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

Professor Frass is well known to most people interested in homeopathy. He has also featured several times on this blog (see here, here and here). Frass has achieved what few homeopaths have: he has integrated homeopathy into a major medical school, the Medical School of the University of Vienna (my former faculty). In 2002, he started teaching homeopathy to medical students, and in 2004, he opened an out-patient clinic ‘Homeopathy for malignant diseases’ at the medical school.

This achievement was widely used for boosting the reputation of homeopathy; the often heard argument was that ‘homeopathy must be good and evidence-based, because a major medical school has adopted it’. This argument is now obsolete: Frass’ lectures have recently been axed!

How come?

Apparently, several students*** filed complaints with their dean about Frass’ lectures. This prompted the dean, Prof Mueller, to look into the matter and take drastic action. He is quoted stating that “the medical faculty rejects unscientific methods and quackery”.

Frass had repeatedly been seen on television claiming that homeopathy could be an effective adjuvant therapy for cancer, and that he had studies to prove it. Such statements had irritated Mueller who then instructed Frass in writing to abstain from such claims and to close his homeopathic out-patient clinic at the University. The matter was also brought to the attention of the University’s ethics committee which decided that Frass’ studies were not suited to provide a scientific proof.

Frass commented saying that he is not surprised about criticism because homeopathy is difficult to understand. He will retire next year from the University and will probably continue his homeopathic practice in a private setting.

(If you can read German, this article in the Austrian paper DER STANDARD has more details)

***as they had invited me to give a lecture on homeopathy some time ago, I like to think that I might have something to do with all this.

23 Responses to The end of homeopathy at the Medical School, University of Vienna

  • Kudos to Prof Mueller. Very impressive to see someone take such decisive action.

  • Tu felix Austria …
    Youe have vVienna – we have our Tuebingen. Sigh.

  • Bravo to them for doing the right thing. If they paid more attention to right-thinkers like you and followed this blog it may well have been doused years earlier(?). I would imagine dedicated Scientologists, Reiki practitioners, believers in Auras and Chiropractors all take the same stance; what-we-do is “difficult to understand”. How quarks work may be difficult to understand….homeopathy is simple: perpetuate a primordial scam, find gullible, under-educated marks, sell, sell, sell then make bank deposits. Quite simple really.

  • This sounds to me more like academic bullying from a biased, uninformed and prejudiced quarter.
    Nothing to be proud of.

    YMMV

  • Pity that it was necessary to end it. Should never have been countenanced in the year 2002.

  • Very sad that the medical profession is the only profession to be heard. Many people have benefited from Homeopathy and will continue to do so.

    The only difference between god and doctor is that god doesn’t think he is a doctor

    • @Peter Simpson
      You wrote:

      Many people have benefited from Homeopathy and will continue to do so.

      Let’s look at the possibilities.
      Science says homeopathic remedies cannot have an inherent efficacy and the apparent benefits can be explained by the temporary soothing effect of a long conversation and the claims of being able to provide a solution. Homeopaths claim there must be something left in the sugar pills that has wonderful health bringing effects.
      One must be wrong, there are only two possibilities.
      Mark an X to indicate which is correct :

      [ ] Science is wrong. Modern knowledge about chemistry and physics is in error and the textbooks have to be rewritten.
      [ ] Homeopathy is wrong, there is nothing left in the remedies that has an inherent efficacy in the body.

      • [✓] pseudo-skeptics are wrong.

        Much more likely.

        You know the thing about science? It adapts.
        It doesn’t stick its fingers in its ears saying “la la la la”.

      • Wrong – Science never said something like this: “Science says homeopathic remedies cannot have an inherent efficacy…”
        Only people that think they are a scientist could say this. When it was used homeopathic remedies in animals or in cell culture, in a good SCIENCE, with many controls, it can be possible to measure and quantify many effects of this therapeutic, like cytokines, receptors, mRNAs. Mice and cells don’t believe in Gods.
        If a good conversation can change something, then it is a good medicine and this kind of patient don’t need to be intoxicated with many remedies.
        I don’t know both, but I know that when adults fight because they have different opinions it is sad, and unfortunately, the strong one (have more power at this moment) win, for the loss of many;

    • the 3 most dangerous words in medicine:
      IN MY EXPERIENCE

    • Peter Simpson said:

      Very sad that the medical profession is the only profession to be heard.

      Yeah! Why do we never hear from astrophysicists? Or oceanographers? Or meteorologists?

      • We hear from physicsts.

        Brian Josephson, FRS, Nobel Prize, Physics 1973, on physics of water memory
        “… something I sometimes say about the memory of water is that it s ~easily ~disproved by any one of many easy to understand but – wait for it – ~fallacious arguments. People have these nice reasons for not believing in any of my heresies, but they don’t actually work when you study them closely …”
        https://youtu.be/ttkAOS4N-a0?t=29 2016

        We hear far too much from pseudo-skeptics.

        • you mean pseudo-sceptics like yourself?

        • @Will

          Josephson is also a fan of parapsychology and cold fusion. I’d say he’s more a victim of the Nobel Disease than a force to be reckoned with, where water memory is concerned.

          In the video you link to, Josephson says (~4:30) that he invited Benveniste to give a talk. He states “The only problem is it was a bit technical for physicists.” There’s the problem. Physicists need to understand the detail of Benveniste’s experiments. They involve someone looking down a microscope and counting by eye a very small minority population of cell types among lots of other cells. When that person knows the nature of the sample they’re counting (in this case cells treated with such high dilutions of IgE there’s no IgE left vs. control water) there’s a risk they’ll subjectively bias the counts. When the experiments were repeated with the operator blinded to the nature of the samples (which should have been done in the first place), the ‘water memory’ effect disappeared.

          I wonder if Josephson realizes he also needs to explain how the memory is transferred from water to a sugar when homeopathic pills are made, and how — even if the ‘water with a memory’ is drunk directly — it’s able to specifically affect human pathologies that are causing a symptom or symptoms.

          Nah. Definitely another case of Nobel Disease. I wonder if there’s a homeopathic cure?

  • Slight edit to your second sentence, Mr Simpson: “Many people claim to have benefited from Homeopathy and will continue to do so.” In the same way, many people claim to have benefited from belief in one or other of the many available gods, fortune tellers and psychics. Many people firmly believe they have seen ghosts or aliens.

    Now, how does one go about assessing the veracity of something people claim?

    (BTW, I am not a member of the medical profession.)

  • pathetic response from Austrian professional organisations
    http://www.homoeopathie.at/kategorie/presseaussendungen/

  • Homeopathy is a very traditional method to take care of health. But, the acctual methodology and proceedures in science lab are not the best to prove the qualities of this treatment. Science is not able to explaine every thing, but the is some peopel able to colect good results. The problem is the people don’t intent to accept results from some open costless knowledge. Linnux in computer branch and homeopathy in healt branch.

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