Friday, 18 April 2008

Charlie's compendium of woo

Heard Edzard Ernst on the radio this morning, nullifidian discusses it here, Ernst (and Simon Singh) have written to the Times saying:
"...we strongly advise that the Prince of Wales and the Foundation for Integrated Health withdraw the publications Complementary Health Care: A Guide for Patients and the Smallwood report. They both contain numerous misleading and inaccurate claims concerning the supposed benefits of alternative medicine. The nation cannot be served by promoting ineffective and sometimes dangerous alternative treatments."
Nullifidian finds this passage in the guide:
"Some homeopaths think that particular medical treatments or strong smelling substances, including certain aromatherapy oils or mint toothpaste, can affect homeopathic remedies." [PJ's emphasis]
And argues that:
"What this promotes is the idea (keyword “think” in this case) that any bona fide medical treatment might prevent the efficacy of a homeopathic treatment, and I don’t see it being outwith the realms of possibility that a credulous person might therefore be led to think that the homeopathic preparation is in fact the most important facet of any treatment, which for some illnesses or diseases may indeed be quite dangerous."
I agree that this is a particularly disturbing idea to be promoting, and highlights the dangers of homeopathy that transcend the essentially benign pharmacological effect of water - in the last fortnight I saw a patient who refused treatment (that would arguably have improved their quality of life significantly) in case it interfered with their homepathic treatments.


Svetlana said...

Svetlana said...

I spit at your Ernst!!! :-E