The Crazy World of Medicine……

20 Jun

Austerity is the word of moment.  Accident and Emergency departments are stretched to breaking point; many are closing as are smaller local hospitals.  In a bid to make efficiency savings vital specialist services such as children’s Cardiology departments are be merged into fewer centres.  Some drugs are deemed too expensive, despite there efficacy, whilst other are available under a ‘post code lottery’.  Mental health services have been particularly adversely affected and offer very little in specialist counselling, leaving many people on ineffective medication in its place.  And yet, amidst all of this Homeopathy is an available treatment from the NHS……

Homeopathy was conceived by Samuel Hahnemann in 1796 and based on the principal of similia similibus curentur (like cures like), according to which a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in a healthy person will act as a cure in a sick person.  Despite rigorous scientific testing is has been proven beyond doubt to be completely implausible and ineffective.  At best it performs in line with the results one would expect from a placebo, at worst it may even be harmful, especially if the patient has such faith in Homeopathy that they forego conventional, proven medical treatments……

Homeopathy has devised its own ‘scientific’ language to describe its treatments.  The original substance which may, or may not be associated with the illness it is intended to treat is diluted with distilled water or alcohol and further diluted.  This process continues until the required dilution is reached.  Counter intuitively, the more dilute the original; the more potent it is considered.  The amounts by which the treatments are diluted defy logic.  For example a Homeopathic dilution of ‘30C’ (the Homeopathic scale), 1ml of solution would be found in a cube of water with sides measuring 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 meters, or 106 light years square.  This means that a 30C Homeopathic remedy is what scientist call ‘water’.  It is far more likely that the solution is contaminated with other substances during the dilution process which has in itself more in common with Witch Doctors than Medical Practitioners.  In fact, there is not enough water on Earth to produce the highest Homeopathic dilutions, yet it is still offered as an alternative treatment by the NHS……

Anecdotal evidence from patients whom swear by the effectiveness of Homeopathy amounts to no evidence whatsoever.  I have a friend with OCD who must stand on every crack in the pavement lest he should suffer bad luck for the rest of that day.  He requires the help of the overstretched Mental Health Services as do the advocates of Homeopathy, which they may be able to get were it not for the latter……



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