MPs want homoeopathy funding stopped – some comments

This refers to an article published by the New Scientist on 23rd/Feb/2010 by Andy Coghlan
( http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18559-stop-funding-homeopathy-say-british-mps.html )

Brief points:

1- "Homeopathic remedies work no better than placebos, and so should no longer be paid for by the UK National Health Service, a committee of British members of parliament has concluded":

I can think of at least one double blind placebo controlled research which showed that homoeopathy is effective for rhinitis (led by Dr David Reilly and published in the Lancet quite a long time ago. I remember the Lancet dedicating the editorial to this piece of research – if you know details please let me know)

2- "The committee also says that prescribing of placebos, which have an effect because a patient believes they will, involves a "degree of patient deception" and so is "not consistent with informed patient choice"."

Many vets treat animals with homoeopathy (pets and farm animals). I can’t work out how they can be subject to the placebo effect

3- It is quite a well-known fact that GPs routinely prescribe placebos (which are not homoeopathic remedies). So, in this respect, there has always been a "degree of patient deception". As far as "informed patient choice", it is very limited in practical terms, especially if we consider that a great proportion of medicines prescriptions are not based on evidence.

4- "The committee failed to identify any plausible explanation for how such remedies might work":

Because we cannot have an explanation, it does not mean it does not exist. This is the equivalent as saying that one thing cannot be in two places at the same time or that matter cannot also be a wave or even less believable, matter can change how it behaves when/if it gets observed. But that happens in the quantum ‘world’

Some time ago, Dr Jacques Benveniste, a highly regarded scientist at INSERN (the French equivalent of the British Research Council) demonstrated that water has memory and that this memory is electromagnetic. I saw his demonstration using a biting heart of a chicken. He got the heart to beat faster when he dropped a homoeopathic preparation on it (can’t remember what it was) and later he submitted the homoeopathic remedy to a strong magnetic field. After that, the homoeopathic remedy did not affect the heart – it was just water. The water memory had been deleted by the electromagnetic field just like a cassette tape would. That experiment was repeated a few times.

Physicists have since demonstrated that water molecules change according to environment and thought.

5- "The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health, which backs complementary therapies, including homeopathy, acknowledges that homeopathy is "scientifically implausible", but defends the use of such remedies nonetheless."

I’m surprised at the FIH’s comment that homoeopathy is "scientifically implausible". It may be implausible to current limited scientific knowledge WITHIN medicine. And so is Quantum.

To quote part of Dr Vera Madzarevic reply to the article:

"My personal and humble opinion is, as a scientist, that I cannot answer all the questions of how allopathic drugs work, I can propose mechanisms of action, but hardly demonstrate them in some cases, but they work………….and they are approved and used….. Sometimes the best answer to a complicated medical problem is simple. I understand that we are not the holders of the absolute truth, and we have to leave doors open to other opinions"

 

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