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Another one bites the dust ...

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Ethics Gradient, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. Ethics Gradient

    Ethics Gradient
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    So science has finally got around to doing wide scale studies into alternative medicine ..... and found it a waste of time!

    News story

    Looks like homeopathy is no better than a placebo ... yet reading through the public comments under the story there are still plenty of 'black is white' believers ;)

    Do you think its time that solid offical research was done into all alternative medicines in the UK - along with faith healers and spiritualists... so we can offically declare them at best pointless and at worst fraud. So we can move on and not have to have stupid television programs with mediums on giving advice ( Trisha ) ... they are bad enough shows without propogating additional ignorance.

    I'm not happy at my tax money being spent on the NHS for homeopathy -- which the NHS currently offers ..... surely its about time we stopped being so bloody stupid at least from an offical standpoint - this is a national institution using our tax to give treatements now proven to be 'no better than fake pill'
     
  2. Miyazaki

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    My sister-in-law goes to acupuncture classes to relieve symptoms of her pregnancy. Complete waste of money and time IMO.

    After all, if all this alternative therapy worked, we wouldn't have the need for modern medicine. Penicillin et al would be redundant.
     
  3. The Dude

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    yep, its all balls as far as i'm concerned too..

    not even slightly ironic that something as logical and easily proveable as chiropractic treatment is alsmost dismissed as a 'dark art' by most GPs, but you can happily go and 'smell yourself better' courtesy of the NHS... :rolleyes:
     
  4. stevegreen

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    Lorna has recently been seeing a Homeopath and she reckons it has done her good. I am totally unconvinced however. She has had to pay all of the bills herself and though I am sure it's all placebo effect it seems to have worked for her, she is much much better than she was two months ago!

    If people are prepared to pay for the service then thats fine by me, but not on the NHS please!
     
  5. Ethics Gradient

    Ethics Gradient
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    I would be nice if the government could make offical statements / laws stateing that no body offering Homeopathic remedies is allowed to do so under the guise of it being:

    a) medicine
    b) in any way allowed to call themselves doctors, nurses or ANYTHING that implies they are working in the medical profession

    and a leaflet be handed out with each purchase stateing that this particual 'remedy' is no better than sucking on a tic tac with regards to treating their aillment.

    .... anyone still wanting to purchase them must do so with their own hard earned cash ... not ours.
     
  6. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    The study doesn't seem to underestimate the usefullness of the placebo effect on certain people which is good. I do hope that it does prevent it going on the NHS. People should be able to imbibe what they want in the name of medicine but I don't want to pay for it.
     
  7. The Dude

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    You're being all negative again EG... :nono:

    "just as good as sucking on a tic tac" is a far more realistic assesment.. :D
     
  8. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Acupuncture for certain conditions,and given suitable patient selection is a widely used and effective method of treating chronic pain,and quite cost effective if used within those limits.

    One of the major worries that the medical profession has with respect to homeopathic treatments aside from those mentioned regarding cost effectiveness and overall efficacy,is the unlicensed and mostly unmonitored preparation of many treatments,plus the content thereof,which in a number of cases has been found to contain components such as high levels of steroids,and in many others,high levels of potentially toxic alkaloids.

    It should be remembered that many of our current medicines have their origins in homeopathy(aspirin,many cytotoxic drugs etc,digoxin for heart problems),and thus the proper way forward is not to dismiss all such therapies out of hand,but to research those which have shown efficacy in properly conducted clinical trials.

    There is of course,no place for such things as ultra-diluted medications,or some of the other fringe-related treatments.
     
  9. Nick_UK

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    Don't tell Prince Charles. He wants homeopathic medicine on the NHS :rolleyes:
     
  10. Ethics Gradient

    Ethics Gradient
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    Now thats just drivel ....

    Asprin comes from the bark of a tree --- homeopathy is 'like for like' what part of a bark of a tree is 'like' a headache.

    Records go back to Hippocrates (between 460 B.C and 377 B.C.) documenting the pain relief for headaches and pain using willow bark and willow leaves.
    ( homeopathy started in around 1790 ... a couple of thousand years too late )

    in 1829 scientists discovered that it was the compound called salicin. With a bit of chemistry, it was turned into acetylsalicylic acid and was eventually marketed by Bayer in 1889 as 'asprin'

    Its lies like 'aspirin had its origins in homeopathy' that have been used to fool the public .... because unlike me they don't tend to do any meticulous reasearch and accept something the 'sounds' offical.

    Its things like that I believe people should be prosecuted for.
     
  11. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I think that if you'd read what I'd said correctly,you would see that the wording used,was origins.

    One assumes that your medical knowledge extends to the relevant research fields,and that your experience of the interactions of homeopathic and licensed medicines is equally current.

    My point was that a treatment which can be shown to be effective in a properly conducted trial is often worthy of further research,and that whilst the field of homeopathy is littered with obvious rubbish,the good needs to be separated from the bad.

    I had also been clear enough to point out that one of the major concerns currently is that of unlicensed and unmonitored substances being delivered to persons who may be at risk from their constituent parts,or interactions with their other medications,which I am sure your wide ranging knowledge and research interests will already have made you aware of.

    I also pointed out that the use of ultra-diluted(usually to the point of almost infinitessimal dilution) solutions is of course utterly useless.

    Also,perhaps in fairness to yourself(!) it depends on whether or not you apply the medical profession's somewhat extended definition of homeopathic medicines or not....in the context of your original post,the definition is obviously the Hahnemann one,and not that which encompasses pretty much any non-mainstream medical therapy,which I had applied,since we would include herbal/Chinese/other therapies within the realms of homeopathy.
     
  12. Ethics Gradient

    Ethics Gradient
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    My original post does indeed refer to Homeopathy as defined by its originator Samuel Hahnemann.

    My post also alludes to the point that ALL alternative therapies ( also spiritualism and mediums ) should be put to a series of 'government offical' large scale studies - double blind. Then an offical stance can be taken and or rules and regulations set up.
    I knwo there are such regulations inplace now for people making specific claims - but like anything else it is a minefield for the consumer.
    The amount of claims now being made using 'pseudo science' that give the appearance of credibility to praticies and products is staggering.
    I feel that the power that be should definitively state what the offical view of such practices are -- so there are no mixed messages.

    It is too easy now adays for people to commit what amounts to fraud because of careful wording on products, treatments and services.
    If the goverment were to comission fair and unbiased clinical and scientific trials, those could be published and also practioners forced to supply that information when they come to try and sell their 'product' to comsumers by law.

    Being automatically against an alternative view or practice simply because it is not following the same ground as conventional western medicine is simply daft ... but it is also daft to accept the credibility of alternatives without unbiased evidence of their effectiveness ( knowing what we do of historical carpet bagging and 'the placebo effect' )

    The fact that extensive studies using double blind techniques have shown that homeopathy is pratically worthless ( allowing for the placebo effect )
    Should we not now do the same sort of large scale trials for other therapies being sold to the public in this country. ( scientists have usually simply dismissed alternative therapies and not bothered with extensive trials .... and the trails that have taken place have been by advocates of those therapies )
    That way, any alternative medicines and treatments that actually are effictive can be given offical credence - and accepted- whilst the others can be black listed and left to the realms of fairy stories ... and not emptying the pockets of the gullable and the desperate.
     
  13. alexs2

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    Which I think is pretty much in agreement with what I'd said....yes,we need properly conducted trials,and yes,regulating a trade as varied and widespread as this will be extremely difficult,especially as much of it is outside of any monitoring at all,official or otherwise.

    It is also true that any practitioner,alternative or mainstream,whose therapies are valid,should be open to suitable scrutiny and peer review.....sadly,many are not willing for various and often obvious reasons.
     
  14. Nebby

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    Here we go again...EG's on another rant! :clap:

    We get it already...science GOOD, everything else BAD. :boring:
     
  15. Ethics Gradient

    Ethics Gradient
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    ... well here we go ... another troll

    I think you'll find for me its:

    Intelligence and Inquiry Good .... ignorance and apathy BAD
     
  16. seb

    seb
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    I have always been sceptical of Homeopathy, nice to see science cath up with it finally, there is actually a real risk from relying on such rubbish.
     
  17. la gran siete

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    If people find it beneficial then leave well alone. My sistrer was cured of cancer going the complementay route after been given a 50% chance with chemotherapy. Thatywas about 8 years ago.She went on strict vegetarian diet took loads of antioxidant attended a support group and within 9 months was walking the Penine way.Now she is a true diehard of complimentary methods and will try anything if will improve the quality of her life which it undoubtably has. Her husband of course pooh poohs the whole thing but then he is like those twerpish scientists who believe THEY and THEY alone have the answers to every thing
     
  18. HMHB

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    I've always pictured a Homeopath as an effeminate mass murderer ;) :D
     
  19. Stuart Wright

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    It's nice to see the other skeptics around here.
    Hope you don't get lambasted for having an opinion :rolleyes:
    http://www.skeptic.com/
     
  20. Miyazaki

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    No, that's called a mirror John, not a picture! :D ;)
     
  21. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I am sure that no-one will lambast him for having an opinion but I would suggest that referring to differering opinions as "Now thats just drivel ...." may raise a few hackles, especially when the "drivel" was actually a very valid point.
     
  22. alexs2

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    Thanks Ian...I shouldnt have expected anything different,given that the OP had been using the typical ultra-narrow definition of a given topic,and also hadn't fully read my reply.

    I do agree however that the current situation re homeopathy in all of it's forms needs to be sorted out and regulated properly,as there are a lot of charlatans mixed into the scene,and using the wider definition of the field to include herbal and other medicines(as accepted by the medical profession),there are also a lot of potentially dangerous treatments in terms of drug interactions with concurrent standard medications.

    Given my profession,I am probably more sceptical than most about this,but one still has to keep an open mind and be prepared to properly investigate areas of homeopathy where true improvements in a person's ilness can be demonstrated under repeatable conditions.
     
  23. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    Intelectuall arrogance is as bad as any other. People who are dogmatic whether religious anti religious or anti anyhting that doesnt tie in with their view of the world are as bad as each other.
     
  24. neilneil

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    I think the reason that these treatments do sometimes work is because the brain can have a tremendous power over the body. If someone actually believes that by doing this ritual they will get better, then that can have a huge posotive effect on the bodys recovery systems especially in cases where the mind is playing a vital roll. For example pain control, addictions, nervous disorders, stress etc could all benefit greatly by positively believing that they are getting better.
    Who cares if the treatment didn't actually do anything if the end result is that the patient is better. It was still a successfull remedy.
    Of course being a non believer myself the treatment wouldn't actually work on me which is exactly what I would expect. :rolleyes:
    The difficult question as asked is, should this be paid for on the NHS.
    Could publicly dismissing these treatments make more of us non believers thereby actually killing off the one reason they may have worked in the first place!

    -Neil
     
  25. Ethics Gradient

    Ethics Gradient
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    homeopathy

    A system for treating disease based on the administration of minute doses of a drug that in massive amounts produces symptoms in healthy individuals similar to those of the disease itself.

    Established by Samuel Hahnemann circa 1789




    It was NOT opinion - it was someone stateing a fact about the topic ... and me correcting it.
    I was not calling anyones opinions ... just stating that a particular published fact was 'drivel' ... it was not ment as a personal slur and if taken as so I appologise.

    I set the topic - and posted the linked news item - that clearly defined the topic at hand.

    Pardon me for careing passionately about things where people are being conned and missinformed - especially when it comes to their and their families health.
     
  26. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    yes of course just as alcoholics CAN recover from following a spiritual programme as exists in AA. Try telling that to a "rationalist" scientist." No data , no evidence, cant be proven all nonsense" they'll scream :rolleyes:

    Actually it is said to work on animals and what would they know.
     
  27. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    There have many many inexamples where alopathic medicine has failed miserably and where side effects of particular medicines have had negative effects. trouble is it treats us all as if we were all the same just chemical laboratories and we are not . We are individuals.
     
  28. alexs2

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    Apology accepted.

    The fact as stated was given in the wider medical context of homeopathy,which was made clear in a reply.

    Do not think for a moment that I care any less about people being misled and misinformed,especially when it comes to health issues....some of us spend an awful lot of time dealing with that,and the consequences of poor advice/treatment from a variety of sources.
     

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