Intended for healthcare professionals


Science in court

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 03 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2254

Re: Science and polemic

I must first of all declare that I am not a physician, but I fully
agree with Dr Leckridge that due professional courtesies are essential. I
do not however see what is discourteous about being honest about evidence,
whether it is that chiropractic does not work for asthma or colic, or that
homeopathy does not work for anything. These are not statements born of
malice or unbalanced opinion, they are what evidence tells us, as a result
of applying the scientific method (which has served us for centuries by
building our present understanding of the universe).

If patients have beliefs about health that are not supported by
evidence, doctors are doing them a service by correcting their beliefs,
rather than undermining them. Indeed the GMC expects doctors to practise
evidence based medicine, although fitness to practise hearings in respect
of this seem to be confined to the most extreme cases. Otherwise how could
NHS homeopathic hospitals continue to exist?

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 June 2009
Leslie B Rose
Clinical Science Consultant
Pharmavision Consulting Ltd, Salisbury, UK, SP2 8NJ