Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Homeopathy Awareness Week Witchcraft: Ernst in The Independent

Edzard Ernst writes in "Homeopathy: Curing With Kindness"(2010-06-15): 

"numerous studies have shown that homeopathic remedies don't work. Why, then, do millions of patients swear that they do? The answer, says Professor Edzard Ernst, should be a lesson to all doctors [...then EE] the British Medical Association recently called homeopathy 'witchcraft', and a parliamentary committee recommended stopping all NHS funding for it [...] British homeopaths are this week celebrating their annual Homeopathy Awareness Week – a good occasion to try and find some answers [...] homeopathic remedies are so diluted that typically they no longer contain a single molecule [...] the theory of the 'memory of water' provides the answer, according to homeopaths. It postulates that, during the dilution process, some mystical 'energy' is transferred from the onion to the water. And that 'energy' then triggers a healing response in our body. This is all wishful thinking and romantic fantasy, scientists insist [...] many researchers across the world have reviewed the evidence and concluded that homeopathic remedies are pure placebos [...] the solution to the conundrum is quite simple, however: the remedy does nothing and the homeopath does everything [...] good medicine should always employ specific therapeutic effects (which homeopathic remedies do not possess), as well as the non-specific effects of the therapeutic encounter, i.e. time, understanding, empathy and human warmth, which homeopaths have lots of. Using only one or the other is quite simply not good medicine [...] Professor Edzard Ernst is the professor of complementary medicine at Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter."

Note: hear, hear.
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