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Posts Tagged ‘Complementary and Alternative Medicine Specialist Libra’

Homeopathy and the Absence of Evidence

Posted by apgaylard on April 26, 2008

The apologists for homeopathy are upset again: this time with Professor Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh’s new book.  Why? Because once more homeopathy is exposed for what it is: a placebo.

Dr Damien Downing, the Medical Director for the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), seems particularly put out.  So much so that he has released a rather silly critique. (This link seems to be down. Try here)

After some empty carping he suggests that Ernst is not a very good scientist and then goes on to wrap himself in the flag of good science, “The scientific method ‘consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses’ (Wikipedia) – not of unsubstantiated dogmatic statements. Science has no room for dogma.”

This is one point I can agree with; compared to the statements of some other protagonists it’s pretty reasonable: science should have no room for dogma.  However, Downing is not averse to peddling some homeopathic propaganda. 

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The Evidence For Homeopathy

Posted by apgaylard on November 19, 2007

Who’d be a homeopath at the moment?  It must be tough given the comprehensive demolition of homeopathy’s claims to be anything more than an interesting way of delivering a placebo, provided by Ben Goldacre in both the Guardian and The Lancet.  This comes hard on the heals of Nick Cohen’s Observer article.

Homeopaths in the UK are convinced that they face an organised campaign by sceptics.  One homeopath has even complained that “… most homeopaths in UK have seen a 50% drop in their practice in the last 2 years.”

The Lancet special report quoted Peter Fisher, clinical director at The Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital, as saying that “… referrals were down by around 20% in October compared with the same month last year …”

The Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital has lost its NHS funding.  Hard times indeed.

Peter Fisher’s counter point caught my eye.  The Lancet report has him conceding that the “evidence base is not as strong as we would like” for homoeopathy and adding that “patients are our best advocates. They tell us that we have helped them when nothing else could“.

So, what is the clinical evidence for homeopathy?  How strong is the evidence base? 

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Posted in homeopathy | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »