Homeopathy4health

29 June 2013

Why hounding homeopaths is both batty and arrogant.

homeopathy4health:

“Ultimately what Nightingale is attacking is the intelligence and judgement of people who are trying to find an effective way to heal themselves. If homeopathy, which even its most virulent critics cannot claim is remotely likely to be harmful, works for you, then someone needs to combine serious arrogance with real battiness to believe they have the right to stand in the way.”

Originally posted on  Body of Evidence:

There is no shortage of villains in the world. Psychopaths – domestic and national – whalers, toxic waste dumpers, global eavesdroppers, billionaire tax avoiders and their army of accountants –  all well worth campaigning against with the aim of getting them banged up or forced to cough up.

There is also an infinite supply of people who are mildly irritating who misplace apostrophes, wear Croc shoes, do crochet, litter their sentences with “you know” and text using their middle finger.

However most of us can tell the difference. In fact mixing the two categories up is a pretty reliable indicator of a serious level of battiness . Picketing shops that sell Crocs or campaigning to forbid the sale of mobiles to clumsy texters puts you firmly in the mild-to-fairly-irritating and definitely-a-bit -potty class.

Step forward the Nightingale Collaboration, earnest and self-styled defender of rationalism, whose seriously potty members have got…

View original 986 more words

27 February 2010

Who are the MPs who recommend the end of homeopathy in the NHS?

Voice of (Not So) Young Homeopathy:

“Stop funding NHS Homeopathy, MPs urge”. But who are these MPs?

The Science and Technology Committe report was ‘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.’

‘Evan Harris, associate of Sense About Science and it’s fair to say rabid anti-homeopathy campaigner, 1023 participant and ’senior counsel for the prosecution’.

Ian Cawsey – IT expert, who joined the S and T committee in October 2009, just a month before the meetings and yet chose not to attend the committee’s investigation – in fact was nowhere to be seen until the ratification meeting.

Doug Naysmith – an immunologist – did not join the S and T committee until January 2010 – so was not even on the committee until after all the hearings – yet was present for the ratification of the report.  And he is standing down at the next election.  Surely not?’

10 February 2010

Dr Evan Harris bias and behaviour may lose Liberal Democrat votes

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for science Dr Evan Harris’s bias at the UK Government’s Science and Technology Committee Evidence Check on Homeopathy was further confirmed by his unethical behaviour towards Dr Peter Fisher of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital at the Merseyside Skeptics Society ‘1023’ ‘homeopathy overdose’ stunt recently.  He may cause the Liberal Democrat party to lose votes from homeopaths, homeopathy users (about 10% of the population have taken homeopathic remedies in the last year) and other practitioners of CAM and their supporters. I have consistently voted Lib Dem until now but am reviewing this policy as a direct result and I am not alone.

Here is a video of Evan Harris’s appearance at the 1023 event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYuLjl9bgIw

And at the Science and Technology Committee Evidence Check for Homeopathy meetings:

Wednesday 25th November 2009

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=5221

Monday 30th November 2009

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=5257

Dr Harris may be in breach of Articles 46 and 47 of the GMC’s Guidelines for Good Medical Practice:

Article 46. You must treat your colleagues fairly and with respect. You must not bully or harass them, or unfairly discriminate against them by allowing your personal views to affect adversely your professional relationship with them. You should challenge colleagues if their behaviour does not comply with this guidance.

Article 47. You must not make malicious and unfounded criticisms of colleagues that may undermine patients’ trust in the care or treatment they receive, or in the judgement of those treating them.

More at: http://vonsyhomeopathy.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/1023-dr-evan-harris-and-the-evidence-check/

26 November 2009

Parliamentary Science and Technology Evidence check for Homeopathy

Thanks to ‘Voice of (not so) Young Homeopathy’ for their comments on this week’s Parliamentary Science and Technology Evidence check for Homeopathy here:

http://vonsyhomeopathy.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/uk-parliamentary-science-and-technology-committee-evidence-check/ 

You can watch the whole meeting here:   http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=5221

Vo(ns)YH promises a transcript too.

Some funny moments: I thought Goldacre’s comment that he wasn’t interested in Physics quite hilarious given that homeopathy allegedly ‘goes against all its laws’, and Ernst saying that he thought it was the long consultation that helped homeopathic patients REALLY begged the question: ‘is there any evidence for that? and if there is then why does the NHS only allow 10 minutes?’ and David Colquhoun got a dishonourable mention about going around collecting anecdotal evidence.

I’m disappointed that no-one mentioned that only 13% of NHS treatments are backed by solid evidence: http://clinicalevidence.bmj.com/ceweb/about/knowledge.jsp

Update: Here is the evidence supplied to the committee:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/memo/homeopathy/contents.htm

20 February 2009

Contribution of homeopathy to the control of an outbreak of dengue in Macaé, Rio de Janeiro

From the International Journal of High Dilution of Research 

“Homeopathy has contributed throughout history [see herehere and here ] to the control and eradication of epidemic diseases. Facing the challenge of controlling an outbreak of dengue, the Secretary of Health of the county of Macaé, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in early 2007 carried out a “Homeopathy Campaign against Dengue”. 156,000 doses of homeopathic remedy were freely distributed in April and May 2007 to asymptomatic patients and 129 doses to symptomatic patients treated in outpatient clinics, according to the notion of “epidemic genus”. The remedy used was a homeopathic complex against dengue containing Phosphorus 30cH, Crotalus horridus 30cH and Eupatorium perfoliatum 30cH. The incidence of the disease in the first three months of 2008 fell 93% by comparison to the corresponding period in 2007, whereas in the rest of the State of Rio de Janeiro there was an increase of 128%. While confounding factors were not controlled for, these results suggest that homeopathy may be an effective adjunct in Dengue outbreak prevention.”

21 December 2008

James Randi avoids homeopathic challenge for $1 million prize

I have long suspected that James Randi is ‘all mouth and trousers’.  It seems he has been avoiding Professor George Vithoulkas’s proposed experiment ‘to prove that there is a biological effect on human organism from the ultra high dilutions of homeopathic remedies beyond the Avogadro number’, for two years and claims on his website that the homeopaths have withdrawn.  Professor Vithoulkas states:

“In 2002 the BBC Horizon program presented a documentary that showed that the Benveniste experiment about homeopathy was a fake one and therefore… homeopathy was also fake! http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2512105.stm

Mr.Vithoulkas had repeatedly stressed in many communications that the experiment was in any case a falsely conceived one from its very beginning (see the correspondence). The opponents of homeopathy basing in this false experiment by Benveniste their hypocritical arguments maintained that homeopathy was simply placebo effect.

Mr Randi after this false experiment (ignoring all other experiments that showed the effect of homeopathy) declared in his website (http://www.randi.org/) that whoever could prove the validity of the action of a homeopathically potentized remedy beyond the Avogadro number would be winning one million $ as a prize.

Mr Vithoulkas challenged this statement and with this idea a new experiment was conceived that would prove that the highly potentized remedies could actually have a biological effect upon the human organism.

The experiment was simple: An individualized remedy would be given to a number of patients in a double blind fashion and half of the patients would receive placebo the other half would get the real remedy. The Greek Homeopathic physicians that would participate in taking of the cases and prescribing the remedies should point out in the end of the experiment the ones that they had got the real remedy.

The protocol was structured by a group of internationally known scientists and the experiment had to take place in one of the hospitals in Athens.

What follows is the real story (with facts in correspondence that transpired) of how through several “tricks”, Mr.Randi refused to go through the experiment and rescued his million.

We sent the following statement to Mr. Randi in order to be posted to his website but he refused to post it. Read

22 September 2008

Remedy snippet of the day – Causticum by Rajan Sankaran

Filed under: Homeopathy — homeopathy4health @ 8:33 am
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From The Soul of Remedies

‘The main feeling in Causticum is that the person is the one who has to take care of the group or family.  He is facing the threat from outside and in order to face this threat, he requires that the whole group should fight together.  Being the strongest member of the group, one who is the most capable of putting up a fight, he regards a threat to any one member of that group as a threat to himself. If he doesn’t forestall the threat, it will affect the whole group and he will be weakened.’

1 September 2008

Downloadable research on very low dose/high dilution effects

GIRI: ‘Groupe International de Researche sur l’Infinetismal’ / International Research Group on Very Low Dose and High Dilution Effects is a group that ‘organises workshops yearly throughout the world. It convenes systematically in congresses during each of the International Encounters of Monaco. The aim of the GIRI is to bring together pharmacologists, biologists, physicians, chemists and physicists to communicate, exchange experiences and develop joint research projects; the distinctive feature of the research activities of the group is the study of ultra low dose impulses or very high dilutions, homœopathics included. Although the mechanism of action of the very diluted solutions of active principles on biological systems is an important concern of the GIRI, the major interest of the Group is directed towards the possible medicinal and therapeutic relevance of the very low doses. More than one hundred persons are GIRI members, coming from 20 different countries.’

They are publishing a book (downloadable here):

“Signals and Images”

Selected papers from the 7th and 8th GIRI Meeting, held in Montpellier, France, November 20-21, 1993, and Jerusalem, Israel, December 10-11, 1994
Edited by Madeleine Bastide, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Montpellier I, France
Kluver Academic Press

We are now able to propose a book which includes 23 full papers from more than fifty contributors corresponding to the two last GIRI meetings: the 7th (held in Montpellier, France, on 20-21 November 1993) and the 8th (held in Jerusalem, Israel, on 10-11 December 1994). The GIRI gets bigger every year and now includes more than 100 members from 22 different countries. This evolution stimulates more and more researches on this subject often considered as scientific nonsense or a scientific error. All these papers have been reviewed according to the standards of scientific publications and many of them are now published in regular scientific journals. They illustrate perfectly the evolution of the ideas and the new experimental and theoretical approaches of this uncommon research. It becomes obvious that different hypothesis can enlighten the interpretations of these different papers. Part of them can be interpretated according to the classical way of thinking; but the true interpretation of the similia law of homeopathic medicine is quite different from the mechanistic approach.

To help the reader, the papers will be organized into four chapters; each chapter will be introduced by a short analysis of the papers included.

The “Introduction” debates the question of scientific evolution and revolution in the context of modern science.

The 1st chapter “Hormesis” gathers together all the papers related to this concept: these models are often evoked to demonstrate or to explain the similia law although hormesis is always based on a relationship of identity.

The 2nd chapter “In Vitro and in Vivo Experimental Models” includes many experiments which demonstrate low dose or high dilution activity and is introduced by a summary of classical receptology.

The 3rd chapter “Therapeutics and Provings “ discusses the question of analysis of the symptoms in a systemic way of thinking and also includes pathogenetic studies (provings) as well as homeopathic therapeutic studies in humans or in animals.

The last chapter presents an “Epistemologic Approach” which become necessary in order to enlarge the possibility of interpretation of the law of similarity and the high dilution effectiveness considering that these dilutions are above the Avogadro number.

This new field of research is very exciting and introduces new scientific concepts supported by experimental results. Above all, we observe that this nascent science is totally concerned by “living” organisms and as such, it becomes necessary to define what we design as “information” brought by non-molecular high dilutions.

This book presents the brain-storming work of this research group and is one of the starting points of a scientific evolution: ” The proliferation of concurrent variants of the conventional paradigm, the fact of being willing to try anything, the expression of marked discontent, recourse to philosophy and discussion on the theoretical foundations, all signs are many symptoms of a passage from normal research to extraordinary research”. T.S.Kuhn, 1962, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.MB

1 August 2008

The disease didn’t kill her, the medication did….

How many of us have heard of this?

I have been away visiting family.  My mother-in-law told us that my brother-in-law’s friend’s 47 year old wife had recently died.  She had been suffering from breast cancer for several years but she died in her sleep from a heart attack.  This was blamed on her medication which had ‘weakened her heart’. A ‘side effect’ I expect.

According to Hering’s Law of Cure inappropriate medicine can suppress the vital system and weaken more internal and more vital organs.  People can live without breasts (men can be affected by breast cancer too); they can’t live without a heart.  I’ve commented on patterns and progress of disease before.

Ok, I know it’s not that simple, I didn’t know the lady concerned and how she was before she died, she might have died shortly anyway, but there was no indication of that in the story as told, her death came as a surprise.

5/8/08 – Updated to include links to information about the homeopathic approach to treating people with the symptoms of cancer:

Treating cancer with homeopathy

Dr Ramakrishnan – Cancer

3 July 2008

New Age convert to Skepticism appeals for sensitive cross-cultural communication

Filed under: Homeopathy — homeopathy4health @ 8:02 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Although I don’t classify homeopathy completely within New Age, and the homeopathic profession does contain conventionally trained scientists, Karla McLaren’s article about her conversion from New Age guru to Skepticism contains some pertinent criticism of Skeptic culture and communication style: ‘Bridging the two cultures’

“From a vantage point outside the New Age culture, my culture’s disavowal of emotions and the intellect may seem very strange and nearly inexplicable. Nevertheless, it is a very real cultural component that must be understood and considered if any useful communication is going to occur. If we want to successfully communicate with someone, we’ve got to understand not just their language, but the cultural context from which their language springs. From what I’ve seen in both the New Age and the skeptical cultures, this understanding is absent. I certainly didn’t understand the skeptical culture until I spent real time considering it as a culture – and I know from my reading that most people in the skeptical culture don’t understand the New Age culture at all. As a result, the yelling between our cultures just becomes louder while the real communication falls into the chasm that divides us. In all the din, people in my culture hear what they deem to be hyper-intellectual and emotionally charged attacks upon their cherished beliefs, while people in your culture hear what they deem to be wishful thinking, scientific illiteracy, and emotionally charged salvos in defense of mere delusions.

This is of course a tragedy, but after reading through the skeptical literature for the last three years, I feel that this tragedy may be avoidable. I understand your culture now, and I understand the concern, care, and interest you have for the people in my culture. I’m now able to read past text I once considered inflammatory and see the dedication behind it-not just your dedication to competent research and information-gathering, but your dedication to clear communication. I see your faith in human intelligence, your anger about swindlers and charlatans, your open-minded ability to question authority and accepted wisdom, and your willingness to fight to further a cause close to your heart. My favorite people in the New Age culture share these same qualities. I feel that people in your culture are capable of reaching out to my culture in sensitive ways that will have a chance of being heard – because it’s vital that you are heard.

It’s vital that a way be found to help people in my culture question, think about, and critically interpret the barrage of information and misinformation they receive on a daily basis. However, it’s also vital that the information be culturally sensitive. For instance, the first time I visited the skeptical health care Web site called Quackwatch, it felt as if I were walking into enemy territory. “Quack” is a very loaded word-it’s a fighting word! Though site owner Dr. Stephen Barrett has every right to call his excellent Web site anything he likes, I wonder why it couldn’t have been called, for instance, HealthWatch, HealingInfo, DocFacts, or something equally nonthreatening. Why do I have to type the word “quack” when I want a skeptical review of the choices I make in medical care? And why do I have to spend so much time translating on the skeptical sites I visit-or just skipping over words like scam, sham, quack, fraud, dupe, and fool? Why do I (the sort of person who actually needs skeptical information) have to see myself described in offensive terms and bow my head in shame before I can truly access the information available in your culture?

I have a selfish reason for asking these questions, because one of my first ideas was to make my own Web site a culturally sensitive portal to the skeptical sites – yet I cannot find a way to do so. I’ve got a Web page mock-up brewing in my files – a page that I’ve rewritten maybe fifty times or more-that tries to introduce the concept of skepticism in an open and nonthreatening way. I’d like to include links to the brilliant urban legends site (snopes.com), to Bob Carroll’s online Skeptic’s Dictionary (skepdic.com), to CSICOP and the Skeptical Inquirer (csicop.org), and to The Skeptic (skeptic.com). I also really wanted to include Quackwatch (quackwatch.org) and James Randi’s site (randi.org) – but I just can’t find the words. Sure, I can use my site to prepare people for the journey, but I know from experience that they would be in for quite a shock once they clicked on the links. I mean, it’s one thing to find out that much of my culture and belief system was based on gossamer and hearsay, but it’s another thing altogether to see people like myself being denigrated and pitied.

I found your culture and persevered through the (perhaps unintentionally?) insulting text and the demeaning attitudes because I had a serious need. I had a need to understand the avalanche of New Age ideas, gadgets, meditation techniques, and personalities I encountered as my career gathered momentum. I saw so much as I traveled and spoke to people in my culture, and so much of it worried me that I began to use the Internet to organize this avalanche and acquaint myself fully with information in my field. It was a harrowing journey, to say the very least. I waded into your culture for much-needed information, and ended up losing my own culture in the process. During the most difficult throes, I joked that I would have had to cheer up to be merely despairing – and that I would have had to calm down to be merely enraged. I’m still working through this.

What I see in the tragic clash between the New Age and skeptical cultures is that, for the most part, the skeptics have not yet been able to speak in a way that can be heard. Certainly, neither have people in my culture been able to perform that same feat. I see some scientific types working in the New Age culture, trying to prove that chi exists or prayer works (or whatever it is they’re doing this week). There’s an awful lot of scientific jargon all over the New Age now, and while it’s sad to see science being bent and mangled by my culture, I have to say that it shows we’re listening to you. It shows that we’re trying to get it right-to say things in a way you can hear. I know that my culture’s sloppy and disrespectful use of science is something that angers and confuses many people in the skeptical community, but can we look at it in a different light?

People in my culture have heard you and we’re trying to answer – but we don’t understand you. Our cultural training about the dangers of the intellect makes it nearly impossible for us to utilize science properly – or to identify your intellectual rigor as anything but an unhealthy overuse of the mind. I know that sounds silly, but think of the way you view our capacity to dive deeply into matters of spiritual or religious study. You don’t often treat our rigor as scholarship, per se (though it takes quite an intellect to understand and organize the often screamingly inconsistent sacred canon) – instead you tend to treat our work as an overabundance of credulity or perhaps even a stubborn refusal to listen to sense.”

As I’ve said before, there is a need for right brain – left brain integrated thinking.

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