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

It has been reported that the faculty of medicine of Lille unversity in France has suspended its degree in homeopathy for the 2018-19 academic year. The university announced its decision on Twitter, and the faculty of medicine’s dean, Didier Gosset, confirmed it to the AFP news agency: “It has to be said that we teach medicine based on proof – we insist on absolute scientific rigour – and it has to be said that homeopathy has not evolved in the same direction, that it is a doctrine that has remained on the margins of the scientific movement, that studies on homeopathy are rare, that they are not very substantial,” he explained. “Continuing to teach it would be to endorse it.”

The decision is, of course, long overdue and must be welcomed. Personally, however, I wonder why defenders of reason like Prof Gosset often employ such unclear lines of argument. Would it not be clearer to make (some of) these simple points?

  1. The assumptions on which homeopathy is based are obsolete and implausible.
  2. It is not that we do not understand homeopathy’s mode of action, but we understand that there cannot be one that does not fly in the face of science.
  3. The clinical evidence fails to show that highly diluted homeopathic remedies are more than placebos.
  4. Homeopathy can cause significant harm, e. g. through neglect.
  5. Homeopathy costs millions which would be much better used for evidence-based treatments.
  6. The practice of homeopathy hinders progress and does not provide benefit for the public.
  7. Teaching homeopathy at university-level is unscientific, unethical and nonsensical.

The French are among the world’s largest consumers of homeopathic remedies. The French social security system does normally reimburse homeopathic therapy. A group of doctors challenged this situation in an open letter in Le Figaro newspaper in March 2018. They called practitioners of homeopathy and other alternative medicines “charlatans”, pointing to a 2017 report by the European Academies Science Advisory Council that stressed, like a plethora of previous reports, the “absence of proof of homeopathy’s efficacy”. They challenged the French medical council to stop allowing doctors to practice homeopathy and asked the social security system to stop paying for it. Subsequently, a group of French homeopaths filed a formal complaint with the medical council against the signatories of this letter.

France’s health ministry has asked France’s National Health Authority to prepare and publish a report on whether homeopathy works and should be paid for by the public purse. It is due to be delivered in February 2019.

WATCH THIS SPACE

14 Responses to Lille Medical School suspends homeopathy degree

  • Each time I read about a university that has come to its senses, I forward the article to the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in the hope that they might follow suit. UJ seems to be one of those unis who does not only provide training of homeopaths (and I guess do a bit of ‘research’) but they are also pushing the limits of ethics by providing ‘clinical services’ to AIDS orphans in Soweto. https://www.uj.ac.za/faculties/health/Homoeopathy

    Oh, and they also recommended some or other homeopathic prophylactic remedy for malaria to my 6yo son.

    • Wow, I received a response from the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at University of Johannesburg, informing me that he is not the Dean anymore (sigh) but at least he has forwarded my email concerning their Homeopathy department to the new acting Dean who will “…revert soonest” – for whatever that means. Round and round we go.

  • It is now time to put your waging tail between your legs and sit on it!

    I couldn’t help but notice that you have not yet commented upon the new research published at NATURE.COM…and it is THIS article that all skeptics MUST read and must answer to.

    This carefully conducted group of studies clearly show a significant effect from various doses of RHUS TOXICODENDRON, including doses beyond Avogadro’s number! However, anyone who reference Avoagadro’s number in relationship to homeopathy clearly doesn’t understand homeopathy OR conventional pharmacology (100% of skeptics fit into this category!). The nanoparticle work published in LANGMUIR compellingly show AND explain how nanodoses of homeopathic medicines persist in water solutions.

    Here’s the reference that will bring skeptics of homeopathy down on their knees and have them realize that homeopathy IS the “original nanomedicine,” and the field of nanomedicine and nanopharmacology are the wave of the future. They are NOT “the future” (because nanomedicines are only a part of the future…and they will be an important and even essential part of this future).

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-31971-9

    And for those of you who want to begin to take homeopathy and nanomedicine more seriously now, here’s some references that you will find useful:

    Bell IR, Koithan M. A model for homeopathic remedy effects: low dose nanoparticles, allostatic cross-adaptation, and time-dependent sensitization in a complex adaptive system. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Oct 22;12(1):191.
    http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1472-6882-12-191.pdf (an exceptional review of the basic sciences literature that explains how homeopathic medicines may work)

    Bell IR, Sarter B, Koithan M, et al. Integrative Nanomedicine: Treating Cancer with Nanoscale Natural Products. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, January 2014. 36-53.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3921611/

    Iris R. Bell, John A. Ives, and Wayne B. Jonas. Nonlinear Effects of Nanoparticles: Biological Variability From Hormetic Doses, Small Particle Sizes, and Dynamic Adaptive Interactions. Dose Response. May 2014; 12(2): 202–232. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4036395/

    Bell IR, Schwartz GE, Boyer NN, Koithan M, Brooks AJ. Advances in Integrative Nanomedicine for Improving Infectious Disease Treatment in Public Health. European journal of integrative medicine 2013;5(2):126-140. doi:10.1016/j.eujim.2012.11.002.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3685499/

    Chikramane PS, Kalita D, Suresh AK, Kane SG, Bellare JR. Why Extreme Dilutions Reach Non-zero Asymptotes: A Nanoparticulate Hypothesis Based on Froth Flotation. Langmuir. 2012 Nov 1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23083226

    Eskinazi, D., Homeopathy Re-revisited: Is Homeopathy Compatible with Biomedical Observations? Archives in Internal Medicine, 159, Sept 27, 1999:1981-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10510983

    I suggest that you each do your home more carefully now…and the sooner you begin to apologize, the better it’ll be for you…OR you can continue to use your typewriters and rotary telephones and your hyper-arrogance. And in the meantime, the quacks to whom you have expressed serious concern have always been yourselves…

    • By the way, this article suggests that the field of nanomedicine will be valued at $350 billion in less than 7 years:

      https://www.grandviewresearch.com/press-release/global-nanomedicine-market

      • LOL!

        How much of that supposed $350 billion do you think will be spent on robust research, Dana?

        • Ask Big Pharma…because the VAST VAST majority of this money is from Big Pharma, not homeopathic companies…but you don’t like to go after Big Pharma much (no surprise)

          • Bizarre. Why would ‘Big Pharma’ waste money on researching homeopathy? Well, we know Boiron spend money on ‘research’ but that’s all about marketing, isn’t it?

            But stop trying to change the subject and please have a go at answering the question I asked.

          • ‘Nanomedicine’ is emphatically not the same thing as homeopathy (except in the minds of gullible people who fall for sadly inadequate laboratory studies).

    • Ullman said:

      Here’s the reference that will bring skeptics of homeopathy down on their knees…

      Is that the same as rolling on the floor laughing?

    • You never cease to amuse with your credulous interpretation of ultradilute evidence, dear Dana.

      A fun fact regarding the relevance of the rat experiment referred to in your nature.com link, is that all the patients I have ever known who suffer from neuropathic pain are taking homeopathic remedies in the form of communal drinking water and all find it totally unhelpful.

      Looks like the surname “Magar” may be added to the list of also-ran’s like Benveniste, Ellis, Chikramane, Montagnier etc., who thought they had discovered evidence for the efficacy of shaken water.

      And ‘nanomedicine’ does not mean what you think it means dear Dana. Try to read up on things before you make a fool of yourself – again.

      • Thanx Bjorn for PROVING your total ignorance of homeopathy. Your suggestion is akin to assuming that the atomic bomb was a PLABEBO because we are surrounded by atoms by there’s no big explosions going on. Yeah, THAT DAFT! And the fact that your colleagues don’t call you on this sheer ignorance shows their own complicity.

        • Oh my goodness, capitalised cries and all, Are you alright Dana? Maybe you should call 911, just to be sure?
          I hope you didn´t blow an aneurysm? That won´t get better on its own, not even with with Rhus Tox… and probably not with a dose of Musca Domestica either, don´t you think?

          At least, when you stop foaming from the mouth, a glass of water might help. It might even bring some nano-something from all the stuff it´s been in contact with and the potentising rattle of the pipes. Who knows what wonders you might experience.
          I do hope you will get some sleep tonight.

    • 200 years, Dana. And counting. Homeopathy has had that long to prove itself and has failed. Nonsense then, nonsense now. Iris Bell and her friends’ ongoing exercises in wishful thinking will continue to be nothing other than passing amusements to proper scientists and your spluttering and arm-waving won’t alter that. And, yet again, please stop misappropriating the term “nanomedicine”. It doesn’t mean what you would like to think it means.

  • It’s always worth checking the nature.com website from time to time.

    Here is what I found under the link provided by Ullman “that will bring skeptics of homeopathy down on their knees”:

    01 October 2018 Editors’ Note: Readers are alerted that the conclusions of this paper are subject to criticisms that are being considered by the editors. Appropriate editorial action will be taken once this matter is resolved.

    Yet another worthless publication that I hope the editors of nature.com will sink into oblivion!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

If you want to be able to edit your comment for five minutes after you first submit it, you will need to tick the box: “Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.”
Recent Comments

Note that comments can be edited for up to five minutes after they are first submitted but you must tick the box: “Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.”


Click here for a comprehensive list of recent comments.

Categories