21 December 2007

Tax Funded Dishonesty.

As I recently said to my girlfriend; "Homeopathy is just tax funded dishonesty and I don't like it", she replied "yes, but its the dishonesty that makes it work". And therein lies a truism. Doctors are not allowed to be openly dishonest anymore - they cannot prescribe placebos to patients, instead we have the Royal Homeopathy Hospital for the terminally ignorant.

Lots of discussion on this subject, but I'm with Wongablog and Ben Goldacre on this.


9 comments:

  1. Scunnered, O'Aberdein21/12/07 3:12 pm

    As I recently said to my girlfriend; "NuLabour policy is just tax funded dishonesty and I don't like it", she replied "yes, but its the dishonesty that makes it work". And therein lies a truism. NuLabour are allowed to be openly dishonest now - they can prescribe placebos to citizens, and we have the Government Front Benches for the perpetually deceived.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear God, I must find the emergency flask, we appear to agree on something.

    ReplyDelete
  3. If homeopathy does absolutely nothing for the patients, at least the doctor isn't harming them, which is very often.

    ReplyDelete
  4. As a complete and utter cynic, I must admit, from experience, that there may something to this homoeopathy lark. Maybe not much, and certainly not all their treatments, but something, at least, even if that's only placebo effect.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Trooper : Sometimes there is something to be said for false hope and sometimes it is harmful (not allowing someone to enjoy what time they have left). Then as Ben Goldacre explains; there is real harm in letting people believe anything especially when it undermines real medical practise - like those who refuse medicines that could help them in favour of homeopathy.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The only person I know who had an interest in homeopathy is a qualified doctor, who took a course after working for some years in orthodox medicine.

    One aspect of homeopathy is the prescribing of potions that may have no real effect, but there are other aspects. The treatment and diagnosis of the patient involves looking at the way they live and how their body is functioning, and trying to form a more holistic view. As such, the 'medicine' prescribed is not the be-all and end-all, such as it is with orthodox practice, which is always trying to find a chemical 'magic bullet' to deal with a problem.

    Doctors could learn a lot from homeopathy, in terms of how they deal with patients.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Trooper: I can agree with you on that. If homeopathists were honest enough to admit that it is their sympathy and councilling experience that is of real importance (time that GPs might not be able to spare) then maybe we could get somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have never used homeopathy, but I think you are being naive if you think the "placebo effect" isn't just alive and thriving in the traditional medical field as it is in the non-traditional field.

    ReplyDelete
  9. bigblue: Of course all medicines might have an element of the placebo effect built in, but at least proper medicine has to pass double blind tests!

    ReplyDelete