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Homeopathic anecdotes aren’t data either

When I tweeted the negative sentiment below, about the author of a book on how to ‘treat’ your toddler with homeopathy, little did I know that the irate replies would still be coming in 6 hours later.

homeopathyYes, my tweet was hyperbolic, and the answer to my question – in a direct sense at least – is most probably zero. But what the question hopes to provoke is reflection on the indirect consequences of recommending that parents treat one-year-old babies with homeopathic ‘remedies’ instead of medicine. Even if, as one person admonished me, the book claims to “aid basic ailments like constipation and insomnia. Hardly life-threatening.”

First, because the reply presumes that parents can diagnose a basic ailment in the first place. If a parent is told that her child’s constipation can be treated with homeopathy, she might persist with that course of treatment for long enough that the problem becomes more than “basic”, requiring proper medical attention. And the time wasted in seeking that, or in not giving the child proper medicine, could indeed be life-threatening. Ask Gloria Sam, the 9-month-old who died when her (perfectly treatable, and not life-threatening) eczema was ‘treated’ with homeopathy instead of a visit to a GP.

Second, because the book claims more than that, and my critic was cherry-picking examples. Other things that homeopathy can treat, only according to the Amazon blurb, are “breathing difficulties” and “vomiting”, both of which seem to be things that you’d hope concern parents more than simply inspiring the application of some sugar pills or water (in other words, a homeopathic “medicine”).

Because that is of course the third, and most important reason. Trial after trial has shown that there’s nothing to it beyond the placebo effect, something that a group of friends and I satirically demonstrated by joining the 10:23 protests a couple of years ago, where we each downed a bottle of a homeopathic ‘remedy’ (I think mine was arsenic). Here’s James Randi doing the same, taking a bottle of ‘sleeping pills’ as he often does to make this point (the clip also includes him making other arguments worth hearing).

And no, there’s no good evidence to suggest it has to be more than placebo, “because it works on animals” – we’ve got no reason to believe it works on animals any better than it does on humans (in fact, the perceived effect on animals seems to simply be an effect on humans, in terms of how they perceive the treatment and health of their pets).

But evidence isn’t what defenders of homeopathy are interested in. For them, anecdotal evidence is ‘argument’ enough, even though they would never stop to think about how they would reject similarly weak claims if they came in a version they don’t like. Kitten blood! It works for me! Crystals! Prayers to the Pink Unicorn! (Or, prayers to a ‘real’ god, just not one of the ones you happen to believe in.)

Racists defend their views with anecdotal evidence, as do sexists – reality is ignored in favour of confirmation bias. And we don’t think that doing so is a good, or a reasonable thing to do. Because the evidence is meant to matter, and the evidence isn’t “up to me”, and the experiences I might have had or not had. Part of the point of science is to provide us with resources that offer objective guidance, because we go into decisions knowing that – by and large – we’re too prone to various cognitive errors to be trusted.

The point is that a double-standard applies in people who are willing to defend their consumption and prescription of homeopathic ‘remedies’, in that they are willing to accept a very low standard of evidence on the grounds that the risks are low – “any responsible homeopath”, I’m told, “will advise their patients to take antibiotics where necessary, or to seek conventional treatment”.

But some homeopaths are less responsible than others. The coroners report was pretty clear in highlighting how Penelope Dingle would have suffered far less harm if not for her homeopath’s advice, and more generally, as Ben Goldacre makes clear in the Lancet, homeopaths simply get in the way of effective treatment:

Homoeopaths can undermine public-health campaigns; leave their patients exposed to fatal diseases; and, in the extreme, miss or disregard fatal diagnoses. There have also been cases of patients who died after medically trained homoeopaths advised them to stop medical treatments for serious medical conditions.

More prosaically, you’re simply wasting money if you spend it on homeopathy. This is one of the most annoying #middleclassproblems for me – alongside things like anti-vaccination sentiments, or obsessions with angels, or The Secret – in that it’s only the middle and upper classes who have the luxury of glamorising their anecdotal evidence in such a fashion. If homeopathy worked so well – given that it’s possible to produce it so cheaply – why would Bill Gates (etc.) not simply distribute it to those dying of malaria instead?

Of course “Western” or allopathic, or “chemical” (pick your favourite pejorative term) can’t cure everything. Nothing can. But homeopathy doesn’t outperform a straight placebo, meaning that any good effect you observe after taking a homeopathic remedy can’t have anything to do with that remedy. And much of ‘regular’ (by which I mean, real) medicine does. Furthermore, the stuff that doesn’t work – and the doctors that are quacks – tend to get driven out of the market over time.

Except for homeopaths, partly because of this almost religious devotion to “alternative” medicine (and the associated conspiracies around mainstream medicine), and partly because what homeopaths say, and prescribe, involves completely unfalsifiable claims. And that’s a bad thing – not only in general, but particularly when lives are at stake.

Check out What’s the Harm for a partial catalogue of homeopathy’s victims.

By Jacques Rousseau

Jacques Rousseau teaches critical thinking and ethics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is the founder and director of the Free Society Institute, a non-profit organisation promoting secular humanism and scientific reasoning.

245 replies on “Homeopathic anecdotes aren’t data either”

Homeopathy is excellent for babies and children. Loads of good remedies to build their bones and teeth strong, such as Calcarea Phosphorica (calc.phos). This article is rubbish. What about all the children in America on Ritalin and all the children killed by pharmaceutical toxic poisonous chemical medicines and vaccines which are a witch’s brew of animal matter, aluminium, formaldehyde and mercury, as well as human foetal cells?
See here if you don’t believe me. Pay special attention to the far right hand column.

http://www.informedchoice.info/cocktail.html

Homeopathy is excellent for babies and children? That’s what the parents of Malka Sitna, Isabelle Denley, Gloria Thomas and Cameron Ayres believed. That’s why those children are dead.

Those cases come from the “skeptic” site What’sTheHarm. The majority of their material was gleaned from newspaper stories rather than documented medical sources. Some of the people never used homeopathy at all. Some used homeopathy only after con med failed them. In other cases the site confuses homeopathy with other systems of medicine, even nutritional supplements.

In the case of Gloria Thomas, her parents used a variety of medical treatments including con med to address the child’s eczema. Conventional topical steroid treatments are linked with skin cancer and lymphoma. No parent would want to expose their child to such a risk. Additionally, studies show that homeopathy is as effective as con med in treating eczema. (Acta Dermato Venereol, 2009; Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2008; and more at: http://www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/content/research-on-eczema-homeopathic-medicine)

This young woman contracted eczema at 6 months and died of its complications at age 16 with her head, trunk, back and arms covered with weeping skin and ulcerations. She was treated with all available conventional treatments including topical steroids and emollients, systemic steroids and diet.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1292047/?page=1

Why aren’t you campaigning against con med?

What nonsense. When MDs prescribe Zantac for premature infants due to ‘acid reflux,’ how can you possibly think this is better than homeopathy? Suppression of the symptom does not mean the child gets any benefit. With homeopathy, that minor problem disappears, never to become a more serious issue.

This opinion piece shows that Jacques Rousseau knows nothing about homeopathy. A pity, as it is so far superior to prescription drugs that net pharmaceutical companies record profits. I would love to see the inclusion of a conflict of interest clause in these ramblings, as the amount of money paid out by big pharma would surely shock the lay public.

So, I’m good at predicting…

Now, Sandra, how about addressing some of the points in the article? Or do you agree with them all?

Part of your new comedy routine Alan?

The skeptics have been, and continue to be failing to stop the rise in popularity and use of homeopathy worldwide. If they have been successful, they should be able to tell us:

1. The number of homeopathic book sales they have stopped.
2. The number of how many homeopathic remedy sales they have stopped.
3. The number of homeopaths they have forced to close their practices.
4. The number of patients that have been stopped from visiting a homeopath.
5. The number of homeopathic schools they have forced to close.

Good thing they are not being paid by pharmaceutical companies, medical societies and other interest groups to rant against a mode of alternative health care that none of them has ever tried.

ROFL!

Anyway, do you agree with all the points in the article, Sandra? If not, perhaps you could tell us which ones and why?

LOL!

It’s up to Jacques Rousseau of course, but why don’t we deal with the topic at hand first. Once we’ve sorted all that out, we can maybe move on to correcting your other misapprehensions and errors.

So, do you agree with all the points in the article? If not, which ones and why?

HaHaHa….Still no figures I see. Guess you have to admit that the skeptics’ efforts have been a dismal failure.

That gets you a ROFL!

I see you still don’t have a clue! Maybe that’s something else you need to ‘research’?

Anyway, before you do that, do you agree with all the points in the article? Or is there some reason you don’t want to answer that?

LOL!

There’re there for you to read, Sandra. As are your comments trying to avoid dealing with the any of them.

Oh dear.

Perhaps you do agree with everything after all. But if you really don’t believe there are any points you are able to address, why waste any more time here?

Any time I can make a skeptic look foolish, it is not a waste of my time. You, on the other hand, are wasting your time. Good thing you are not getting paid.

LOL!

There’re there for you to read, Sandra. As are your comments trying to avoid dealing with the any of them.

I already debunked that pile of fallacious nonsense, Sandra.

And it wouldn’t matter anyway. How are you getting along with repealing the laws of thermodynamics, conservation of energy and mass action? Without that, your magic water is doomed.

You forgot: the number of homeopaths’ advertisements that have been adjudicated as false and misleading, the number of people who are aware that homeoapthy is bogus, the number of unapproved homeopathic medicines on sale in the UK, the number of indications shown on point of sale displays in shops, the number of remedies on sale in the average Boots these days…

It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. And we’re winning, for the very simple reason that you are wrong. Homeopathy is a health fraud, and its days are numbered.

With 2014 just hours away, mainstream medicine is still struggling to cure the sick using toxic synthetic drug cocktails, chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. All one sees in the scientific study results are the words “near a cure”, “towards a cure”, “lead us to a cure” “increased life expectancy”, “prolonged remissions”, “well managed” , “alleviate symptoms”.

Perhaps the author of this article, with Alan Henness’ help, can find and cite a study that mentions a definite cure of any chronic disease process by mainstream medicine?

Another LOL, Sandra, for your attempt at whataboutery!

Anyway, do you agree with all the points in the article, Sandra? If not, perhaps you could tell us which ones and why?

Please pick out one and present it here.

I agree! It is terrible that medicine has brought us “increased life expectancy”. How horribly evil! It is so much better to treat diseases with water or sugar pills.

It has not brought increased life expectancy. Improved nutrition and sanitation did that.

What modern medicine has brought is increased chronic and serious illness. In 1900 one in ten got cancer and now it is one in two.

What about the vaccines against polio or small pocks? What about antibiotics like penicillin? Saved a lot of lives…

The “increase in chronic and serious illness” is due to our rich country life styles- eating McDonald’s thee times a day and sitting on your ass 90% of your waking hours. It has little to do with modern medicine.

By the way, if there actually were a homoeopathic cure for some serious illness, let’s say a form of cancer, don’t you think one of those evil pharmaceutical companies would have tried to get their greedy paws on it?

There is also an easy way to silence the sceptics: Subject your remedies to a double blind scientific trial. The drivel you people produce in place of sound arguments makes me so sick, I may even visit a homoeopath! LOL

PS: One in two people get cancer? I hardly think so…

Oh my! said:

“There is also an easy way to silence the sceptics: Subject your remedies to a double blind scientific trial.”

Homeopaths seem rather reluctant to do that for some reason…

They are not reluctant, and it has been done and it has showed Homeopathy is effective.

But where you can take 100 people and give them the same drug for the same symptoms, with a Homeopathic remedy the 100 people would possibly need 100 different remedies. How do you work with that?

rosross said:

“They are not reluctant, and it has been done and it has showed Homeopathy is effective.”

Hmmm… It would appear that many of those trials are flawed – just look at the ones the Society of Homeopaths was able to provide to the ASA! Unless they held the better ones back, of course…

“But where you can take 100 people and give them the same drug for the same symptoms, with a Homeopathic remedy the 100 people would possibly need 100 different remedies. How do you work with that?”

Very easily. Just think about it for five minutes.

Anyway, if you believe there are fundamental problems with testing homeopathy with DBRCTs, why did you say homeopaths are ‘not reluctant’ to do them?

Do you know whether any DBRCT of homeopathy are currently being undertaken? If so, why?

Polio was in decline before vaccines were introduced. The impact of polio vaccines on HIV/Aids has yet to be settled.

Homeopathic remedies do not work on diseases or conditions so there is no homeopathic cure for any form of cancer. Homeopathic remedies work on individuals and 100 people suffering from cancer and other conditions might need 100 different remedies.

Homeopathy does not work like Allopathy so no, it is not of interest to pharmaceutical companies.

Double blind scientific trials have found Homeopathy effective in some instances but they are limited because they approach Homeopathic remedies like Allopathic medicine and that does not work.

One Allopathic drug for someone with eczema can be tested in this way.

The same amount of people suffering from eczema might each have a completely different remedy applied in very different ways. The double-blind does not work.

You should visit a Homeopath. They would take into account your intolerance and subjectivity.

Check out Cancer sites for how many succumb today. It is all there.

So, Sandra, do you think homeopaths should abide by the same rules, regulations and laws as everyone else?

If you mean should Homeopathy be held to account as practice and profession in terms of integrity and quality, absolutely.

If you mean should Homeopathy only be allowed if it can be understood by science… no.

All medical methodologies should be accountable under law and in fact are.

Neither. Should homeopaths abide by all current laws, rules and regulations and be held to account when they don’t?

Homeopaths are accountable under law. And the profession should be held to account to standards and professionalism. Absolutely.

All systems should be held to such account but rarely are. Allopathic medicine, now the third biggest killer, is not held to account as rigorously as you would demand of Homeopathy. Hypocrisy and double standards.

Particularly given that Allopathy involves deadly and dangerous procedures and medications and Homeopathy does not.

rosross said:

“Homeopaths are accountable under law. And the profession should be held to account to standards and professionalism. Absolutely.”

Holding a nebulous ‘profession’ to account is a bit difficult, but I’ll assume you mean individual homeopaths. Do you include consumer protection and advertising standards?

“All systems should be held to such account but rarely are. Allopathic medicine, now the third biggest killer, is not held to account as rigorously as you would demand of Homeopathy. Hypocrisy and double standards.”

I want homeopaths to abide by the rules, regulations and laws everyone else does. However, it seems that many homeopaths don’t like having to do that and are campaigning against the ASA and want a double standard of rules just for them. I assume they’re not campaigning for tighter rules for themselves… What do you think of these campaigns?

LOL!

When all it takes is an observant magician to debunk homeopathy, there’s certainly nothing in it!

And the magician whose photo is shown above uses conventional medicine. He doesn’t look too healthy to me!

Bolen…ROFL!

Has Bolen remembered where he lives yet?

But more seriously, Sandra, can you refute anything that has been said rather than trying to smear people?

Thanks for the opportunity to reply. I am not the author of the article. Mr Bolen has written a lot of articles. Jerome Burne has also written about homeopathic skeptics, in particular the Nightingale Collaboration. Taking the liberty of sharing his article about how the followers of the Nightingale Collaboration are “batty arrogant” potty mouth people who hound homeopaths. I’m sure you have read it.

http://jeromeburne.com/2013/06/27/why-hounding-homeopaths-is-both-batty-and-arrogant/

Sandra

Remind me again who the award-winning journalist Jerome Bourne claimed was demonstrating outside the offices of the Advertising Standards Authority? And who actually was doing the demonstrating?

For anyone at all interested in seeing who really is batty and ignorant, they might like to read this:

http://www.skepticat.org/2013/07/a-bad-week-for-homeopaths-but-a-great-one-for-the-nightingale-collaboration/

Anyway, to get away from the attempts at mud slinging and back to the topic at hand, you may have missed my earlier question to you, so I’ll repeat it here:

Do you think homeopaths should abide by the same rules, regulations and laws as everyone else?

LOL! That’s only a aggregator site that cherry-picks news stories and opinion pieces generally supportive of homeopathy.

Anyway, I don’t suppose you’d like to say whether you agree with the article, Louise?

Problems with medicine validate homeopathy in precisely the same way that plane crashes validate magic carpets. As you were told last time you made a similar fatuous claim, if I recall.

It is not about problems with Allopathy validating Homeopathy but about problems with Allopathy not discrediting the system in entirety as the opposers would seek to do with problems with Homeopathy. I would add, Allopathy kills and hospitalises millions every year and is far more dangerous than Homeopathy could ever be, but all of this is ignored, while one, two, or maybe half a dozen rare incidences of Homeopathic bungling is used to discredit the entire methodology.

Double standards.

Tragic. Absolutely tragic. It must be devastating for his family.

Now, about homeopathy, Louise… do you agree with everything this article says?

Here’s another one for you.

Broader definition of ADHD risks “unnecessary and possibly harmful treatment” warn experts

Despite this, there is very little data on the long term benefits of
treatment, say the authors. These medications can cause adverse
reactions such as weight loss, liver toxicity, and suicidal thoughts,
and in the short term may suppress pubertal growth.

http://www.bmj.com/press-releases/2013/11/05/broader-definition-adhd-risks-%E2%80%9Cunnecessary-and-possibly-harmful-treatment%E2%80%9D

You don’t seem to be able to focus on the topic at hand, Louise.

However, homeopathy can do nothing for any medical condition – whether ADHD, epilepsy or anything else.

Unless you can provide good evidence to the contrary, of course. Can you?

What? Good evidence for homeopathy for ADHD and epilepsy? My apologies; I must have missed it. Perhaps you would be so kind as to present what you believe is the best of that evidence?

From the University of Maryland Medical Center – Homeopathy included as treatment alongside Allopathic and other methodologies.

In a study of 43 children with ADHD, those who received an
individualized homeopathic remedy showed significant improvement in
behavior compared to children who received placebo. The homeopathic
remedies found to be most effective included:

Stramonium — for children who are fearful, especially at night

Cina — for children who are irritable and dislike being touched; whose behavior is physical and aggressive

Hyoscyamus niger — for children who have poor impulse control, talk excessively, or act overly exuberant

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder

I find it amazing that these people who are anti-anything-but-prescription-drugs can claim that there should be evidence but then state that people have died from using homeopathy. I don’t see how you can claim you need evidence and on the other claim that people have died from homeopathy. Can someone explain this?

Also, if people die from cancer, even when treated with chemo and radiation, how can you claim homeopathy killed them? It seems like one side has a vested interest?

Homeopathy has been practiced for 250 years in hundreds of millions of people around the world. That clinical use has resulted in 25,000 volumes of cured case records involving infants, children and adults. Anyone who is interested in contemporary cured case records will find hundreds of them by googling “homeopathy cured cases”. They include diseases like cancer, psychogenic diabetes mellitus, coma, gangrene and addiction to Rx drugs.

See the case of a child cured of a brain tumor with homeopathy alone at:

http://www.pbhrfindia.org – click on “Case Studies”

As to scientific research in homeopathy, at the end of 2010 there were 307 studies published in 119 respected, national and international peer-reviewed journals showing that homeopathy produces significant to substantial health benefits in a wide array of conditions.

https://drnancymalik.wordpress.com/article/scientific-research-in-homepathy/

Studies like the two below show homeopathy is more effective than conventional medicine:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19358959
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14960096

People who try homeopathy continue to use it over and over again no matter what type of medicine is available to them because it works, is safe and inexpensive.

People who are interested in accurate and factual information on homeopathy can find it in the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee Evidence Check into homeopathy.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/45/45.pdf

The good thing about this is that it includes submissions from a wide range of the leading lights in the homeopathy world and trade organisations as well as lay homeopaths. There are also the transcripts of the evidence sessions before the committee where the homeopaths set out their stalls. I would urge everyone to read their responses – they make for very interesting reading…

Then there’s the Society of Homeopaths, one of the biggest trade bodies in the UK. You really should read about the ‘evidence’ they were able to provide to the Advertising Standards Authority when claims they had made inn adverts were challenged by the ASA:

http://asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2013/7/Society-of-Homeopaths/SHP_ADJ_157043.aspx

Needless to say, the SoH comprehensively lost the complaint on all points with the ASA ruling that the SoH breached the CAP Code on no less than 35 counts

For further details, see:

http://www.nightingale-collaboration.org/news/152-landmark-decisions-for-homeopaths.html

The question that arises is if there is a plethora of good evidence for homeopathy as the homeopathy supporters here would have you believe, why was this not passed by the SoH to the ASA? It would have save them a huge amount of embarrassment.

The Sci and Tech Committee vote was a joke. Out of a 13 member committee only three voted against homeopathy. How does that become a majority vote? One was not on the committee during the hearings. One never attended a hearing. The third, Dr. Evan Harris who comes from a family of conventional doctors, is well known for his bias against homeopathy. Dr. Harris was voted out of his MP seat as were the other two.

It’s interesting that the Sci and Tech Committee gave up all pretense of looking at evidence when it came to the in vitro studies showing homeopathy is not inert.

Here’s Martin J. Walker’s opinion of the ASA:

“A bogus organization that has taken pot shots at a variety of CAM modalities over the past 25 years but never makes comments about conventional drugs even though they’re readily advertised and brought into public view in all kinds of underhanded ways.”

He goes on to note that:

“Avandia killed 60,000 people which GlaxoSmithKline tried to cover up

“Hormonal type 2 diabetes drugs Byetta and Victoza may be responsible for thousands of cases of pancreatic cancer

“Big pharma has been supporting an extensive campaign against non-pharma health care since 1988 including the bogus charity Sense About Science. At every possible opportunity these science promotional groups have used ASA to support their cause.

“One of the most recent campaigns against natural medicine is the Nightingale Collaboration.”

http://www.homeopathyheals.me.uk/site/fatured/3101-martin-walkers-opinion-of-the-asa

RGM

Your opinion on the HoC Committee are interesting (well, not really), but predictable; Walker’s views are risable and ignorant.

There also irrelevant to the topic at hand.

I pointed visitors to the evidence submitted and your opinion on the homeopaths’ evidence to the Committee and to the ASA might be far more interesting. Don’t worry about those involved; just concentrate on the evidence the homeopaths were able to present and tells us what you think of it?

You mean people who are interested in the subjective and agenda influenced views of Homeopathy sourced in science and politics should look at the links.

People who are interested in Homeopathy should definitely look at these links and then find balance by looking at various Homeopathic Association websites for the alternative view. There will also be subjectivity on these sites but between the two you will find a degree of rational objectivity.

They can then make up their own minds.

So, what do you make of the evidence presented by *homeopaths* to the HoC Committee and the evidence the SoH was able to muster for the ASA?

what is a *homeopath*? As to the evidence, read all of it across the board and make up your own mind.

With Homeopathy take into account there is an irrational and bigoted campaign against it and there will be a lot of propaganda in anything which seeks to discredit Homeopathy. Take into account that there will be extremists amongst supporters because an extreme position on any count always triggers an equal response.

Remember that many MD’s are also Homeopaths and universities and medical schools around the world teach Homeopathy as a part of their system so those seeking to discredit Homeopathy are at odds with many who are trained in science and science-based medicine.

I did not see it so do not know and don’t consider it important anyway in light of the campaign in the UK. Homeopathy works, that is what matters.

But did have a look and as expected, prejudice and subjectivity in those assessing brought expected outcomes. Meaningless in any real sense.

All the evidence provided to the HoC Conmmittee is included in the report so you can read it all there, so there is no excuse. I believe I linked to it previously.

All the evidence provided by the SoH to the ASA is discussed in the adjudication, so there is no excuse. However, although the ASA don’t cite each paper, it’s fairly easy to deduce what the vast majority are. Someone did just that and produced this very informative video about it – you might like to watch it and then answer the question about why the SoH only presented the evidence they did:

If you spot any errors in it, I’m sure the author would appreciate a correction in the comments.

But what do you think of the evidence given to the HoC Committee and the ASA by homeopaths?

So, what do you make of the evidence presented by *homeopaths* to the HoC Committee and the evidence the SoH was able to muster for the ASA?

A. Statistically Significant human studies upto the end of year 2010
1. 309 studies published in 120 journals including 11 meta-analysis.
2. 8 out of approx. 20 systematic reviews are in favour of homeopathy i.e. 40%
3. 90 DBRPCT out of approx. 225 RCT are in evidence of homeopathy i.e. 42.23%

B. Out of 164 high quality papers published between 1950-2011 (inclusive) on RCT in 89 medical conditions
1. 137 are placebo-controlled & 27 other-than-placebo controlled studies
2. 71 (43%) papers reported +ve findings, 9 (6%) were negative; 80 (49%) were non-conclusive; 4 (2%) contained non-extractable data.
3. Out of 137 placebo-controlled studies, 41 are on individualised homeopathy and 96 on non-individualised homeopathy
4. In 32 out of 89 disease conditions, there has been replicated research (2 or more RCT).
5. In 22 out of 32 disease conditions, the results of replicated research were statistically significant.

Check for 168 full text papers at http://drnancymalik.wordpress.com/article/scientific-research-in-homeopathy/

Nancy

What’s the *best* paper out of all those you’ve cited that convinces you most that homeopathy is more than sugar pills?

I’m sure Nancy will be able to tell us for herself.

However, it was very nice of you to link to that paper on that particular website. It has a fantastic name: “The Skeptics’ Book of Pooh-Pooh”, written by a cell biologist. She provided that paper because she found several, erm, serious problems with it. You can read all about them on her post about it:

A giant leap in logic from a piece of bad science

http://scepticsbook.com/2010/02/14/a-giant-leap-in-logic-from-a-piece-of-bad-science/

Was that really your favourite?

Shame on you, but typical disinformation from you Alan. The summary of the study has the following facts

“In summary, our study demonstrates that the ultra-diluted
natural product remedies prescribed in the ‘Banerji Protocol’
induce cell cycle delay/arrest with subsequent apoptosis in
breast adenocarcinoma cells. Though the degree of the anti-
survival effect appeared to correlate with the presence of the
wild-type p53 gene, overall susceptibility to the inhibitory
effects of the remedies appeared independent of the functional
p53 and estrogen-receptor status of the breast carcinoma
cells. Finally, the preferentially elevated cytotoxic effects on
breast adenocarcinoma cells compared with cells derived
from normal mammary epithelium raises the exciting
possibility of a window of therapeutic opportunity for
preferentially eliminating breast cancer cells with minimal
damage to the surrounding normal mammary tissue by using
the ultra-diluted remedies investigated in this report. The
findings of this study should encourage further preclinical
and animal investigation of these remedies as preventive and/
or therapeutic treatments for breast cancer.”

Yes, Sandra. And did you read and understand the criticisms of it? Or do you not read criticisms that might cause you cognitive dissonance?

Anyway, do you happen to know if the further studies Frenkel et al. recommended have yet been carried out? In vivo rather than in vitro, perhaps? And were they of a higher quality?

Or have you decided whether you agree with any of the points in Jacques’ article yet?

Or have you been able to answer my question:

Do you think homeopaths should abide by the same rules, regulations and laws as everyone else?

Is that:

“I’ve already answered those questions”

“The questions are too stupid for me to answer”

“I can’t answer even these simple questions, so I’ll try yet another diversionary tactic and hope that no one notices”

Or something else?

How about answering some questions yourself for a change. Good thing you are not getting paid. Must be near midnight in the UK. Why am I a threat to you?

A threat?! ROFL! And just why do you seem so obsessed with my bedtime? No! Don’t answer that. I really don’t want to know.

Anyway, let’s get back to the questions about homeopathy you’ve not answered yet. Do you want me to list them for you?

Yes, otherwise, why are you making yourself look so foolish? Here is a question I know you will not answer.

Why was the Nightingale Collaboration’s efforts to stop the sale of the WDDTY magazine in the UK a dismal failure?

LOL!

We can’t fail at doing something we weren’t trying to do!

It’s as ridiculous a question as me asking you why you’ve failed in becoming US President.

But what we were successful in doing was winning complaints about adverts carried by WDDTY. Very successful in fact. Don’t you agree?

FACT: The Collaboration’s call to its followers to hide the magazine in shops and send emails to ask the stores not to sell the magazine FAILED.

If those are FACTS, Sandra, you’ll be able to provide evidence, won’t you?

Anyway, where’s the answers to my questions? Or have you forgotten about them? Again.

That gets you a LMAO! this time, Sandra! I’m going to run out of acronyms soon.

Please, please, please point to any specific text on either of those pages that you believe substantiates what you claimed.

Commentary from Lynne McTaggart

Title: The 10 Top Dirty Tricks

“Simon Singh heads up an ‘educational charity’ Sense About Science (SAS) that has been uncharitably tried to get WDDTY removed from the stores. He is also co-author of the book, Trick or Treatment, but the only tricks I see in SAS’s campaign against us are dirty ones. Here are the 10 tricks that were employed against us. I tell you this to expose how little sense or science gets used in these types of smear campaigns and how they are being used against us and alternative medicine and its practitioners. ”

1. Pretend to the press there is a ‘large campaign’ clamouring for stores to ban this magazine. (The only people asking stores to stop stocking it are Simon Singh and several others – all members of SAS or a ‘sister’ organization, Nightingale Collaboration, also fronted by Singh.)

http://www.lynnemctaggart.com/blog/241-the-10-top-dirty-tricks

Title: The WDDTY Wars, Why They Don’t Want You to Read All About it

“Two days ago we woke up to find ourselves and our magazine What Doctors Don’t Tell You the subject of a national scandal. On Tuesday October 1, the Times ran with an article about how there was a ‘call to ban’ our journal What Doctors Don’t Tell You over ‘health scares’.

The original Times article alleged that a group of ‘experts’, including ‘scientists, doctors and patients’ were ‘condemning’ shops for carrying our magazine.”

http://www.lynnemctaggart.com/blog/239-the-wddty-wars-why-they-dont-want-you-to-read-all-about-it

Note: It should be no surprise that the “group of experts” included followers of Alan Henness of the Nightingale Collaboration. Mr Henness’ Twitter account https://twitter.com/zeno001 was full of tweets from his followers telling him that they had emailed complaints to many of the shops that carried the magazine.

ROTFLMAO! You really shouldn’t be so gullible and believe everything you read that matches your preconceived notions and cognitive bias, particularly if written by someone with a vested interest…

But then again, you are a homeopathy supporter, so maybe I shouldn’t expect too much.

But if you actually have *proper* evidence – not hearsay – that NC did what you have accused us of doing, please feel free to present it here.

Of course, if you are unable to do that, perhaps you will consider an apology? Or would that also be asking too much?

Alan, you asked for more documentation. I provided it. I did not write it. If none of what Lynne wrote is true, you need to ask her to apologize, not me. Good luck with that.

I asked you for evidence for the accusations you made: you provided none. That is noted.

No, just like to keep them amused!

But it’s comforting to know you’re keeping tabs on me…

Oh! And if you ever manage to come up evidence for your accusations, please let us know.

I provided the enough evidence. Take up your beef with Lynne. Sure I keep tabs on you….just like you and your followers keep tabs on everyone who supports homeopathy. It’s only fair.

Oh, that reminds me of this brilliant comment about homeopathy that you re-tweeted.

No, no, no. You provided no evidence whatsoever, just hearsay – and nonsense not based in reality at that. Typical, really.

Take my beef up with Lynne? Why on earth would I want to waste my time doing that?

Yes, that Tweet is quite amusing, isn’t it? Glad you agree. I do have some witty followers.

But anyway, what about this article? We seem to have ‘discussed’ just about everything else but.

Joke, of course. IMHO, this is an example of the character of the skeptics who follow you. Your Twitter pages are full of similar comments. These are the types of followers who wrote to the different shops to tell them they should not stock the WDDTY magazine when the issue, November 2013, had the feature article about the exciting cure rates in cancer research in India, with…guess what,HOMEOPATHY.

The Nightingale Collaboration has been a failure. Prove me wrong, if you can.

Your opinion is noted, but irrelevant, of course. However, I am not responsible to the thoughts, opinions or words of anyone who freely chooses to follow me on Twitter…

The onus is on you to demonstrate that we have failed because you have asserted that we have. But what is it you think we’ve failed at and why? And please bear in mind the previous comments on this – I’d hate to have to correct you yet again. Although I will if necessary.

You re-tweet the comments, therefore you ARE responsible.

Only one question I have for your Collaboration. How many homeopathic practitioners have you forced to stop practicing? Documentation expected.

LOL!

Please provide the evidence that the NC has failed in whatever it is you think we have failed in.

I’ll speak a little slower for you. How many homeopathic practitioners has the NC forced to stop practicing? Documentation expected.

Keep it civil? You mean like the comment left on my blog by your wife and then other followers’ comments that I deleted?

Let me re-phrase the question to make it easier for you. Does the NC want to stop licensed homeopathic practitioners, who are covered by the NHS, from treating patients?

LOL again, Sandra!

You said:

“Let me ask an easier question. Does the NC want to stop licensed homeopathic practitioners, who are covered by the NHS, from treating patients?”

Hurray! I think you might be making some progress. It’s taken a while, of course.

Mind you, the law doesn’t recognise a ‘licensed homeopathic practitioner’ – they’re just plain old common or garden members of the public, regardless what anyone else might like to think.

However, I hope you can handle the answer…

No!

What on earth made you think we did? But maybe you’ll understand the comment about you failing to become US President now? It’s a pity you weren’t able to understand that very simple analogy. Oh well.

So, the NC is okay with homeopaths treating their patients. That’s good to know. However, why do you suppose Guy Chapman said in the comments section of this article: “Homeopathy is a health fraud, and its days are numbered.” If the NC does not want to stop homeopaths from treating their patients, you might want to let him know that he was wrong.

It’s a pity you are unable to think clearly and critically, and dissect and argue logically and rationally.

However, people are perfectly free to be a customer of a homeopath and to pay them money for their useless sugar pills. But do you agree that homeopaths should abide by the same rules, regulations and laws as everyone else? Your considered answer to that might be very revealing to you.

But if you have an issue with what someone other than me might have said, I would respectfully suggest you take it up with that person.

“It’s a pity you are unable to think clearly and critically, and dissect and argue logically and rationally.”

Feel better now, Alan? Did you grow another inch?

Nothing to argue. Fact….The NG Collaboration is a failure, period.

I always try to help others think more critically. It makes for better discussions.

Anyway, what makes you believe the NC is a failure?

You could always have a look at our website…or subscribe to our newsletter…or subscribe to the RSS feed…or follow our Twitter account…

But are you going to answer my last question?

I’m not surprised you’d prefer to be spoon fed, but 47 newsletters are really a bit too much to condense down for you. You’ll just need to put the effort in yourself, I’m afraid.

OK, then. I hope you can cope with this…

We have won loads of complaints against misleading claims made in adverts and claims made by homeopathy sellers that were contrary to what are permitted by the medicines regulations.

There, that wasn’t that bad, now was it?

But there really is a good bit more than just that.

As an outside observer, just coming across this topic, trying to actually learn something about it, I wonder how you look to those without a dog in this hunt? You have been repeatedly asked simple questions. You have avoided answering a single one. Over and over. It’s a pity that any credibility your viewpoint may have is completely destroyed by your evasiveness.

Here is a question or three for you Alan:

If Homeopathy is ‘sugar pills’ and placebo and of no use, then why are there hundreds of thousands, might be more than a million now with the growth in India and China, of MD’s, trained in science-based Allopathic medicine who also choose to train as Homeopaths and who practise both methodologies at the same time?

NB: All French Homeopaths are required by law to be MD’s – do you think the French are dumb?

And why is Homeopathy taught in many universities and medical schools around the world?

Also, why is Homeopathy included in the new field of Integrative Medicine, developed by Allopathic doctors who are tired of the failure of their form of medicine and who seek to incorporate all medical methodologies for the sake of their patients if it is placebo, sugar, useless, dangerous?

Are you saying that all MD’s who practise Homeopathy are quacks and so are all universities and medical schools which teach it, along with those behind the Integrative Medicine movement?

And if they are not quacks then why or how is anyone a quack – misguided, delusional, stupid etc., who supports Homeopathy?

And if they are quacks then how or why do you think this situation has been created or is allowed to exist?

rosross said:

“Here is a question or three for you Alan:

If Homeopathy is ‘sugar pills’ and placebo and of no use, then why are there hundreds of thousands, might be more than a million now with the growth in India and China, of MD’s, trained in science-based Allopathic medicine who also choose to train as Homeopaths and who practise both methodologies at the same time?”

Pity you don’t provide a source for your assertion so it can be checked, but are you admitting that homeopathy isn’t science based? Besides, how

“NB: All French Homeopaths are required by law to be MD’s – do you think the French are dumb?”

LOL! On the contrary: at least a properly trained MD who hands out sugar pills stands a far better chance of not missing a serious condition that can be treated effectively.

“And why is Homeopathy taught in many universities and medical schools around the world?”

Money, quite probably. But, of course, many ‘teach’ homeopathy so that medical students know they are just sugar pills if any of their patients ask.

“Also, why is Homeopathy included in the new field of Integrative Medicine, developed by Allopathic doctors who are tired of the failure of their form of medicine and who seek to incorporate all medical methodologies for the sake of their patients if it is placebo, sugar, useless, dangerous?”

Ah. The new field of integrating nonsense with EBM. See above.

“Are you saying that all MD’s who practise Homeopathy are quacks and so are all universities and medical schools which teach it, along with those behind the Integrative Medicine movement?”

Well, homeopathy is quackery. And just to be clear, it’s quackery because there is no good evidence for it – can you see the problem here? You said elsewhere that homeopath Nancy doesn’t require ‘papers’; do you think med school courses should base these courses on the best evidence or should they also teach astrology as a diagnostic technique as well? After all, millions of people – particularly in China and India – believe in astrology, despite the best evidence: they will have seen the predictions come true with their own eyes. Don’t you think astrology should be integrated?

“If you would like to do some research on MD’s who are also Homeopaths then start with the following because all four have written books:”

Not particularly. Unless they provide some good evidence that homeopathy works?

Quote:Pity you don’t provide a source for your assertion so it can be checked, but are you admitting that homeopathy isn’t science based?

Oh it is easy to check. All Homeopaths in France are MD’s by law and the average of Homeopathic use including MD’s who refer or prescribe for Homeopathy is around 40% in Europe, the UK and elsewhere. The numbers are much higher in India and growing in China so if you factor in their more than a billion population you have good reason to say what I said.

As to Homeopathy not being science-based, here is what I would say:

Homeopathy is not based in the science of today because that science is locked into a limited paradigm of the materialistic and mechanistic. When science advances beyond such narrow thinking then Homeopathy will be science-based.

As it stands, Homeopathy is science-based in that it has arisen from a scientific process, however, it is based in a system of true science and not materialistic and mechanistic science, which, while useful in mechanistic areas, is not true science – merely one aspect of it.

Quote:On the contrary: at least a properly trained MD who hands out
sugar pills stands a far better chance of not missing a serious
condition that can be treated effectively.

Not the point of course but you never deal with points. To become a trained Homeopath requires years of intense and complex study. More than one MD has said it is more demanding than their Allopathic studies. If, as you suggest, MD’s were merely handing out sugar pills why would they bother investing many thousands of hours and many years into rigorous study and examinations?

Your point is ridiculous.

Quote: But, of course, many ‘teach’ homeopathy so
that medical students know they are just sugar pills if any of their
patients ask.

Avoiding the point again. Do you honestly suggest that something you call quakery and pseudoscience which invites ridicule from the orthodox would be present in academia just for the sake of money?

Try applying Occam’s Razor – it is there because it is recognised officially as a viable medical methodology.

It says it all really that you reject Integrative Medicine. Luckily Allopaths depressed and frustrated by the failure of their system are not so narrow-minded.

Quote: Well, homeopathy is quackery. And just to be clear, it’s quackery

So answer my question. Are you saying all MD’s who practise it and all universities and medical schools which teach it are quacks?

Quote:You said elsewhere that homeopath Nancy doesn’t require ‘papers’; do ….

I said she did not require papers to prove to herself it works. Different thing. Misquoting is immature.

Quote: you think med school courses should base these courses on the best evidence ……

Yes I do but of course they don’t base their courses on the best evidence. They base them on what limited science calls the best evidence but patently it is not or Allopathy would not be the third biggest killer in the world today and such a failure in creating and maintaining optimum health.

Quote: or should they also teach astrology as a diagnostic technique as well?

Yes. Astrology is a valuable psychotherapeutic tool and a useful physiological guide. I am sure in the future when science is released from its materialistic and mechanistic prison, they will.

You demonstrate as much ignorance about astrology as you do about Homeopathy. It is not so popular in China but yes, it is in India but Vedic astrology is very different to Western. Vedic does predict, Western does not. In fact even Vedic does not predict in the way you suggest. But ignorance is demonstrated on your part and clearly identified by those who are informed so I shan’t bother with it.

Quote: Not particularly. Unless they provide some good evidence that homeopathy works?

Well they do, that was the point but the mere fact that as MD’s, trained in your science-based medicine also practise Homeopathy was the salient point.

rosross said:

“Oh it is easy to check. All Homeopaths in France are MD’s by law and the average of Homeopathic use including MD’s who refer or prescribe for Homeopathy is around 40% in Europe, the UK and elsewhere. The numbers are much higher in India and growing in China so if you factor in their more than a billion population you have good reason to say what I said.”

No links yet? Never mind – it’s not really relevant. Anyway, do you think that this is some kind of popularity contest?

“As to Homeopathy not being science-based, here is what I would say:

Homeopathy is not based in the science of today because that science is locked into a limited paradigm of the materialistic and mechanistic. When science advances beyond such narrow thinking then Homeopathy will be science-based.”

You seem to be a bit of a believer in scientism. Not something I’m at all keen on. However, when do you suppose science will be able to ‘explain’ homeopathy? And if, as you say, science hasn’t yet advanced enough for homeopathy, where does that leave all the scientific studies that have been carried out so far?

“As it stands, Homeopathy is science-based in that it has arisen from a scientific process, however, it is based in a system of true science and not materialistic and mechanistic science, which, while useful in mechanistic areas, is not true science – merely one aspect of it.”

Well…

“Quote:On the contrary: at least a properly trained MD who hands out

sugar pills stands a far better chance of not missing a serious

condition that can be treated effectively.

Not the point of course but you never deal with points. To become a trained Homeopath requires years of intense and complex study. More than one MD has said it is more demanding than their Allopathic studies. If, as you suggest, MD’s were merely handing out sugar pills why would they bother investing many thousands of hours and many years into rigorous study and examinations?”

You’d need to ask them…

“Your point is ridiculous.”

LOL!

“Quote: But, of course, many ‘teach’ homeopathy so

that medical students know they are just sugar pills if any of their

patients ask.

Avoiding the point again. Do you honestly suggest that something you call quakery and pseudoscience which invites ridicule from the orthodox would be present in academia just for the sake of money?”

I can’t believe you said that!

“Try applying Occam’s Razor – it is there because it is recognised officially as a viable medical methodology.”

Just as well I wasn’t drinking coffee when I read that! Oh, the irony.

“It says it all really that you reject Integrative Medicine. Luckily Allopaths depressed and frustrated by the failure of their system are not so narrow-minded.”

Do you accept all stuff that comes under the banner of ‘integrative’? Is there anything you would reject? If so, why?

“Quote: Well, homeopathy is quackery. And just to be clear, it’s quackery

So answer my question. Are you saying all MD’s who practise it and all universities and medical schools which teach it are quacks?”

LOL! No, they are practicing and teaching quackery; that is, a subject that does not have a rigorous academic underpinning.

“Quote:You said elsewhere that homeopath Nancy doesn’t require ‘papers’; do ….

I said she did not require papers to prove to herself it works. Different thing. Misquoting is immature.”

Presumably by listing those papers she believed they would convince others. I await her saying which one she thinks is the best one. Sandra’s attempt seems to have backfired a bit.

“Quote: you think med school courses should base these courses on the best evidence ……

Yes I do but of course they don’t base their courses on the best evidence. They base them on what limited science calls the best evidence but patently it is not or Allopathy would not be the third biggest killer in the world today and such a failure in creating and maintaining optimum health.”

Well, you’ll need to provide a reference for that claim if you can.

“Quote: or should they also teach astrology as a diagnostic technique as well?

Yes. Astrology is a valuable psychotherapeutic tool and a useful physiological guide. I am sure in the future when science is released from its materialistic and mechanistic prison, they will.”

LMAO! Your faith in the future is, erm… interesting.

“You demonstrate as much ignorance about astrology as you do about Homeopathy. It is not so popular in China but yes, it is in India but Vedic astrology is very different to Western. Vedic does predict, Western does not. In fact even Vedic does not predict in the way you suggest. But ignorance is demonstrated on your part and clearly identified by those who are informed so I shan’t bother with it.”

See my comment above about popularity contests and consider Ockham’s razor here.

No, it is not a popularity contest but if you were right there would be virtually no MD’s who also practise Homeopathy and instead there are hundreds of thousands

I don’t believe in scientism but many people do. This is where science becomes religion as the fount of all knowledge and every answer.

Science will be able to explain Homeopathy when it has moved beyond the narrow confines of materialism and the mechanical. When science can embrace all that life is, which of course includes the material and mechanical but is only one aspect of this world and everything in it, then it will be able to gain the knowledge required to understand Homeopathy. Biophysics and quantum physics have less of a road to travel but it will require enormous determination to drag the hidebound and outdated paradigm of science along. Mainly because in the doing, egos, careers,profits and systems will fall.

As to you not believing academia would do something solely for the money, we are probably closer in attitude, but the point is, even money is not enough for an academic system that would have to risk mockery and peer disapproval by supporting a system which some call quackery. Clearly in many parts of the world, the UK having become a strange exception, such things are not considered quackery and are therefore accepted.

In addition, Homeopathy is not a system like Allopathy which has billions of profits behind it with which to bribe academic institutions.

Do I accept all stuff which comes under the banner of Integrative. Yes, because the movement is driven by Allopathy and given the fear of being mocked, I am sure they will leave out the more obscure healing methodologies.

Is there any healing methodology I would reject? Yes, for myself because I have tried some things and found them ineffective but no for others because we are all so different and to each their own.

In truth, the body heals and anything can be a trigger. If someone wants to eat apricot kernels or drink their own urine as a path to healing that is their business not mine.

When you use terms like quackery you make yourself look prejudiced, which of course you are. Hardly a scientific approach methinks.

So doctors and academic institutions are practising quackery but are not quacks? So why are Homeopaths quacks?

People do list papers and links. You ignore them. Apart from which there is no need to prove Homeopathy to anyone. It works

http://www.yourmedicaldetective.com/public/335.cfm

rosross said:

“Science will be able to explain Homeopathy when it has moved beyond the narrow confines of materialism and the mechanical. When science can embrace all that life is, which of course includes the material and mechanical but is only one aspect of this world and everything in it, then it will be able to gain the knowledge required to understand Homeopathy. Biophysics and quantum physics have less of a road to travel but it will require enormous determination to drag the hidebound and outdated paradigm of science along. Mainly because in the doing, egos, careers,profits and systems will fall.”

I have no such faith.

“In addition, Homeopathy is not a system like Allopathy which has billions of profits behind it with which to bribe academic institutions.”

Homeopath isn’t exactly poor, but I’m not sure what point you are trying to make.

“Do I accept all stuff which comes under the banner of Integrative. Yes, because the movement is driven by Allopathy and given the fear of being mocked, I am sure they will leave out the more obscure healing methodologies.

Is there any healing methodology I would reject? Yes, for myself because I have tried some things and found them ineffective but no for others because we are all so different and to each their own.”

So, how do we start to tease out which treatments are effective in som and not in others? After all, for someone with a serious or even an uncomfortable medical condition, we’d want to give them a treatment that we knew had a good chance of alleviating or curing them as quickly as possible. It does not seem right to me to say that, well, we have no good evidence this will work for you, but why don’t you try it for a month and come back and see me – if it’s not helped, we’ll pluck another treatment out of the air and try that?

“In truth, the body heals and anything can be a trigger. If someone wants to eat apricot kernels or drink their own urine as a path to healing that is their business not mine.”

Perhaps, but what if the person selling or advocating apricot kernels made claims that it will cure all ills? Would you regard that as misleading and even irresponsible?

“When you use terms like quackery you make yourself look prejudiced, which of course you are. Hardly a scientific approach methinks.”

If its advocates can’t provide good evidence for the claims they make, then what should it be called?

“People do list papers and links. You ignore them. Apart from which there is no need to prove Homeopathy to anyone. It works”

Again, if there is all this evidence, why did the SoH not provide it to the ASA and change the whole landscape under which homeopaths advertise?

Quote:So, how do we start to tease out which treatments are effective in some and not in others?

It is irrelevant. Every MD knows that some treatments work for some and not for others. They know that all drugs have to be tweaked for individuals and in some are still an utter failure. Allopathy uses chemotherapy, a barbaric treatment with a failure rate so high that would never be accepted in any other product or treatment and yet is accepted in allopathy because the system has nothing else and the fear of patients is more easily exploited.

Homeopathy will have an effect in everyone, but, like anything, to lesser and greater degrees depending on condition, circumstance, individual. Having said that, Homeopathy does no harm and with the same sort of patience any doctor will show, in time, the effectiveness will increase. For some people it is immediate, for others weeks, some months and more complex conditions and individuals may take years to find the right remedy which brings cure.

Having said that, Homeopathy cures and one is not on medication for life and the remedies are cheap, the consultations occasional and inexpensive and the results very effective.

Quote: After all, for someone with a serious or even an uncomfortable medical condition, we’d want to give them a treatment that we knew had a good chance of alleviating or curing them as quickly as possible.

Yes and Homeopathy can do that without harm and more effectively than Allopathy. Allopathy removes or diminishes symptoms – Homeopathy cures.

Quote: It does not seem right to me to say that, well, we have no good evidence this will work for you, but why don’t you try it for a month and come back and see me – if it’s not helped, we’ll pluck another treatment out of the air and try that?

Given that is how Allopathy works what is your issue? Present to an MD with a condition and they will do just that. Take this pill for a month, see how it goes, if it does not work we will try something else or change the doseage.

Quote: Perhaps, but what if the person selling or advocating apricot kernels made claims that it will cure all ills? Would you regard that as misleading and even irresponsible?

About as irresponsible as claiming chemotherapy is an effective cure.

And one thing you seem not to do is credit human beings with common sense and intelligence. There are always people selling stupid and dangerous (to health) ideas, e.g. antibacterial wipes and products; margarine not butter; mouthwash (destroys the good bacteria which keeps you well) etc. etc.

Quote: If its advocates can’t provide good evidence for the claims they make, then what should it be called?

Why should it be called anything? There is good evidence for the claims, you ignore it. The only thing missing is a scientific explanation as to how it might work. There is more than 200 years of history of evidence and more by the day. No shortage of evidence.

Quote: Again, if there is all this evidence, why did the SoH not provide it to the ASA and change the whole landscape under which homeopaths advertise?

Systems drive behaviour. The campaign in the UK has been vigorous. Everything is ultimately about saving face, career, prestige and profits.

The situation is particular to the UK. You don’t find the same circumstances in Europe or in most other countries.

rosross said:

“Quote: Again, if there is all this evidence, why did the SoH not provide it to the ASA and change the whole landscape under which homeopaths advertise?

Systems drive behaviour. The campaign in the UK has been vigorous. Everything is ultimately about saving face, career, prestige and profits.”

Are you saying that that’s the reason the SoH chose to only provide some of the evidence to the ASA?

Dr Malik is a Homeopath. She does not need ‘papers’ to convince her of the efficacy of Homeopathy. She sees it in her practice every day.

Yes, Nancy is a homeopath and presumably completely unaware of all the problems of observation.

But she regularly posts long lists of papers and she may well have a favourite amongst them: the one that convinces her the most or even the one she believes would be most convincing to others? She will have read them all, won’t she?

Anyway, whether or not Nancy feels a need for any papers, good evidence is required for claims made (in the UK at least) both under the ASA’s CAP Code and under consumer protection legislation.

Do you think homeopaths should abide by the same rules, regulations and laws as everyone else?

Nancy has posted links to papers and you ignore them.

Do you think people presenting an opposing case need to substantiate their argument?

Yeah. I asked her which one she believed was the best one, but she’s not answered yet.

Maybe you know why all these papers were not submitted to the ASA by the SoH?

Your approach is childish. You ignore the information she cites and play games by asking her for the best while making it clear you believe it is all sugar pills. I don’t know why you have such a hatred of Homeopathy but honestly, it makes you look foolish when you play games like this.

All to the good for Homeopathy though so keep up the good work.

LOL!

It was a simple request and an attempt to understand what she believed was the most convincing of the evidence – a starting point in examining the evidence. It would help also sort out the question of whether she believed all the evidence was of the same quality and why.

A lot less childish than throwing ad hominem attacks around, don’t you think?

Well perhaps you should stop the ad hominem attacks don’t you think.

No, it was not a simple request, it was a game. If you had any real interest you would have looked at the links she provided – but of course you never do. It’s all game-playing and that really is childish.

You are ignorant and prejudiced in regard to Homeopathy and I doubt you ever read anything which is posted as evidence of research…. could be wrong, but if you did you would not be so ignorant so a logical conclusion really.

LOL! The irony!

Still, if you, Nancy or Sandra can ever say what your best piece of evidence is, I’ll have a look at it…

You’re asked to mention just one of those, and this is your response? And assuming you mean “public” for “paper” (after “convinced”), that’s a rather low bar to set. As I’ve asked, please move on – if not, I’ll simply close this thread.

Here’s the DBRPCT paper

International Journal of Oncology

Cytotoxic effects of ultra-diluted remedies on breast cancer cells (2010)

http://scepticsbook.com/wp-content/uploads/Cytotoxic-effects-of-homeopathic-remedies-on-breast-cancer-cells-2010.pdf

Carcinosin 30c, Phytolacca Decandra 200c, Conium 3c and Thuja 30c caused death of 5000 MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231breast cancer cell lines in the laboratory for periods of between 1 to 4 days (experiment repeated 3 times), similar to the effect of chemotherapy, but without affecting normal cells.Carcinosin and Phytolacca—achieved up to an 80% response indicating that they caused cancer cell death. By comparison, placebo solvent achieved only 30%. The effects of Carcinosin and Phytolacca were as powerful as Paclitaxel (Taxol)

Less…..

Or was that supposed to be your definitive answer to my question about the stats for last year?

Sandra

Here’s a few of the questions I’ve asked but you don’t seem to have answered (in no particular order). I do hope you can see your way to answering them.

Do you have the figures for last year?
http://synapses.co.za/homeopathic-anecdotes-data/#comment-1184696681

So, Sandra, do you think homeopaths should abide by the same rules, regulations and laws as everyone else?
http://synapses.co.za/homeopathic-anecdotes-data/#comment-1182748110

Anyway, do you happen to know if the further studies Frenkel et al. recommended have yet been carried out? In vivo rather than in vitro, perhaps? And were they of a higher quality?
http://synapses.co.za/homeopathic-anecdotes-data/#comment-1184824290

Remind me again who the award-winning journalist Jerome Bourne claimed was demonstrating outside the offices of the Advertising Standards Authority? And who actually was doing the demonstrating?
http://synapses.co.za/homeopathic-anecdotes-data/#comment-1184814440

Anyway, do you agree with all the points in the article, Sandra? If not, perhaps you could tell us which ones and why?
http://synapses.co.za/homeopathic-anecdotes-data/#comment-1182581700

Now, Sandra, how about addressing some of the points in the article? Or do you agree with them all?
http://synapses.co.za/homeopathic-anecdotes-data/#comment-1182497444

So, do you agree with all the points in the article? If not, which ones and why?
http://synapses.co.za/homeopathic-anecdotes-data/#comment-1182629234

You’re making yourself look rather foolish, Alan. It’s a delight to see you try to redeem yourself.

No, Sandra. You seem to be perpetually unable to answer very simple questions and seem to need all the help you can get. But it’s nice to know you care.

Anyway, can you answer any of them? Just one, even?

Well, the topic is homeopath and evidence for it, but your reluctance to answer these simple questions is noted.

1. Silly question. No figures for last year. Data collected in 1870s.
2. Homeopaths already abide by the rules that govern them specifically.
3. Straw man question.
4. Jerome Burne admitted he was in error on that point. Otherwise, the remainder of the article was spot on. He pointed out, correctly, that Nightingale Collaboration has potty mouth batty arrogant followers who hound homeopaths. None of your followers denied that.
5. Straw man question.
6. Straw man question.

Your turn, Alan.

Sandra

You make it all too easy.

1. It’s not a silly question at all! A lot has changed in the last 140 years, including contemporaneous record keeping. Are you saying that homeopathic hospitals no longer record the medical details of their customers? That would seem to be a rather significant failing, wouldn’t you agree? Just think what progress they could make if only they could produce such ‘convincing’, up-to-date data!

2. You seem to have answered a question I did not ask. However, I think my question can be answered by a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’: do you think homeopaths should abide by the same rules, regulations and laws as everyone else?

3. You’re the one who raised Frenkel et al! However, if you’re not prepared to answer simple questions on it…

4. LOL! Is this supposed to be his admission of error? http://jeromeburne.com/2013/06/27/why-hounding-homeopaths-is-both-batty-and-arrogant/comment-page-2/#comment-1403

5. Pray tell how addressing the points raised in the article you’re commenting under is a ‘straw man’?

6. Ditto.

Perhaps Alan you might explain how malpractice by Homeopaths differs from malpractice by Allopaths. Or do you also reject Allopathy because of instances of bungling and malpractice?

You seem to be saying that a case of malpractice by Homeopathy throws the entire methodology into disrepute so my question is, do you apply that principle equally? Does malpractice in Allopathy throw that entire system into disrepute and if not, why not?

Just as an example, from one State in Australia given that the Sam story also came from Australia:

SIX doctors could face criminal
charges for allegedly killing and maiming patients in major medical
blunders over the past six years in Queensland.

Several patients allegedly suffered unnecessary amputations and
another was left a quadriplegic when a surgeon failed to detect a neck
injury after a car crash. One patient is believed to have died in an
operation later found to be unnecessary.

There are further
allegations of patients being horribly disfigured by cosmetic surgery
and of two children who suffered severe injuries when a routine medical
procedure at a doctor’s rooms in a country town went terribly wrong.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/bungling-doctors-could-face-criminal-charges-for-allegedly-killing-and-maiming-patients/story-e6freoof-1226609594109

And then from the US:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/14/us-jackson-malpractice-idUSTRE78D3P620110914

Yes, these cases are tragic.

Now, what about the lack of any good evidence for homeopathy? Can you answer the questions Sandra seems unable to?

Ignoring the question does not make an argument. Ignoring the question means you cannot answer it and that makes my case not yours.

If you have come across a pertinent question from Sandra I did not answer, please feel free to point it out.

Your use of the word pertinent is a cop-out and you know it. More game-playing. You have not answered any questions from what I can see.

rosross said:

“I said earlier you have answered none and that remains the case.”

I’m not sure that is what you said earlier, but it might be instructive to show you how and why you are wrong here. It’s all to do with logic and applying critical thinking.

Your claim is that I have answered *no* questions posed by Sandra. To falsify that, I only have to provide *one* example of me answering a question from Sandra and your assertion comes tumbling down. Your statement is falsifiable – and easily falsifiable at that.

That does not mean I have answered *every* question Sandra asked – may were thoroughly incompetent and meaningless as not be worth answering or even not capable of being answered! I have spent a lot of time correcting her misunderstandings and errors in logic and critical thinking, though.

However, here’s a question from Sandra picked at random:

“Is the NG [sic] supported by the NHS or any other governmental agency of the UK?”

I’ll leave it to you to find the answer I gave to that hilarious question, but when you do, will you accept that I have, indeed, answered *some* questions from Sandra and that, therefore, your assertion that I have answered *no* questions from Sandra is now wrong?

Oh! And by the way, this isn’t some kind of trivial childish game: things like this are crucial to understanding argumentation but something of which most homeopathy supporters seem blissfully unaware.

You replied to her question, you did not answer the question. You don’t answer questions.

And it is a childish game, sourced in trivial and troubled minds of people who for some probably unconscious reasons have a visceral and irrational fear and hatred of Homeopathy.

No sane, logical, sensible person would resort to the paranoid crusade waged by some against Homeopathy – why on earth would anyone bother? It does no harm and heals many and has done for two centuries.

If you don’t like it don’t use it. But why try to stop others? That is delusional.

ROFL! I did answer the question – it seems you just did not like the answer!

Most of the rest of your comment is a logical fallacy – appeal to personal incredulity.

But you seem to suffer the same problem as Sandra – a real lack of any understanding and comprehension about what we do and why we do it. It’s all there on the website, in the FAQs for all to read.

And please keep you mental health diagnoses to yourself.

I just love it when opposers resort to terms like ‘logical fallacy’ and ‘personal incredulity’ because it so clearly displays the lack of knowledge and substance in their position.
Playing games with words does not an argument make and here you are, waving the ad hominem flag at others. Tsk, tsk.
p.s. sorry if the mental health diagnosis hit too close to home. Homeopathy could actually help you with that.

ROFL!

Any idiot can argue illogically and irrationally, but that gets no one anywhere. It takes an understanding of argumentation and basic logic to argue, erm, soundly, logically and rationally. These skills do seem to be lacking in many homeopathy supporters and it does get in the way of discussing the subject.

I never cease to be struck by the ignorance in regard to Homeopathy which abounds in those who reject it as crusaders. They are perfectly happy to ignore the reality of Allopathy as the third biggest killer in the world today with millions hospitalised or dead every year because of iatrogenic – doctor or medical induced – conditions, and yet Homeopathy and other non-allopathic medical methodologies drive them insane because they hear the odd (use both definitions of the word) story which comes up about someone using Homeopathy and dying or not being cured. Double standards of the most egregious kind.

But to take up a few issues mentioned here:

Quote: First, because the reply presumes that parents can diagnose a basic
ailment in the first place.

Professional Homeopathy never presumes that non-trained individuals are able to properly diagnose a basic ailment. In fact, from my perspective I actually believe Over The Counter Homeopathic remedies are not in the interests of the profession or the patient because they take an ‘allopathic’ approach of treating the symptom or the condition and not the patient.

Having said that, some good books and some basic remedies can certainly be of use to individuals for themselves and their children, until a Homeopathic consultation can be had or, until the parent decides that Allopathic consultation is necessary.

Those who use Homeopathy are generally very well educated and most, having discovered it, put effort into learning more about it and are therefore able to make use of remedies for minor issues like ‘restless teething’ – a situation by the way which might have dozens of different remedies for different children; night terrors; insomnia; gastro etc.

Most parents are not the idiots this author seems to think they are and even those who have some understanding of Homeopathy and make use of it would seek advice from Allopathy, as they should, if they were concerned about their child’s condition. Most parents sense the severity of illness in a baby or child and tend to err on the side of caution.

Anyone fanatical about Homeopathy, or Herbal Medicine, or TCM or Ayurveda who refused to ever countenance Allopathic intervention in a crisis would be a very small minority and that would anyway, be their choice in the same way some parents refuse blood transfusions for fundamentalist religious reasons.

But we are talking about people in general here and in general most people use Allopathy and those who turn to Homeopathy generally do so when Allopathy has failed. When Homeopathy brings relief or cure they become converts. Who would not? Many if not most then seek to learn more about Homeopathy and many become able to make use of remedies for some conditions, while seeking advice, when possible, from a trained Homeopath.

Quote: Ask Gloria Sam, the 9-month-old who died when her (perfectly treatable, and not life-threatening) eczema was ‘treated’ with homeopathy instead of a visit to a GP.

The naysayers trot out these sorts of scare-mongering stories as evidence of the culpability of Homeopathy and ignore the thousands of similar stories from Allopathic treatment. Penelope Dingle again – anyone doing the research knows that story had a great deal to do with everything but Homeopathy. But never let facts get in the way of propaganda. It was also, as with Gloria Sam, rife with anecdotal evidence.

It does not say if the parents were qualified Homeopaths, but, as anyone who understands Homeopathy knows, the condition, i.e. eczema is not treated but the individual and a good Homeopath knows that any skin condition must be approached with enormous caution because ‘curing’ a skin condition can only serve to drive the ‘illness’ deeper.

I have known so many children treated Allopathically and adults too, who have never been cured and whose health has deteriorated over time.

This ‘case’ like all those the naysayers dredge up, was and is, I am sure, far more complex than this article reveals as anyone who has ever experienced eczema in a child or adult knows.

And then we get James Randi. How sad. The best the naysayers can do is dredge up a magician, that’s right, a magician, to ‘assess’ something rejected by science because clearly they could not find a scientist who could or would do it.

Quote: But some homeopaths are less responsible than others….

Yes, they are and so are some Allopaths but you don’t hear the crusaders against Homeopathy looking to reject Allopathy because the system kills millions every years. Double standards.

Quote: Nothing can. But homeopathy doesn’t outperform a straight placebo,….

Yes it does, in spades, and even scientific research into the effects of Homeopathic remedies has admitted more than once that it is beyond mere placebo.

Homeopathy has been shown to affect body tissue, cells, plants, animals, babies and unconscious adults, as well as epidemics and to have effects months beyond the time the remedy was taken – none of which can be considered to be placebo.

However, the truly important thing is that Homeopathy is alive and well and growing in use around the world and the naysayers perform a valuable service in pushing the profession to establish and maintain optimum standards.

Keep up the good work.

rosross said:

“And then we get James Randi. How sad. The best the naysayers can do is dredge up a magician, that’s right, a magician, to ‘assess’ something rejected by science because clearly they could not find a scientist who could or would do it.”

As I said elsewhere, when a magician can find the flaws in an experimental technique that show the results to be unsound, then you’ve really got problems, don’t you think?

Not at all. I would not get a magician to test the legal system nor any medical system. I would happily see a magician testing the profession of magicians and any systems they may use but I prefer experts in the field wherever possible. As I have been led to believe does science.

It is ironic that science could not get a scientist to do what they want Randi to do and that suggests, don’t you think, that science cannot make a case and need someone who deals in ‘magic’ and illusion to concoct a case.

Personally Randi just makes the opposers look ridiculous so I say, keep him coming.

If careful observation were required then why could you not get a scientist but had to settle for a magician to establish credence regarding an issue science has with a medical methodology?

You could not get a scientist is the answer and so Randi just exposed the ludicrous and fanatical position you hold. All good for Homeopathy because it makes the opposition look ridiculous.

It was not me who had to get someone – a scientist or otherwise. However, as I’ve already said, Randi was chosen because of his observational skills – and, given what was discovered, it does seem those were needed. Why is it that you are attempting to attack the man rather than deal with what was found?

I don’t attack the man, merely the choice of his profession as an excuse for the lack of a scientist to investigate what is, after all, a scientific problem – for science anyway.

I am sure Randi is an excellent magician and his skills would be invaluable in terms of that profession but they have no application to the science/art of Homeopathy which has absolutely no magic quality about it.

Yes you did. You were criticising him for what he was, not what he observed.

Independent and unbiased observation is difficult – but homeopaths never seem to quite grasp that.

I criticised him because he was a magician hauled in to answer a question which challenges science when surely what was needed was a scientist.

What he observed is irrelevant since he had absolutely no qualifications or expertise for the job. Randi commenting on Homeopathy is as meaningful as him commenting on the law, theology, economics or Allopathy….

I get it very well. Randi was chosen out of arrogance and ignorance. Just because opposers believe that Homeopathy is ‘magic,’ quackery, farce, think of any other derogatory term, pulling a magician out of the ‘hat’ is a huge joke and in accordance with the immature approach of the opposers, meant to cast Homeopathic in a negative and ludicrous light.
It doesn’t of course. It just makes the opposers and Randi look silly. But that is fine.

Oh dear. No, you’re still no where near getting it. What Randi observed was a loophole that the scientists hadn’t spotted; one that meant the results were biased (no doubt unintentionally, but biased all the same). A simple and small change top the protocol fixed that and lo-and-behold, the claimed effect disappeared.

It was Randi’s observational skills – something magicians are particularly good at – that allowed him to spot the flaw in the experiment. Your continual stubbornness to accept this is noted.

It doesn’t say much for science does it, when it takes a magician with absolutely no experience or scientific qualifications to ‘pick up’ an error in the scientific method?
Which really just fits the view from Homeopathy that science often gets it wrong and that research from science can be questioned and cannot be relied upon, and that a magician is smarter than your average scientist.
The simple reality is that there have been double-blind studies, and more are being carried out, which manage to overcome the huge subjectivity of materialistic/mechanistic science and show the efficacy of Homeopathy.
Imagine how substantial the data will be when science is no longer locked within the narrow confines of the material and mechanistic? Until then, people continue to practice and use Homeopathy as they have done for centuries.
Science will get there in the end and the ‘egg’ will be on the fact of the opposers and many scientists and academics.

Nope. You’re still not getting it…

But maybe you can tell me what it was that Randi observed?

Alan, to set the record straight, I think this shameful behavior and threat is what Jerome Burne was talking about in his article about the Nightingale Collaboration and its followers’ hounding homeopaths. Screen shot below. I have typed the offensive text for ease of reading.

“This is the future of your business. You will no longer be able to make claims for treating any . l ailment without conducting multiple full robust medical trials. As you’ll notice from the ASA finding, the benchmark is very high and Homeopathy has not approached it.

I’ll be reviewing your websites again on the 10th July. Please have them updated removing any claims regarding medical/physiological conditions. If you cannot make this date then please let me know and the reason why. If by that date your website is unchanged, I’ll proceed to raise complaints with the ASA and contact your local Trading Standards Authority to pursue to the matter further. Particular attention will be taken with those sites claiming to help sick children.”

Thanks and regards,
Jonathan McAlroy
Winchester

That’s difficult to read, Sandra. perhaps you could summarise it…

Anyway, it seems to be something to do with the ASA and the Society of Homeopaths. What do you think it’s got to do with us and do you agree that homeopaths should abide by the same rules, regulations and laws as everyone else?

Click to enlarge image then you can read. Society of Homeopaths has list of homeopaths that the person used to get names and email addresses so he could intimidate and “hound” them! This is what the NG followers do, You could stop this behavior, if you wanted to.

That’s better…

You said:

“Society of Homeopaths has list of homeopaths”

Yes they do…it’s a public service, apparently, there for anyone to use. If you don’t think they should be publicly listing their members, you might like to contact them about that…

But you never answered my question (either last time or the many, many other times I’ve asked you), so let me repeat it one more time for you:

Do you agree that homeopaths should abide by the same rules, regulations and laws as everyone else?

And a follow-up question:

What do you think should happen to any homeopath who may not be abiding by those rules, regulations and laws?

Anyway, now you’ve had a bit of time to read our website, do you think we’ve been successful?

No, except in terms of pushing Homeopathy as a profession to maintain high standards and that is all to the good. Being questioned is important and vital if standards are to be established and maintained and it is as vital to Homeopathy as it is to Allopathy and to the scientific system.

Successful in what way? Homeopathy has always been a profession with high standards and I see holding it to account as no different to holding Allopathy to account. Even more important with Allopathy because it kills millions and Homeopathy does no harm.

And homeopathy provides no specific health benefits, while conventional medicine does.

However, we have been very successful in winning complaints against a significant number of therapists, manufacturers and suppliers who had not been complying with the ASA’s CAP Code and various medicines regulations, rules and laws that are there to protect the public from misleading claims. Please see our website for full details.

Homeopathy demonstrably provides specific health benefits or it would not be taught in universities and medical schools and used in hospitals and by doctors. Are you really suggesting this would be the case if there were no health benefits?

I have seen your website and the prejudice is apparent from the outset. However, the fanaticism you display is not a bad thing for it enables conversations like this to take place where your criticisms are made and easily dismissed and those reading can make up their own minds about the opposers and the process and practice of Homeopathy.

All to the good really to increase understanding of Homeopathy and its spread around the world although as the fastest growing medical methodology in the world it is not in need of help on that count.

The fallacies of appeal to personal incredulity and ad populam.

If you find any errors on our website, please feel free to point them out.

I have far more important things to do than bother with your website. The reality is that the UK opposition movement is no threat to Homeopathy and the challenges to Homeopathy merely offer opportunities, as happens here, to set to rights the lies, distortions, hyperbole and propaganda by the small band of fanatics who oppose Homeopathy.

There is incredulity when people are cured by Homeopathy, particularly after years or decades of Allopathic failure, but there is no incredulity applied to the practice or process of homeopathy..

Well, don’t expect me to spoon feed you any more here – the results of what we have done are there for you to read. But please don’t try to criticise what we have done without first reading and understanding what it actually is we have done – and not what you might imagine we have done. Sandra seemed to have this very problem: she was trying to tell us we were doing many things we were not, criticising us for that and got herself all very muddled about it and wasn’t prepared to listen and learn. However, I’m not sure I expect her to change any time soon.

Sandra can speak for herself and does. I have read your site and others like it and the articles and comments and views given and am always surprised at how lacking in substance and unprofessional it is.

Hollow arguments in the main. But Homeopathy s not hurt by it and in fact I believe benefits so keep up the good work.

Which articles on our site do you believe are ‘lacking in substance’ and ‘unprofessional’? Which arguments do you believe are ‘hollow’?

As seems all too usual here, the answer to your question is on our website in plain view.

And if that’s Ullman you’re quoting, you’d be advised to find a reliable and accurate source.

There is incredulity about ‘cures’ by homeopathy for the very simple reason that there is no good evidence for them.

There is a great deal of good evidence. Evidence is not an issue with Homeopathy – a scientific explanation is the only issue that you and others who oppose have.

There is certainly a great deal! The problem is that it is of low quality and integrity.

Plausibility is a separate issue but remains in as poor a condition as the evidence for efficacy.

Homeopaths should follow the rules specifically laid out for their practice already. I am sure that if a homeopath does not follow the rules set for THEIR form of practice, they will be dealt with according to those laws in a court of law, not by the Nightingale Collaboration. Who do you think you are? The NG is a band of skeptics, a pressure group, nothing more. Who regulates your activities and those of the followers who intimidate homeopaths, as I have shown in the post above? Is the NG supported by the NHS or any other governmental agency of the UK?

IMHO, the underhanded hounding of homeopaths and homeopathic supporters by the Nightingale Collaboration are meant to stop the practice of homeopathy. IMHO, you have not been successful in doing so. Time to turn in your tin police badges and get off the playground.

Image courtesy of https://twitter.com/EdzardHonest

Sandra

You’ve patently not understood a thing you’ve been told, have you? And it’s all there, explained in very simple language, yet you keep inventing things and seeing things that are just not there. I think you need to stop for a while and do some reading and thinking… Reading all our 47 newsletters would be a good start. Then you might avtually have a clue about what we do.

Anyway, Sandra said:

“Homeopaths should follow the rules specifically laid out for their practice already.”

Yes, but that probably makes very little difference indeed.

“I am sure that if a homeopath does not follow the rules set for THEIR form of practice, they will be dealt with according to those laws in a court of law”

Since anyone can call themselves a homeopath, there are no legally enforceable rules for their ‘form of practice’ – whatever that is. And even if they belonged to a trade body that has some rules and even if they actually enforce them, they are not laws of the land, but simply voluntary rules that homeopath can choose or choose not to follow, so no courts at all are involved.

Anyway, it looks like I have to ask you again (oh I do hope this is the last time I have to ask you):

Do you agree that homeopaths should abide by the same rules, regulations and laws as everyone else?

Just to clarify any confusion you might have, I’m talking about consumer protection regulations, advertising rules and codes of practice, and the laws of the land that all UK citizens have to abide by. Do you agree that homeopaths should abide by them or suffer the consequences?

“not by the Nightingale Collaboration.”

Correct! We don’t enforce anyone’s rules! By Jove she’s finally got it. Maybe…

“Who do you think you are? The NG [sic] is a band of skeptics, a pressure group, nothing more.”

You’re getting there!

“Who regulates your activities and those of the followers who intimidate homeopaths”

The courts of the land you seem so keen on…that is, if anyone has broken any laws. But of course, what other citizens is entirely up to them. If you have an issue with them, please feel free to take it up with them.

“as I have shown in the post above?”

Nope, don’t think you have.

“Is the NG [sic] supported by the NHS or any other governmental agency of the UK?”

LOL! What fevered, conspiratorial brain thought up that gem? Of course we’re not! Why on earth should we be? Wait! Don’t bother answering that. I really don’t want to know. But, wait! I thought you had already decided we were just a ‘band of skeptics, a pressure group, nothing more’? Not sure why you seem so confused.

“IMHO, the underhanded hounding of homeopaths and homeopathic supporters by the Nightingale Collaboration are meant to stop the practice of homeopathy.”

Well, you’re entitled to your own delusions. But you really do need to revise all those erroneous opinions you seem to have and re-connect with reality.

“IMHO, you have not been successful in doing so.”

Have you still failed to be elected as US President?

“Time to turn in your tin police badges and get off the playground.”

LMFAO! So puerile. So predictable.

Sorry if that was too much for you to handle, but if you think I made an error, please feel free to point it out, along with your reasoning and evidence, of course.

However, if it did not meet your pre-conceived notions and bias and it is causing you cognitive dissonance issues, then that’s entirely your problem.

Perhaps your ‘family homeopath’ will be able to give you something that’ll help. Or not, as the case may be.

You may be misinterpreting frustration at having to explain the same things over and over and over again, with little hint of any progress having been made.

Anyway, to get back on-topic, do you agree that homeopaths should abide by the same rules, regulations and laws as everyone else?

Anyone can call themselves a doctor as well and have at many times. Of course anyone can call themselves anything but generally they do not and just as the medical associations seek to ensure such things do not happen, so too do homeopathic associations.

Everyone should be accountable to law and everyone is in the developed world.

rosross said:

“Anyone can call themselves a doctor as well and have at many times.”

Well, that’s not quite true. I suppose if I was a window cleaner I could call myself the ‘Window Doctor’, but that doesn’t mean that it it always OK for someone to call themselves a doctor. There are ASA rules and misleading the public could well be a breach consumer protection legislation and the GMC might be interested as well.

However, this is a diversion.

“Of course anyone can call themselves anything but generally they do not and just as the medical associations seek to ensure such things do not happen, so too do homeopathic associations.”

Well, you say that…

“Everyone should be accountable to law and everyone is in the developed world.”

Can’t disagree with the first bit, but not sure what the rest of your sentence is supposed to mean. However, does that mean that you also agree that homeopaths should abide by the same rules, regulations and laws as everyone else?

It is quite true. You can easily find stories about people who practised as MD’s without qualifications.

But yes, you are right, generally people do not …

rules, regulations and laws need to be specified I would not expect a lawyer to subscribe to the same laws exactly as an accountant say and given the vast difference between Allopathy and Homeopathy it would be impossible for Homeopathy to be judged in exactly the same way Allopathy can be.

But generally, yes, any rule or law which makes people accountable in sensible ways is good….

rosross said:

“It is quite true. You can easily find stories about people who practised as MD’s without qualifications.”

Quite possibly and they should be reported to the appropriate authorities, don’t you agree?

“But yes, you are right, generally people do not …

rules, regulations and laws need to be specified I would not expect a lawyer to subscribe to the same laws exactly as an accountant say and given the vast difference between Allopathy and Homeopathy it would be impossible for Homeopathy to be judged in exactly the same way Allopathy can be.”

I have specified a few of these rules, regulations and laws that we all have to abide by. There no doubt are additional rules, etc that accountants and lawyers have to abide by, but that is irrelevant to the issue of homeopaths, who have no special status.

“But generally, yes, any rule or law which makes people accountable in sensible ways is good….”

I’m glad we agree.

Anyone who practises any profession without qualifications should be reported to the organisation which represents that profession. Absolutely. However, non-qualified people claiming to be Homeopaths like Edzard Ernst are the exception not the rule. I hope you reported Ernst to the suitable body given his dishonesty in claiming to be a Homeopath when he had no real training.

LOL!

There is no requirement whatsoever for any homeopath to belong to any trade body and anyone can call themselves a homeopath whether they’ve had some training or otherwise. That applies to Prof Ernst as much as me or you, even though Prof Ernst has had considerably more training in homeopathy than I have!

No, anyone cannot call themselves a homeopath without training in any real sense. No more than someone can call themselves an Allopath in any real sense.
There are people who call themselves lawyers, doctors, pilots, homeopaths etc., without proper training but they are a minority and not the rule and the fact that it happens with homeopathy is no more relevant than the fact it happens with Allopathy.

Ernst had no training in Homeopathy and as an MD he lied when he said he did. It requires years of intensive study and training to become a Homeopath as it does to become an Allopath and he should and probably did know better. Coming from Germany/Europe where Homeopathy is common and he said he worked in a Homeopathic Hospital and observed, he would have known he was not qualified in any sense of the word and yet he said he was a Homeopath. He was dishonest and he misled. He had and has no credibility on that count.

LOL! I can perfectly legally call myself a homeopath and start up a business charging customers for dishing out sugar pills! My ethics would prevent me from doing so, of course, but there is no law, rules or regulation that would prevent me.

However, I would have to abide by all the rules, laws and regulations if I wanted to remain on the right side of the law. But others who have done this have not: that is why the Nightingale Collaboration have been successful. Do you not agree yet?

However, I cannot set myself up as a doctor, dentist or even a physiotherapist unless I have met qualification and other requirements and am registered with the appropriate statutory body. To do so, would be a breach of the law and would be dealt with. None of this applies to homeopaths because they are just ordinary members of the public.

Are you saying Alan that you don’t believe in rule of law and that you support people being victimised just because of your beliefs? Hardly a scientific let alone legal or intelligent response don’t you think?

I am bemused at how you keep harassing Sandra to answer your questions and never answer hers.

Perhaps, and here is a question for you, you might articulate quite clearly the rules, regulations and laws which you believe should apply to absolutely everyone and you seem to think do not apply to Homeopathy?

Let’s be specific.

Just what rules, regulations and laws do you mean? It’s an easy enough question.

rosross said:

“Are you saying Alan that you don’t believe in rule of law”

What on earth makes you believe I would think that?

“and that you support people being victimised just because of your beliefs?”

What on earth are you on about?

“Hardly a scientific let alone legal or intelligent response don’t you think?”

You appear to be ascribing views to me that I have never stated and do not hold, so I cannot justify them. You’d need to find someone who did and ask them.

“I am bemused at how you keep harassing Sandra to answer your questions and never answer hers.”

I have answered many, many of Sandra’s questions! Yet, she stubbornly seems unable to answer mine. Yet, if you can point to one of hers I’ve not answered, then please do. And maybe you can ask her to reply to mine, particularly these ones?

1. Do you agree that homeopaths should abide by the same rules, regulations and laws as everyone else?

2. What do you think should happen to any homeopath who may not be abiding by those rules, regulations and laws?

“Perhaps, and here is a question for you, you might articulate quite clearly the rules, regulations and laws which you believe should apply to absolutely everyone and you seem to think do not apply to Homeopathy?”

It’s not me who says the rules apply to everyone!

“Let’s be specific.

Just what rules, regulations and laws do you mean? It’s an easy enough question.”

It is easily answered and I’ve already answered it. But for clarity, I’ll answer it again, more fully.

The list is long, of course, but the main ones are the CAP Code, consunsumer protection legislation such as The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, The Cancer Act 1939 and possibly even The Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008, all the various medicines regulations as enforced by the MHRA, including the Human Medicines Act 2012 and the implementations of the various EU Directives, including those relating to the HR, NR schemes and the THMRS. I could go on…

If you’re in the UK, you are aware of all those aren’t you?

I am not in the UK and so no, not aware of them.

Having said that, they look to me like the sort of laws and regulations which would apply to anyone and everyone including Homeopaths – laws are generally universally applied.

Which of these laws don’t apply to Homeopaths and then I will look at them and answer you.

As to what I was saying, you seem to infer that a list of Homeopaths made public means that anyone can seek to harass them.

In other words, you look to discredit an entire medical methodology, and anyone involved in it, simply because you don’t believe in it.

Let’s not kid ourselves, the UK has a particularly fanatical band of crusaders against Homeopathy and they do harass and victimise.

rosross said:

“I am not in the UK and so no, not aware of them.

Having said that, they look to me like the sort of laws and regulations which would apply to anyone and everyone including Homeopaths – laws are generally universally applied.”

Glad to hear that.

“Which of these laws don’t apply to Homeopaths and then I will look at them and answer you.”

None of them. Homeopaths are only members of the public and have no special legal status whatsoever. Do you understand why these rules, regulations and laws are in place?

“As to what I was saying, you seem to infer that a list of Homeopaths made public means that anyone can seek to harass them.”

Wrong.

“In other words, you look to discredit an entire medical methodology, and anyone involved in it, simply because you don’t believe in it.”

Homeopathy isn’t a ‘medical methodology’, of course, but it discredits itself by being nonsense and people are entirely free to choose to believe in it or not. But you miss the point: should homeopaths abide by the rules, regulations and laws that protect members of the public? If so, what should someone do when they find something that might appear to breach those rules, etc?

“Let’s not kid ourselves, the UK has a particularly fanatical band of crusaders against Homeopathy and they do harass and victimise”

LOL! I refer you to my questions above.

Are you saying that the UK government has laws and regulations in place to protect people on various fronts, including medicine and Homeopaths are excluded? How odd. My experience of laws and regulations is that they apply across the board.

How can it be that Homeopaths can be charged and put on trial, just like Allopaths, if they are involved in a case where a patient dies and yet none of the rules, laws and regulations apply to them?

So which rules, regulations and laws which protect the public don’t apply to Homeopaths?

Homeopathy is a medical methodology. It is taught in many medical schools around the world and practised by many medical doctors so of course it is a medical methodology or that would not be the case.

Your use of the word nonsense for a medical methodology which is more than two centuries old, highly effective and very complex and which requires years of training to practice, even for MD’s, reveals your prejudice and your ignorance.

I’m not sure why you seem to be intent on reading something into what I said that is just not there. I have not said and I am not saying there are any laws homeopaths are not or should not be subject to. Quite the contrary, in fact.

Well if there are no laws to which homeopaths are not subjected then what are you going on about asking the question continually about what should apply to them? If they are subject to the same laws that everyone else is, which is what I would expect, then what is the issue?

Good grief.

It was you who invented this bizarre notion! However, there are many cases of homeopaths and homeopathic product manufacturers not complying with current, existing, rules, regulations and laws that they are – like it or not – subject to and we have been successful in getting them to comply.

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