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shpalman [userpic]

... on the evidence of clinical effectiveness

28th September 2007 (11:34)

So it's been recommended that the Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital have its NHS funding withdrawn, to much rejoicing, even if there are those who say that “giving a harmless placebo to people who cannot be helped by medical drugs - but who demand the ritual of treatment” serves a useful purpose.

That's a good point, but the problem I see with letting patients with minor self-limiting (or non-existent) conditions go to CAM practitioners is that it leads to increased ignorance of the benefits and limits of proper medicine, and hence more people going to doctors for the wrong reasons or with the wrong expectations, more disillusionment with proper medicine, and more support for unproven CAM. I am not a doctor, though, so I defer to the experience of those who are.

And maybe I'm a bit naïve in expecting better general medical understanding amongst people.

Edit: like this.

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Posted by: Ithika (brokenhut)
Posted at: 28th September 2007 10:58 (UTC)

Better medical understanding is certainly not going to happen if we pretend that homeopathy is at all useful. Even when most scientists believe it's nonsense there's still a lot of belief in it. Think of the widespread stupidity if it was more officially sanctioned.

I've a feeling it would also break down the effectiveness of any test for usefulness. "Why not use Reiki? Crystals too? They don't work just as much as homeopathy doesn't work." Where do we draw the line if the obvious demarcation --- between effective and ineffective treatments modulo placebo effect --- is abandoned?

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