Letters Alternatives to debate

“Treating evidence with contempt”

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a2063 (Published 13 October 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2063
  1. Edzard Ernst, Laing chair of complementary medicine1
  1. 1Peninsula Medical School, Plymouth PL6 8BU
  1. Edzard.Ernst{at}pms.ac.uk

    For 15 years I have studied the effectiveness and safety of treatments such as acupuncture and homeopathy. Often, the results were not what the proponents of these treatments had hoped for. One would have thought that this might lead to debate, further research, or even health policy changes. Sometimes it has, but recently we have witnessed a new phenomenon. People or organisations promoting highly questionable treatments are treating the evidence with contempt and flex their legal muscle to have it their way.

    The New Zealand Journal of Medicine recently published an article showing that most …

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