Misdiagnosing the Enlightenment – a Cost for Truth
After a rant by a junior doctor against homeopathy at a BMA meeting and a subsequent article by Ed West, in the Daily Telegraph (June 2010), objecting to the cost of homeopathy among other objections; Homeopathy a Bitter Pill for the Taxpayer, I fired off my own salvo (unpublished of course)!
A new witch hunt from the new incarnation of the medieval Church (which wasn’t as bad as the caricature we’ve been fed, but contributed much to science, according to science historian James Hannam as he shows in his God’s Philosophers, Icon Books) is continuing at the BMA.
Dr Tom Dolphin has no idea what the Enlightenment or rationalism means in medicine. Are physicians only to treat the rational? Are they to treat only the rational in a patient? What about dreams? What about feelings? What about thoughts, impulses, fantasies? – and that’s in the healthy, before we consider the mind of the mentally ill.
Ed West and Dolphin don’t realise that Hahnemann lived through the Enlightenment. He took the catch-phrase of the Enlightenment Aude Sapere as his own. He translated Rousseau the enlightenment philosopher into German, was physician to Goethe and the French translator of Kant, the Enlightenment philosopher.
Cost of Ineffective and Harmful Drugs
Placebo? If we ban Homeopathic remedies for being placebos – which the BMA hasn’t proven scientifically to be the case – then we should ban most of Glaxo’s drugs because it’s chairman made the statement “our drugs only work 50% of the time.” Add to that the percentage of drugs that “work” by placebo effect and you remove the majority of Glaxo’s drugs! So label medicines as placebo too!
Vioxx “worked” didn’t it? According to Merck’s own conservative estimates, 40,000 people died from their drug. But those who prescribed it are “scientists”, the homeopaths “witches” and to use West’s own argument: “It’s another thing when the taxpayer funded those deaths”!!!
Further, in the last week the Daily Telegraph could report that science has just proven seratonin-enhancing drugs like Prozac are no better than placebo*****!!!!! and I don’t hear Mr West or Dr Dolphin complaining that the taxpayer has been fleeced there!
Quoted in the Financial Times, the CEO of Merck strangely stated, “we had no way of knowing people would die.” But why not? Wasn’t it scientifically tested..? What do they mean when they say their medicine “works”?; a hammer across the back of the head “works” – you soon forget the pain in your knee!
What is “the scientific method?” After all, they can’t cure the common cold and know they only suppress. So, is this their ideal “method”? Actually they have no method. Unlike Homeopaths who prescribe according to a law of cure, they prescribe allopathically, antipathically, isopathically and homeopathically. These are conflicting modes of prescribing so where is their “rationale”?
“Witchcraft”, “church”, “religion”, “God”, “science” etc. are their chosen words. Now you can understand why prof. Steve Fuller, Professor of Sociology at Warwick University, in his new book Science (publ.; Acumen Publishing) regards scientists and the medical men today as the new medieval church. If Galileo were alive today, he’d get the same treatment he suggests. Fuller maintains, ‘Were Galileo with us today, he would regard bastions of the scientific establishement such as the US National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of London as comparable to the Vatican of his own day…’ (see Science, p. 83)
Who Lacks the Rational?
But there are two issues here for the critics and their irrational argument of rhetoric and buzz-words; truth and justice. Hahnemann gave more for medicine than any of these junior doctors and ignorant journalists. They talk about Homeopathy but have never paid attention to what the great man himself said. Let them “walk a mile in his shoes before criticising him” as the North American Indians say.
“Enlightenment”? “Science”? Don’t they realise why Hahnemann called his main text the “Organon” – in line with Aristotle’s Organon and Bacon’s Organon which were milestones of Western science. Ignorance is bliss, Dr Dolphin!
Also, West is wrong, religion has not disappeared in the UK but e.g., the number of Catholics has increased according to recent statistics published in his own paper (although less are marrying in church).
And isn’t it strange Homeopathy needs policing in the same month British doctors have been in the paper for killing their patients?
In short, these materialist, reductionist, “rationalist,” humanists don’t know what they are talking about, are confused and blinded – not by science but by ignorance and yet they can’t cure the common cold!
I received this email from prof Steve Fuller, author of the book Science.
Thanks for this. As it turns out, a student of mine from the days I was sociology professor at Durham, Lyn Brierley-Jones, did her Ph.D. on the marginalisation of homoeopathy from the emerging medical establishments in the US and UK in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Among the things she found was that (a) homoeopathy and conventional medicine largely overlapped in principles and practices (a history of vaccination easily shows this) until the establishment of state-licensed medical schools, in which case the homoeopaths got increasingly left behind because of internal disagreements of how to interpret negative results of their treatments as well as what we now call ‘placebo’ effects (which homoeopaths acknowledged very openly — and often positively — from the start); (b) the differences between homoeopathy and conventional medicine became exacerbated as Rockefeller and other big spenders saw the financial potential in the products associated with conventional medical treatments (i.e. pharmaceutical industry), in contrast with the relatively low potential of homoeopathy. Over time definitions of ‘cure’ and ‘reliability’ got shaped to fit this agenda, systematically disadvantaging the homoeopaths.
Here’s an article on Lyn’s work: Medical News Today
(She’s at: L.K.Brierley-Jones@Durham.ac.uk)
As for Dolphin, well…’witchcraft’ is a bit like ‘atheism’ in the history of religious thought – it’s something other people call you. In particular, witch trials reach their peak in Protestant societies in the 16th and 17th centuries once people (usually women) appear to claim for themselves divine insight to which local church authorities are not privied. So, yes, it does look like the sort of reactionary response that I speak of in the Science book.
Professor of Sociology
University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, United Kingdom
“NHS wastes over £2bn a year on unnecessary or expensive treatments”
Leading medical body cites overtreatment and overdiagnosis as key problems, along with patients who demand treatment now. Read the Guardian article here
According to Dr Peter Fisher
NHS funding of homeopathy is well justified, the scientific evidence that integrating homeopathy with conventional medicine improves outcomes is unanimous. Those studies which also looked at cost implications, concluded that it does not increase net costs.
Comparative effectiveness studies which have looked at the implications of integrating homeopathy include the EPI3 study coordinated by the University of Bordeaux which recruited over 6000 patients, showing that French GPs who integrate homeopathy in their practice achieve equivalent results with much lower use of hazardous drugs including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22782803), sleeping tablets (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26143449) and antibiotics (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24646513). The two multinational IIPCOS studies included primary care centres in eight countries including the UK and recruited, between them over 2000 patients showed better outcomes in terms of speed of resolution and adverse effects when homeopathy was integrated in primary care (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11327521, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17335565).
A study coordinated by the Charité University Medical Center Berlin and supported by the German health insurance industry showed better outcomes at no increased cost when homeopathy was integrated in primary care (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16036164). A study of antibiotic v homeopathic treatment strategies in recurrent pharyngitis in children in French general practice showed much better results with the homeopathic strategy, at equivalent cost (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15751328).
Dr Peter Fisher
Director of Research
Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine
Great Ormond Street
London WC1N 3HR
(2015) Homeopathy is not expensive – compare it to Adverse drug reactions cost NHS £2bn
In an ironic twist of fate, Dr Tom Dolphin has shown his allegiance to Jeremy Corbyn, not appreciating in his idealistic ignorance, Corbyn supports homeopathy. Read about Dolphin’s politicking with the BMA