Intended for healthcare professionals


Homeopathy: challenge to prescription ban is rejected by High Court

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 06 June 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2513

Re: Homeopathy: challenge to prescription ban is rejected by High Court

Re the response from Mongjam Meghachandra Singh (Published 11 June 2018)

"Homeopathy as a science [it's not a science, no] has existed for a long time [Appeal to antiquity fallacy] and it has been complementing the modern system of medicine [according to its proponents only]. There are several instances of cure and control [not verified by valid research trials however] using homeopathy specially related to skin disorders, allergies, asthma, chronic diseases, etc [ie diseases that fluctuate in severity and tend to spontaneously improve over time]. The principle of homeopathy is interesting [but utterly implausible] and there is a substance in its practice [according to its proponents but not according to the evidence]. Homeopaths argue that treatment even for a particular disease in different individuals is different and it depends upon the nature of the person, behavior, food liking or disliking, mood changes, etc [they would argue that, wouldn't they, since it can't been shown to work using accepted standard scientific methods of assessment].

Considering these factors, the homeopath chooses an appropriate treatment which is best suited to the patient [giving them a convenient out when the treatment doesn't work]. Thus, the medicines prescribed are different and for different individuals, i.e. treatment is individualized. Under such circumstances, there is no appropriate single homeopathic medicine for a particular disease which is claimed by allopathic system of management [not that this "principle" stops homeopathy producers promoting their magic water for general treatment of most conditions]. We feel that under such circumstances, it is difficult to do a clinical trial of a particular bio-molecule for a particular treatment [providing yet another excuse for the lack of any evidence for homeopathy]. The skills, practice of the homeopath based on his/her experience do matter [yes, the placebo effect is optimised when the homeopath elaborates the ritual]. Hence, commenting based on the clinical trail model of allopathy is not acceptable. It should be based on case to case reports by patients [in order that the "evidence" for homeopathy should rely purely on testimonials like the one's we read in the back pages of the Sunday supplements].

Am I being cynical? [I don't think so].

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 June 2018
Peter J Flegg
Consultant Physician
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust