Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Homoeopathy Is Nonsense, Can We Please Move On?

When it comes to a lot of alternative medicine, I take a sceptical but not dismissive approach. While some things might be based on outmoded ways of thinking, there might be some unforeseen benefits because people can believe in the right things for the wrong reasons. This is the nature of evidence-based medicine, if it works then I don't see a problem with its use.

Where I do draw the line is where there's no possible plausible mechanism. I am referring to homoeopathy, where by now it should well be established that there is no possible way it could work! Not only has it failed tightly-controlled empirical measure, but there is no underlying mechanism that could possibly work, the process sees to that.

A lot is made of how much a homoeopathic solution goes through, and homoeopaths don't seem to see why it is a big deal. It's a big deal because it's taking out any possible possible means of having any form of material solution. And that's just it, the claims aren't about a material solution. So it should be non-controversial that reasonable people would reject it on those grounds alone. For homoeopathy to work, there needs to be something beyond what we understand about how nature is.

But why are we still talking about it?

This is obvious nonsense, it at one point might have seemed to be a miraculous cure but testing has clearly demonstrated that homoeopathy is indistinguishable from a similarly administered placebo. At what point can we take the discipline behind the shed with a shotgun?

This is the problem I find with a lot of ideas that keep seem to come back. It doesn't matter how many times it's shown not to work, there are those who still cling to the belief. It's time for homoeopathy to die because we know that there's no hope of finding positive results. Keeping it in the public eye is now a health hazard, we know better and having people put their trust in it is a health risk not only for them but people around it. When there's the promotion of homoeopathic vaccines or homoeopathic malaria drugs, or even homoeopathic flu remedies - all of these extend the risk to others. And as for giving homoeopathic remedies to children?!?

Homoeopathy needs to die because health is a serious issue. People are harmed by the use of homoeopathy, people die because they put their trust in it. To argue otherwise is to be wilfully ignorant, through which the safety of individuals at risk as well as society as a whole. And while I have little doubt that homoeopaths truly believe their product works, but the fact remains that they are putting the safety of others in jeopardy. It's time to move on, homoeopathy may at one stage have looked promising but now it is clearly unscientific.


Anonymous said...

It's homeopathy, dude. Ho-meo-pathy.

Anonymous said...

More like Ho-me-o-pathy.

Kel said...

It can be spelled either way.