Article censored by the Society of Homeopaths (UK)

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SURI...@gmail.com

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Oct 11, 2007, 11:56:47 AM10/11/07
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The Society of Homeopaths (SoH) are a shambles and a bad joke. It is
now over a year since Sense about Science, Simon Singh and the BBC
Newsnight programme exposed how it is common practice for high street
homeopaths to tell customers that their magic pills can prevent
malaria. The Society of Homeopaths have done diddly-squat to stamp out
this dangerous practice apart from issue a few ambiguously weasel-
worded press statements.

The SoH has a code of practice, but my feeling is that this is just a
smokescreen and is widely flouted and that the Society do not care
about this. If this is true, then the code of practice is nothing more
than a thin veneer used to give authority and credibility to its
deluded members. It does nothing more than fool the public into
thinking they are dealing with a regulated professional.

As a quick test, I picked a random homeopath with a web site from the
SoH register to see if they flouted a couple of important rules:

48 · Advertising shall not contain claims of superiority.
· No advertising may be used which expressly or implicitly claims
to cure named diseases.

72 To avoid making claims (whether explicit or implied; orally or
in writing) implying cure of any named disease.

The homeopath I picked on is called Julia Wilson and runs a practice
from the Leicestershire town of Market Harborough. What I found rather
shocked and angered me.

Straight away, we find that Julia M Wilson LCHE, RSHom specialises in
asthma and works at a clinic that says,

Many illnesses and disease can be successfully treated using
homeopathy, including arthritis, asthma, digestive disorders,
emotional and behavioural difficulties, headaches, infertility, skin
and sleep problems.

Well, there are a number of named diseases there to start off. She
also gives a leaflet that advertises her asthma clinic. The
advertising leaflet says,

Conventional medicine is at a loss when it comes to understanding
the origin of allergies. ... The best that medical research can do is
try to keep the symptoms under control. Homeopathy is different, it
seeks to address the triggers for asthma and eczema. It is a safe,
drug free approach that helps alleviate the flaring of skin and
tightening of lungs...

Now, despite the usual homeopathic contradiction of claiming to treat
causes not symptoms and then in the next breath saying it can
alleviate symptoms, the advert is clearly in breach of the above rule
47 on advertising as it implicitly claims superiority over real
medicine and names a disease.

Asthma is estimated to be responsible for 1,500 deaths and 74,000
emergency hospital admissions in the UK each year. It is not a trivial
illness that sugar pills ought to be anywhere near. The Cochrane
Review says the following about the evidence for asthma and
homeopathy,

The review of trials found that the type of homeopathy varied
between the studies, that the study designs used in the trials were
varied and that no strong evidence existed that usual forms of
homeopathy for asthma are effective.

This is not a surprise given that homeopathy is just a ritualised
placebo. Hopefully, most parents attending this clinic will have the
good sense to go to a real accident and emergency unit in the event of
a severe attack and consult their GP about real management of the
illness. I would hope that Julia does little harm here.

However, a little more research on her site reveals much more serious
concerns. She says on her site that 'she worked in Kenya teaching
homeopathy at a college in Nairobi and supporting graduates to set up
their own clinics'. Now, we have seen what homeopaths do in Kenya
before. It is not treating a little stress and the odd headache. Free
from strong UK legislation, these missionary homeopaths make the
boldest claims about the deadliest diseases.

A bit of web research shows where Julia was working (picture above).
The Abha Light Foundation is a registered NGO in Kenya. It takes
mobile homeopathy clinics through the slums of Nairobi and surrounding
villages. Its stated aim is to,

introduce Homeopathy and natural medicines as a method of managing
HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in Kenya.

I must admit, I had to pause for breath after reading that. The clinic
sells its own homeopathic remedies for 'treating' various lethal
diseases. Its MalariaX potion,

is a homeopathic preparation for prevention of malaria and
treatment of malaria. Suitable for children. For prevention. Only 1
pill each week before entering, during and after leaving malaria risk
areas. For treatment. Take 1 pill every 1-3 hours during a malaria
attack.

This is nothing short of being totally outrageous. It is a murderous
delusion. David Colquhoun has been writing about this wicked scam
recently and it is well worth following his blog on the issue.

Let's remind ourselves what one of the most senior and respected
homeopaths in the UK, Dr Peter Fisher of the London Homeopathic
Hospital, has to say on this matter.

there is absolutely no reason to think that homeopathy works to
prevent malaria and you won't find that in any textbook or journal of
homeopathy so people will get malaria, people may even die of malaria
if they follow this advice.

Malaria is a huge killer in Kenya. It is the biggest killer of
children under five. The problem is so huge that the reintroduction of
DDT is considered as a proven way of reducing deaths. Magic sugar
pills and water drops will do nothing. Many of the poorest in Kenya
cannot afford real anti-malaria medicine, but offering them insane
nonsense as a substitute will not help anyone.

Ironically, the WHO has issued a press release today on cheap ways of
reducing child and adult mortality due to malaria. Their trials,
conducted in Kenya, of using cheap mosquito nets soaked in insecticide
have reduced child deaths by 44% over two years. It says that issuing
these nets be the 'immediate priority' to governments with a malaria
problem. No mention of homeopathy. These results were arrived at by
careful trials and observation. Science. We now know that nets work. A
lifesaving net costs $5. A bottle of useless homeopathic crap costs
$4.50. Both are large amounts for a poor Kenyan, but is their life
really worth the 50c saving?

I am sure we are going to hear the usual homeopath bleat that this is
just a campaign by Big Pharma to discredit unpatentable homeopathic
remedies. Are we to add to the conspiracy Big Net manufacturers too?

It amazes me that to add to all the list of ills and injustices that
our rich nations impose on the poor of the world, we have to add the
widespread export of our bourgeois and lethal healing fantasies. To
make a strong point: if we can introduce laws that allow the arrest of
sex tourists on their return to the UK, can we not charge people who
travel to Africa to indulge their dangerous healing delusions?

At the very least, we could expect the Society of Homeopaths to try to
stamp out this wicked practice? Could we?

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