Monday, May 9, 2011

Smashing! Abertay University's Dr. Kevin Smith in The Courier -- Homeopathy is "Ethically Unacceptable", Not "Genuine Medicine" and Based on "False Beliefs"


"Dr. Kevin Smith [...] a senior lecturer specialising in genetics and bioethics [...at] Abertay University [which is in Dundee, Scotland...] has branded homeopathy 'ethically unacceptable' and called for it to be rejected by healthcare professionals [hear, hear...] writing in the journal Bioethics [here's the abstract...regarding] the positive and negative features of homeopathy from an ethical perspective [...] he wrote 'homeopathic preparations are so diluted that they contain no significant amounts of active ingredients, and thus can have no effect on the patient's body. Those who believe it works either do not understand the science or are simply deluded. Homeopathy is not ethically neutral — it is wasteful and potentially dangerous' [...] the potential benefits included its non-invasiveness, cost-effectiveness and the placebo effect — in which a patient's condition improves even though they have been given no genuine medicine. The negative effects were patients' failure to seek effective healthcare, wastage of resources, promulgation of false beliefs and a weakening of commitment to scientific medicine [...] in his biography on Abertay's website, Dr Smith describes himself as 'committed to the principles of science-based medicine, and strongly opposed to pseudoscience and quackery' [hear, hear]."

Note: AU also has the article up, here.  Meanwhile, North American naturopathy labels homeopathy a "clinical science".

my relatives, who are from Scotland and in Scotland, might say: "smashing!"

we'll have to forgive The Courier and Dr. Smith for spelling pseudo wrong in both the newspaper article and on his bio. page, respectively -- I misspell all the time.

and just in case my label on this post of "sectarian" as in "unethical sectarian pseudoscience" causes confusion in Scotland particularly, I'm not using that label in terms of Scotland's / North Ireland's religious bigotries / strifes [and other places in the world].

I'm referring to a usage I've gleaned from a very old edition of Popular Science Monthly from 1889:

"science is never sectarian; philosophy is never sectarian.  Sectarian teaching begins when you ask a man or a child to assume what can not be proved, for the sake of keeping within the dogmatic lines that fence round some particular creed."

in this case, homeopathy is a form of sectarian medicine: dogma / creed based, not only not proved but scientifically rejected.
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