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

This recent announcement by the Society of Homeopaths (SoH), the organisation of non-doctor homeopaths in the UK, seems worthy of a short comment. Here is the unabbreviated text in question:

Two new members have been appointed to the Society’s Public Affairs (PAC) and Professional Standards (PSC)  committees for three-year terms of office.

Selina Hatherley RSHom is joining the PAC.  She has been a member since 2004 and works in three multi-disciplinary practices in Oxfordshire and previously ran a voluntary clinic working with people with drug, alcohol and mental health issues for 12 years. She has also been involved in the acute trauma clinics following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

New to the PSC is Lynne Howard. She became a RSHom in 1996 and runs a practice in three locations in east London and a major London hospital. She specialises in pregnancy, birth and mother-and-baby issues.

“Following an open and comprehensive appointment process, we are delighted to welcome Selina and Lynne ‘on-board’ as brand-new committee members who will bring new ideas, experiences and knowledge to the society,” said Chief Executive Mark Taylor.

END OF QUOTE

It seems to me that the SoH might be breaching its very own Code of Ethics with these appointments.

1) Lynne Howard BA, LCH, MCH, RSHom tells us on her website that she has been practising homeopathy for 25 years, she has run many children’s clinics and is a registered CEASE practitioner with a special interest in fertility and children’s health.

CEASE therapy has been discussed before on this blog. It is highly unethical and the SoH have been warned about it before. They even pretended to take the warning seriously.

2) Selina Hatherley has a website where she tells us this: In 2011 I trained as a Vega practitioner – enabling me to use the Vega machine to test for food sensitivity and allergens. I use homeopathic remedies to support the findings and to help restore good health… I am a registered member of the Society of Homeopaths – the largest organisation registering professional homeopaths in Europe, I abide by their Code of Ethics and Practice and am fully insured.

Vega, or electrodermal testing for allergies has been evaluated by the late George Lewith (by Jove not a man who was biased against such things) and found to be bogus. Here are the conclusions of his study published in the BMJ: “Electrodermal testing cannot be used to diagnose environmental allergies.” That’s pretty clear, I think. As the BMJ is not exactly an obscure journal, the result should be known to everyone with an interest in Vega-testing. And, of course, disregarding such evidence is unethical.

But perhaps, in homeopathy, ethics can be diluted like homeopathic remedies?

Perhaps the SoH’s Code of Ethics even allows such behaviour?

Have a look yourself; here are the 16 core principles of the SoH’s CODE OF ETHICS:

1.1 Put the individual needs of the patient first.

1.2 Respect the privacy and dignity of patients.

1.3 Treat everyone fairly, respectfully, sensitively and appropriately without discrimination.

1.4 Respect the views of others and, when stating their own views, avoid the disparagement of others either professionally or personally.

1.5 Work to foster and maintain the trust of individual patients and the public.

1.6 Listen actively and respect the individual patient’s views and their right to personal choice.

1.7 Encourage patients to take responsibility for their own health, through discussion and provision of information.

1.8 Comprehensively record any history the patient may give and the advice and treatment the registered or student clinical member has provided.

1.9 Provide comprehensive clear and balanced information to allow patients to make informed choices.

1.10 Respect and protect the patients’ rights to privacy and confidentiality.

1.11 Maintain and develop professional knowledge and skills.

1.12 Practise only within the boundaries of their own competence.

1.13 Respond promptly and constructively to concerns, criticisms and complaints.

1.14 Respect the skills of other healthcare professionals and where possible work in cooperation with them.

1.15 Comply with the current statutory legislation in relation to their practice as a homeopath of the country, state or territory where they are practising.

1.16 Practise in accordance with the Core Criteria for Homeopathic Practice and the Complementary and Natural Healthcare National Occupational Standards for Homeopathy.

______________________________________________________

I let you decide whether or not the code was broken by the new appointments and, if so, on how many accounts.

22 Responses to The Society of Homeopaths have a Code of Ethics, but seem to ignore it. I wonder why!

  • I told you, it’s a cult. Now it’s even part of the Democrat Party. I made a song about it. I hope you like it:

    http://thecrackemcee.tk

  • How is this in any way in compliance with the PSA’s conditions? I have a contact there and will ask.

    • good idea!
      thanks

      • Edzard

        You found 2 cases of individual doctors.

        I found over a thousand cases of organized racket: Evidence based medicines?

        Govt of India expert committee banned 500 allopathic medicines: After last week’s ban on 344 medicines, as many as 500 more drugs – including antibiotics and anti-diabetes drugs – may be outlawed for being “irrational”, unsafe and ineffective, official sources have said.
        Now, a senior official says, the ministry is evaluating a list of over 6,000 products, of which at least 1,000 more FDCs are under “severe scrutiny”. As many as 500 of those drugs will likely be banned in six months.

        “There is primary evidence in around 1,000 cases, which shows these are irrational FDCs. However, in some cases, the data is incomplete so we have asked for further studies. In around 500 cases, we are at the last leg and waiting for some documents,” an official told TOI.

        The health ministry believes that “irrational” FDCs are causing anti-microbial resistance and in some cases their toxicity is so high they can even lead to organ-failure. There are also concerns that these FDCs being available over-the-counter, without doctors’ prescriptions, is leading to their misuse.
        https://www.homeobook.com/govt-of-india-expert-committee-banned-500-allopathic-medicines/
        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-antibiotics-idUSKCN0WF0FW
        A Reuters investigation revealed in December that a unit of Abbott in India was selling a combination of the antibiotics cefixime and azithromycin without approval from the central government. The combination is not approved for sale in major pharmaceutical markets, including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan.

        https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Michael_Newhouse/publication/19848657_A_controlled_trial_of_ambroxol_in_chronic_bronchitis/links/02e7e534fc98183082000000/A-controlled-trial-of-ambroxol-in-chronic-bronchitis.pdf

        And it is not only in India.

        https://www.tga.gov.au/sites/default/files/consult-labelling-cough-cold-091022-review.pdf
        The relatively few high quality childhood studies show little or no benefit of the medicines over placebo. Inadequacies in these studies have been enumerated (eg as by Lopez in an FDA report) but it is reasonable to conclude that no currently available cough and cold medicines for children could be categorized as ‘fairly effective’ in terms of label claims.”

        You have a different spelling and meaning for ETHICS in Allopathic system of medicine?

        • Not doctors Iqbal, homeopaths. The logical problem you have is that:

          1. While real medicine has many examples of error, misrepresentation and outright fraud, most treatments do work at least some of the time.

          2. Homeopathy undoubtedly does not work at all.

          So you are not comparing like with like.

        • Take-home point: Because conventional real medicine is far from perfect, we have to play fair, and tolerate the excrement ideas of homeopathy, which are of course dangerous by definition.

          The millionth iteration of the same point, coming directly from a sufferer of morbid belief perseverance. Iqbal, the man, the myth, the legend!

          • James

            Defining Ethics in Scientific Medicine. Edzard us selectively blind. You also?

            The health ministry believes that “irrational” FDCs are causing anti-microbial resistance and in some cases their toxicity is so high they can even lead to organ-failure. There are also concerns that these FDCs being available over-the-counter, without doctors’ prescriptions, is leading to their misuse.
            https://www.homeobook.com/govt-of-india-expert-committee-banned-500-allopathic-medicines/

            https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-antibiotics-idUSKCN0WF0FW
            A Reuters investigation revealed in December that a unit of Abbott in India was selling a combination of the antibiotics cefixime and azithromycin without approval from the central government. The combination is not approved for sale in major pharmaceutical markets, including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan.

          • @Iqbal
            India is a large country but it is severely underdeveloped and not representative of the modern world. Part of the reason homeopathy is popular in your part of the world is ignorance, illiteracy and poor government. The problem with combination drug production and sales that they are dealing with is not present here in better regulated and educated parts of the world. The fact that India has problems with a poorly controlled drug market and is trying to fix them is not an indicator of the state of modern medicine and in no way supports the utility of homeopathy as a substitute for real medicine.
            You have repeatedly been shown that you do not know what you are talking about when it comes to modern medicine and health care. You are simply not qualified to discuss these matters and your reading homeopathic literature is just adding to your confusion.
            Don’t you have something useful to do? Maybe take your grandchildren out for some quality time? Or tend to your garden?

          • Björn Geir

            “India is a large country but it is severely underdeveloped and not representative of the modern world. Part of the reason homeopathy is popular in your part of the world is ignorance, illiteracy and poor government.”

            Homeopathy in France, Germany makes them under developed also?

            “The fact that India has problems with a poorly controlled drug market and is trying to fix them is not an indicator of the state of modern medicine and in no way supports the utility of homeopathy as a substitute for real medicine.”

            Ethics is linked to self control, not law enforcement. You understand the difference?

            “A Reuters investigation revealed in December that a unit of Abbott (an American company) in India was selling a combination of the antibiotics cefixime and azithromycin without approval from the central government. The combination is not approved for sale in major pharmaceutical markets, including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan.

            American corporations learn their ETHICS in India or America or Europe?

            “You have repeatedly been shown that you do not know what you are talking about when it comes to modern medicine and health care.”

            The problem with you is that you have very poor understanding: I seldom put here homeopathic literature and what the doctors observed and hypothesized: I put here is the mess that you define as scientific medicine and it is always written by an icon from allopathic system of medicine.

            After reading such luminaries I can only say “chickens; they always come home to roost”.

            US life expectancy drops for second year in a row: https://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/21/health/us-life-expectancy-study/index.html
            Forget the explanations: focus on outcome. Culprit: Modern Medicine: All participants included. Edzard and you also.

            “We have data for almost half of 2017 at this point. It’s still quite provisional, but it suggests that we’re in for another increase” in drug-related deaths, he said. “If we’re not careful, we could end up with declining life expectancy for three years in a row, which we haven’t seen since the Spanish flu, 100 years ago.”

            This is one good outcome, coming right after “medical errors are the 3rd largest killer in USA. In the next 2 years, it will be number 1.
            Remember: Scientific medicine cannot be medicine, unless, it comes with adverse effect.”

            Also REMEMBER: all of above is written and researched by members of the scientific medical community. I can only add, were you to read homeopathic literature, you will find these outcomes defined very clearly.

          • You have just proved my assertion about you Iqbal, and I have no hope of you ever understanding why. It’s called the Dunning-Kruger phenomenon. Look it up if you wish, but because of it you will not understand it 🙂

          • Björn Geir

            ” Look it up if you wish, but because of it you will not understand it ”

            I would prefer to spend time to rebut majority of your inconsistent and illogical argument.

            How healthy are chronically ill patients after eight years of homeopathic treatment? – Results from a long term observational study
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2630323/
            Patients who seek homeopathic treatment are likely to improve considerably. These effects persist for as long as 8 years. (Link it to the opiate crisis, world wide.)

            Individualized Homeopathic Treatment and Fluoxetine for Moderate to Severe Depression in Peri- and Postmenopausal Women (HOMDEP-MENOP Study): A Randomized, Double-Dummy, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial
            Homeopathy and fluoxetine are effective and safe antidepressants for climacteric women. Homeopathy and fluoxetine were significantly different from placebo in response definition only. Homeopathy, but not fluoxetine, improves menopausal symptoms scored by Greene Climacteric Scale.
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4359147/

          • Björn Geir

            The confusion and poor understanding you exhibit could also be result of head injury that may have taken place many years ago. Homeopathy has some great answers.

            Homeopathic treatment of mild traumatic brain injury: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10671699
            Analysis of covariance demonstrated that the homeopathic treatment was the only significant or near-significant predictor of improvement on DSS sub tests.

            You could believe in these researchers. None of them is a homeopath and all are from Harvard at Boston. You have heard of Harvard Medical School?

          • Iqbal,

            Analysis of covariance demonstrated …

            Translation:
            “We went on a fishing trip…”
            One can already stop reading there, because covariance is even weaker than correlation. Only fools treat this as proof of a causal relationship. Yes, I’m talking about the likes of you.

            And oh:

            Our findings require large-scale, independent replication.

            Which of course never happened – just like with any other positive trial of homeopathy. Because homeopathy is total nonsense, positive trials of which can be attributed to statistical noise in the best case.

          • Iqbal said:

            Homeopathic treatment of mild traumatic brain injury: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10671699
            Analysis of covariance demonstrated that the homeopathic treatment was the only significant or near-significant predictor of improvement on DSS sub tests.

            You could believe in these researchers. None of them is a homeopath and all are from Harvard at Boston. You have heard of Harvard Medical School?

            A small pilot study from 20 years ago, A vs A + B design, 18% attrition rate, rated as ‘uncertain risk of bias’ by Mathie et al, that concluded

            Our findings require large-scale, independent replication.

            .. Oh dear.

          • Iqbal. Your powers of reading seem to have deserted you again. That study is from 1999. The conclusion finishes with “Our findings require large-scale, independent replication.” Has that happened? Oh. No. It hasn’t.

            Try again.

          • Edzard

            3 studies referred.

            All saw ONE. Same answer.

            This is perfect example of ETHICS.

          • you don’t make sense Iqbal
            [nothing new]

          • Iqbal,

            3 studies referred – All saw ONE. Same answer.

            First of all, these three answers were queued for moderation for half a day or so, so it wasn’t a deliberate ploy of three people to look at just the last one. We all picked that one independently.

            Second, I’m a lazy person, and the third study already fell flat on its face in the first sentence – at least in the way you tried using it (as evidence of a causal relationship) – so that was a very easy one to shoot down. The other ones would probably have taken a bit more effort, and the other respondents probably thought the same.
            And even then, up to one in every twenty studies may show a positive result where there really isn’t any, by pure chance alone. So even if one study comes up with a positive result, then that doesn’t actually prove anything. Only when the study is independently replicated (and with very similar results), one can start thinking that there really is something going on. There is way too much evidence for the opposite (i.e. that homeopathy is utter foolishness) to change one’s mind on the basis of just a few positive studies.

            But all this is moot. The very fact alone that you contributed the third study to prove your point shows your horribly lacking grasp of science, a very poor sense of judgement and your extreme bias and gullibility when it comes to homeopathy. Whatever you say may be safely ignored. It’s just a vaguely satisfying pastime to consistently shoot down your claims, even if we can do it with our eyes closed and one hand tied behind our back, so to speak, hence the responses you get.

        • They certainly aren’t doctors. Their qualifications have no standing and from a legal perspective, they are just medically unqualified members of the public. In many jurisdictions, their activities would be considered criminal. And even under UK law, some of their activities are.

          Whataboutery doesn’t change that. In reality, UK lay homeopathy exists because of benign indifference on the part of regulators. A change in enforcement policy by Trading Standards and/or Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency could make life incredibly difficult for lay homeopaths to say the least.

  • Compliance with the SoH Code of Ethics is a contractual obligation of membership. As mentioned above, the Code of Ethics requires members to comply with the CAP Code and statutory legislation – which includes consumer protection and medicines regulation. Not that the SoH believes that either applies to them.

  • 1.14 “… other health professionals…”
    Homeopathy is not a health profession, it’s an H2O sales industry.

  • As an aside, that only the puerile will find amusing (that includes me), “non-doctor” was a historical term applied to certain vibrators for sexual purposes in ye olde Ingerlund. Mostly made of Bakelite and advertised in high quality publications such as “Razzle”.

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