Homeopathy - NHS knows it's rubbish but offers it anyway

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NorthOfTheBorder
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Homeopathy - NHS knows it's rubbish but offers it anyway

Post by NorthOfTheBorder » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:59 pm

The house of commons science & technology committee published this report on homeopathy. Amongst its conclusions:
By providing homeopathy on the NHS and allowing MHRA licensing of products which subsequently appear on pharmacy shelves, the Government runs the risk of endorsing homeopathy as an efficacious system of medicine. To maintain patient trust, choice and safety, the Government should not endorse the use of placebo treatments, including homeopathy. Homeopathy should not be funded on the NHS and the MHRA should stop licensing homeopathic products.
Now the government have published their response:
8.
We agree with many of the Committee’s conclusions and recommendations. However, our continued position on the use of homeopathy within the NHS is that the local NHS and clinicians, rather than Whitehall, are best placed to make decisions on what treatment is appropriate for their patients - including complementary or alternative treatments such as homeopathy - and provide accordingly for those treatments.
9.
The Government Chief Scientific Adviser has discussed the Department of Health policy on homeopathy with lead officials, and understands the reasons for the policy decision. However, he still has concerns about how this policy is communicated to the public. There naturally will be an assumption that if the NHS is offering homeopathic treatments then they will be efficacious, whereas the overriding reason for NHS provision is that homeopathy is available to provide patient choice.
10.
In order for the public to make informed choices, it is therefore vitally important that the scientific evidence base for homeopathy is clearly explained and available. He will therefore engage further with the Department of Health to ensure communication to the public is addressed. His position remains that the evidence of efficacy and the scientific basis of homeopathy is highly questionable.
Or to paraphrase, "We know homeopathic treatments are bullshit, but we're still going to use public money to fund them, whilst simultaneously using public money to explain to people that they're bullshit, because just not offering them to people would deny them their imaginary right to choose publicly-funded bullshit instead of real medicine"

You couldn't make this stuff up :twisted:
“I can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong”

Richard Feynman on doubt,uncertainty and religion
Tulip1
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Re: Homeopathy - NHS knows it's rubbish but offers it anyway

Post by Tulip1 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:44 pm

I think they do it for the placebo effect. Doctors can not hand out placebo's without tellung the patient which in turn cancels the placebo effect.

Now they just give homeopathy and there we are, fine again. This is my theory based on absolutly very little :mrgreen:
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HarryO'Criosna
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Re: Homeopathy - NHS knows it's rubbish but offers it anyway

Post by HarryO'Criosna » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:01 am

What annoys the shit out of me is that the health insurers in this country (not sure about the UK) will pay out for various 'alternative' therapies e.g. homeopathy, reflexology and fucking chiropractic of all things. This would be all well and good were it not my premiums going to pay the woo-mongers. I'd love to know if there is any way to challenge what they pay out for. I suppose they see being able to say "Now covering various types of woo!" in their advertising as a means to snag new (gullible) customers...

Was reading bits of Dawkins' A Devil's Chaplain on the train yesterday and came across a quote from John Diamond in it about this: "There really is no such thing as alternative medicine, just medicine that works and medicine that doesn't...there isn't an 'alternative' physiology or anatomy..."
NorthOfTheBorder
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Re: Homeopathy - NHS knows it's rubbish but offers it anyway

Post by NorthOfTheBorder » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:07 pm

HarryO'Criosna wrote:I'd love to know if there is any way to challenge what they pay out for.
Probably not as a customer, but perhaps as a shareholder? If you were a shareholder, you would have the right to challenge the directors if you thought they were doing something which was bad for the business - like paying out customers' money for treatments which are proven to be devoid of any medical value other than, possibly, a placebo effect. It might be an expensive way to make the point, with having to acquire shares and then potentially bringing a legal challenge against the directors if they didn't budge. But it's the only way I can think of where the people who run the company might actually be obliged to listen to you. Campaigners like Mark Thomas have used that tactic (buying shares in a copmpany in order to get access to the AGM) to at least raise awareness amongst shareholders of the ethics of various companies' business practices (Coca-Cola and some arms firms I believe).
“I can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong”

Richard Feynman on doubt,uncertainty and religion
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