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

The 30 most recent comments from all posts are listed below. Click on the post title to go to the comment on the post’s page.

  • Comment by David B on United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is looking to employ a Spiritual Healer / Reiki Therapist Thursday 13 August 2020: 19:08 Wham! Bravo again. “They do not like it up ’em, Cap’n Mainwaring!”
  • Comment by Richard Rawlins on United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is looking to employ a Spiritual Healer / Reiki Therapist Thursday 13 August 2020: 18:08 Andrew Morgan Esq. CEO, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust Care of: communications@ulh.nhs.uk 13th August 2020 Dear Mr Morgan, Appointment to ULH NHS Trust of a Reiki Therapist. I am a member of Council of the BMA, but write in a personal capacity wishing to know more about the post for a Reiki practitioner at ULH as I wish to brief the BMA Board of Science. I wrote to Mrs Polly Johnson six days ago, as she is the staff member responsible for this recruitment, but she has not answered. I would be grateful if you would answer my questions at your earliest opportunity as you are clearly implicated. I understand that you have Tweeted that this post “is fully funded by a charity”, but that seems not to be the case, and you might be misleading patients and the public, in addition to misusing your Trust’s funds. I inquire: • Although ‘fully funded’ – do the charitable funds cover the fixed costs of running a clinic – ground rent, room hire, utilities, other staff such as nurses, receptionists, indemnity for accidents/incidents? • Why has this post not been open to any ‘reiki practitioner/therapist’, but rather is open exclusively to those trained by a particular named therapist? • What evidence do you have that reiki therapists trained by this particular therapist are any more effective than those trained by any other? Or indeed – not trained at all? • Is there not a conflict of interest in making this contingency? • Given the Job purpose is stated to be: “to deliver Reiki/Energy Healing to patients with cancer”, what evidence do you have that any healing occurs as a result of such therapies? • If you have no plausible evidence, on what basis was the decision made to employ a practitioner for the purpose? Who was responsible for that decision? • Does not such a decision fly in the face of your Trust’s policies for excellence and to offer patients care and treatment based on evidence? (Of course, I set aside the undoubted benefits from having the attention of an empathic practitioner, but such does not constitute ‘healing’.) • Given the energies must be very powerful if they are to have any effect, what precautions will be taken to ensure that a slightly misplaced hand position does not harm the patient? • Given Reiki therapists of Grade 2 can transmit energy over substantial distances, what precautions will be taken to ensure no harm befalls other persons in the Unit, or Lincolnshire? • Has the proposal to employ a person to offer this innovative treatment been approved by ULH ethics committee (as is required under NHS regulations)? • If not, why not? • If so, what evidence of benefit from these energies was provided to the committee? • Do you think it is ethical to suggest to patients that they might benefit from any energies generated by a Reiki practitioner, and how do you explain these energies to them? • Please may I have a copy of the relevant ‘consent to treatment’ form? I would be most grateful for any clarification you can offer. Yours sincerely, Richard Rawlins MB BS MBA FRCS
  • Comment by David B on Homeopathy for urological disorders: a new systematic review Thursday 13 August 2020: 13:08 wheels, that would be the wrong way round, I fear. What would be the sense in trying to work out HOW I am able to fly unaided, when there is zero evidence THAT I am able to fly unaided? To work out HOW a thing is happening, you need to be certain THAT it is happening. Aspirin was in use for a very long time before anyone worked out how it worked, but there was no doubt whatever that it worked. Homeopathy has not been reliably demonstrated to work better than placebo. There is no point in trying to study an effect that doesn’t actually exist.
  • Comment by Björn Geir on Homeopathy for urological disorders: a new systematic review Thursday 13 August 2020: 13:08 What you are reflecting on is called “Tooth-fairy science” http://skepdic.com/toothfairyscience.html
  • Comment by Björn Geir on The claim that homeopathy is effective for children supports the homeopaths’ income but not your kid. Thursday 13 August 2020: 13:08 Let me guess: A homeostatistician in “Homeopathy” I guess the Lollypop never heard of Tooth-fairy science. 😀 😀
  • Comment by Richard Rawlins on Homeopathy for urological disorders: a new systematic review Thursday 13 August 2020: 11:08 These folks are bringing the proud tradition of Indian science into disrepute. At least in the UK only cranks take homeopathy seriously. (Scamists and frauds do not take homeopathy seriously, only the benefits it brings them!)
  • Comment by wheels on Homeopathy for urological disorders: a new systematic review Thursday 13 August 2020: 11:08 I wonder why no one ever tries to show how homeopathy actually works rather than concentrating on trials which, even if they show benefit to the patient, are only circumstantial until the method of action is described.
  • Comment by zebra on Homeopathy for urological disorders: a new systematic review Thursday 13 August 2020: 10:08 Surely these impressive sounding (and presumably well funded) institutions could actually have put together a decent RCT of homeopathy themselves instead of just doing a review? Is it possible that they realize (or fear) the results would negative.
  • Comment by Richard Rasker on Reiki as a Therapy for Chronic Pain? Thursday 13 August 2020: 09:08 By using a picture of the person you would like to send Reiki to or by writing the person’s name on a piece of paper or simply by thinking of the person and also activating the distant symbol, you can send Reiki to them no matter where they are Translation: “You are now capable of SCAMming people from your comfy chair and at your leisure, without all the hassle of having to see them in person, making appointments, or even maintaining an office.”
  • Comment by Edzard on Homeopathy for urological disorders: a new systematic review Thursday 13 August 2020: 09:08 precisely!
  • Comment by David B on Homeopathy for urological disorders: a new systematic review Thursday 13 August 2020: 09:08 Hmm, Journal of Complementary & Integrative Medicine…. and disintegrative thinking, perhaps….. Hahnemann would surely spin in his grave at the concept of homeopathy being “integrated” with anything else; he was entirely inimical to any such idea. Those who seek to ‘integrate’ homeopathy therefore entirely betray Hahnemann. This “integration” approach surely only happens in order to disguise the fact that homeopathy on its own is useless beyond placebo.
  • Comment by Richard Rawlins on Reiki as a Therapy for Chronic Pain? Thursday 13 August 2020: 07:08 For the avoidance of misunderstanding: https://www.reiki.org/articles/what-possible-reiki-master. “Because of the nature of the master level and the energies that become available to us, being a Reiki master can be an ongoing process involving continuous personal growth. With the master attunement and the use of the master symbol, we receive the opportunity to open more and more completely to the limitless potential of Reiki and to develop in ourselves the qualities that are contained in the Reiki energy… When we receive the Usui master symbol and the attunement that empowers it, it creates the possibility for us to become aware of the Ultimate Reality. This is expressed in the definition of the Usui master symbol which indicates that it represents that part of the self that is already completely enlightened!… In Reiki II, you are given three Reiki symbols. These symbols are empowered by the Reiki II attunement. One of these symbols is for distant healing. By using a picture of the person you would like to send Reiki to or by writing the person’s name on a piece of paper or simply by thinking of the person and also activating the distant symbol, you can send Reiki to them no matter where they are. They could be hundreds of miles away, but it makes no difference. The Reiki energy will go to them and treat them. You can also send Reiki to crisis situations or world leaders and the Reiki energy will help them too.” It’s obviously working…
  • Comment by Mojo on The claim that homeopathy is effective for children supports the homeopaths’ income but not your kid. Wednesday 12 August 2020: 20:08 Who was this “statician”, and where was this published?
  • Comment by jrkrideau on Reiki as a Therapy for Chronic Pain? Wednesday 12 August 2020: 13:08 I believe I have seen references to the use of “battlefield acupuncture”! Hopefully applied to the practitioner with the pointy end of a bayonet.
  • Comment by Richard Rasker on Reiki as a Therapy for Chronic Pain? Wednesday 12 August 2020: 11:08 Reiki Masters at II level can transmit energy over intercontinental distances Great! Let’s put that to good use by transporting them all to the Sahara desert and other locations with an abundance of energy, and make them send that energy to places where it’s needed. This may well solve all of our energy and CO2 troubles in one fell sweep! Let me be the first to pledge $100 for travel costs over there – one-way, of course.
  • Comment by Edzard on Reiki as a Therapy for Chronic Pain? Wednesday 12 August 2020: 10:08 or might they be about to develop bullshit cannons or worse?
  • Comment by Richard Rawlins on Reiki as a Therapy for Chronic Pain? Wednesday 12 August 2020: 10:08 I am very concerned. Reiki Masters at II level can transmit energy over intercontinental distances. Might this energy be used in warfare? Is that why the US military are interested? We should be told.
  • Comment by Edzard on Reiki as a Therapy for Chronic Pain? Wednesday 12 August 2020: 10:08 yes, perhaps something to do with Wane Jonas?
  • Comment by Edzard on Reiki as a Therapy for Chronic Pain? Wednesday 12 August 2020: 10:08 true!
  • Comment by DavidP on Reiki as a Therapy for Chronic Pain? Wednesday 12 August 2020: 10:08 The purpose reads like the purpose was to market reiki – communicate about it, give people a placebo effect, then promote it to them and encourage them to promote to others, by push-polling or more active ways.
  • Comment by Leigh Jackson on Reiki as a Therapy for Chronic Pain? Wednesday 12 August 2020: 10:08 Googling “British Medical Corps” or “British army” plus the terms “complementary medicine” or “alternative medicine” produced nothing except a few links to the US army. The same search for “US army” produced many links. The US military has bought into magic medicine it would appear.
  • Comment by Peter on Vitamin D for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19? Wednesday 12 August 2020: 09:08 What are your sources for experts telling to take high levels of vitamin D? I think it is a pity that you are telling about the extreme examples, while the Vitamin D case is hopeful story that “might help, doesn’t hurt”. This leads to unnecessary doubt. If communicated well to not overdo Vitamin D intake, people will do it right.
  • Comment by Peter on Vitamin D for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19? Wednesday 12 August 2020: 09:08 Yeah of course they didn’t find it, cause the research hasn’t been conducted yet. We can wait 6 months for this to be the case, or we can make sure our Vitamin D levels are optimal, which is a healthy thing anyway.
  • Comment by Leigh Jackson on Waldorf schools are a danger to public health Wednesday 12 August 2020: 07:08 @RG Dr. JMK provided his considered judgement on the study which you linked to. Sufficient to convince me that Classen’s study is at the very least questionable in its conclusions. I can’t say fairer than that. Truth be told it does not look good for him. Exactly what have you done? You posted a link making no comment about the content and dismiss a detailed response as pure speculation. We know who the responder is and his medical and research experience. We know that you are an anonymous burning stupid antivaxxer. Case closed.
  • Comment by Old Bob on ‘Orthomolecular medicine’: more quacks jump on the CORONAVIRUS bandwaggon Wednesday 12 August 2020: 06:08 Björn Geir on Sunday 09 August 2020 at 17:00 said: “Is there any reason for me to respond to this practically incomprehensible comment by a nameless, apparently non-medically educated person?” 1 “…practically…” – why not “certainly”? 2 “…apparently…” – ditto? Because, evidently, you don’t know, you cannot know, and yet you are “certain” about Pauling and “…anything from coryza to Covid-19.”, which in the grand scheme of things, includes the workings of the Human Body and its interaction/integration with viruses and vitamin C. Suppose you did have this knowledge. You would be able to immediately say something like “Vitamin C cannot work because of xyz.” instead of personal attack.
  • Comment by Lenny on “Homeopathy combat against coronavirus disease (Covid-19)” … No, sadly it’s not a hoax Tuesday 11 August 2020: 23:08 Lolly “nameless trolls” Er.. I’ve named the mathematician who systematically deconstructed the nonsense. The paper WAS RETRACTED because it was COMPLETE BOLLOCKS. It’s strange, isn’t it. Homeopaths claim evidence supports their medical claims. The evidence-based medicine specialists explain why it doesn’t. The homeopaths claim that chemistry supports their claims. The chemists explain likewise. Similarly the biologists, the physicists, the quantum physicists, the mathematicians.. Meanwhile you jam your fingers in your ears and shout “LALALA” 200 years, Popsykins. 200 years of being laughed at. The first 100 of which was without the competition of proper medicine and surgery. And yet still you claim validity. Look at yourself. Pathetic.
  • Comment by Lenny on Waldorf schools are a danger to public health Tuesday 11 August 2020: 22:08 @RG Yet another textbook demonstration of Dunning-Krugerism and hubris. You really don’t have a clue what you are talking about, a concept of the depths of your own ignorance or a grasp of how much more others know about this than you do. I am vastly ignorant as regards the nuances of trial design and statistical analysis. My powers of critical review are not great. I try to learn a little from the likes of Edzard, Björn, Dr JMK, Gorski, and others who do (or did) this as part of their job because I have come to learn how deficient my skills are in this area – not that it is spectacularly relevant to my job, but it does help. But I like to think that I am aware of my shortcomings. The more you know, the more you realise you don’t know. Such concepts don’t seem to have impinged on your Worldview.
  • Comment by DC on Debunking works!!! Tuesday 11 August 2020: 18:08 Right “Assessment of the 24 studies included in the meta-analysis indicated high risk of bias among 11 (45.8%) and unclear risk among 13 (54.2%) studies. In particular, 11 (45.8%) studies did not assess baseline measures prior to the inter- vention, making it impossible to gauge whether the groups were similar at baseline. Further, 4 (16.7%) studies suffered from attrition that exceeded 20% and 1 (4.2%) study was statistically underpowered. Additionally, 4 (16.7%) studies included several interventions in each condition thus rais- ing concerns over possible confounds.”
  • Comment by Björn Geir on Waldorf schools are a danger to public health Tuesday 11 August 2020: 17:08 @RG You state your demonstrably erroneous opinions without anything to support them. E.g. what makes you think JMKs arguments are weak? Can you support your claim? Are you just playing a ( boring and useless) game trying to have fun by sounding stupid or do you really have some unfortunate condition causing a cognitive handicap?
  • Comment by RG on Waldorf schools are a danger to public health Tuesday 11 August 2020: 15:08 @Lenny Wrong you are. The study was not dis-proven, or debunked. Another study was performed to make the outcome what was needed to continue to push the narrative. Dr. JMK made a weak attempt to debunk the study, but he provided a wordy insight that amounts to his opinion derived from speculation about the study results…. nothing more.
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