[BPSDB]This is a constant refrain from the homeopaths: that orthodox doctors are in some sort of conspiracy against them. This supposes that doctors would prefer their patients to not recover rather than prescribe homeopathy. I know doctors have a bit of a reputation for arrogance but the belief that they would prefer patients to die rather than prescribe a treatment that works just because they don’t understand how it works seems to be going a bit far. In fact, the evidence in support of this thesis is thin even by homeopathic standards.
Firstly, the exact way that anaesthetics work is not fully understood but doctors have been using them sincve the mid-nineteenth century because they demonstrably work.
In her 50 facts, Louise Mclean offers only three in support of the conspiracy theory.
In Fact 29 she tells us how many homeopathic establishments there were in the US a hundred years ago. I presume she is implying the number is much lower today because of the ‘opposition’ of conventional ‘medics’. I suppose I could employ a Famous Web Search Engine to check the numbers but frankly my reaction is a great big “So what?”. Even if her numbers are accurate, this hardly proves anything either way as to the efficacy of homeopathy. In medieval England there were hundreds of blood-letting barber-surgeons. Would you accept that this is proof of the efficacy of blood-letting? And that the reduction in numbers to zero (I hope it is zero) is due to a medical conspiracy? Of course not. The reduction is due to the fact that evidence based medicine works much better. The same applies to homeopathy but Mclean cannot accept this.
Sh continues with this conspiracy theory in Fact 30, saying that the American Medical Association had “great animosity” towards homeopathy after its foundation in 1847 and “it was decided to purge all local medical societies of physicians who were homeopaths.” No reference or link, as usual so I had to find my own.
According to this the original aims of the A.M.A. were threefold:-
1. To advance the science of medicine
2. To develop a program of medical ethics
3. To improve the health of the public
I suppose item 1 would have had the homeopaths worried, since they eschewed theory, regarded the human body as a black-box into which went medicines and out came symptoms, and regarded Hahnemann’s writings as Holy Writ, not to be disputed.
I looked a little further and found the original Code of Ethics. No specific mention of homeopathy although I note that doctors were to “discourage druggists and apothecaries from vending quack or secret medicines, or from being in any way engaged in their manufacture or sale.” Given Mclean’s (inaccurate) criticism of Big Pharma for not listing their ingredients one would assume she would agree with banning secret medicines. I assume she takes the “quack” bit to refer to homeopaths. If the cap fits, she should wear it.
Finally (for this post!) in Fact 31 she claims that Big Pharma does not want the public to know how well homeopathy works. Fact is, Big Pharma -capitalist bastards that they are – would be quite happy if homeopathy did work. Homeopathic remedies are far cheaper to produce than pharmaceuticals. Their profits would be so much greater.
The fact remains that in well run trials, homeopathic remedies perform no better than placebo and this is the reason orthodox medicine oppses homeopathy. It simply does not work. No Big Pharma conspiracies need be invoked.