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Another conversation with Nancy Malik

This forum is in honour of Nancy. Although she's been banned from Think Humanism, her posts contain much that is useful in understanding homeopathy and homeopaths. As such they deserve to preserved and displayed.
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jdc
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Re: Homeopathy

#21 Postby jdc » December 16th, 2009, 7:24 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

3.

http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab005648.html wrote:Homeopathy for ADHD

This review aimed to assess the evidence for homeopathy as an intervention for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Four trials were retrieved and assessed with mixed results. Overall the results of this review found no evidence of effectiveness for homeopathy for the global symptoms, core symptoms or related outcomes of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.


BTW, I'm doing this by using homeopathy as a search term on Google, limiting the search to the Cochrane website, and posting the plain language summary of each review. I have no way of knowing what the reviews say before I click on them and am posting the reviews whether positive or negative.
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Re: Homeopathy

#22 Postby jdc » December 16th, 2009, 7:28 pm

4.
http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab004845.html wrote:Homeopathic medicines for adverse effects of cancer treatments

Homeopathic medicines are used by many patients with cancer, usually alongside conventional treatment. Cancer treatments can cause adverse effects, and one of the reasons patients use homeopathic medicines is to help with these symptoms. This review looked at whether these medicines could help patients with problems caused by cancer treatments. Eight studies with a total of 664 participants were included in this review. Three studied adverse effects of radiotherapy, three studied adverse effects of chemotherapy and two studied menopausal symptoms associated with breast cancer treatment. Two studies with low risk of bias demonstrated benefit: one with 254 participants demonstrated benefits from calendula ointment in the prevention of radiotherapy-induced dermatitis, and another with 32 participants demonstrated benefits from Traumeel S (a complex homeopathic medicine) over placebo as a mouthwash for chemotherapy-induced stomatitis. These trials need replicating. Two other studies reported positive results, although the risk of bias was unclear, and four further studies reported negative results. The homeopathic medicines used in all eight studies did not seem to cause any serious adverse effects or interact with conventional treatment. No cancer treatments were modified or stopped because of the homeopathic interventions.
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Re: Homeopathy

#23 Postby jdc » December 16th, 2009, 7:30 pm

5.
http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab003399.html wrote:Homoeopathy for induction of labour

There is not enough evidence to show the effect of homoeopathy for inducing labour.

Sometimes it is necessary to induce labour (getting labour started artificially) when a pregnant woman or her unborn child are at risk. Homoeopathy involves the use of diluted substances which in their undiluted form, cause certain symptoms. The principle is that a homoeopathic substance will stimulate the body and healing functions so that a state of balance is gained and symptoms are relieved. The review of trials found there was not enough evidence to show the effect of a homoeopathy as a method of induction. More research is needed.
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Re: Homeopathy

#24 Postby Maria Mac » December 16th, 2009, 7:35 pm

Speaking for myself, I am satisfied that if the totality of evidence is considered, the overwhelming weight of it reveals that homeopathy is no more effective than placebo and in cases of serious conditions that are not placebo-response, homeopathy is not effective at all. I don't need to read through every single trial to establish this because I've heard it from numerous different sources who, unlike Nancy, have no axe to grind one way or the other. Anyone can cherry-pick a single trial that shows some positive evidence but the mere fact of a positive result proves nothing. The quality of the trial is all-important, that's why Cochrane is a good source to start with if anyone has the time.

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Re: Homeopathy

#25 Postby jdc » December 16th, 2009, 7:38 pm

The first page of google results contained 5 that were reviews. It's not looking good so far is it? No evidence of effectiveness, or not enough evidence to say, on the whole. The most positive review so far found two of eight trials showing benefit, two trials where bias was unclear and four trials that were negative. I think it looks bad for those who claim there is evidence for homeopathy. And, lest we forget, the systematic review is regarded as the strongest form of medical evidence. Posting single studies to "prove" homeopathy works in the face of overwhelming evidence from systematic reviews simply will not do.
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Re: Homeopathy

#26 Postby Marian » December 17th, 2009, 1:45 am

getreal wrote:seems to me that Nancy has lobbed a carefully aimed petrol bomb into this thread and hastily retreated to safe distance to watch the devastation.
Brilliant observation! Or maybe she's conducting RCT on her homeopathy. If she is even what she claims to be.

getreal wrote:I'd also like to add that I was unaware that it was not possible to enter into a debate unless one had specialist knowledge on the subject.

:laughter: Oh yes, getreal, just check your handy 'Rules for Debate' pamphlet as published by the expert in: capitalism, Obama, climate/environment, Islam, American Law...shall I go on?
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Re: Homeopathy

#27 Postby CurtisB » December 17th, 2009, 1:49 am

500+ posts on the topic of homeopathy? Seriously?

Clearly I won't be reading them all. I'm just shocked that something that is entirely unsubstantiated in peer-reviewed scientific or medical journals can garner so much attention here.... as a Research Biotechnologist I will simply weigh-in as a non-believer. :wink:
"Be who you are, and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind"
-Dr. Seuss

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Another conversation with Nancy Malik

#28 Postby Dr. Nancy Malik » December 17th, 2009, 9:05 am

Nirvanam wrote:How many of the posts were ridicule-inducing (categorized by person)? How many of those posts were adding no value to the discussion (again categorized by person)?

Fair to expect those stats? It'll give enough objective evidence for you to take appropriate action.


Nirvanam, when you are a boss/owner, some things do not apply to you
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Re: Homeopathy

#29 Postby Dr. Nancy Malik » December 17th, 2009, 9:08 am

Alan H wrote:It's not up to me to decide what might be the best evidence you can find: you provide the evidence and argue it and try to convince us with facts and rational argument.


I am not here to convince or force anyone to believe that homeopathy works. Each one of us is mature enough to decide for ourselves. I will put up only an evidence. It's upto you to accept or reject it citing any reason.
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Re: Homeopathy

#30 Postby Dr. Nancy Malik » December 17th, 2009, 9:12 am

Lifelinking wrote:I don't think the onus to provide evidence lies with Maria and Alan here N.


They can not prove that homeopathy does not work, even if they wish to.
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Re: Homeopathy

#31 Postby Dr. Nancy Malik » December 17th, 2009, 9:31 am

Nirvanam wrote:Alan, I don't need to read the whole thread to know whether Homeopathy works or not. I have experienced it working and not working myself. It obviously does not work for a fracture or tear...someone has to stitch the skin back! But it does work for fevers, bronchitis, migraines, and many other such ailments.

Now, asking evidence from someone...are you willing to actually see the evidence? Alan, there is a big huge world outside of the UK and in many countries people use different kinds of medicines: homeopathy, unani (greek), ayurveda, persian (derivative of unani), accupuncture, a-pthy, etc. Not all work for all ailments...some work for some, some don't work for some. These medicinal approaches have been existing for centuries. So if they did not work, then they would've naturally become extinct? Or are you going to argue that for centuries people had "faith" it works? Ridiculous, no, that argument would be?

Now, it doesn't mean you have to take homeopathic medicine yourself. It just means that it has worked for some people in the world. Why is it so difficult to accept that? Aren't we being a little too narrow-minded on what works and what doesn't?

Consider this: you are arguing with a homeopathic doctor, mate (one of my best friends' wife is also one). A person who has undergone 5+ yrs of education in such medicine...a recognized degree by the Indian government (by rejecting homeopathy as a medicinal approach you are basically saying the Indian government got it wrong...do you realize that?). People don't "waste" 5+ yrs of their prime educational life to learn some useless thing that too for a career not a hobby. As a matter of systemic evolution, something that does not have value will automatically become extinct.

Is Nancy holding a knife to anybody's neck here and asking them to take homeopathic medicine or else...? If she is being asked to provide evidence of whether h-pathy works or not, it would be fair for her to know whether the people asking for evidence are capable of understanding the evidence or subject, no?


Every system of medicine has it's own limitations including homeopathy. Homoeopathy has a limited role when surgery is the only option left before a patient.Even, homoeopathic medicines taken during surgical procedures, it can enhance the recovery (faster healing) of the patient.

fAccording to Homeopathy, fever or a pain is not a disease. It is an indication by the body that something is wrong with the system (body). A fever is the body’s attempt to activate the immune system’s white blood cells and defend itself from infection? If a person is given a symptom-suppressing medication — fighting the fever — too soon, they will be less able to fight the actual infection. Fever is the answer to the infection which has get into your body. Body raised its temperature in response to the infection so as to kill the infection. Homeopathy treats fever or pain as a symptom for an underlying disease. The homeopathic medicine will treat the underlying cause not the fever or pain. And if the cause is removed, the symptoms (fever or pain or both) will automatically be removed

orget about all theories, rely on your personal experience for awhile, have the skeptics ever tried Homeopathic remedies before discrediting them. You must try the remedies, because at the end of the day, we learn with our bodies.

The world is divided into the haves and have nots: those who have tried homeopathy and those who have not. Those who have tried it--the millions of people in the world who use homeopathy--know that it works. They didn’t decide that based on years of research. The people who disparage homeopathy, have no personal experience with it. There’s no excuse for that, since this is not a debate about life on Saturn. Homeopathic remedies are readily available. It would require no commitment for them to put a remedy where their mouth is.

There is a proud tradition of scientists using their own bodies in research. Dr. Max von Pettenkofer drank a broth containing cholera and Dr. Jesse Lazear allowed mosquitoes infected with yellow fever to bite his arm. Surely we can ask our critics to try a little sugar pill. It seems absurd to argue about a point that can so easily be resolved.

By riducling me, it won't serve the purpose of the skeptics. It is typical of ignorance to dismiss, and criticise without education. Best to say you just don't understand. If they are really worried about the progress of homeopathy, they should talk to govt. of various nations.

All I am asking you to do, is to attempt to research homeopathy with an open mind. Choosing to believe or disbelieve after that is your choice.
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Re: Homeopathy

#32 Postby Dr. Nancy Malik » December 17th, 2009, 9:33 am

Maria wrote:Speaking for myself, I am satisfied that if the totality of evidence is considered, the overwhelming weight of it reveals that homeopathy is no more effective than placebo and in cases of serious conditions that are not placebo-response, homeopathy is not effective at all. I don't need to read through every single trial to establish this because I've heard it from numerous different sources who, unlike Nancy, have no axe to grind one way or the other. Anyone can cherry-pick a single trial that shows some positive evidence but the mere fact of a positive result proves nothing. The quality of the trial is all-important, that's why Cochrane is a good source to start with if anyone has the time.


What about the totality of the symptoms?

You are the owner of the forum. So who is having the axe?
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Re: Homeopathy

#33 Postby Dr. Nancy Malik » December 17th, 2009, 9:35 am

Maria wrote:
Nirvanam wrote:These medicinal approaches have been existing for centuries. So if they did not work, then they would've naturally become extinct? Or are you going to argue that for centuries people had "faith" it works? Ridiculous, no, that argument would be?

Do you think that blood letting was an effective therapy? If so, why has it been abandoned? If not, why did the practice continue for more than 2,000 years? The answer is that some people truly believed that it worked. Why did they believe that?
Now, it doesn't mean you have to take homeopathic medicine yourself. It just means that it has worked for some people in the world. Why is it so difficult to accept that?

Because of all the high quality clinical studies that have established that it doesn't work. And because the history of bloodletting etc teaches us that sometimes people truly believe therapies work even when they don't.


Who does blood letting? Conventional Medicine.
Who opposed such barbaric treatments? Samuel hahnemann, father of homeopathy
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Re: Homeopathy

#34 Postby Dr. Nancy Malik » December 17th, 2009, 9:40 am

Nirvanam wrote:Folks,

I do not know how each individual has presented their case in this thread, and frankly going thru 440 posts is not a priority for me.

I want you to know that my argument is based on principle not about individuals. I see that many people are dismissing off h-pthy and while doing so are also doing it in a way which is implying that the person who believes in that is somehow irrational or less-intelligent. Now, that is where I disagree. We don't need to agree to every perception. But we don't need to imply that the person who believes in something is somehow less intelligent or less rational than us.

Do we have any expertise on the subject to dismiss someone away like that. Choosing not to believe is just as acceptable as choosing to believe. Let it stay there, no? Why imply someone or some philosophy/approach is stupid especially when we ourselves don't understand it?

This seems to be a common approach to any topic that we don't understand. And hence I don't see how humanists are different from the 'intolerant/irrational' folk that they claim they are not. The major difference is in the non-belief of god while most of humanity believes in a god (what god I don't know). That seems to be the only 'rational' thought shared by all humanists. Apart from that each individual humanist has his or her own irrational beliefs...how exactly are we different than the other folk then?


Skeptics think what they do is good and what others did is bad. They live in their own world having superioirty complex.

They even do not know the basic laws of homeopathy, what to talk of nitty-gritty details. They interpret the basic tenets of homeopathy in their own way. If i really start asking them about homeopathy, they will having nothing but excuses. But that's not my way of doing things. I will only discuss things on which they could have some say
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nm

#35 Postby Dr. Nancy Malik » December 17th, 2009, 10:22 am

Nirvanam wrote:Maria, you are forcing me to ask this question: what is your area of expertise? How do you define 'high quality clinical studies'? Are those studies restricted to UK? Can there be high quality clinical studies in other countries, for example India?


For skeptics, all those studies which support homeopathy are poor trials and those are against homeopathy, are good ones................inspite of the fact that studies in favour as well as against homeopathy are published in the same journal.
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Re: Homeopathy

#36 Postby Dr. Nancy Malik » December 17th, 2009, 10:38 am

Nirvanam wrote:Alan, because something is not accepted in some country does not mean it is useless. Since it is not accepted in UK the UK govt will not fund research for it....so you will have to go outside of UK to find evidence. Go to countries where it is an accepted form of medicine and you will find enough evidence.

If you think that UK and the countries you choose to consider are the authority, then it is prejudice.



Status of homeopathy in India

India is a world leader in Homoeopathy, with over 2.5 lakhs registered homeopath physicians giving their services in 2,860 hospitals, with a total of 45,720 beds. The country churns out no less than 13,000 homeopaths every year.

Currently there are around 186 homoeopathic medical colleges in India, some 35 of which are government colleges, and an estimated quarter of a million homoeopaths These colleges offer BHMS. Out of these around 40 offers M.D.

10,000 dispensaries in public sector, 650 drug manufacturing units.

Government of India through Central Council of Homeopathy (CCH) controls and reviews education, research and license to practice homeopathy in India. In India most of the Government run clinics and hospitals have a homeopathic unit.

Status of Homeopathy in developing countries

9 million people use homoeopathy in Brazil. Homoeopathy is a medical speciality that has been recognised by the Conselho Federal de Medicina since 1980. Of the 15,000 Brazilian doctors that practice homoeopathy, a large number of them are paediatricians.

In several developing countries, homoeopathy is integrated into the system of health care (India, Mexico, Brazil and Cuba, for example). Homoeopathy has proven to be highly effective in much of the developing world, and most homeopathic patients depend on it for their primary care. There is an increasing amount of very positive research showing homoeopathy to be highly effective, especially in conditions prevalent in rural areas. Furthermore, many homoeopaths in the developing world also supply much needed nutritional and educational advice.

In countries such as as India, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa homeopathy is established as a primary discrete healthcare discipline with an in-depth undergraduate education and training and a professional infrastructure which puts it on equal level with conventional medicine.

Homoeopathy is also recognized officially in countries like Bangladesh, Singapore, Dubai, Malaysia etc. Homeopathy is practiced across Europe by approximately equal number of homeopaths and homeopathic doctors. The distribution between countries is uneven with some countries having proportionately larger numbers of homeopathic doctors. Four countries in Europe legally restrict the practice of homeopathy to doctors only- Austria, France, Luxembourg and Bulgaria. However in other countries like Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, the number of doctors who practice homeopathy is relatively low and the homeopaths are far more numerous

In the recent past countries like UAE, Thailand, Cuba, Argentina, Iran, and Russia have granted official recognition to these systems, new teaching institutions are coming up and research activities are being revitalized.

Status of Homeopathy in developed countries

In countries such as Australia and New Zealand homeopathy is developing into a complete healthcare profession and is receiving government recognition through positive enabling legislative change.

Homoeopathy has got official recognition in Germany, Switzerland, Canada etc. Millions of people across the world use and rely on homeopathic remedies. Homeopathy is very popular and widely used throughout Europe, France, Germany and Holland all have a large number of doctors who prescribe homeopathic medicines. A recent survey suggested that 80% of people receiving homeopathy in the UK were satisfied with their treatment. More details are at http://www.boiron.com/en/htm/01_homeo_a ... e.htm#fixe

Homeopathy is said to be $200 million a year industry in the United States ACcording to the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists."

40% of the French population regularly choose homoeopathy! Many of the practitioners of homoeopathy are trained M.D.’s, professors and scientists.
Today there are a rapidly growing number of conventional doctors using homeopathic medicines or referring patients to homeopathic physicians:

39% of French family physicians
20% of German physicians
10% of Italian physicians

Homeopathy is practised in 41 out of 42 European countries, and is the most widespread, registered alternative form of treatment in 5 European countries and among the most frequently used forms of treatment in 11 countries. About 45% of the medical doctors in the Netherlands think these preparations are effective.

A survey in The British Medical Journal (7 June, 1986), shows that 42% of British medical doctors refer patients to homeopathic doctors, who are integrated in the public health system. An article in New York Times says that visits to British homeopaths increased by 39% yearly some years ago.
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Re: Homeopathy

#37 Postby Dr. Nancy Malik » December 17th, 2009, 10:42 am

Maria wrote:I don't know about expertise but we do know the basic law of physics that homeopathy breaks and we know that the fundamental idea the 'law of similars' on which homeopathy is based, is not grounded in reality.


I hope this will help you in understanding the physics behind homeopathy

http://excalibur.110mb.com/physics.htm
http://lewfh.tripod.com/electromagnetic ... y/id4.html
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Re: Homeopathy

#38 Postby Dr. Nancy Malik » December 17th, 2009, 10:45 am

Maria wrote:I'm tearing myself away from this forum now but will leave a few of the reasons why I will not allow the promotion of homeopathy on this site. Plenty more where these come from:

Mineke Kamper, a homeopath living in Co. Mayo, who in 2001 advised Jackie Alderslade, an asthmatic, to give up her conventional medicine while being treated homeopathically. The homeopathy didn't cure Jackie's asthma. In fact, soon afterwards she had an asthma attack and died. A couple of years later, another of Kamper's victims, 49-year-old Paul Howie, died of a tumour. The coroner said that if Mr Howie had received medical treatment he would still be alive. His widow said in court, "Mineke Kamper had repeatedly said to us that we had a choice but if we did get medical treatment Paul would die and that she could and would cure him. She then relayed stories to me of people who did not follow her advice and who were now dead. She looked me in the eye and said did I want my husband's death on my hands. She looked at our baby, Alan, and asked could I look him in the eye and say I was responsible for his daddy's death." Various sources including this one:
http://archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/20 ... 732837.asp

In 1999 6-month-old Cameron Ayres died after suffering a defect in his metabolism which caused a swollen stomach and testicles, extensive nappy rash and an enlarged liver. His parents, one of whom was a homeopath, refused to get conventional treatment for him and he died.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/702699.stm

Sylvie Cousseau was diagnosed HIV+ in 1987 at the age of 22. Over the next seven or eight years, she abandonded conventional medicine and refused AZT, relying instead on prayer, drinking her own urine, acupuncture, osteopathy and homeopathy. She died of AIDs in 2001.

http://www.garynull.com/documents/Conti ... fFaith.htm


Lucille Craven was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 but kept the news from her family for a long time and rejected conventional treatment in favour of chiropractic and homeopathy. She died two years later. Her husband said,

"I and her family still discuss how a bright, energetic, educated person made such a lapse in judgment. Up to a month before her death, Lucille still said she was going to get better. Most ironically, she was a registered nurse with a master's degree in counseling, working locally as a rehab nurse for many years.

The quacks and their nostrums encouraged Lucille to hide from the reality of her disease, which could well have been cured in its early stages by standard treatment."

http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRel ... raven.html

Isabella Denley, a 13-month old epileptic, died. Her parents had ditched the anti-convulsant medication she had been prescribed by her neurologist because of the side effects of sleep loss and hyperactivity. At the time of her death, she was being treated only with homeopathic remedies.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2003/ ... eandhealth

9-month old Gloria Thomas died a slow, agonising death because her homeopath father thought he could treat her himself.

http://www.news.com.au/national/babys-e ... 5708504277

[b]


What you wrote above ids also an advertisement, an advertisement against homeopathy. When I wrote in favour of homeopathy, it is an advertisement, and when you wrote against homeopathy, it is not an advertisement. Double standards
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Re: Homeopathy

#39 Postby Dr. Nancy Malik » December 17th, 2009, 10:53 am

Maria wrote:
Don't bother reciprocating by telling me about all the tragedies that happen in orthodox medicine. I know about them. The difference between ebm and homeopathy is that ebm does actually cure people sometimes, saves lives sometimes and prevents illness a lot of the time.


I am not interested in telling again and again the side effects and deaths caused by orthodox/conventional medicine, that would fill more pages in this forum than anyone else, until you will force me to say so.

As far as evidence based medicine is concerned,

EBM is ''an approach to health care that promotes the collection, interpretation, and integration of . . . patient-reported, clinician-observed, and research-derived evidence. The best available evidence, moderated by patient circumstances and preferences, is applied to improve the quality of clinical judgments.''

Quote/Source/Reference: McKibbon KA, Wilczynski N, Hayward RS, et al. The medical literature as a resource for evidence based care. Working paper from the Health Information Research Unit, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, 1995. Online document

At: http:==hiru.mcmaster.ca=hiru=medline=asis-pap.htm.

The double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial (DBRCT) was meant originally as part of an evidence ''package'' derived from multiple sources. David Sackett, one of EBM's founders, emphasized this in 1992: ''Evidence-based medicine is not restricted to randomised trials and meta-analyses. It involves tracking down the best external evidence with which to answer our clinical questions....If no randomised trial has been carried out for our patient's predicament, we follow the trail to the next best external evidence and work from there.''

Quote/Source/Reference: Sackett DL, Rosenberg WMC, Muir Gray JA, et al. Evidence based medicine: What it is and what it isn't. BMJ 1996;312:71-72.

EBM as currently practiced, now concentrates solely on the ''gold-standard'' double-blind randomized-controlled trial (DBRCT) and meta-analyses as the only acceptable scientific evidence for a therapy or procedure.

Quote/Source/Reference: Kaptchuk, T. J. "The double-blind randomized controlled trial: Gold standard or golden calf?" Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 2001;54:541-549.
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Re: Homeopathy

#40 Postby Dr. Nancy Malik » December 17th, 2009, 10:59 am

Alan H wrote: In the UK, people generally just waste their money on homeopathy.....


The patient goes to a doctor who according to him is competent in curing him. The patient goes to a doctor only if the last time when he visited the same doctor, the doctor was able to cure him. What the patient expects from any doctor is a rapid cure, less pain, no side effects, no recurrence and cost effective medicine/procedure. For a patient, his comfort is important. So long as homeopathic medicine keeps on curing people, there will always be ardent believers for homeopathy. And in dismissing this bottom-line, conventional medicine only fuels the supporters of homeopathy.
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Re: Homeopathy

#41 Postby Dr. Nancy Malik » December 17th, 2009, 11:05 am

Alan H wrote:If you are saying that homeopathy is 'useful' you will need to tell us in what way you think it is useful?



Homeopathic medicines are available for a wide range of conditions, from acute to chronic (longstanding).
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