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

[If you do not like black humour or sarcasm, please do NOT read this post!!!]

Donald Trump just announced that, at Easter, he wants to see churches packed, his way of saying the lock-down is over because it is damaging the economy. Many others have put forward similar arguments and have pointed out that caring for the vulnerable, sick, old, etc. creates an economic burden that might eventually kill more people than it saves (see for instance ‘Economic crash could cost more lives than coronavirus, study warns‘).

Many people have also argued that homeopathy is unjustly vilified because it is truly a wholesome and safe medicine that should be used routinely. The notion here is that, alright, the evidence is not brilliant, but 200 years of experience and millions of fans cannot be ignored.

I have been wondering whether these two lines of thinking could not be profitably combined. Here is my suggestion based on the following two axioms.

  1. The economy is important for all our well-being.
  2. Homeopaths have a point in that the value of experience must not be ignored.

What follows is surprisingly simple: in view of the over-riding importance of the economy, let’s prioritise it over health. As it would look bad to deny those poor corona victims all forms of healthcare, let’s treat them homeopathically. This would make lots of people happy:

  • those who think the economy must take precedent,
  • those who fear the huge costs of saving corona patients (homeopathy is very cheap),
  • those who argued for decades that we never gave homeopathy a fighting chance to show its worth.

There is a downside, of course. There would be a most lamentable mortality rate. But, to paraphrase Dominic Cummings, if a few oldies have to snuff it, so be it!

Once we get used to this innovative approach – I suggest we call it integrative medicine – we might even consider adopting it for other critical situations. When we realise, for instance, that the pension pots are empty, we could officially declare that homeopathy is the ideal medicine for anybody over 60.

What do you think?

 

29 Responses to Medical dilemmas, financial crises, and homeopathy – an efficient yet sarcastic approach

  • Amusing, but depressingly plausible.
    Who’d have though, say a decade ago, that we’d have exited from the EU, and be facing a pandemic (with an NHS depleted of capacity through years of politically mandated austerity) with a populist pm at the helm, issuing confusing and half-hearted public health announcements to a bewildered public, amongst whom antivax, anti-science, conspiracy theories, and general distrust in ‘experts’ appear to be enjoying unprecedented levels of support. An ideal environment for homeopaths and associated voodoo purveyors to infect society with their insane creeds.

  • “What follows is surprisingly simple: in view of the over-riding importance of the economy, let’s prioritize it over health. As it would look bad to deny those poor corona victims all forms of healthcare, let’s treat them homeopathically.”

    Great suggestion.

    “There is a downside, of course. There would be a most lamentable mortality rate. ”

    Should you not wait until data of outcome is received.

    “But, to paraphrase Dominic Cummings, if a few oldies have to snuff it, so be it!”

    Not a sensible statement coming from a doctor or is this normal language?

    In your expert analysis, the “few oldies” presently dying are being “snuffed”? I read that it was because of their weak immunity due to age and there is no way to correct it!

    • what your post demonstrates is simply this: you should not have read this post [it is for people like you that I put the warning at its start]; you neither have the brains nor the liking of sarcasm to understand it.

      • I Krishna clearly does not understand the concept of irony. Sarcasm, by the way, is irony used in a hurtful way, and is never humorous.

      • Edzard on Wednesday 25 March 2020 at 08:58

        “……..nor the liking of sarcasm to understand it.”

        A suggestion made by you, even as a sarcasm and black humor, warrants implementation, in present conditions.
        With your back ground, you at least, deserve this latitude. And everyone gets to find out, including you, how black the humor, in reality, is.

        On a serious note, UK with its small population, is already at the 10th position on infections (>8100 ) and 5th position with lost lives (>420). How old are your “oldies” ? Older than their Japanese counter parts? USA, the epicenter of the developments for modern medicine, would overtake China with the dubious title of “most infected patients” in about 7 days. What happens to the lost lives, is to be seen.

        With the hard work, that you accumulated knowledge and credentials, should you not be spending time on finding out what is wrong with the scientific medical system that is unable to stop this collapse? All this in the 21st century, with exponential development and numerous advances made! Nothing to show after 100 years of the earlier flu?

        You are instead, wasting time on heaping sarcasm on homeopathy. These guys, at least, went to Africa to prove a point with their old technology. It is another thing that they were not allowed to attend to patients and you put that up as failure of the homeopathic doctors. “Homeopathy for Ebola: an update directly from the ‘horse’s mouth’

        Or this is not your job! Your job is to make fun of people who are ready to do something about it.

        • https://edzardernst.com/2017/05/a-method-of-ending-discussions-with-belligerent-twits/

          ok; i tried my best to warn you.
          this was your last comment of this nature.
          you have the choice now to either contribute sensible comments, or to get banned.
          it’s up to you.

        • just for the record:
          KRISHNA is currently sending me comments full of insults.
          I have decided not to post them.
          if this does not stop, I will ban him completely from this blog

        • should you not be spending time on finding out what is wrong with the scientific medical system that is unable to stop this collapse?

          The main thing wrong with it is that politicians don’t take enough notice of scientists. Epidemiologists have been warning us for decades that we should expect another pandemic, but nobody took the trouble to prepare for it. The climate scientists have similarly been ignored for forty years to the point where there are no longer any straightforward solution to the much bigger problem of climate change. At least Covid-19 only affects one species.

          Nothing to show after 100 years of the earlier flu?

          That is hardly true. During the flu outbreak 100 years ago nobody knew what was happening, what caused it, how it was spread and how to prevent or reduce transmission. Nor were there intensive care units to give the sickest people a chance of survival. Look at how effectively China managed to get on top of the outbreak in Wuhan! We have been told that there is a realistic prospect of a vaccine becoming widely available within 18 months. Things are very different from how they were 100 years ago.

  • Hear, hear.

    Krishna, are you just a malevolent troll I wonder?

    If not, I fear for your state of mind, in light of the kind of foolish, bizarre statements that you’ve been making.

  • I wonder how psychology would interpret such sarcasm and humor? Which unconscious fears and uncertainties about your own convictions would she recognize?
    Or, as my wife uses to say: behind your jokes is always 70% truth….

  • The beauty of this approach is that you can adapt it to the available resources. Instead of building another 40 hospitals or hiring more doctors and nurses you could simply change the cut-off age for evidence based medical treatment depending on the current situation and have all patients older than, say, 55 treated homeopathically to avoid undue stress on available healthcare resources.

    If at some point the situation relaxes a bit, you could shift the age threshold back up to 60 or maybe even above that. (Although I guess it would make more sense to reduce resources than to raise the expectations of the elderly; 60 or whatever age threshold is originally set should be implemented as the absolute, unchangeable upper limit, otherwise “age creep” would sooner or later begin to eat up valuable resources needed elsewhere.)

  • the evidence is not brilliant, but 200 years of experience and millions of fans cannot be ignored

    BREAKING NEWS: Prince Charles tested positive for Covid-19

    Do I hear a heartfelt “Ouch!” from the homeopathic community?

  • Breaking News. HRH Prince Charles has Covid-19. Wonder if he’ll be burdening the NHS or going Homeopathy?

  • Even though I’m a republican I wish HRH a speedy recovery. Assuming this happens, as fortunately it does for a majority of otherwise healthy individuals (albeit that a very substantial number die), I expect in due course we’ll hear how homeopathy certainly helped him to overcome the infection.
    Another win for woo!

    • Kevin, you are right… that we can count on for sure.
      As soon as he feels better, he will credit some SCAM treatment (even if he should have received EBM treatment at the same time). His bias in favor of woo is well documented.

  • Edzard wrote ‘ no indication that he takes homeopathics to cure himself!’

    HRH holds a Royal Warrant and clearly purchases homeopathic remedies. Of course there is no actual proof that he takes any of these remedies. Maybe he stashes them away in a store room in Clarence House along with shed loads of bog rolls, pasta and dish washer tablets?

    • the Royal family have always used the very best of EBM, once any member had fallen really ill.
      homeopathy is only for when they are healthy.
      [this is one reason why one could be upset at them promoting bogus treatments and misleading the public about their value]

      • Most people use EBM when they are really ill. The problem with EBM for many of us is that it sometimes doesn’t work at the non serious stage. That is why millions of us go to CAM where we find that some of the non EB treatments work.

  • Perhaps when HRH recovers he will return to his earlir occupation of savaging British architects. I have not been in the UK for at least 15 years but unless things have improved he will have much to comment on.

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