Friday, April 29, 2011

New Zealand Society of Naturopaths Defends Homeopathy With Bullshit, 2011-04

here, I cite from a recent press release of the New Zealand Society of Naturopaths [NZSN] defending homeopathy [see 001., below]; then I quote from quite-the-scientific-dismissal of that absurd treatment system [see 002., below]:

001. the NZSN states in "Homeopathy a Credible and Effective Health Treatment" (2011-04-27)[saved 2011-04-29; my comments are in bold]:

"the recent press release entitled [gram., the correct word is 'titled'] 'call for doctors not to use homeopathy or refer to homeopaths [...] has provoked a response from the New Zealand Society of Naturopaths [...] Professor Shaun Holt [...] states that 'practicing homeopathy or endorsing it by referring patients is not consistent with the ethical or regulatory requirements of practicing medicine and these authors call for doctors to do neither' [...]";

hear, hear.

"the NZSN points out that homeopathy has had worldwide credibility and acceptance for over a century [...and] the New Zealand Homeopathic Society estimate that more than 500 million people worldwide use homeopathic medicines as their sole, or main, therapeutic agents [...]";

that number is actually very disturbing, 'empty remedies the world over'.  But just because it is popular and such doesn't mean that it works.

"classical homeopathy calls for an in-depth consultation with the individual resulting in a carefully selected homeopathic remedy to suit the person. Therefore it is difficult to test homeopathic remedies using the blanket 'one-remedy-suits-all' approach of allopathic medicine. This is the reasoning behind the lack of conclusive scientific research to prove the effectiveness of a remedy. Homeopathy is simply not suited to testing in this manner [...]";

I call BULLSHIT. Homeopathy is IN FACT very testable. 'Fairies under the garden who disappear whenever you look for them', well, that's untestable.  Ben Goldacre suggested a very effective, cheap, and simple way to test homeopathy: have the homeopath work their woo consultation, and select their remedy for the patient, but then have the patient pick up the remedy at a pharmacy and on that side of the study, do a placebo controlled cross-over that records the result of actual homeopathy sugar pills and fake homeopathy sugar pills [yes, absurdity piled upon absurdity].  So, in fact, homeopathy is not AT ALL impervious to scientific investigation.  Stating homeopathy is not analyzable is an EXCUSE and is an indication of HUGE scientific ignorance.

"the New Zealand Medical Journal (NZMJ) reported that 1-19 deaths per 1000 people admitted to hospital occur due to hospital mistreatment [etc....]";

this has NOTHING do do with whether or not homeopathy works.  This is like saying 'my magic carpet is SOOOO much safer than your jet plane'.

"the New Zealand Society of Naturopaths stand by their promotion of homeopathy as a valuable tool for New Zealanders to promote their health and wellbeing."

of course you do, it is FUSED into naturopathy worldwide, including that in New Zealand -- and so is its deception and absurdity.

002. of course, homeopathy was thoroughly dismissed in the UK's 2009's "House of Commons Science and TechnologyCommittee Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy" which states (see ):

"it is unacceptable for the MHRA to license placebo products — in this case sugar pills — conferring upon them some of the status of medicines. Even if medical claims on labels are prohibited, the MHRA’s licensing itself lends direct credibility to a product. Licensing paves the way for retail in pharmacies and consequently the patient’s view of the credibility of homeopathy may be further enhanced. We conclude that it is time to break this chain and, as the licensing regimes operated by the MHRA fail the Evidence Check, the MHRA should withdraw its discrete licensing schemes for homeopathic products [...] we conclude that placebos should not be routinely prescribed on the NHS. The funding of homeopathic hospitals -- hospitals that specialize in the administration of placebos -- should not continue, and NHS doctors should not refer patients to homeopaths."

Note: here's a link to a Youtube video that refers to the above findings -- including the homeopath's invocation of homeopathy's underlying vitalism, the claim that homeopathy is IMPERMEABLE to rigorous scientific study, and quite-a-heap-of-cherry-picking of evidence that it's effective beyond placebo -- and includes the great Ben Goldacre:

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