UK Doctors call for a ban on Homeopathy (public funding for it)

  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Jul 08, 2010 1:44 AM GMT
    Homeopathy has been getting hammered hard in the UK. There is a strong movement to limit public funding to only evidence-based treatments, for such treatments to be labelled as placebos in the pharmacy, and so on.

    Here is an article about the most recent development:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7857349/Doctors-call-for-homeopathy-ban.html

    And a blog post by a US Neurologist and frequent commenter on the topic of evidence based medicine vs pseudoscience...

    http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=2078
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jul 08, 2010 4:10 AM GMT
    i though england already legalized gay marriage icon_wink.gif
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    Jul 08, 2010 5:10 AM GMT
    calibro saidi though england already legalized gay marriage

    Homeopathy: caring deeply for homes.

    You're tinking of homeogamy. Which may be marriage between homes.

    English is my second language.
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    Jul 08, 2010 6:18 AM GMT
    mickeytopogigio said
    Homeopathy: caring deeply for homes.


    Actually homeopathy means "suffering or disease of the home"



    Pitch-lake-house.jpg
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    Jul 08, 2010 6:54 AM GMT
    I tend to find such a thing rather unfortunate. I say this more in reference to treating conditions such as depression, for which there is no evidence that pharmacological treatment has any effect, and actually there is a lot of evidence it is more damaging than helpful.

    To me, this seems to be symbolic of a further move towards a 'brave new world', where to deal with problems (and I am specifying mental and psychological issues), we simply drug people up instead of deal with the issues at hand.

    There is no such thing as a 'cure' in psychiatry, which itself is a pseudo-science that justifies the mass drugging of society in promoting social control. Yet, it has the reputation of "evidence-based" treatment, which is a fallacy. In such instances, homeopathic remedies, or better yet, simply talking to a patient, has just as much if not more of a positive effect than pharmacological treatment.

    This type of decision would just seem to me to further promote a pharmacological approach to psychological conditions, which I think is extremely unfortunate.

    While evidence-based medicine is very useful, necessary and important in addressing physical illness, it is in the application of pharmacology to address psychological conditions that truly worries me.
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    Jul 08, 2010 7:09 AM GMT
    MeOhMy saidI tend to find such a thing rather unfortunate. I say this more in reference to treating conditions such as depression, for which there is no evidence that pharmacological treatment has any effect, and actually there is a lot of evidence it is more damaging than helpful.

    To me, this seems to be symbolic of a further move towards a 'brave new world', where to deal with problems (and I am specifying mental and psychological issues), we simply drug people up instead of deal with the issues at hand.

    There is no such thing as a 'cure' in psychiatry, which itself is a pseudo-science that justifies the mass drugging of society in promoting social control. Yet, it has the reputation of "evidence-based" treatment, which is a fallacy. In such instances, homeopathic remedies, or better yet, simply talking to a patient, has just as much if not more of a positive effect than pharmacological treatment.

    This type of decision would just seem to me to further promote a pharmacological approach to psychological conditions, which I think is extremely unfortunate.

    While evidence-based medicine is very useful, necessary and important in addressing physical illness, it is in the application of pharmacology to address psychological conditions that truly worries me.


    As a psychologist and med student, Id like to verify and concur with MeOmyhs statement

    In addition... Id like to stipulate that homeopathic medicine has a higher succes rate than placebo's tend to do,in addition, allopathic medicine does not have a 100% success rate, so either one remain controversial
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    Jul 08, 2010 7:23 AM GMT
    I agree this is sad I've used ayurvedic based homeopathic treatments and they've worked better than pharmaceutical drugs and anti biotics to treat things like flus and allergies I've had in the past.

    What's even better was they were yummy and I dint have to deal with side effects. I don't like putting drugs into my system too much.
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    Jul 08, 2010 7:27 AM GMT
    Now if we wanted REAL medical progress, how about overturning drug prohibition and legalizing marijuana.

    Someone above mentioned homeopathic treatments for the flu... the best treatment I have used for the flu is to smoke weed: it kills nausea better than any pharmaceutical drug I have ever used, eases and reduces all aching and pain, and it's all natural and highly effective.

    Instead of BANNING things, why don't we overturn bans? That seems to me to be a lot more representative of progress... this decision strikes me as more regressive than anything.
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    Jul 08, 2010 7:54 AM GMT
    MeOhMy saidNow if we wanted REAL medical progress, how about overturning drug prohibition and legalizing marijuana.

    Someone above mentioned homeopathic treatments for the flu... the best treatment I have used for the flu is to smoke weed: it kills nausea better than any pharmaceutical drug I have ever used, eases and reduces all aching and pain, and it's all natural and highly effective.

    Instead of BANNING things, why don't we overturn bans? That seems to me to be a lot more representative of progress... this decision strikes me as for regressive than anything.


    ayurvedic science/medicine is different it's based on a 5000 yr tradition, weed on the other hand I rather not comment icon_lol.gif
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    Jul 08, 2010 7:56 AM GMT
    PrinceOfArya said
    MeOhMy saidNow if we wanted REAL medical progress, how about overturning drug prohibition and legalizing marijuana.

    Someone above mentioned homeopathic treatments for the flu... the best treatment I have used for the flu is to smoke weed: it kills nausea better than any pharmaceutical drug I have ever used, eases and reduces all aching and pain, and it's all natural and highly effective.

    Instead of BANNING things, why don't we overturn bans? That seems to me to be a lot more representative of progress... this decision strikes me as for regressive than anything.


    ayurvedic science/medicine is different it's based on a 5000 yr tradition, weed on the other hand I rather not comment icon_lol.gif


    Correction noted.
  • camfer

    Posts: 891

    Jul 08, 2010 8:30 AM GMT
    Well, the good news is that once you get past the initial visit, homeopathy is not very expensive. So if it loses its public funding, many people should still be able to take advantage of it.

    Here's my success story with homeopathy. Over 10 years ago I thought as a prudent gay man I would get the Hep B vaccine. Went to my doctor, got the first of the 3 shot series, went home. I'd been in excellent health, elite fitness level, etc. The day after the shot I doubled over in severe abdominal pain, bloated, nauseated, and fatigued. I called a friend to take me to the ER because I couldn't drive in that condition. I brought along that little piece of tissue paper full of drug information you get with your vaccine. The ER doc read through it and since my cluster of symptoms was not on that little piece of paper told me the vaccine was not the cause of my illness. Got sent home with pain pills.

    The pain and fatigue continued for two full years (the shot series took 12 months to complete, and yes i took all 3 shots.) I tried everything to get well: 13 conventional medical doctors, tried acupuncture, massage, yoga, feldenkrais, multiple CT scans, barium xrays of my GI tract, colonoscopy, and more. Not one doctor ever believed my assertion that I had a bad reaction to a vaccine. The fatigue was so severe it was hard to get up off the couch and walk ten steps to the kitchen. I had health insurance but even with that the deductibles and copayments were eating up all my savings. I couldn't work.

    It was valentines day and I was alone and tired and depressed and nearly broke but there was a gay valentines day dance in my little town. So I figured I'd go, sit in a chair in the corner and people would come by and visit with me. I couldn't drink or dance, but at least I could catch up with friends.

    There were door prizes at the dance. At some point they turned down the music and started calling out the prizes and the last 3 digits off the winning ticket and people came up to get their prize. People were winning gift certificates to local businesses in town. Eventually one of the prizes was a free initial visit with a naturopath. They called out the numbers, and I had the winning ticket.

    To this day I do not know how it was that I won that visit. Few people knew how sick I was, and it was unlikely that they would have faked pulling my number out of the bag. So it was purely a "coincidence" that the guy who most needed a visit to a naturopath won. It's beyond my comprehension how I won, but I did.

    The next week I visited the naturopath. She asked a lot of questions and listened to the whole story. Finally at the end she told me I'd had a bad reaction to a vaccination and that in homeopathy there are ways to deal with it. She gave me some little white sugar pills to take once a day for three days. She told me it was lachysis 20x (snake venom diluted 1:100 20 times over.) She told me I'd feel worse for about 3 weeks, and then I'd feel better that I'd felt in the last 2 years.

    So I took the pills and dissolved them under my tongue each night for three nights. Sure enough, I felt worse for about 3 weeks. Then at the end of that 3 weeks my health dramatically shifted. I felt better, my stamina came back, the pain and bloating went away. I did one other remedy a couple months later, just to fine tune things, but by then I had my health and my life back.

    Now ten years later people half my age have trouble keeping up with me. I attribute my dramatic turnaround to homeopathy. When nothing else worked for me, it did. I don't care if it was the placebo effect, the pills doing their thing, or the fact that someone finally took the time to hear my story and did not negate my belief of the cause of my problems. All I know is that conventional medicine cost me tens of thousands of dollars and did nothing for my illness. Then when I did homeopathy it might have cost me $200 if I'd had to pay, and I got better soon after I did it.

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    Jul 08, 2010 9:21 AM GMT
    MeOhMy saidNow if we wanted REAL medical progress, how about overturning drug prohibition and legalizing marijuana.

    Someone above mentioned homeopathic treatments for the flu... the best treatment I have used for the flu is to smoke weed: it kills nausea better than any pharmaceutical drug I have ever used, eases and reduces all aching and pain, and it's all natural and highly effective.

    Instead of BANNING things, why don't we overturn bans? That seems to me to be a lot more representative of progress... this decision strikes me as for regressive than anything.


    ^
    ^
    ^
    Yes!
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Jul 08, 2010 2:16 PM GMT
    It seems to me that most of the replies are very off the mark here. But as someone who supports this ban let me hit on a few points of clarification and further thought.

    1. This is not a ban on homeopathy. This is a ban on public funding for homeopathy. They simply want good use of the limited resources they have to study only what shows the most promise, or at least some promise, not to study something for which there is zero plausibility. People can still buy and make homeopathic solutions (a.k.a. water), people can still take as much of it as they like. Ditty for astrology and phrenology, people can use and practice those all they like as medical diagnostic tools, but public funding for those, and for homeopathy, and for anything else which is entirely implausible should be stopped in favour of treatments which are plausible.

    2. Antidepressants were mentioned. There is an enormous amount of legitimate criticism that can be applied to the overuse of medication in general, especially in the US, and to antidepressants specifically. As it happens the evidence for efficacy of antidepressants in mild to moderate cases of depression is very weak (while quite strong for the most severe cases) and there is quite a raging battle in the scientific community as to their use.

    But nothing from this follows that we should be more accepting of homeopathy. Often when criticism of alternative medicine is mentioned people bring up an example of something commonly used in non-alternative medicine for which there is also little or no good evidence as if this vindicates the alternative medicine's lack of efficacy. This reasoning is exactly backwards; if both homeopathy and antidepressants (for mild to moderate cases) lack an evidential bases then both should not be used or funded.

    3. Marijuana was mentioned. I agree that the attitude towards this drug, especially in the US, is highly irrational and the efforts to combat the legalization of this drug are counterproductive. Again, nothing from this followed that we should fund homeopathy. But i'm on the legalize-marijuana-bandwagon.
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    Jul 08, 2010 10:21 PM GMT
    iguanaSF said
    mickeytopogigio said
    Homeopathy: caring deeply for homes.


    Actually homeopathy means "suffering or disease of the home"



    Pitch-lake-house.jpg


    Errr - not quite...

    Homeopathy, also homoepathy (Homeo - like, the same or very similar, pathy - suffering, feeling, hence Homeopathy = "The same suffering/feeling."

    By definition, homeopathy is a treatment using an alternate substance or medicine which has a very dilute ingredient to enhance the cause of disease, and thus suppose to strengthen the immune system. The end result is to give the body the resources to cure itself of any ailments it might be suffering.
    It is similar to Holistic Medicine where the whole body is treated rather than the affected area.
    Chiropractics is another form of alternate treatment. Its founder, Dan Palmer, taught the original form of chiropractics, which was to treat the whole body from disease by means of manipulating the muscles close to the spinal cord and to correct the position of a displaced vertebrae without the need for any drugs or aid from mainstream medicine, which according to Palmer, was the key to cure all illness. Palmer himself called it a religion, and compared it to Christian Science, a sect founded by Mary Eddy-Baker, who wrote, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and taught that all diseases can be healed by prayer and meditation alone. Palmer used the term "religion" in his hope of receiving Tax Exemption, and was jailed appropriately. Modern chiropractics does involve mainstream medicine, mainly with the use of X-rays or scans, but still remain drugless.
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    Jul 09, 2010 12:56 AM GMT
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    Jul 09, 2010 8:33 PM GMT
    Delivis saidIt seems to me that most of the replies are very off the mark here.


    that´s because they didn´t give the answer you wanted to hear. I hold no brief for homeopathy (in fact I am wary of all the "alternative" therapies which grew out of the esoteric movement of the C19 and clearly cannot be compared to the 1000s of years of clinical experience which stand behind traditional oriental medicine). But if it works...

    Oh I forgot. It´s better to be ill than be cured by something without peer review.
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    Jul 09, 2010 9:02 PM GMT
    I'm going to be blunt about this people

    I (aka taxpayer and my fellow UK taxpayers) do not have the cash for such luxuries anymore.

    If research and testing needs to be carried out, then the private sector is more then welcome to fund and try it.

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    Jul 09, 2010 9:10 PM GMT
    MeOhMy said
    PrinceOfArya said
    MeOhMy saidNow if we wanted REAL medical progress, how about overturning drug prohibition and legalizing marijuana.

    Someone above mentioned homeopathic treatments for the flu... the best treatment I have used for the flu is to smoke weed: it kills nausea better than any pharmaceutical drug I have ever used, eases and reduces all aching and pain, and it's all natural and highly effective.

    Instead of BANNING things, why don't we overturn bans? That seems to me to be a lot more representative of progress... this decision strikes me as for regressive than anything.


    ayurvedic science/medicine is different it's based on a 5000 yr tradition, weed on the other hand I rather not comment icon_lol.gif


    Correction noted.


    Weed is as old as aspirin as a painkiller (since before writing existed, so its true origins are a mystery)

    So are most drugs used in the Amazon jungle... all we know is folk stories as to their origins

    This is another topic though: ethnobiomedicine...
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    Jul 09, 2010 9:24 PM GMT
    Well I had a medical problem that prevented me from doing sports, and only homeopathy cured me. And I don't care if it is a placebo either - as long as it makes me better, who cares! As long as it's not a clear physical problem, like a broken limb, I believe that the mind CAN cure the body.


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    Jul 09, 2010 9:42 PM GMT
    Why subsidize snake oil?

    I hope the ban goes through.

    Why give public money to witch doctors and charlatans?

    Reproduceable results in a verified, double-blind study: Homeopathy can't provide that. Science-based medicine can.
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Jul 09, 2010 9:44 PM GMT
    Lostboy said
    Delivis saidIt seems to me that most of the replies are very off the mark here.


    that´s because they didn´t give the answer you wanted to hear. I hold no brief for homeopathy (in fact I am wary of all the "alternative" therapies which grew out of the esoteric movement of the C19 and clearly cannot be compared to the 1000s of years of clinical experience which stand behind traditional oriental medicine). But if it works...

    Oh I forgot. It´s better to be ill than be cured by something without peer review.


    Nonsense. But since you want to insult me by making me out to be some sort of petty ideologue who can't stand disagreement rather than making any valid point of your own, I'm going to be a bit patronising in my reply. So here is a quick guide for you on how to have an argument.

    This is the argument:

    Premise1: Homeopathy does not work (or it is highly implausible that it works).
    Premise 2: It is unethical to use public money to fund research into therapies for which there is no plausibility when more plausible options are available.
    Conclusion: Therefore, we should not fund homeopathy research with public money.

    Ways you can argue against the conclusion include arguing that a) homeopathy does work (or that is plausible that homeopathy works) or b) it is ethical to fund such research. Talking about legalizing marijuana is all well and good but it does not get you to any refutation of the argument.

    I have no problem with people disagreeing with me, as you rudely suggest that I do, or that I dismiss any answer as "off the mark" because "I do not want to hear it". Whether someone actually argued against the position offered and whether or not I agree with them or not are two different things. Someone can post something "off the mark" that I do not agree with or something off the mark that I do agree with like the position that marijuana should be legalized.

    Get the difference now?


    Anyhow, as to the rest of your post I think I'll make a post about that on it's own later, as it is a fallacy that crops up far too often. But for now it will have to suffice to say that how long something has been practiced does not represent an ounce of evidence for efficacy.
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    Jul 09, 2010 10:10 PM GMT
    To summarise.

    My word of the year here in britain:

    CUT
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    Jul 09, 2010 10:23 PM GMT
    MeOhMy saidI tend to find such a thing rather unfortunate. I say this more in reference to treating conditions such as depression, for which there is no evidence that pharmacological treatment has any effect, and actually there is a lot of evidence it is more damaging than helpful.

    To me, this seems to be symbolic of a further move towards a 'brave new world', where to deal with problems (and I am specifying mental and psychological issues), we simply drug people up instead of deal with the issues at hand.

    There is no such thing as a 'cure' in psychiatry, which itself is a pseudo-science that justifies the mass drugging of society in promoting social control. Yet, it has the reputation of "evidence-based" treatment, which is a fallacy. In such instances, homeopathic remedies, or better yet, simply talking to a patient, has just as much if not more of a positive effect than pharmacological treatment.

    This type of decision would just seem to me to further promote a pharmacological approach to psychological conditions, which I think is extremely unfortunate.

    While evidence-based medicine is very useful, necessary and important in addressing physical illness, it is in the application of pharmacology to address psychological conditions that truly worries me.


    You obviously do not have much experience with good psychologists and psychiatrists.

    This story is not evidence of anything you are paranoid about--it's a common sense issue. Homeopathy does not work chemically.

    And what are you talking about, "I say this more in reference to treating conditions such as depression, for which there is no evidence that pharmacological treatment has any effect, and actually there is a lot of evidence it is more damaging than helpful."?

    Please cite your sources (Tom Cruse is not a source).
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    Jul 09, 2010 10:28 PM GMT
    lswh saidI'm going to be blunt about this people

    I (aka taxpayer and my fellow UK taxpayers) do not have the cash for such luxuries anymore.

    If research and testing needs to be carried out, then the private sector is more then welcome to fund and try it.



    Try researching what publicly funded research has produced. Private sector cares mainly about profits... and that's a poor way to fund research that can and has benefited society.
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    Jul 09, 2010 10:29 PM GMT