(NaturalNews) The British Medical Association recently launched a blistering attack on homeopathy, questioning the proof behind the practice and calling for the National Health Service to withdraw funding for the five homeopathic hospitals that still exist in the UK. Members voted for all homeopathic remedies to be labeled as `placebos` in chemist and healthfood shops. The Department of Health has quickly launched a review of their homeopathy program.
The debate on homeopathy is not new. The criticism centres around the way that compounds are heavily diluted with water, and how the final solution often contains only a millionth of the original ingredient. Some analyses of homeopathy found no remaining molecules of the original substances in final preparations, although those who specialise in this field explain that this is not required to deliver a therapeutic effect.
Although mainstream medicine has often been accused of peddling unproven cures to boost profitability, the industry fails to see any irony in their calls against homeopathy. Dr Tom Dolphin, representing the BMA`s junior doctor committee, said: "Homeopathy is nonsense on stilts," he said. "It is pernicious nonsense that feeds into a rising wave of irrationality which threatens to overwhelm the hard-won gains of the Enlightenment and the scientific method. We risk, as a society, slipping back into a state of magical thinking when made-up science passes for rational discourse and wishing for something to be true passes for proof."
A spokesman for The Society of Homeopathy countered that homeopathy
offered decent value for money. "Homeopathic appointment and hospital costs are approximately 4 million pounds per annum, compared with the cost of anti depressants alone which was 291.5 million pounds in 2007." He added: "Homeopathy has been available on the NHS since it was created in 1948, when five hospitals were already well established, and were handed over to the NHS to be run under the new system. There are approximately 600 doctors in the UK who use homeopathy, over 55,000 patients a year are seen through homeopathic hospitals, many with conditions not helped through other specialists in the NHS."
Homeopathy has traditionally divided those in the world of natural healthcare, with some practitioners strongly believing in the principles behind the 200-year-old system while others struggle to identify with the concepts. However, almost all remain united in support of a patient's right to choose and recognise that, despite the scientific debate, many individuals have improved after the use of homeopathy.
What has worried natural healthcare advocates is how the BMA has decided that homeopathy is nonsense because it deems there is insufficient evidence to support its use. Neutrals may well agree that there is only a small amount of double-blind studies that support the use of this method, but the exact same thing can be said of anti-depressant drugs or vaccines (especially so in the case of H1N1 vaccines, where no long-term studies have ever been carried out). In both of these areas, mainstream doctors have long been guilty of indulging fantasies regarding the efficacy of such protocols, even when the evidence suggests these interventions do more harm than good.
Doctors who criticise `unproven` methods in one instant but then administer unsubstantiated vaccines and drugs the next hold little credibility in the eyes of most neutral observers, who see them as nothing more than drug pushers for the pharmaceutical industry. However, money talks. Other fields of natural healthcare will no doubt watch this course of this propaganda campaign with concern.
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