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Author Topic: Homeopathy is worse than witchcraft / Homöopathie ist schlimmer als Hexerei  (Read 2421 times)


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Homeopathy is worse than witchcraft / Homöopathie ist schlimmer als Hexerei

Dieses Dokument MUSS ich in voller Länge wiedergeben:

Homeopathy is worse than witchcraft - and the NHS must stop paying for it

Last updated at 09:57am on 1st May 2007

One of the UK's five homeopathic hospitals, The Royal London, is under threat of closure
because of funding cuts. Professor Michael Baum, professor emeritus of surgery at
University College London, explains why he won't miss it:

Many people swear by homeopathy. It is a popular dinner party topic of the Hampstead set,
of which I am a member. My friends - otherwise educated, cultured people - say it can help
them recover from a cold in just seven days. Yes, I reply, and left alone it would take a whole

The problem is that few people know what homeopathy really is. I'll tell you: it is a
200-year-old practice that hasn't changed since its inception.

Homeopathy is based on three principles: treat the symptoms of a disease rather than the
disease itself; cure like with like (an onion makes your eyes stream and so does a cold, so
treat a cold with an onion); and the greater the dilution of the 'medicine', the more potent the

Some homeopathic tinctures contain so little of the magic ingredient there could just as easily
be a molecule of my urine in them.

Homeopathic companies are making a fortune marketing placebos. Yet, despite this, last
September, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority approved the
marketing of homeopathic remedies for 'self-limiting conditions' (these are conditions which
should improve by themselves) - even if there is no evidence of their efficacy.

This scares me. Homeopathy is to medicine what astrology is to astronomy: it's witchcraft -
totally barmy, totally refuted, and yet it's available on the NHS. For while homeopathic
medicine is not toxic, its use as an alternative to conventional medicine can, in fact, cause
serious harm.

Take insomnia, a so-called selflimiting condition - this makes it apparently 'suitable' for
homeopathy. But insomnia can often be a symptom of depression, and if inadequately
treated, depression can lead to suicide.

The risks of patients relying solely on homeopathy are obvious. Chronic constipation is
another example. This can be evidence of bowel cancer and yet people can blithely go on
treating it with homeopathy without realising the risks of not seeking medical attention.

And there are plenty of people who rely on homeopathy for conditions that are not described
as self-limiting. Last year, a Newsnight programme revealed that young, eco-friendly
backpackers are taking homeopathic prophylactics for malaria.

As a result, there is now an epidemic of malaria in people returning from the tropics.

Even more distressing is the story of one of my patients - a very personable young woman
with breast cancer who keeps coming back to see me even though she doesn't accept any of
my advice.

She could easily have been cured, but has refused surgery and conventional drugs in favour
of hocus-pocus homeopathic remedies.

Her tumour is getting bigger and bigger and has pushed through her skin - there is now an
ulcer where once there was a small lump. She dresses it with honey and God knows what
else and she thinks it is getting better.

Yet there is a complete lack of clinical evidence to support alternative remedies. Medicine is
based on evidence. If a drug or surgical treatment does not pass stringent clinical trials, it is

The results of clinical trials are published whether they are favourable or not. Yet, when it
comes to homeopathy, the standards of evidence are highly questionable.

Twenty years ago, I was invited to advise the Blackie Foundation Trust, a charitable
foundation for the advancement of homeopathy, on clinical trials. I helped them carry out a
trial on the effect of arnica on bruising caused by a traumatic childbirth, versus a placebo.

At the end of the trial, the placebo came out better than the arnica. Strangely, the results
were never published.

This is not a lone case - there have been countless trials of homeopathic remedies in which
they are compared to a placebo, but if only one positive result in 100 emerges, that is the one
cited. This is, in my opinion, intellectual bankruptcy.

What fired my interest in this subject was an address the Prince of Wales gave the British
Medical Association, of which he was president, in 1982. In it, he demanded that a dialogue
be established between alternative medicine and scientific medicine, and the Royal Society
of Medicine duly set up a series of workshops.

I was asked to sit in and could not believe that in our rational age people were holding such
bizzare beliefs that effectively negate 200 years of medical science. There was so much
rubbish being spouted it was comparable to believing the world was flat. Someone claimed
he could diagnose all illness by looking at the tongue.

I have enormous affection for the Royal Family, but I think it is totally inappropriate for the
Prince to promote and endorse alternative remedies.

So how do I feel about the news that the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, of which
Prince Charles is a patron, may close? Well, two or three years ago we had two new drugs
for breast cancer: Herceptin and aromatase inhibitors. They passed all the clinical trials but
we had to wait until the NHS drugs watchdog, NICE, evaluated them for cost effectiveness.

For two years we knew they could save lives but we weren't able to prescribe them. During
that time, women died who didn't need to.

During that time, the NHS Trust which runs University College Hospital, where I work, spent
£20million - several times what we needed for the new drugs - on refurbishing the Royal
London Homepathic Hospital. I felt bitter.

The majority of homeopathic physicians are nice, kind people and they're not stupid.

They will claim homeopathy is a complementary therapy, not an alternative to medicine. But
how does homeopathy complement other medicine? Bogus potions aren't complementary,
they are a deception and provide false hope.

What we don't have in the NHS is adequate palliative and supportive care that really does
complement what people like me do. So I have a solution for the ailing Homeopathic Hospital
and the £5million a year it receives from our NHS trust.

Stop peddling placebos and turn the hospital into a centre for evidence-based, supportive
care for people with life-threatening or terminal illnesses. A centre with psychologists,
masseurs, counsellors, art and music therapists.

Unlike homeopathy, these therapies have been critically evaluated: they are proven to
enhance well-being. And add a research centre so we can further this area of healthcare.

This will make a real difference to people's quality of life, because this is real complementary


Einrahmen, aushängen!


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