Are vaccinations bad? And homeopathy.

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Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
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Nov 27 2006 21:56
arf wrote:
Joseph -I know exactly to what I refer when I discuss homeopathy, having spent much of my time reading about it, learning about it, and using it. What exactly is your experience? Better yet - where is your evidence?

my evidence for what? what it is? :? jusr define it so we know what you're talkin about, half this thread has been at=crossed-purposes because people have been using 'homeopathy' to mean everything from lifestyle/diet changes to what it actually means, ultra-diluted potions - what do you mean by it? honest question, because i have time for criticisms of actually existing (capitalist) western medicine and the advocacy of prevention rather than cure - as i made clear several pages ago in a fairly lengthly post. I still think evidence-based medicine is a far better idea than 'everythings valid' relativism though.

arf wrote:
Complementary therapies cost far less than conventional therapies do to achieve the same results, for many different illnesses.

so advocates keep saying - although it seems homeopathy is being used interchangeably with 'complimentary medicine' again. John. posted up a big meta-study which refuted this, so can you reply with evidence or just more assertion?

arf
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Nov 27 2006 21:56
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A genuine question here because I don't know - is it standard practise in conventional medicine to do trials on mixtures of drugs? Say for example someone had a permanent condition for which they needed to take drugs every day, would it be safe to assume that this drug had been tested in combination with drugs used to treat illnesses that are more punctual, say a bacterial infection? Or if a condition may require taking a number of different kinds of medication, would it be the case that tests had been carried out on these drugs not only in isolation but also in combination with the other drugs used to treat the condition?

The answer is no, trials are usually done on one medication at a time. It is not standard or even common to test mixtures. All doctors understand that drugs can affect each other and supposedly patients are supposed to be "kept an eye on" or at least they are supposed to report themselves any adverse effects. You know when you get pills they always have a leaflet with "possible side effects"? If you get any you're supposed to report them, that data is supposed to be collected for further study, but all of these steps are, most of the time, not followed.

If there are serious adverse effects foloowing a particular medicinial treatment, and many cases are reported, further trials may happen. In these trials it may be ascertained that the problems are due to specific drug combinations. BUT, these studies are not even carried out until there has been negative results after experimentation with the drug.

Drugs recieve their proper trials out here with us in the general population. Thats the way it is. Scientific?

arf
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Nov 27 2006 22:00

Joseph - the answer is that homeopathy is both.

Homeopathic therapy is any therapy that looks at the whole of the person, and several complementary therapies (but not all) fall into this category.

Homeopathic remedies are indeed made from, as you call them, "ultra diluted potions". My family does use these and we find they work.

It is interesting that not all homeopathic remedies are actually controversial. Some experts who are negative about homeopathy in general are also positive about certain remedies, such as arnica or calendula.

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Nov 27 2006 22:03
arf wrote:
Homeopathic remedies are indeed made from, as you call them, "ultra diluted potions". My family does use these and we find they work.

please read my post on page 3 beginning "ok i've just ..."

i tried to make the point about anecdotal evidence, as have numerous other people, and it just keeps getting repeated. i have anecdotes too - but they prove nothing other than perhaps my own particular biases - which is why i reject anecdotal medicine in favour of, as the current best method, double-blind RCTs.

Grace
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Nov 27 2006 22:05
arf wrote:
Joseph - the answer is that homeopathy is both.

Homeopathic therapy is any therapy that looks at the whole of the person, and several complementary therapies (but not all) fall into this category.

Homeopathic remedies are indeed made from, as you call them, "ultra diluted potions". My family does use these and we find they work.

It is interesting that not all homeopathic remedies are actually controversial. Some experts who are negative about homeopathy in general are also positive about certain remedies, such as arnica or calendula.

Could people please get terminology right. I assume you're talking about holistic therapies, which are by definition ones which look at the whole person; homeopathy is a specific branch of this. Don't make me put on my etymology hat, please.

re arnica and calendula and so on, I'd imagine people's attitude depends on the medium it takes - someone who thinks homeopathy is voodoo mumbo jumbo or whatever might well accept the efficacy of arnica cream whilst refusing to believe that an arnica pill given by a homeopath could have any effect.

arf
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Nov 27 2006 22:06

I also think I should make it clear that I dont think that allopathic medicine is actually all bollocks, and I dont disagree with many medical treatments.

But the way it is done is horseshit. No GP has the time to treat her patients properly, it is impossible. They don't have the resources. Medical practitioners struggle massively to be able to reach even a minimal standard of care. that is why it is failing. It may very well be that standard conventional medicine is as good as homeopathy can be, but we'll never know whilst the system continues to be run in such a pathetic half hearted way. And I'm not blaming the practitioners - fuck I do know that they are mostly working really fucking hard, just like teachers are mostly working really fucking hard in our failing educational establishment.

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Nov 27 2006 22:12
arf wrote:
But the way it is done is horseshit.

sure, there are massive problems with actually existing medicine, which perhaps deserve a thread of it's own (see my allusions to 'radical healthcare' on page 3). doesn't invalidate the principle of evidence-based healthcare though.

arf
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Nov 27 2006 22:13

Grace is right and i defer, homeopathy is a specific form of holistic therapy.

Caiman del Barrio
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Nov 27 2006 22:48
Grace wrote:
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
So basically, the NHS is understaffed and most GPs are overworked and weighed down with fucking loads of paperwork, which means they can't treat their patients as well as they'd like to.

This disproves science. Fuckin a.

Nobody has said this. At all.

Jeez, I'm starting to believe my joke post about men being ridiculously closed minded.

Admit it, my close-mindedness is really, really sexy.

To be honest though, I've only read as far as this post, but thus far there's been little else in the anecdotal evidence of doctors vs homeopaths other than the fact that homeopaths not being overworked means they have more time to see you and are able to build a better, more personal relationship.

I'm curious though: if homeopathy is really so good, how come it hasn't been accepted by the medical mainstream? Is there a conspiracy afoot?

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Nov 27 2006 22:53
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
I'm curious though: if homeopathy is really so good, how come it hasn't been accepted by the medical mainstream? Is there a conspiracy afoot?

no, 'They' are too busy convincing us HIV exists in order to enhance capital's "biopolitical manipulations".

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Nov 27 2006 22:57

MMR, they've proved that Autism is usually diagnosed within two years of the vaccine. As this is when the majority of cases are diagnosed this is a no brainer.

The only piece of research failed to replicate results.

I can't be bothered to read this whole thing because this is the info that matters.

No research that is worthy of the name has proven ANY link.

By research worthy of the name I mean research using proper controlled tests; the research should be replicable (if someone else does the same experiments they should get similar results); it should be peer-reviewed.

A friend of mine said a paper had established a strong correlation with the rise in autism and a massive increase in childhood TV watching. I'll get the info on that, it seems a much more likely reason, along with the fact that diagnosis has improved, or not as the case may be.

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Nov 27 2006 23:07
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
To be honest though, I've only read as far as this post, but thus far there's been little else in the anecdotal evidence of doctors vs homeopaths other than the fact that homeopaths not being overworked means they have more time to see you and are able to build a better, more personal relationship.

A large amount of it is down to the placebo effect. For example when testing anti-depressants they found that the long interviews with the patients (to find out about side effects etc) were therapeutic in themselves. In fact if they weren't receiving any psychiatric help other than drugs then this effect was the most significant part of the treatment. It's an argument not to use some drugs, but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater

There are lots of alternative therapies that work. But if they work then they should be subjected to controlled testing to prove it. The argument is that as these cannot be patented the drug companies refuse to do it.

Although they isolated the substance in foxgloves that is good if you have a dodgy heart.

I don't trust the pharmaceutical industry as far as I can throw it, but that doesn't mean medicine is bad. That logic would have us rejecting education because capitalism has schools.

arf
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Nov 27 2006 23:09
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
I'm curious though: if homeopathy is really so good, how come it hasn't been accepted by the medical mainstream? Is there a conspiracy afoot?

It has. Homeopathy has always been available on the NHS, since it's inception. There are homeopathic NHS hospitals. There are GPS with homeopathic qualifications who use it in their practices.

However there is a big part of the medical establishment which is under the influence of the pharmaceutical companies and they make an awful lot of money with their patents and their new drugs that they push out all of the time. Medicine is big business, and it serves some of these entities well to deny the benefits or validity of homeopathy.

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Nov 27 2006 23:29
arf wrote:
However there is a big part of the medical establishment which is under the influence of the pharmaceutical companies and they make an awful lot of money with their patents and their new drugs that they push out all of the time. Medicine is big business, and it serves some of these entities well to deny the benefits or validity of homeopathy.

this is getting on to a critique of healthcare under capitalism now, as opposed to anecdote vs double-blind RCT. let's not pretend homoeopathy is immune to the commodity form either though, difficult to patent niche it may be.

Caiman del Barrio
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Nov 27 2006 23:33
arf wrote:
However there is a big part of the medical establishment which is under the influence of the pharmaceutical companies and they make an awful lot of money with their patents and their new drugs that they push out all of the time. Medicine is big business, and it serves some of these entities well to deny the benefits or validity of homeopathy.

Sorry, but this is unconvincing. Is there not money to be made in homeopathy? In fact, I seem to remember a South Park episode along those lines. wink

Seriously, it shows a somewhat basic lack of comprehension of market forces to claim that homeopathy could not be absorbed by the pharmaceutical industries or indeed create its own lucrative industry. Haven't both kinda happened already? Do you really think the pharmaceutical industry (which is not one homogenous block - like any other industry it is defined by millions of competitors) would cooperate in order to keep the door shut on homeopathic companies?

arf
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Nov 28 2006 00:31

The pharmaceutical industry makes its big money in patents and constantly churning out new medications, most of which dont really do anything that existing drugs dont already cover.

Then there's the fact that good homeopathic treatment requires very little in the way of remedies. A small course of remedy "pills" treat several "illnesses" within a person at the same time. You cant get people hooked on it. Conventional medicines might need to be taken every day for several years, maybe even for the rest of a persons life. Sometimes a person has to take other medicines as well in order to deal with the side effects of the original one. Then theres the actual practitioners - a qualified homeopath does everything themselves, sure there might be something they specialise in, but it's not like conventional medicine where we might need several different types of practitioner to treat a single illness.

It's obvious when you step back that homeopathy could never make money in the way conventional medical practices can. No need for hundreds of new drugs every year, or long courses of drugs, or a whole group of different doctors for each single illness. A lot of the money sucked up in the medical industry is used treating problems that are arguably created by the medical industry in the first place, or paying for excess staff and equipment that are only really necessary for emergencies but that somehow end up being recommended and used in non emergency cases (look at the number of caesareans being carried out as an example - all those expensive staff and equipment and drugs and facilities to carry out an enormous number of not medically necessary surgery).

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Nov 28 2006 02:44
John. wrote:
Joseph K. wrote:
Saii wrote:
even though aliens for example I would consider to be pretty much an inevitability given the infinite size of the universe etc.

indeed 1:∞ = infinite probability, simply on our existence alone i think. although i haven't done maths in years tongue

Yeah but the universe isn't infinite. Anyway this is derailing. Sorry.

You think?? I shall start a new thread in Thought.. been meaning to do that for a while. cool

Arf - pretty much agree with everything you have said - as on the current Rad. Femme thread... In both threads I detect the same propensity to fixate on the issues which are the least of our troubles i.e. how efficacious homoepathy is, how rad femmes should organise instead of the more pertinent questions i.e. in what ways and why does conventional allopathic medical provision frequently damage or fail us under the aegis of capitalism such that we need to use alternatives in the first place AND why so many men are so badly damaged they can only engage with women via the detached and artifical world of porn/prostitution etc..(and I am most concerned here at the violent, repulsive, misogynistic stuff..)

Three issues.. one post. Efficiency... tongue

Love

LW X

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Nov 28 2006 08:26

Yeah the issue of healthcare under capitalism is pretty interesting, perhaps because it's an area where the gulf between production for profit and production for need is most apparent. Perhaps it deserves it's own thread, since this one seems doomed to debating an ever-shifting definition of homoeopathy which becomes a synonym for 'preventative medicine' whenever the fact there is no evidence infinitely diluted potions (i.e. water) actually work is raised.

Perhaps it's anecdote time, since peer-reviewed studies don't seem to sway you tongue When i was a teenager my dad fell inexplicably ill. Doctors didn't have a clue what was wrong with him, tried various diagnoses and various cocktails of drugs, and he kept deteriorating. Got to the point where they gave him days to live, he wrote letters to us all just in case and everything, though he says he didn't believe them. Now at this point if he wasn't such a stubborn rationalist he could well have turned to any 'alternative' therapy with the slightest chance of helping - nothing to lose right? But he didn't, and nonetheless, as inexplicably as he fell ill, he started to get better. days to live became weeks, weeks became months and now he's got a pretty much normal life expectancy.

The point is, yes "allopathic" medicine was pretty useless in this case (though some of the drugs appeared to help, he did self-reduce his dosages on a quicker timescale than prescribed because of the side-effects), but equally if he had have taken some homoeopathic remedy, this would be anecdotal evidence of another miracle cure in the face of impotent "allopathic" medicine. Which is why anecdotal evidence, at a societal level, is pretty much useless (i say 'at a societal level' because i'm using an anecdote here in interpersonal communication to illucidate my subjective position - and i say 'pretty much' because they can provide clues for research, i'm sure there were anecdotes about the plants from which many drugs are derived, for example).

So basically i'm under no illusions that capitalist medicine/healthcare as it stands is some shining beacon of empirical knowledge and rationality, but that doesn't discredit the principles of empirical knowledge and rationality. There's an interesting debate to be had about what kind of medicine we need - and i agree preventative trumps the double-profitable cure-centred approach. But its pretty much impossible to have that discussion from such disparate epistemological standpoints - you keep claiming homoeopathic remedies work, contrary to all evidence, simply because you say so. I can insist cutting off my foot cured my brain tumour, but i doubt you'd rush to see it widely adopted my a communist/radical health system without some kind of verification. I mean i guess homoeopathy is a bit like religion for me, have whatever personal beliefs you like but don't pull some relativist nonsense and claim epistemological equality with more empirically grounded approaches wink

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Nov 28 2006 08:50

There has always been friction between pharmacists and homeopaths. Hahneman (the founder of homeopathy) was chased out of several towns in Europe by a combination of pharmacists (the merchants) and local government. In the US homeopathy was very popular because of it successes in treatment (e.g. the cholera epidemic in 1832 that killed 500.000 people in America alone, homeopaths had a death rate of 1.05 compared to 30 percent of allopathic doctors). However, the American Medical Association hated homeopathy,, and was in fact established partly in response to homeopathy. The AMA forbade their members to associate socially or collaboratively with homeopaths. In 1856 the AMA resolved that homeopathic works should not be discussed or reviewed in allopathic journals. A lot of the arguments against homeopathy was established back then (e.g. that evidence is anectodal, that ultra-dilutions are bogus etc., the general ignorance of anything homeopathic). The bad rep of homeopathy is very much linked to the huge power of medical associations and drug manufacturers (as Arf and Grace have mentioned).

In Europe, India, Pakinstan and Latin America homeopathy is widely practiced and recognized is recognized by health authorities. In France 32 percent of family physicians use homeopathy, in England 42 percent of physicians refer patients to homeopaths. Homeopathy is integrate into the healthcare systems in Germany, India, Brazil, Mexico, Sri Lanka and the UK. It is also in India and Europe that you find most research (double-blind, placebo controlled) undertaken.

Re: what is homeopathy. It is a holistic medicine, but it is important to stress that it is based on the law of similars which must always be applied if the treatment is to be considered homeopathy. The law is if a substance can cause the symptoms of an illness in a healthy person, it can cure those symptoms in a sick person.

This immediately goes back to how you can test whether homeopathy works. Homeopaths actually test remedies of healthy persons. This is called proving. Taking e.g. arsenicum you would get the symptoms of poisoning (however, you would be under no risk as it is ultra-diluted). Homeopaths note down all symptoms, however weird they may seem, during provings (provings also have placebo control groups).

To remedy a sick person the homeopath is trying to find the symptom pattern that matches the remedy pattern most closely. This touches upon an extremely important point in homeopathy - it is extremely individualized treatment. Subjective (qualitative) symptoms are more important to a homeopath than objective (quantitative) symptoms. I.e. whereas an allopathic practitioner would measure yout fever and say that you have a fever (in the best positivistic sense) of 40 degrees C, a homeopath is more interested in how the patient actually feel from the fever (does the patient feel hot or cold?).

That homeopathy is a subjectivised medicine makes it difficult to do scientific tests of the effectiveness of remedies. When allopathically trained people do this they normally design the experiment as they were testing a normal allopathic drug. I.e. they give the same substance to everyone in the test. Because of the law of similars you cannot do this with homeopathic remedies! Treatment is indivdualized. Going back to the fever example two persons who objectively have the same fever (both 40 C) might subjectively feel hot and cold respectively. A homeopath would give different remedies to those two persons. An allopathic doctor would treat them the same.

In studies that do take individualized treatment into the experiment usually ends up with good results for remedies. ; often 2 times the effect of placebo with 95% confidence. A lot of allopathic medicines can only outperform placebo by 2-3 percent. These results have been published in journals such as science, nature and the lancet. If people want lit. references I can provide them (they're all journals and books, sorry no links)

Re: allopathic medicines. A study published in the Journal of the AMA in 2002 predicted that nearly 20 percent of new prescription drugs will ultimately be recalled or will be shown to produce unacceptable harmful side effects. Another example is the treatment of asthma. In the 1970s doctors used to pay a lot of attention to theophylline levels and IV theophylline drip rates - this medicine in controlled clinical trials have recently been proved to be ineffective in the treatment of asthma. That they discovered it was bad and stopped it is good, but that they actually used it before knowing properly is a trademark of allopathic medicine.

Stil, as arf said, not all modern medicine is bad. Homeopathy and modern medicine can exist side-by-side, but they should know the limitations of each.

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Nov 28 2006 09:04

but like you say, it's untestable. were the studies you offer references for included in the meta-study John. referenced?

As it stands, there seems no empirical or theoretical support for 'the law of similars' (of course it could be that our current theoretical paradigm is simply inadequate, but i haven't seen any evidence to support theories of say hysterisis/'quantum memory' of water or whatever). In the absence of either an empirical or theoretical basis, 'the law of similars' is no more true than God.

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Nov 28 2006 09:47

Without wanting to take sides on whether homeopathy 'works' or not, I want to correct a false impression given by some on this thread. It is implied that anyone who had an inkling of understanding of scientific realities and principles wouldn't give homeopathy the time of day. You would supposedly have to be a dumb hippy and/or mystic fool to even consider taking it seriously or believe in the possibility of its validity. This is untrue; thousands of doctors have supplemented their original conventional medical training with homeopathic training so they can practice homeopathy alongside 'normal' medicine. What I also find interesting is that there is a long history of contradictory findings/conclusions from scientific trials on the efficacy of homeopathy. I remember a TV programme 10+ years ago - a medical researcher was interviewed. He had heard about homeopathy, read up on it and considered it must be the biggest medical hoax ever. He conducted a trial and his results showed positive results for the healing power of homeopathy. Thinking he must have made an error, he re-ran the trial and obtained similar results, even more strongly in favour of homeopathy. His only possible conclusion, according to the criteria he had chosen, was that homeopathy 'worked', much as he hated to admit it. There are several similar results from some studies, not from others. The positive results are disputed by other scientists, yes, but even if they're right, there must be quite alot of bad misleading scientific practice around.
"The effect of homeopathic remedies is genuine, and not just a case of mind over matter, as sceptics suggest, research published in The Lancet suggests..." (Independent, 27/12/94)

Dr J. Benveniste, a highly respected biologist/immunologist and twice Nobel Prize winner, conducted research into allergy and homeopathic dilutions - he got results he interpreted as meaning that water retained a memory of what had been diluted in it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Benveniste
Several independent laboratories replicated his findings, some others didn't. But all this highlights the difference between evidence and proof. When people say 'there's no evidence' for something they usually really mean there's no proof. In this case there is contradictory evidence from science itself, though as yet no proof. Yet the kind of research that would prove/disprove many things will deliberately never be funded, for a mixture of commercial, rational and/or ethical reasons. If Benveniste and co. are 'nutters', they are ones produced by science itself.

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Nov 28 2006 09:58

It is testable, but not according to how you would test allopathic medicines. You have to test homeopathy according to the principle it practices from, otherwise the study will come out simply wrong. For that matter, modern medicine does not follow any principle, but anything goes (allopathic doctors actually do use homeopathic techniques as well, but do not apply the principle).

A homeopathic trial you would take a group of people that have the same affliction, but they would get individualized treatment (from usually a set of remedies, maybe 5, 10 or 20 depending on how complex the disease pattern is). There is plenty of empirical (theoretical is beside the point really) evidence for this, the sheer number of successful cases of homeopaths is also evidence. The materia medica and the repertoires have compiled all provings and effective cases

The fact that proving works is evidence enough (you could try this yourself).

Ultra-dilutions do work, and it is somewhat of a rage in medicinal companies now (they could save a lot of money in using them). Beneviste (a convinced allopath) et. al. have published two papers on ultra-dilutions:

1. "Human basophil Degranulation Triggered by Very Dilute Antiserum against IgE". Nature Vol. 333, number 6176 pp816-818 (June 1988).

2. "Transatlantic Transfer of Digitized Antigen Signal by Telephone Link". Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 99:S175 (1997).

General studies:
Kleijnen and Knipshild "Clinical Trials of Homeopathy", Nritish Medical Journal, 302:316-323 (1991).

Reilly et. al. "Is Evidence for Homeopathy Reproducible?" Lancet 344, pp 1601-1606 (December 10th 1994)

Reilly et. al. "Randomised Controlled Trial of Homeopathy Versus Placebo in Perennial Allergic Rhinitis with OVerview of Four Trial Series" British Medical Journal 321, pp 471-476

Viza "From Placebo to Homeopathy: The Fear of the Irrational" The Scientist Vol 12 No 18 (Sept 1998).

Meta Study:
Linde et. al. "Are the Clinical Effects of Homeopathy Placebo Effects? A Meta-Analysis of Placebo-Controlled trials", The Lancet Vol 250, pp. 834-843 (20 sept 1997).

HIV
Rastogi et. al. "Homeopathy in HIV Infection: Trial Report of a double blind Placebo-controlled study", British Homepathic Journal Vol 88. No 2 (April 1999).

Those are just a few references. Jospeh, what is your evidence? Why do you accept the medical industry's arguments at face value (who often have no clue what homeopathy is about, other as a threat to the power of the medical and pharma industry)?

I haven't checked the meta-study of John, but I will (alas, I haven't had time to properly read all the posts in this thread...)

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Nov 28 2006 10:14
atlemk wrote:
Those are just a few references. Jospeh, what is your evidence? Why do you accept the medical industry's arguments at face value

All i've been pointing out is that proponents of homoeopathy haven't produced any studies to back them up - even adopting relativist arguments saying anecdotal evidence is a valid as double-blind RCTs - whereas critics have, it's taken 5 pages (and a previous thread a few months ago) but now you have - cheers (though i can't access them at the moment i accept they exist, and of course i don't know their conclusions/limitations etc, but i'm sure if there are failings they'll be cited in meta-studies elsewhere).

Where am i accepting "the medical industry's arguments at face value"? I've been pretty critical of the medical industry, drug/cure-centric medicine tbh :?

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Nov 28 2006 10:16

Ok, I've read the article that John linked to and it is very hard to assess whether this is bogus or not. It is just a literature review, it does not mention the methodologies in the studies that is reviewed, neither does it provide full bibliographical details (just says "A french study in 1988, or a german study in 1999, not much to go on there) so I can check the original sources for the methodology.

IMO, it is not an authorotative literature review as it seems to only include (or refer to) passages that are at best neutral towards homeopathy. And it is shite for not providing a biblio. The guy writing the lit review does not show any familiarity with homeopathy at all or what the issues are related to scientifically prove the efficacy of homeopathy (other than testing it based on allopathic methods, which is inherently flawed).

In my experience, stuff you can find on the Web (pro or con homeopathy) tends to be poor, and is more propaganda than anything else. It is in books and journals you will find serious discussions and studies.

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Nov 28 2006 10:23
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Where am i accepting "the medical industry's arguments at face value"? I've been pretty critical of the medical industry, drug/cure-centric medicine tbh

Well, by accepting at face value that homeopathy is mostly anecdotal and placebo. This argument medical associations and big pharma has spent lots of time, money and effort to propagate. Homeopathy does challenge big pharma (because of the low cost of producing remedies, and the fact that most drugs are just shite and have tons of side-effects) and the established medical field. Homeopaths actually empowers the patients by challenging the notion that the patient does not know anything about their health and the GP is some medicinal oracle thanks to their secret knowledge.

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Nov 28 2006 10:28

To arf, specifically about your long post on page 4, I can't really see that one word of it is relevant to this discussion. No one is saying that the NHS is perfect or that doctors seeing someone for 5 minutes and giving them a pill is "scientific".

I have been saying repeatedly, with no one answering, that treating people with water (homeopathy) is ineffective, and has been shown to be ineffective by meta-analytic studies which statistically reviewed large numbers of studies.

Arf and others keep conflating things homeopaths do with what homeopathy actually is - the voodoo water treatment.

So my specific point is treating sick people with water is bogus. Does anyone disagree with that?

More generally my point is that treatments without evidence that they work are crap. Does anyone disagree with that?

This isn't about "alternative" vs mainstream medicine, or hippies vs science, it's about things based on reality and evidence, or things based on... I don't know what, nothing basically, heresay and mysticism.

(To Ret Marut - the meta-studies i've seen found that all studies which showed benefits for homeopathy were flawed.)

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Nov 28 2006 10:31

Atlemk you say a lot of stuff authoritatively when there's actually not anything backing it up. For example your claim that 1800s homeopaths invented placebo-controlled trials when in fact they weren't used till the 20th century.. And now:

atlemk wrote:
(other than testing it based on allopathic methods, which is inherently flawed).

How are double-blind rc trials "inherently flawed"?

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Nov 28 2006 10:32
atlemk wrote:
Well, by accepting at face value that homeopathy is mostly anecdotal and placebo.

Well, i was only taking the arguments that were made - which were explicitly pro-anecdote, which i reacted against. I'm glad you think evidence, peer review etc are important (yes ret, good point evidence and proof have been somewhat conflated, including by me).

John. wrote:
So my specific point is treating sick people with water is bogus. Does anyone disagree with that?

atlemk does ^

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Nov 28 2006 10:33
Quote:
It's obvious when you step back that homeopathy could never make money in the way conventional medical practices can. No need for hundreds of new drugs every year, or long courses of drugs, or a whole group of different doctors for each single illness

The interesting thing though is that some pharma companies are actually selling homeopathic remedies over the counter. But they argue that they should be taken like any other pill (often, a lot and with no rationale), they don't mention that it can be reproduced easily through water or sugar pills etc. In effect, over the counter remedies is giving homeopathy a bad rep coz people buy this and take it, but will often not work because it is taken without consulting a homeopath first.

Fuckers.

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
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Nov 28 2006 11:04
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How are double-blind rc trials "inherently flawed"?

Not that, but that they do not take the law of similars into account when they test remedies. Without the law of similars homeopathy is nothing. I.e. any study that does not do individualized prescribing would be inherently flawed (this is what I mean to say, sorry for being unlcear).

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So my specific point is treating sick people with water is bogus. Does anyone disagree with that?

It is not just water (though of course there is no physical property of the remedy left) Read the Beneviste studies (he is not a homeopath), it does retain some information or whatever. There's also some theories relating to complexity theory that explains how remedies work (i.e. they functions as attractors). How homeopathy actually works is a black hole in homeopathic research, they only know that it does work. But this is where research is being done now.

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or example your claim that 1800s homeopaths invented placebo-controlled trials when in fact they weren't used till the 20th century

Read this in some books. One reference is "The Impossible Cure". Still, I would not take wiki as an authority. has it occured to you that the method has been in use before it was written about in journals?

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tlemk you say a lot of stuff authoritatively when there's actually not anything backing it up

Ditto. You've cited one literature review. Hardly counts as evidence. And you obviously do not know a lot about homeopathy to begin with, its principles, proofing, aggravation, the progression of healing, individualized treatment etc. You are basically making claims based on what you know about allopathic medicine and assessing homeopathy based on that. Allopathic medicine and homeopathic medicine are two different systems.

Btw. Could you tell me the principle behind allopathic medicine?