Homeopath Struck Off. Shock!

Appearing on the Society of Homeopath’s web site is a report that a member has been struck off their register. This is the first instance that I am aware of where the self-regulating body has taken the step of removing someone from their register regarding matters of their practice.

(Yes, SoH has removed people before and you can see a report on the same page, but this looks as if it was an offence concerning more to do with ‘relationships’ with a customer, rather than as a result of their direct practice.)

So, Ms. Alex Christie RSHom has been removed from the register. She is of course still free to practice and will simply be relieved of having to pay SoH her subscription fees. She may well join one of the other ‘regulators’ or just continue to practice without registration in her work at Neal’s Yard Remedies.

What was Ms Christie’s offence? The Society do not make this clear. There is no press release about this. No statement to warn the public about the nature of the problem. No reminder to homeopaths about the boundaries of what they should be doing.

What we do get is a list of rules that Christie has supposedly broken. We can see that she broke the rule that said that:

A competent homeopath identifies those occasions when a patient’s condition is:

  • Beyond the present limits of their clinical competence and expertise
  • Likely to receive more immediate, effective benefit from another form of treatment
  • Showing signs and symptoms suggestive of an underlying condition which requires referral for investigation and other medical diagnosis

Of course, the problem with this rule is that homeopaths are systematically incompetent. By believing rather arrogantly that sugar pills are a ‘complete system of medicine, suitable for everyone’, as the Society describes homeopathy, then naturally we might see few expressed limits on competence. Indeed, we see wild claims that sugar pills can cure everything from hay fever, autism to cancer. One might jest that a client is ‘likely to receive more immediate, effective benefit from another form of treatment ‘ when they are simply ill. This rule, if honestly applied, could strike off any homeopath at any time for making claims that cannot be justified.

Given that homeopaths actually believe their sugar pills work magic, then it is difficult to see how a panel of homeopaths can decide that another homeopath is practicing beyond their expertise. The Society of Homeopaths has held conferences of homeopathic treatments for AIDS and shows no signs that this might be dangerous and murderous nonsense. Their directors believe sugar pills can replace childhood inoculations and even replace vaccines for dangerous third world diseases. Whatever Christie did, she must have really upset someone within the Society.

Tellingly, we are told that Christie broke the rule that says “When dealing with cases of a serious and possibly terminal nature, ensure that the patient is fully aware of the advisability of keeping their GP informed of their condition.” Homeopaths are renowned for denouncing modern medicine. Their founder, Samual Hahnemann, defined homeopathy in opposition to medicine and indeed blamed medicine for chronic illness. This paranoia and hostility is openly evident still on homeopathic discussion forums. Homeopaths are in denial of two hundred years of medical progress.It is no wonder that members might give misleading advice to their clients.

What is quite remarkable about this is that the Society of Homeopaths has received lots of complaints over the past year or so about homeopaths blatantly breaching their code of ethics, giving dangerous advice about their magic versions of vaccination and selling sugar pills as a malaria prophylactic and all these have been met with stonewalling, obfuscation and a refusal to recognise the problem.

So, why act now? That is a bit of a mystery. We know that the Society want to hand over their regulation activities to the Health Professions Council. Perhaps they are trying to appear to carry out what they say they carry out.

Perhaps thought there is more to this story that will reveal itself over time and that this move is tactical. That would be my bet. We shall surely find out soon.

On this theme…

13 Comments on Homeopath Struck Off. Shock!

  1. This is indeed fascinating. Such a sanction seems unheard of from the SoH. I wonder why Ms Christie has been made an example of.

  2. Surely this example is an attempt to copy the function and accountablity of properly constituted Royal Colleges and Institutions representing the proven scientific practice and professional responsibility of their members? These alternative cults need to attempt this in order to appear to be in the same league – except for the proven scientific practice and professional responsibility bits! This is purely a sacrificial exercise to try to demonstrate they have standards…..in what exactly, remains unfathomable.

  3. Clarinda, I think there is little doubt that a sacrifice to appease the Gods of regulation was intended. But, it would be desirable to know the nature of the sacrifice's sins. What is the modern day magic cults criteria – presumably being a red haired maiden has been supplanted by modern crimes?
    Sadly the SoH's openness is akin to that of the eternal virgin.

  4. I think I've found her crime.

    "Combining homeopathy with supplements Alex offers an effective program which does not require following the highly restrictive ‘exclusion diet’. Alex now specializes in Candida."

    Combining homeopathy with something that might have an effect. Ugh! How could she?

    Nash

  5. Or maybe it was this bit: "She saw that homeopathy in conjunction with a healthy diet, nutritional and herbal supplementation, embalmed people…"
    What? I really read it like that the first time!

  6. Has anyone actually asked the SoH? In keeping with a desire to be open and honest in the practice of homeopathy I can see no good reason for the information to be kept secret. The GMC and RCVS publish the details of disciplinary cases so that the public can see justice being done.

  7. Feh. Well, while the SoH make an example of Ms. Christie, other homeopaths continue to act unethically and break the rules of their own trade bodies. Like others, I wonder if she crossed someone in the SoH…

  8. Homeopathy should never be the subject of a statutory regulation scheme.

    Firstly, it is quite wrong to regulate a 'belief'. Those homeopaths who are not regulated by being members of the medical, nursing, dental or other HPC regulated professions (as some are) should not be accorded the status of a separate 'health care profession'. A profession has to profess something, not simply a fairy tale like belief in idle fancy with no acceptance amongst the broad consensus of scientists.

    Yes I know there is some 'evidence' and I am sure many homeopaths have sincerely held beliefs. I support their rights to hold those beliefs. But regulation as a profession would be misleading to patients who might be persuaded to turn to homeopathy, yet not having sufficient knowledge to make an informed decision.

    Secondly, regulation would deprive patients of being able to turn to an 'alternative' to having care in the hands of regulated professionals.

    And it is an 'alternative' a number of patients want. Their choice.

    Those who want to be regulated can study and join one of the many regulated professions.

    As I have.

  9. There is a load of mindless drivel about HY on the radio London 94.9 programme at the moment. Sparked by the WHO statement that it is dangerous quackery for AIDS, cancer etc.

    Usual catalogue of "it worked for me".

    "I have been using a 6X remedy which cured my cystitis. I have been using it for 40 years now". Perhaps a different meaning of "cure" to the rest of us.

    Plus an actual medical doctor saying that the Beinveniste work proved HY – forgetting (or even worse, not knowing) that this has been thoroughly and utterly discredited (not least because a pro-HY researcher was doctoring the numbers).

    I despair.

  10. I have seen Alex for many years, she helped me with a candida issue, no homeopathy was used. She’s a lovely lady who’s knowledgeable in her field. I think before you all carry out a character assassination you should try to find out a bit more?

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