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Homeopathic Skeptic In Legal Trouble

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Mon, Mar 15, 2010 @ 05:10 PM

Tags: Homeopathy in England, skeptics of homeopathy

  There have been many skeptics and doubters of homeopathy.  One of the more famous skeptics in homeopathy is Simon Singh. He was on BBC television citing numerous trials on homeopathy.  He stated all trials in homeopathy that he ever studied were failures when compared to a placebo

  He and follow skeptic Edward Ernst published a book called Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial.  The book was very critical of homeopathy.  Ernst and Singh also were offering a $10000 reward to anyone showing that homeopathy actually does work.  No one took them up on this challenge.  Homeopaths said this was a publicity stunt for their book.

  Singh did not get into legal trouble for his criticism of homeopathy.  He was actually bashing chiropractic care.  He wrote in one his articles that chiropractic happily uses bogus treatments to help children with ailments.  The British Chiropractic Association sued him for libel.  In the first trial, the judge ruled that in this article that Singh's intention was to show the chiropractors knowingly were dishonest in treating childrens' illnesses.  Singh appealed this decision.  Now an appeal court will hear Singh side of the story and what he was trying to convey in his article.  

  A charity Sense About Science has said English law of libel has no place in scientific disputes.  This group has launched a campaign to draw attention to Simon Singh's case.  Many people are afraid that criticisms of alternative medicine will not be possible if scientists are sued. The English libel law needs to be reformed according to this charity.  They also states that this is a free speech violation in England.  This organization is primarily funded by pharmacetical companies.

  The appeals have a long way to go.  This will be a land mark case in Great Britain.  I am sure everyone looks forward to the verdict.            

NHS Debate On Homeopathy Continues

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Fri, Dec 11, 2009 @ 12:37 AM

Tags: NHS, Homeopathy in England

  The NHS is the United Kingdom health care system that covers health care for most citizens in England.  The NHS total expenditure for their citizens is almost 100 billion pounds (98.7 pounds).  The NHS is paid primarily by general taxes include payroll and employee tax.  The NHS is facing major budget shortfalls over the next several years due to an aging population and severe worldwide recession.  The current shortfall will be approximately 15 billion for 2009.  

   Homeopathy has come into eyes of many when trying to cut costs in the NHS.  Homeopathy medicine has always enjoyed a prestigious place in England. Homeopathy is used by many English celebrities and the royal family.  Homeopathy care and treatments are covered by the NHS system. The total cost of homeopathy for the NHS is 10 million dollars.

  Critics point to Homeopathy as unproven treatment.  They also say that the science in homeopathy is physcially impossible.   There are really no large evidence based trials done in homeopathy.  Most homeopathy trials are too small to be used as evidence.  The few large trials have not been replicated over and over as required by evidence based medicine. There is really not too much research money given to homeopathy.  Many doctors are saying that all homeopathy funding should be cut with the current budget shortfall.  

  However, some ministers and doctors say that patients choice is really what is important.  They acknowledge that there is no strong scientific evidence to support homeopathy.  However, patient satisfaction with homeopathy with very high.  Most homeopathy patients in England have found the treatment to be effective for their conditions.  Doctors also point to the cost of homeopathy in the NHS is 10 million dollars. This cost is trival compared to the 15 billion dollar deficit. 

  What do you think is going to happen with homeopathy in the NHS?  Do you think it will be cut?  Should it part of the NHS at all?