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

I am sure this press-release of today will be of interest:

Good Thinking, a charity which aims to promote science and challenge pseudoscience, is bringing the action after the PSA acknowledged that multiple members of the Society of Homeopaths continue to offer CEASE therapy – a purported treatment for autism which is targeted particularly at children and which relies on the false notion that autism is caused by vaccination, and can be cured with homeopathic treatments, high-dosage Vitamin C, and dietary restriction.

The PSA has acknowledged that CEASE therapy is potentially harmful and conflicts with the advice of the NHS in several respects, including with regard to the childhood vaccinations for potentially life-threatening conditions. Nevertheless, the PSA decided on April 1st to approve the Society of Homeopaths’ accreditation for a further year.

Michael Marshall, Project Director of Good Thinking, said: “By being part of the PSA’s Accredited Voluntary Register scheme, the Society of Homeopaths and its members – including those who practice CEASE therapy – can point to the PSA’s logo on their websites and marketing materials as a sign that they are competent, trustworthy and safe. But that badge, and the credibility and legitimacy it confers, only carries any meaning if the PSA takes seriously their duty to protect the public from harmful practices.

“For the PSA to acknowledge that members of the Society of Homeopaths are offering a treatment that the PSA themselves recognise as harmful, and which is targeted at a particularly vulnerable group, and to then reaccredit them all the same makes a mockery of the PSA’s whole accreditation scheme. For PSA accreditation to mean anything at all, the public needs to be confident that when the PSA identify potentially harmful therapies, they take the necessary steps to protect the public, rather than accepting it and, effectively, endorsing it”.

The Society of Homeopaths has been part of the PSA’s Accredited Voluntary Register scheme since 2014. The PSA’s decision to accredit the Society of Homeopaths and its subsequent decisions to re-accredit have been the subject of criticism from both autism rights campaigners and those who support evidence-based medicine.

Marshall said: “The PSA encourage members of the public to choose healthcare practitioners which belong to one of its accredited registers, and even have a tool on their site to find accredited practitioners. That advice is fundamentally undermined by the fact that a patient could, via the PSA’s list of accredited practitioners, find themselves consulting with a homeopath who discourages vaccination and believes they can cure children of autism.”

Good Thinking’s action has drawn support from autism campaigners, such as Emma Dalmayne: “We as autistic people, are bombarded with the discriminatory rhetoric that we are in need of a cure. CEASE is not a cure for our neurological difference, and it is proven to be extremely harmful. The PSA should not endorse the Society of Homeopaths while their members offer this harmful therapy. The Society of

Homeopaths are at present allowing their members to mislead the public, which in turn puts vulnerable autistic children in harm’s way.”

If Good Thinking’s Judicial Review is successful, the PSA will likely be required to revisit their decision to reaccredit the Society of Homeopaths, this time paying proper regard to the need to protect the public and in particular autistic children who are the main targets for CEASE therapy.

As a small charity, Good Thinking have appealed for support in funding their Judicial Review, and are urging supporters to contribute to their crowdfunding campaign, at crowdjustice.com/case/gts-cease-psa/.

Additional Quotes:

· Simon Singh, Science Writer and Chair of Good Thinking: “Only this week we saw Prince Charles become a patron of the Faculty of Homeopathy. We have become accustomed to Prince Charles endorsing dangerous quackery, but we expect more of the PSA. The credibility of the PSA is at stake when it allows the Society of Homeopaths to retain accredited status despite their members offering this clearly harmful therapy.”

· Laura Thomason, Project Manager, Good Thinking: “Since 2017 we have raised concerns with the PSA about Society of Homeopaths members practicing CEASE therapy, and how we felt the actions they took to protect the public were wholly inadequate. We were therefore shocked and dismayed to see the PSA reaccredit the Society of Homeopaths, and believe their decision to do so, in the absence of any real sign from the Society that they are taking the protection of autistic children seriously, to be unlawful.”

· Professor Edzard Ernst: “According to the ‘like cures like’ principle of homeopathy, Dr Tinus Smits, the Dutch homeopath who invented CEASE, claimed that autism must be cured by applying homeopathic doses of the substances which allegedly caused the condition. CEASE therapists thus ‘detoxify’ all assumed causative factors – vaccines, regular medication, environmental toxic exposures, effects of illness, etc. – with homeopathically prepared substances that were administered prior to the onset of autism. The assumptions of CEASE therapy fly in the face of science. There is also no clinical evidence that CEASE therapy is effective in curing autism or alleviating its symptoms. By misleading desperate parents that CEASE therapy works, homeopaths can do untold harm.”

28 Responses to The decision by the PSA to grant reaccreditation to the Society of Homeopaths is being challenged

  • Pleased that you mentioned this action by Good Thinking. The Times mentioned it today and also published an excellent essay by Martha Gill on the flourishing of quackery in an age of scientific medicine. Ironically, her essay said that you are more likely to use “alternative medicine” (my quotes) if you are female, better off and live in the south of England.

    Ironic because The Times has a regular fashionable/alternative health section of the paper aimed squarely at that precise market.

    • The Sunday Times used to have a column in its Style section where an alternative medicine practitioner would give advice to people who wrote in with their symptoms. There was a lot of talk about taking this or that supplement to “rebalance the immune system”, whatever that means. I particularly remember someone writing in describing the classical symptoms of thyrotoxicosis, though that diagnosis never crossed the mind of the columnist, who instead prescribed some potty cure or other.

      Eventually the column was dropped, and I still wonder whether that might have been after legal advice concerning the paper’s liability for publishing daft and dangerous medical advice.

      The same paper also once published a review of various treatments for breast cancer, with radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy shoulder-to-shoulder with acupuncture, diet and various other quack ideas, as if all of these treatments were equally valid and it were simply a matter of consumer choice.

      Martha Gill’s excellent article was a refreshing change.

      • Diet is a quack idea ?

        • “Diet is a quack idea ?”

          It most certainly is, when a specific diet is promoted as a cure for a cancer (which is what Julian’s talking about).

          • Frank

            So lemme get this right.
            Diet can cause cancer, but diet can not cure cancer ?

          • Correct. In the same way that smoking can cause cancer but smoking can’t cure it.

          • Citizen Gold – replied this:
            “Correct. In the same way that smoking can cause cancer but smoking can’t cure it.”

            Wrong answer, anybody else here want to give a resonse ?

            To refresh, the question was this.
            “So lemme get this right.
            Diet can cause cancer, but diet can not cure cancer ? “

          • the question was this.
            “So lemme get this right.
            Diet can cause cancer, but diet can not cure cancer ? “
            YES!

          • I’ll take that as YES, diet can NOT cure cancer.

            Do you have any evidence of that claim ?

          • I don’t need any because, in medicine, we rely on positive evidence, i.e evidence that shows that a treatment works.

          • @RG

            We’re wasting our time being patient with you. Citizen_Gold’s reply to you about smoking and cancer made the point perfectly, but for whatever reason you don’t accept it, therefore you arrogantly imagine we have to prove you wrong (even though you’re not even making any kind of specific counter-claim other than a vague generality).

            I guess I was daft to expect any better from a person whose level of debate runs to “So take your pills, and cram them up your ass”.

          • Citizen Gold – replied this:
            “Correct. In the same way that smoking can cause cancer but smoking can’t cure it.”

            Wrong answer, anybody else here want to give a resonse ?

            Unqualified dismissal of a point. You are not a credible participant in the conversation.

            Explain why it is the wrong answer and try to be less of a dick.

          • Actually Frank, Julian didn’t mention anything about diet being promoted as a cure for cancer. He mentioned various treatments being lumped together. Nothing about a cure.

      • I remember a similar column in the Telegraph about 20 years ago written by a GP. One case described was a textbook one of anhydrotic ectodermal dysplasia. The guff trotted out by the columnist was eye-watering. I wrote a stinking letter but never received a reply. The column disappeared a few weeks later. I suspect my letter might not have been the only one.

  • “We as autistic people, are bombarded with the discriminatory rhetoric that we are in need of a cure”

    Homeopathic nonsense aside, is it really discriminatory to suggest that autism is in need of a cure? For some sufferers and their loved ones it seems to be a difficult and distressing condition, surely a cure would be a good thing.

    Niall

    • I new you were fairly ignorant, but I did not think that you did not know the difference between treatment and prevention.

      • Last paragraph from the conclusion:
        As reviewed above, reductions of 60 percent in breast cancer rates have already been seen in human diet studies, and a 71 percent reduction in colon cancer for men without the known modifiable risk factors. These reductions are without taking into account many of the other factors considered in this review, such as markedly increased fruit and vegetable intake, balanced omega 3 and 6 fats, vitamin D, reduced sugar intake, probiotics, and enzymes – factors which all are likely to have an impact on cancer. Certainly cancer prevention would be possible, and cancer reversal in some cases is quite likely.

        Many chronic diseases are reversable via diet changes
        Type 2 diabedies, Liver disease, Colin cancer, CVD and obesity come to mind immidiatly. I’m certain there are more.
        You guys really need to get off this website and do some more reading.

      • Also, she does not understand the difference between research and assumptions and seems to think liver disease is a singular 😀

  • Last paragraph from the conclusion:
    As reviewed above, reductions of 60 percent in breast cancer rates have already been seen in human diet studies, and a 71 percent reduction in colon cancer for men without the known modifiable risk factors. These reductions are without taking into account many of the other factors considered in this review, such as markedly increased fruit and vegetable intake, balanced omega 3 and 6 fats, vitamin D, reduced sugar intake, probiotics, and enzymes – factors which all are likely to have an impact on cancer. Certainly cancer prevention would be possible, and cancer reversal in some cases is quite likely.

    Many chronic diseases are reversable via diet changes
    Type 2 diabedies, Liver disease, Colin cancer, CVD and obesity come to mind immidiatly. I’m certain there are more.
    You guys really need to get off this website and do some more reading.

    • Type 2 diabedies, Liver disease, Colin cancer, CVD and obesity come to mind immidiatly. I’m certain there are more.
      You guys really need to get off this website and do some more reading.

      Training as a doctor and then as an oncologist, coupled with 30 years’ practice as a physician clearly isn’t enough for you…

      I do not dispute that diet is an essential component of treatment for type 2 diabetes, and that it can be very successful in the treatment of obesity (provided that you can persuade the obese person to stick to it), but I’m not sure about liver disease (cirrhosis? hepatitis B?) or cerebrovascular disease (are you suggesting that diet can cure stroke?). And as for Colin Cancer – is he a relative of Dubya’s Secretary of State, Colin Bowel?

    • Colon cancer is NOT a chronic disease, RG.

      Diet can reduce your chances of developing it, as the studies you quote show.

      Diet will NOT “reverse” it as you claim without evidence.

      Diet will not treat ANY cancer. Neither will it prevent it. It will only reduce your chances of contracting the disease.

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