Letter: NHS homeopathy

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Sir: Professor Ernst states that "scientists point out that where there is no molecule there can be no effect". This argument is more than 50 years out of date and is worthy of the flat earth society award. It rules out radio and television, and even electricity. The phenomena of matter and energy are much more complex than he pretends.

He mentions the "100 rigorous clinical trials of homeopathy (that) have been published", and then dismisses the results as unconvincing. Over the past 10 years homeopathic physicians have indeed conducted a number of rigorous studies, using the same research models of audit, randomised controlled trials, and meta analysis that are used by orthodox medicine today. The results have been very positive. If the results of such trials are unconvincing then so are the results of similar studies supporting treatments provided by orthodox medicine.

What most people do not know is that orthodox medicine is not so far ahead of homeopathy in so far as evidence-based medicine is concerned. Until quite recently most orthodox treatments, both medical and surgical, were prescribed because doctors thought they worked, not because there were clinical trials which proved that they worked.


Integrated Medical Centre,

London W1