An Admission About Homeopathy

I watched the “Wright Stuff” deabate about homeopathy on Channel 5 this morning while waiting for a gas engineer to turn up. Jayney Goddard (some sources spell her nane “Janey Goddard” but I believe that is not her preferred spelling), the President of the Complementary Medicine Association made an interesting admission about homeopathic treatments. 

When a panelist brought up claims to treat cancer and AIDS she hastily interrupted to say that homeopathy is a “palliative” (her word) and treats only symptoms. This is indeed what Samuel Hahnemann said but look on any homeopathic website today you will find claims to cure all kinds of diseases, cancer and AIDS among them, alonside allegations that it is conventional medicine that only treats (or “masks”) symptoms. 

She also said that claims to cure cancer are banned by the Cancer Act. I trust she will pass this information on to the sCAMsters who do make such claims.

It would appear that challenging the unscientific and often dangerous claims made by homeopaths and other alternative practitioners is starting to have an effect, at the top at least. There’s more to be done – a lot of nonsense was spouted on the programme but at least a start has been made.

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6 Responses to “An Admission About Homeopathy”

  1. dvnutrix Says:

    There may be slightly more progress than meets the eye but in a more negative than positive sense.

    I have it on good authority that Janey Goddard is usually introduced as Professor Goddard and they emphasise that she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. This combination typically misleads people into thinking that she is a medic whereas the professorship was awarded by the Mahendra Sanskrit University in Nepal (it is unclear what department but that link says she is an Honorary Adviser although not in what). Even the Zeus Information Service (normally CAM-sympathetic) is puzzled by her claims to have studied homeopathy at Imperial.

    Ms Goddard’s biography as an expert on the Discovery Channel Home & Health website claims that she is an alumni of Imperial College, where she studied homoeopathy. Her biographyfor the November 2006 CAM Expo in Los Angeles also indicates that she studied homoeopathy at Imperial College but gives a time period for the studies of 5 years. These claims are confusing given that Imperial College does not appear to have, at least in recent history, operated any courses on the subject.

    The Fellowship seems to have been awarded for her health writing (I don’t know the criteria for assessing its accuracy or quality).

    I’m not sure that she was being accurate about some of the trials she reported: notably the one about diarrhoea in children where she seemed to be advocating the handing out of homeopathic remedies in the current disaster zone of Myanmar.

  2. jdc325 Says:

    “When a panelist brought up claims to treat cancer and AIDS she hastily interrupted to say that homeopathy is a “palliative” (her word) and treats only symptoms. This is indeed what Samuel Hahnemann said [...]”
    Hang on a minute – I thought allopathy was palliative and treated only symptoms whereas homeopathy treated the whole person?

    Google search for “homeopathy treats the whole person”

    Google search for “medicine treats symptoms” – note the use of ‘western’, ‘allopathic’ and ‘modern’ as pejoratives.

  3. jaycueaitch Says:

    My thoughts exactly. I tried to call the programme to challenge her on this but couldn’t get through. I don’t know why Simon Singh didn’t make that point.

  4. imp_student Says:

    Her claims that she is an alumna of Imperial College can be explained by the fact that several organisations rent rooms from the College to teach at night or the weekend. They are in no way associated or recognised by the College, however many claim to be ‘based’ at Imperial and similarly their alumni to have qualified ‘at’ Imperial. This has recently been brought to the College’s attention those concerned (including Jayney Goddard) have been asked to make appropriate amendments.

  5. carol jewell Says:

    This is very disappointing, if true. The reason for the Cancer Act was to keep cure out of the frame and therefore ensure the customer base is kept to a maximum.

    Mostly what orthodox medicine is about.

    I made contact with my M.P on this very subject “the cancer act” and I am still working on it.

  6. jaycueaitch Says:

    The Cancer Act was passes when there were no cures for cancer and was intended to prevent medical fraudsters preying on the desperate. That’s why alternative practitioners don’t like it.

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