Homeopath’s own studies show – it doesn’t work

A new review by Prof Edzard Ernst inclusive of studies by Homeopaths, fails to yield positive results.

Announcing a new review of Homeopathy to be published in the Medical Journal of Australia, the review is authored by Prof Edzard Ernst.  A press release by the MJA follows this short introduction.

The introduction to Homeopathy is by Dr Ken Harvey who will be speaking to the Victorian Skeptics on the 21st of June, 2010. [Now a past event.]

Homeopathy has been in the news of late. Earlier this year, a homeopath and his wife were found guilty of manslaughter after their baby daughter died when they treated her severe eczema with homeopathic remedies rather than conventional medicines.  In the United Kingdom, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee concluded that the UK health service should cease funding homeopathy because homeopathic products perform no better than placebos. More recently an Australian homeopath claimed that homeopathic immunisation was effective against polio, meningococcal, cholera, whooping cough and other serious diseases.  The Complaint Resolution Panel agreed that these claims breached numerous section of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code, including promoting to the general public a treatment of serious diseases for which there was no evidence of efficacy. The homeopath concerned was requested to publish a retraction and withdraw misleading information; she refused arguing that she believed there was sufficient evidence to back up her claims.

What is the current regulatory situation of Homeopathy in Australia?

Because homeopathic medicines were regarded as low risk both the medicines and practitioners have been largely exempt from government regulation. However any claims made for homeopathic medicines are subject to the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code. The problem with the current system is that the Complaint Resolution Panel, which administers the Code, has no power to enforce its determinations. The end result is that around a third of those found to breach the rules fail to publish retractions or withdraw misleading material. Mark Butler, the current Parliamentary Secretary for Health, has stated that reforms to address these problems are currently being formulated.

Dr Ken Harvey, School of Public Health, La Trobe University


Below is the press release by the Medical Journal of Australia alerting to a new review they are about to publish by Prof Edzard Ernst on the subject of Homeopathy.

MJA Press Release

18th of April 2010

Current evidence showing that homeopathic medicines are ineffective treatments is not biased against homeopathy, as some homeopaths have argued, according to a review published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Prof Edzard Ernst, Director of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter, UK, writes that about 150 controlled clinical trials have been published on homeopathy a therapeutic method that often uses highly diluted preparations of substances that, when administered to healthy people, create the same effects as the disorder in the unwell patient.

Prof Ernst said in situations where the results of these trials were neither all negative nor all positive, some commentators resorted to cherry picking those findings that fit their own preconceptions.

The problem of selective citation is most effectively overcome by evaluating all reliable evidence, an aim best met by systematic reviews,

Prof Ernst said.

He searched the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews generally considered to be the most reliable source of evidence in January this year for reviews that had the term homeopathy in their title, abstract or keywords. Of the six articles that met the inclusion criteria, none provided compelling evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies.

Homeopaths have argued that systematic reviews that fail to generate positive conclusions about homeopathy are biased,

Prof Ernst said.

However, as most of the reviews I appraised were authored by homeopaths, it seems unlikely that they were biased against homeopathy. In fact, one might argue that they were biased in favour of homeopathy.

For instance, one reviewer [not a Cochrane author] deliberately set out to select only the positive evidence and omit all negative evidence.

Prof Ernst said

some homeopaths argued that the controlled clinical trial was not suited for the study of homeopathy and that observational data, which appeared to suggest that homeopathy was effective, demonstrated the true value of the method.

A more rational explanation would be that the positive outcomes of observational studies are caused by the non-specific aspects of homeopathic treatments, while the controlled trials demonstrate that homeopathic remedies are placebos,

Prof Ernst said.

The Medical Journal of Australia is a publication of the Australian Medical Association.

46 Responses to Homeopath’s own studies show – it doesn’t work

  1. fransheffield says:

    I am a homeopath, and the homeopath being referred to by Dr Ken Harvey in his introduction.

    I am also ever hopeful that some Victorian Skeptics still value fairness, integrity, and honesty, and so I am responding to some of the inaccuracies of the above reports. I will not be making another comment following this one.

    1. In relation to the sad case of the Sam family – the court did not make a judgement about homeopathy (and was at pains to point this out) but about neglect – that her parents did not seek further help when she was failing to improve and worsening. Similar judgements of neglect, or failure of duty of care, have been made against practitioners from all walks, including those from orthodox medicine. The unfortunate events of the Sam case should not be used to drive a different agenda.

    2. In relation to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Report, one only has to look at the make-up of the committee and investigate how it reached its conclusions to see that the report was hardly worth the paper it was written on – it lacks impartiality and credibility. The vonsyh blog gives an account of events surrounding this committee that makes for interesting reading. It states in part:

    “ The report and its recommendations that led to the media snow this week, and the dramatic assertion that the public have been duped since 1948 by NHS placebos masquerading as medicine, is the result of a report ratified by THREE MPs: TWO of whom were NOT EVEN PRESENT AT THE COMMITTEE MEETINGS – and ONE of the two was NOT EVEN A MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE when the hearings were held, and is due to stand down at the election in May this year.”

    If a committee wants its report to be taken seriously it has to do better than this. I would encourage you to read the vonsyh report about what really took place at: http://vonsyhomeopathy.wordpress.com/ – it is quite illuminating.

    3. Dr Harvey states that I refused to place a retraction on a website because I argued there was sufficient evidence to back up my claims. Dr Harvey is in error in this regard. While repeated clinical experience confirms research that shows homeopathy is able to both treat and prevent, my refusal to place the retraction on the website was for reasons other than those stated by Dr Harvey.

    In conclusion, your readers may be interested in a humorous but revealing video clip about Professor Ernst and his pronouncements – many of which should not be taken seriously. It can be watched here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHi1UjPvhXQ

    Fran Sheffield

  2. Matt says:

    Thanks for your feedback, Fran.

    In the Victorian Skeptics we definitely value integrity, fairness and honesty. We also value evidence. Particularly when it comes to medical claims like this.

    As far as I’m aware (and I’ve looked), there exist no well-designed, double-blinded clinical studies that show homeopathy has any effect beyond that of a placebo.

    If you are in possession of such a study, I and many others would be very interested to see it.

    Until such a study can be produced, the claim that homeopathic “immunisation” is in any way effective against any diseases is simply unsupported by evidence. It is also irresponsible in the extreme.

  3. malvickers says:

    Fran, is this your way of having a reasonable discussion? You talk about “integrity” and then say “I will not be making another comment following this one.”
    That is typical hand grenade tactics, throw a hand grenade and run.
    Skeptics are rather keen on seeing evidence. You don’t appear to have it.
    The TGA asked you, in the interest of the health of Australians, to remove the evidence-free, misleading information on your web site – why didn’t you?

  4. Terry Kelly says:

    Fran, your reply is a bit pathetic. While you say the court did not make a judgement about homeopathy but about neglect it seems to me to be neglectful to treat someone with something that has been proved to be useless when an alternative, such as “medicine”, which has been proved to work, and is easily available, was not used.
    And that video is neither humorous nor revealing. Pretty boring, actually.

  5. Michael K Gray says:

    With every reply, the woo-woos dig a deeper hole for their magical-delusions.
    More power to their spade, I say!
    (It save we skeptics from having to make them look like foolish criminals, when they do it by themselves quite adequately.)

  6. AndyD says:

    So the court in the Gloria Sam case didn’t say homeopathy doesn’t work, they said the homeopath father should have used something that did work, not homeopathy?

    Okay, it’s a little semantic but I think I get it. “Homeopathy works better if you use real medicine at the same time.” Is that right?

  7. wertys says:

    Fran,

    i have been so impressed by the lack of evidence for homeopathic immunisation in particular I have celebrated World Homeopathy Awareness Week by lodging complaints about 4 websites which make the same claim as yours, given that the TGA Code of Conduct for Advertising does state that all advertisers of health products or services must hold proof of efficacy, and clearly they felt your claims failed in this regard.

    Skeptics don’t make the rules, but we are keen to help the TGA enforce them !

  8. Michael Kingsford Gray says:

    wertys:

    “The Nanny States” vs “The Nanny State”?

    (I freely admit that this may well be a trifle obscure)

  9. Charles T. says:

    It’s a pity that Fran says she won’t reply to this, as I, a Skeptic who still values fairness, integrity, and honesty, would like an on-going discussion. And being fallible and human means I do make mistakes in thinking. But I and am open to enlightenment. How about it, Fran?

    (1) The Sam case was is not about one system of medicine versus another. It is about failing to get adequate treatment for a child. This isn’t about access to medical care either, since all the parents needed to do was to show up at any emergency clinic. Their inordinate delay in doing that does reflect poorly on the way they handled their baby’s illness. They were the ONLY ones who could have prevented this from happening, they had sufficient warnings about it, and they were sane enough to understand what the seriousness of the issue. I agree with you that the legal case was not about homeopathy. But it does look a bit sus if a practitioner’s child dies and conventional (real) medicine was not administered.

    (2) There is a particular style of arguing that says if fault can be found with one aspect of a person, then their arguments on another topic are also suspect. This is false reasoning. Whether certain people agreed with a report while others were not there says nothing about the validity of the report.

    (3) If Dr Harvey incorrectly inferred your reasons he should acknowledge his error. Alternatively you could tell us the reason for the non-retraction to clarify the issue completely.

    Thanks, Fran. Charles.

  10. Julian says:

    As a patient of homeopathy, I really don’t care about scientific proof. After all just read Descartes’ science today…doesn’t it look plain stupid?
    Homeopathy works wonders when you are dealing with a good practitioner. There is no need for scientific proof. Rationalists are just another kind of religious fanatics, they think their science explains reality.
    Well, science is in constant evolution. Can science prove to me that Rimbaud’s poetry and Mozart’s music are beautiful? No, and I don’t blame it for that, I trust science for what it is; something that scientists work on improving all the time.
    When it comes to my health, I choose what works.

    • malvickers says:

      Science doesn’t offer proof, just probabilities that something might be true or is extremely likely – you know, probabilities, error bars those are the kinds of things you find in real science.

      You say that Homeopathy works – well, show me some evidence, not yet another anecdote – rolling my eyes skyward, which is a useless survey of one person with no control experiment.

  11. Michael Kingsford Gray says:

    Julian:
    Would you seek homoepathic prophylaxis against malaria?

  12. Mick says:

    Julian

    I have a patient with back pain who reports that her pain was much improved after she fell down some steps while taking her grand-daughter to childcare. Would you suggest I start a branch of ‘holistic’ care for back pain based on pushing people down stairs?

    I would be interested to hear why or why not you thought this seemed a good idea, as it uses the same sort of reasoning you subscribe to.

    • malvickers says:

      Pushing someone down stairs is extreme and I wouldn’t support it. Giving someone expensive magic water is not quite as extreme but still rather silly.

  13. Julian says:

    Hi,
    I would certainly not use homeopathy against malaria. I am not saying that all of the mainstream medecine is useless. If I break my leg or need a root canal I am not going to use homeopathy. In my experience, homeopathy is much better at treating chronic conditions. Mainstream medecine obviously excells at emergency.
    So yes, I will take antibiotic if needed.
    Please keep in mind that to experience the positive effects of homeopathy you would have to find an excellent practitioner and these are extremely rare.
    Most of them are random at best and dangerous at worst.
    But if you have the chance, or determination, to find a good one, you will then find out what medecine is supposed to be.
    The same applies to acupuncture or herbal medecine.
    Cheers!

  14. Michael Kingsford Gray says:

    “I would certainly not use homeopathy against malaria”
    .
    Glad to hear it!
    .
    “Please keep in mind that to experience the positive effects of homeopathy you would have to find an excellent practitioner and these are extremely rare.
    Most of them are random at best and dangerous at worst. But if you have the chance, or determination, to find a good one, you will then find out what medecine is supposed to be.” – Julian
    .
    Are you able to identify such a practitioner?
    I take it that you have found one.
    Please share this rare find with us.

  15. Mick says:

    Sorry Julian but this is a link to a charitable foundation in France for the purpose of perpetuating the historical canards of homeopathy. Is this meant to be where we can find a practitioner who will show us what medicine is supposed to be ? I think I would enjoy reading the contents of the library as I am interested in old books. I suspect though that sadly the contents would not be as out of date with current practice as medical books of the same age would be.

  16. Julian says:

    I really am not here to convince you. Just to share my experience that homeopathy has helped me tremendously. Again, whether it is scientifically proven is of no importance to me as long as it works. There will always be people that want that type of proof and there is the mainstream medecine for them.
    I gave you this link because if you were sincerely looking for help, it would be easy for you to write to them and ask for it.
    Obviously you are only looking to be emotional about homeopathy, that is your prerogative and it doesn’t bother me either.
    Best luck to you!
    Julian

    • malvickers says:

      “I really am not here to convince you…..has helped me tremendously.” Sounds like you’re trying to be convincing to me.

      “….scientifically proven is of no importance to me……” You agree that Homeopathy has no scientific basis then?

      “Obviously you are only looking to be emotional…” I’m not quite sure where you think someone has become emotional about this issue. I think the comments so far have been reasonable and mild.

  17. Julian says:

    Ok, point taken, I guess I was trying to be convincing.
    Also, yes I somewhat agree homeopathy has no scientific basis in the sense that no controlled study can come up with consistent results. Considering true homeopathy is about finding a specific remedy for a specific individual, and not a remedy for a symptom, then a controlled study is not possible. Plus as you know the substances are so diluted that you couldn’t find a single molecule of the original preparation in the remedies.
    So, basically what I am saying is that yes, all of your criticism is valid and yes, homeopathy’s efficiency cannot be proven in scientific studies.
    That being said, it works beautifully if the practitioner is good. I know that makes no sense, but life is full of paradoxes.
    If you have a chronic condition, find a good practitioner (I posted the foundation’s address so that you may ask them for one in your area) and you will see :-)

  18. Michael Kingsford Gray says:

    Julian –
    “Considering true homeopathy is about finding a specific remedy for a specific individual, and not a remedy for a symptom, then a controlled study is not possible”

    That last bit of that assertion is not at all true, Julian.
    Many simple protocols for double-blinded placebo controlled INDIVIDUALISED studies have been designed.
    Example: An homeopath consults with a patient, writes a script, passes it to a person in a sealed room who, on the flip of a coin, either selects (or prepares) the indicated remedy, or simply fills the vial with tap water. This is then labelled as the indicated remedy, and “blindly” passed (via a trapdoor, perhaps) through to a nurse, who then hands it to the patient.
    Bingo! (And this is but one of a dozen or more methods).
    But guess what? Not a single homeopath has done this trial. I have to ask myself “Why not?”.
    Perhaps you can persuade your homeopath to perform this simple trial. I’m sure that the Victorian Skeptics will be glad to suggest a strictly rigorous prototypical that will retain 100% of the individualisation that is claimed to be essential.

    What do you say?
    And please don’t repeat “homeopathy’s efficiency cannot be proven in scientific studies? now that you know that they can. And simply, too. At little extra effort or cost.

  19. Julian says:

    Michael,
    That sounds interesting. I didn’t realize that was possible. For me homeopathy is working very well, and again I realize that very few practitioners are really homeopath. I went to a lot of them and only a couple have been good. But the ones that have been good have been fantastic. I am neither a religious nor a skeptic and I will leave pursuing these experiments to others.
    I did have some serious complications from medications but never homeopathy.
    The medications I (and many other people) had serious side effects from had been “scientifically” tested and proven effective and safe through controlled study as well as approved by government agencies throughout the world.
    The fact is that many people die from medical treatment that is scientifically studied and many medications that were once reputed safe are now off the market.
    This just goes to show that controlled studies have their limitations in the field of medecine.
    Anyway, I know that you and I will never agree on this point; but I thoroughly respect your point of view and the integrity that motivates it.
    I know that if I had not had a couple of excellent homeopaths as doctors I would certainly believe it is bogus as well.
    J

  20. Mick says:

    Julian,

    Perhaps you could google the term ‘no true scotsman fallacy’ and compare it to the argument you just made in support of homeopathy.
    The fact that inadvertent harm is caused from medical treatment is not in any way related to whether homeopathy is an effective form of treatment. It causes no side effects because it is just water or sugar. It is also devoid of any detectable health-related benefits, for the same reason. The fact that cars cause harm to people does not mean using magic carpets is a better alternative. Put in those terms, the obvious (and logical) answer to your concern about medical treatment is to relentlessly search for ways to make it safer and more effective. this already happens, as as you say, some treatments (operations and devices as well as medications) have been withdrawn due to safety concerns. this shows the system is working. I would be grateful if you provide me with a documented instance of a single homeopathic treatment which was discontinued or retired from use due to safety concerns.
    For that matter I wonder if there are any homeopathic remedies that have been retired or discontinued due to evidence of lack of efficacy. This happens regularly in mainstream healthcare. Treatments are often not as good in practice as they are in trials, and many are discontinued for these reasons alone. I have never been made aware of a similar ruthless quest for efficacy being applied in CAM despite 10 years worth of almost entirely unsupportive research output from NCCAM (a US government funded research institute for CAM…funded to the tune of US$200 million over the last decade.)

  21. Julian says:

    Michael,

    I completely agree with your arguments. But homeopathy works for me. I don’t know why I would drop a treatment that’s working when going to the hospital department ranked number one in the US for the problem I had wasn’t doing anything and cost me thousands. I am sure you are right and there is no proof, but what can I do? It’s working. Maybe it’s the science that’s limited.
    Of course I don’t like that last idea as I, as you, like scientific proof and I am just as wary as you are of snake oil and BS treatments.
    But the fact is, it’s working…
    Best,
    Julian

    • malvickers says:

      Hi Julian, I appreciate that what happens to oneself is very compelling. Everyone regards themselves as “number one – the most important person in the world” and you are.

      Unfortunately, science doesn’t work that way and with good reason. Carefully controlled trials with large numbers of people involved give useful information and have lead to progress. Finding out that smoking and lung cancer where linked is an example.

      A study of one person (i.e. it works for me) is not useful in science. Where is the control group? Whatever aliment you have/had (and I don’t wish to belittle that in any way), but there is no clone of you who took a placebo treatment instead.

      Can you really, in all honesty, say your preferred treatment with Homeopathy works if there is no control patient to compare?

  22. Julian says:

    Yes, in all honesty. If it works it works. I don’t need a control patient. As I said the hospital I went to here (I won’t say which but the department I went to is ranked #1 in the US) couldn’t help. Then a friend of mine told me he had the same problem and that doctors couldn’t help either and he saw a homeopath and was better.
    So I did the same and now I’m better. If it’s just placebo, then fine, it’s better placebo than the other medications :)

    • malvickers says:

      “If it works it works.” = Circular slogan argument. I jump because I jump. The sky is blue because it’s blue. Do you know about circular arguments? Do you know what you’re doing and how unconvincing it sounds?

      Then you follow up with more anecdotal evidence. Oh man… Do you really want me to go over why anecdotes aren’t useful? Please see this web site:
      http://www.skepdic.com/testimon.html

      Why am I to believe your anecdotes are any more convincing than the anecdotes in favour of any other CAM treatment? How about some solid evidence?

  23. Julian says:

    Sorry I don’t have any solid evidence. Please don’t get upset with me, solid evidence for homeopathy does not exist. I know anecdotes are not evidence, unfortunately that’s all I have.
    All I have is the experience that it works for me. I know it is not proof and I know it is not scientific…but that’s all there is.
    All the studies that have been setup to show homeopathy’s efficacy have failed, therefore if you only want to use medicine that’s scientifically proven don’t use homeopathy.
    I use it because in my experience it is one of the best medicines available, along with another unproven one, acupuncture….
    All I can say is, find yourself a good homeopath (a good one, most of them are bunk) and you will see.
    I respect your point of view but there is really nothing else I can say on the subject because scientific proof does not exist.

    • Matt says:

      Hi Julian. No-one’s getting upset with you, so please don’t feel like your views are being attacked or mocked.

      I think we’re kind of talking at cross-purposes here. I appreciate that the treatment that you’ve had works for you.

      You understand that you’ve experienced a placebo effect, so I guess you understand that there’s no essential difference between homeopathy and (say) carrying a luck rabbit’s foot.

      If a rabbit’s foot had been sold to you by a good rabbit’s-foot-therapist, then you would have had the same result.

      The problem with homeopathy (as opposed to rabbits feet), is that it is actually taken seriously.

      Homeopathy is marketed as a serious alternative to proven, effective, conventional medicine.

      We fight against this perception because it can get downright dangerous. Some people think it’s okay to stop their chemotherapy and take homeopathy instead. Ineffective homeopathic vaccines for things like malaria are actively sold.

      There’s a bunch of examples of the harm caused by homeopathy here:
      http://whatstheharm.net/homeopathy.html

      Some people (like you) get a placebo effect from using homeopathy. That’s fine, and you could argue that’s a good thing.

      But in my view (and the view of my fellow skeptics), the harm done by belief in homeopathy vastly outweighs this small benefit.

    • Michael Kingsford Gray says:

      “…there is really nothing else I can say on the subject because scientific proof does not exist.”

      And there is a VERY good reason for this:
      Homœpathy does not, and can not work as advertised.
      At best, it is a weak placebo.
      The homœpaths themselves know this very well, and flatly refuse to test it, for the very reasonable fear that their income streams will evaporate if they it becomes plain that they practise elaborately theatrical witchcraft.

      The only condition that it *can* cure is a distended wallet. (And possible a lack of malaria, or too much breathing in sick infants)

  24. Julian says:

    Well, I appreciate your point of view and I am more than willing to accept that it was a placebo effect. Of course I went through several general practitionners with many rounds of very strong antibiotic treatments. I also went to see an herbalist and an acupuncturist.
    Nothing worked and all of the treatments amount to more than $3000 after insurance (I am in the US…) None of them worked.
    The homeopathic treatment cost
    merely a few hundreds including visits and medications and worked.
    If it is placebo, why didn’t I get placebo effect from the 12 months of antibiotic treatments?
    I understand your point of view because in many ways I am a rationalist and a skeptic like you are. But because of what I experienced over the past 18 months, I am starting to be skeptical of certain approaches to medicine.
    In my quest I have been exposed to MANY quacks of CAM.
    So I understand where you’re coming from.
    There are a lot of people in CAM that are in it to make a lot of money off of unsuspecting patients. Someone in my family was their victim.
    But that doesn’t mean it’s all rubbish.
    Anyway, I have no proof but I have the experience.
    You have the proof but not the experience.
    I cannot get the proof but you can get the experience.
    Next time you need something chronic treated (I said chronic, not an emergency)
    find a good homeopath, (i gave you the website to the Pierre Schmidt foundation-in Switzerland-you will find someone good from them) and you will see. No need to say I am not affiliated with them and my line of work has nothing to do with medecine.

    Then you’ll be writing the same stuff I am writing here:)

  25. Julian says:

    Forgot to say I also went to the top specialist in the country…..

    • Matt says:

      Let me ask you a question, Julian.
      If you had got this result from carrying a lucky rabbit’s foot, would you be arguing as strongly that we should each purchase a lucky rabbit’s foot to help with chronic conditions?

  26. Julian says:

    No. Would you?
    If you had had such a result from homeopathy after having had no results from conventional medecine for a year, would you not consider the remote possibility that it’s not superstition?

    • Matt says:

      No, because I recognise both as simply producing placebo effects. To me, there’s no difference at all between the two methods.
      I find it really interesting that you make a distinction between the two methods. Why is that?

  27. Julian says:

    You are right, I have no way to know or prove that it was the homeopathy that healed me.

    • Michael Kingsford Gray says:

      Well spoken, sir! And congratulations on having the fortitude to so say. I salute you – in a genuine gentlemanly non-cynical and encouragingly complimentary manner.

      As this interlocution has sparked an interest in what is true, and what is not, you may wish to search the intertoobz for “Regression to the Mean”, (as another possible explanation for the course of your healing)

  28. julian says:

    Yes, I know there is no scientific proof but I will keep using homeopathy. I know it sounds crazy to you. But I guess I may not be a skeptic……
    In the 60′s doctors were recommending eating margarine, at the time it was considered safer than butter; turns out trans-fat killed millions.
    So, which would have been right: following your taste buds and eat butter or following the science of the day and eat the margarine?

  29. Odette says:

    Julian, good on you for sticking to what it is, that you believe in!!! l too have used homeopathy on myself, family & pets for many years & have found it has worked with great results. Please don’t keep defending your-self, it is your freedom of choice. l find it scary how defensive and sad it is that people have to be so insisent on wanting to criticize your every word…… Good on you Julian!

    Here’s to good health what ever your choice!

    P.S Yes l agree, butter is better too!

  30. Michael Kingsford Gray says:

    Odette:
    If you knowingly use it instead of real medical treatments on any children, (or other humans incabable of giving informed consent), for non-placebo-indicated illnesses, (especially your offspring), that constitutes very real, and possibly actionable, physical abuse.
    You can injure or kill yourself in whatever fashion you choose, but as soon as you impose the ddangerously unscientific and utterly infantile magical non-medicine called homeopathy on others, then you are certainly committing a moral offense, if not a legal one.

  31. Julian says:

    Here in the US there are lawyers making millions from medical malpractice off of the doctors making millions (billions) off of allopathy. Give me a break, allopathic medicine is utterly dangerous and should only be used as a last resort. See, I see a value in it; but only when homeopathy would be too slow to act.
    The people that have tried homeopathy know it works better than any other form of medicine. For the other ones; your loss.

  32. @Julian:
    Great Poe!
    You nearly had me thinking that you were actually serious!

  33. Julian says:

    I am much more serious than you’ll ever be.

  34. LiteratureSearcherExtraordinaire says:

    Randomized controlled trial published in Rheumatology (Oxford). 2011 Jun;50(6):1070-82. (link: http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/content/50/6/1070.long ). This RCT looks at success of the homeopathic consultation process in people with rheumatoid arthritis. I did an interesting lit search on PubMed – certainly some conflicting stuff there. I note that the language used in abstracts for RCT’s that give homeopathy a favourable result issue serious caveats against homeopathy. I am not certain that such caveats are as seriously worded.

  35. LiteratureSearcherExtraordinaire says:

    Meant to say that I am not certain that such caveats are as seriously worded when reporting on RCTs for ‘conventional’ medicines. I think that would make a very interesting study.

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