Homeopathy is holistic and puts the whole patient rather than a local symptom in the centre.

We must not keep homeopathy from cancer patients, because it offers in many cases a cure which cannot be achieved by other means.

(For those who can read German, here is the original: Das Buch zeigt Möglichkeiten auf, Krebs zu behandeln, es stellt keinen Alleinanspruch der Homöopathie dar. Es bietet allerdings alternative Möglichkeiten für therapieresistente und therapieträge Behandlungsverläufe bei konventioneller Therapie an…. 

Es erübrigt sich die Frage, ob Homöopathie eine alternative oder komplementäre Medizin ist. Wie die vorliegenden Fälle zeigen, ist sie ein Teil der Medizin, eine Methode, die „eher wissenschaftlicher ist als die Schulmedizin, weil die Homöopathie deutliche Prinzipien und Gesetze hat“. Die Homöopathie ist in bestimmten Fällen oder in bestimmten Phasen der Behandlung schlicht und einfach indiziert! Sie ist ganzheitlich, setzt den Menschen ins Zentrum und nicht das Lokalsymptom…

Die Homöopathie darf dem Patienten nicht vorenthalten werden, da sie in vielen Fällen Heilungsmöglichkeiten bietet, die auf andere Weise nicht erreicht werden können…)

END OF QUOTE

As I said, Payrhuber is not famous – he is infamous!

This sad story left me with three questions:

  1. Can someone please stop Payrhuber before he does more damage to cancer patients?
  2. And can someone please tell the medical faculty of the university of Vienna (my former employer) that running a homeopathy clinic for cancer patients is not ethical?
  3. Can someone please teach journalists that, in healthcare, giving a voice to dangerous nonsense can do serious harm?

3 Responses to Homeopathy, Cancer and Dr Dietmar Payrhuber: how TV endangers cancer patients

  • Funniest part is when Payrhuber tries to explain the nature of the “information” is that is transferred from the “mother tincture” of a substance…. really pathetic. My compliments to the host, Michael Fleischhacker, who did quite a good job.

  • I believe in the UK it would be illegal to make this claim, courtesy of the cancer act. I have never heard such brazen claims for homeopathy, this is murderous!

    Niall

  • Imperts – Competent Incompetent Success with Exformation of Nothingness
    Imperts are the opposite of experts. Their particular competence is to communicate the state of not knowing and ingnorance authentically. To inform means: teaching knowledge. But the skill of the imperts is to exform. They pass on nothingness.
    Knowledge is complicated and cannot be error-free. The great amount of knowledge is ballast that contains errors and this increases the likelihood of error. To err is a function of the experts therefore. Experts are always wrong. “Errare expertum est!” Only imperts are never wrong, because nothingness is never erroneous. Naturalist and philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau: “The only mean of avoiding error is the ignorance.”
    This error-free ignorance, the singularity and the secret of the success of the imperts is not inherent. The imperts copy the ignorance out from free newspapers, interviews, commercials, newsletters, press reports and so on. This is the secret of success for the exformativ-nonsense- feedback-education. Each nonsense becomes trend setting by this constant exformation. The popular nonsense becomes generally accepted wisdom.
    A further secret of success of the imperts and their exformation is their appearance. The outfit and attitude must correspond to the trend and style of the target groups. Hair style, glasses, dialect, fashionable accessories, etc. are the real factors of their success. Depending on the time and the location, the baseball cap or the designer suit decide about successes and millions of dollars.
    The imperts are unmatched as exformers in health, counselling or entertainment formats. Their imagination is no longer limited by advanced education and special knowledge. Their ignorance is the base for the comprehensive exformation process in the public medias. Whole nations are being exformed in pre-evening TV, astrology broadcasts and quiz shows. Gameshows replaces schools. Consumption of nonsense belongs to an upscale family entertainment. Thanks to public exformations many imperts are known nationwide like football sport idols or movie stars and starlets. They seem to qualify for every top job.
    The imperts guarantee more than mega profits with nonsense in economy. Nonsense is only what cannot be marketed. The imperts have rediscovered the “perpetual motion” machine to produce energy for home. The “Gaia” association promotes a construction of a hydrodynamic power machine for self-sufficient endless energy production only by the buoyancy. “Gaia” organizes even profitable selling shows. People pay huge entrance fees. There are many impert’s patents to save gasoline. But note: Only with ignorance one can gain energy from nothing.
    Thousands of imperts are working with limitless empathy and selflessness in health care and nutrition. The range extends from magicians with dowsing rods, herbal witches, energetic healers, etc. up to approved physicians and habilitated university professors. It is common to all these imperts of all kinds of health business in organic and natural healing, that they have replaced all transient school and scientific knowledge against eternally valid and error-free ignorance. Achieving this qualification is really hard work, but it is very profitable even for academics.
    The leading imperts in healthcare are the homoeopaths. They know everything from nothingness and they cure everything by nothing. Without any pause they exform the world with their ignorance. Homeopaths heal the whole world. They treat every disease with nothing from the cowshed to the maternity ward, from forest hills to Beverly Hills and even seas.
    Water is one of the favourite elements of the imperts. Over educated researchers with their common school knowledge do not know that water is dead and uninformed. The financial success of the Austrian water impert Josef Grander with his perpetual motion device of the bio information is unique. His “water treatment” is standard in hospitals and a “must-have” in wellness centres throughout Austria.
    Thanks to their solid education in ignorance, the imperts are also especially irreplaceable in politics. In all cases, whether genetic engineering or trade agreements, the imperts exform each topic according to their frizzy ideas collected in the backrooms of gasoline filling stations and bars of sausage stands. Their error-free exformation is simpler and more comprehensible than the erroneous information of the experts. Only the imperts are credible for the all- and better-knowing backyard experts. And so they finally select their beloved like- minded. And when the imperts cannot persuade someone, they will enlighten everyone with a conspiracy theory. Only with ignorance it is possible to explain everything simply and to create competently conspiracy theories. This is the reason why we finally know that the moon landing was staged in the studios of Warner Brothers and 9/11was done by Mossad.
    News speakers convert themselves automatically into imperts just by reading press commentaries. As talking heads these semi-qualified imperts are only one small step away from the ultimate competency. They understand all of the nothingness better than anyone else. As chief executives of the news rooms, they are profound masters of common medial exformation and signal with outfit and anxious or important mimicry that they understand ignorance better than anyone else and that they are at any case competently incompetent.
    The state of ignorance is as deadly as zero in mathematics. Equal to the zero nothingness zeroes everything; It destroys every kind of knowledge. 5 times 0 is 0. Knowledge times nothing is nothing. This makes the nothingness-knowers invincible. And whoever does not want to accept this, the imperts encounter with a another competence which is called impertinence.
    Although impertinence protects securely against revelation the truth, education, knowledge and failure are still persistent dangers. Real experts have success through experience and information. Imperts are even more successful without experience solely by exformation of nothingness. However, if the economic vanishes and the reputation is gone, the showdown happens. The depert become visible. Depert is someone who crashes because of his extraordinary ignorance. Every educated philologist knows that depert is the anti-climax, the lowest attribute grade of expert. But the era of the imperts will still last. There is nothing that marks the end of the era of the imperts and of the exformation. And what does Goethe tell us?
    “Mankind errs as long it strives!” © E.B.

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