Will Any Homeopath Say Homeopathy is no Substitute for Radiotherapy?

The story is tragic. A young mother with a child with cancer, fearing that radiotherapy will do more harm than good, and believing homeopathy and other natural cures give her child the best chance, fleas to escape a court ordering treatment. She was found in East Grinstead and the child has been taken into care and she is in court.

Her position is quite understandable. The ‘natural health’ world is full of condemnation for the ‘cut, poison, burn’ approach to treating cancer in mainstream medicine. Magazines, such as What Doctors Don’t Tell You on sale in Waitrose and WHSmiths, are full of stories about how mainstream treatments do not work and doctors are hiding this information from you, whilst at the same time, carrying adverts for exceedingly questionable products and services – quackery.

Popular cancer charities, such as CancerActive and YesToLife uncritically promote questionable clinics for so-called alternative cancer treatments such as the Raphael Hospital in Tonbridge (based on the medical crypto-religious and occult views of Rudolf Steiner) and the Vision of Hope Clinic in Brighton, run by rock-god, Dr Andre Snell-Young (here is his band, Shoot the Dead), who sells Ozone Therapy and Vitamin C tablets.

Newspapers, such as today’s article in the Daily Express, uncritically pass on misinformation about alternative cancer treatments. They asked, “Do Cancer Alternatives Really Work”? The article should have been a very sharp, “No”, but instead, they reported a page of dangerous nonsense. For example, on homeopathy,

HOMEOPATHY THE THEORY:
A natural system for the treatment of disease by highly dilute doses of substances.

It works by treating like with like.

OUR EXPERT SAYS: “ This is often disregarded because it works in a different way to conventional medicine.
It looks past the symptoms to consider the whole person.”

Obviously, a real expert was not consulted, but instead a promoter of pseudoscientific nonsense. Cancer Research UK have done a very good job of highlighting all the errors in the article.

It is no wonder then, that when faced with such desperate decisions, Sally Roberts may have been led to believe she could take a ‘kinder, more natural’ approach to giving her son the best chance.

This story highlights the misleading and consistent approach purveyors of quack treatments use to advertise their business. We see terms such as ‘complementary’ and ‘integrative’ used to show how these treatments are designed to work alongside mainstream treatments. But many people are not chosing them as complementary but as strictly alternative options. The case of Sally Roberts is undoubtedly the tip of an iceberg: we only became aware of it because of the highly unusual circumstances of a judge releasing their names in order to help find the child.

The philosophy of homeopathy is not complementary. It is based on the belief that homeopathy (like cures like) is the one true explanation of medicine, all other approaches being inferior and even harmful. Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, even derided mainstream medicines as being the causes of diseases and not the cure. As such, there are huge antagonisms within homeopathic circles towards medicine. When they say they are ‘complemetary’ they mean that they ‘can clear up the harm done by mainstream medicine’.

That is why today on Twitter I asked a very simple question,

The tweet has been RT’ed at least 76 times and reached potential tweeters of  half a million (mainly due to Ben Goldacre retweeting).

I also specifically asked the Society of Homeopaths, The Faculty of Homeopaths and the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths through their twitter accounts if they will say the same.

Obviously, we will get no reply. The best we can expect is the repetition of the same old canards: “homeopathy is a safe and gentle form of treatment.”

It is not what we are asking you to say!

 

245 comments for “Will Any Homeopath Say Homeopathy is no Substitute for Radiotherapy?

  1. Richard Rawlins
    December 8, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Just for the record, what evidence is there that this mother is motivated by faith in homeopathy?

    Many thanks..

    • Andy Lewis
      December 8, 2012 at 10:56 am

      Hello Richard. I must admit that I am entirely reliant on reports in newspapers here. And as always, that leaves room for uncertainty. I should have made that clear. Nonetheless, I do know that homeopaths have been asked to appear on TV and radio to comment on this. I did listen to a BBC radio programme that covered this and gave lots of airtime to dangerous ideas bout homeopathy. My post here is a request for those in authority in the homeopathy world to be unequivocal about this should homeopathy be considered an option.

  2. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 8, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Andy

    Are you sure the article was really in the Daily Express? If it had been, there would surely have been some suggestion that Princess Diana had been assassinated by the Royal family in order to conceal the fact that she had been cured of cancer by homeopathy.

    I sometimes doubt whether you check your facts properly.

  3. December 8, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I reckon the best we’ll get from those in the ‘homeopathy world’ is this: “As a retired homeopath, I would never have advised her to go against medical advice at this late stage of treatment.”
    (Commenter in the Daily Mail.)

    Advising her to go against medical advice at an early stage of treatment is OK, apparently.

  4. skinny poppy
    December 8, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Homeopathy is an approximate substitute for drinking water and eating sugar, where values are minuscule.

  5. R.Ross
    December 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Would any Allopath like to state that Radiotherapy is not a substitute for Homeopathy? No, did not think so and yet you get this ridiculous question aimed at homeopaths. A question I might add which indicates an abysmal lack of knowledge or understanding about how homeopathy works.
    For one thing homeopathy works on treating the smallest of symptoms from the beginning so the body does not get seriously ill. If the body is seriously ill and the patient chooses to utilise Traditional medicine, of which homeopathy is one form, they may get well or they may die. If they choose to utilise Allopathic or modern they may get well or they may die.
    Having said that, most homeopaths would encourage patients to work both with them and an Allopathic Doctor – if that is their wish of course.
    Given that Homeopathy cures (by stimulating and restoring the ability of the body to heal) and does no harm it is hard to see why Allpaths get so hysterical about it. After all, it is Allopathy which is one of the big three killers in the world today. Iatrogenic deaths now in the hundreds of thousands in the US alone. Perhaps if more effort were put into making Allopathic treatments more effective and less deadly, as opposed to putting it into witch-hunts against non-deadly Traditional Medicine the time would be better used.
    One of the reasons why Homeopathy is the fastest growing Medical Treatment in the world today is because so much of Allopathy is not just destructive it is deadly. If minds were not so closed in science/medicine we would see what the future will inevitably bring – a world where all healing treatments are utilised and where the patient has the right, without being villified, to choose which path she or he wishes to take and where parents have that right for their children.

    • Andy Lewis
      December 9, 2012 at 1:09 am

      Well, that’s just smashing.

      • MSB
        December 26, 2012 at 8:47 am

        Andy

        Will Andy Say Chemotherapy is no Substitute for Radiotherapy?

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          December 26, 2012 at 11:34 am

          I’m happy to oblige.

          Chemotherapy is no substitute for radiotherapy.

          Bacon is no substitute for eggs and I enjoy a full English breakfast occasionally.

          Quite how you think that helps you, only your own addled little brain can say.

          • MSB
            December 30, 2012 at 4:41 am

            Badly Shaved Monkey

            ………Quite how you think that helps you…. say.

            I did. Badly Shaved monkey is a substitute for Andy. It is easy to understand.

            So, why should homeopathy be looked as substitute to radiotherapy?

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            December 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

            It shouldn’t.

    • Anselm Lingnau
      December 9, 2012 at 1:25 am

      I don’t object to adults availing themselves of quackery such as homeopathy if they really want to, but they should have to pay for it out of their own pocket. However, mandatory health insurance systems like the NHS should restrict themselves to covering treatments that have been demonstrated to work (i.e., work better than placebo) in properly designed tests – which is something that homeopathy has consistently failed at for the last 200 years or so – in order to make the best use of the money that people pay in.

      Also, withholding actual medical treatment from one’s seriously ill children in favour of quackery such as homeopathy should be considered criminal child abuse through neglect. You don’t get to beat your kids or starve them; you shouldn’t get to hurt or kill your kids by giving them magic water when they need medicine, either.

      • R.Ross
        December 9, 2012 at 8:45 am

        Homeopathy has not failed in research tests but never let facts get in the way of propaganda.
        As to how parents attempt to raise or heal their children, the simple reality is that it cannot be controlled. If it could there would not be massive levels of child abuse.
        And the fact is, most parents who would use Homeopathy or other Traditional Medicine methodologies are the kind who put a lot of thought and effort into how they raise their children, what they eat, how they care for them.
        I also doubt that few parents faced with a seriously ill child would not make use of all healing methodologies. No-one denies, certainly not responsible parents or qualified homeopaths that Allopathic medicine has particular skills such as crisis treatment and surgery, but it, like all healing methodologies has its limitations.
        Seeking to deny the use of any healing methodology, particularly one which does no harm, because of prejudice and often ignorance, makes no sense.
        However, just as one cannot force parents to nourish their children physiologically, emotionally, psychologically – the lack of which can kill far more effectively – so one cannot force parents to be dictated to as to how they help or heal their children.
        In a democratic and free world you get the good with the bad and as things stand it is Allopathy which is killing hundreds of thousands of people around the world every year, including children, and not Homeopathy.

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          December 9, 2012 at 9:39 am

          Homeopathy has not failed in research tests but never let facts get in the way of propaganda.

          R Ross

          I do hope you can substantiate that bold assertion. Give us the best results from research tests.

        • Anselm Lingnau
          December 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm

          Homeopathy has so far failed all tests that follow a rigorous scientific methodology. Do feel free to cite studies in high-impact peer-reviewed medical journals (the ones that count, not fringe publications put out by the homeopathic industry itself to make itself more credible) to the contrary. A single one would suffice as a counter-example.

          As a medical methodology homeopathy has the clear limit that it does not cure anything that will not also go away if left completely alone. That was OK when it was new more than 200 years ago because at that time most other common medical interventions such as blood-letting (Hahnemann’s »allopathy«) were likely to make you worse or kill you, but it is no longer useful now that we have scientific medicine which can address the root causes of many diseases rather than just their symptoms (like homeopathy does).

          Finally, in the recent past there have been various cases of children dying horrible deaths because they had serious illnesses which would have been straightforward to cure using, e.g., antibiotics but which their parents saw fit to »treat« through homeopathy instead. Which is not to say that modern scientific medicine always works perfectly, but in the world of modern scientific medicine it is very unlikely indeed that your kid will die of eczema-induced sepsis like 9-month-old Gloria Thomas of Sydney, Australia, or of an ear infection that led to meningitis like a 1-year-old girl in New Zealand. These cases (and many others like them) are documented on http://whatstheharm.net .

        • Andy
          December 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm

          In what way is homeopathy “traditional”?

          What forms of treatment cannot be considered “traditional” – and why not?

          And how is “tradition” relevant anyway?

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            December 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm

            Sadly, Andy, R Ross has long once run away.

            They don’t like it up ‘em Mr Mainwaring.

        • Dave Gill
          December 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm

          I am a Clinical Oncologist and so you may say biased. Much of the debate revolves around the evidence base and that speaks for itself so I won’t delve into it. It is true that conventional therapies in the treatment of cancer comes with risks but that is true of nearly everything we do/eat. It is a balance of risk. I have had a number of patients decline conventional surgery plus radiotherapy for alternative treatments and never heard of any that have been cured. They invariably return months to years later with advanced disease and unfortunately die shortly after. I have however had personal experience of patients being cured of cancer using conventional modalities. Ignore the specialists I have never seen a forum or survivors group for patients that have been cured using alternative therapies. Similarly it is naive to suggest that homeopathic therapies are risk free. As a junior Dr I had 2 patients die from liver failure with no identifiable cause other than an identified herbal remedy they had obtained to improve health. Nothing is risk free, crossing the road, eating peanuts, being stung by a bee, exposure to sunlight all have risks.

          • Mojo
            December 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm

            Similarly it is naive to suggest that homeopathic therapies are risk free. As a junior Dr I had 2 patients die from liver failure with no identifiable cause other than an identified herbal remedy they had obtained to improve health.

            Homoeopathic and herbal remedies are two different things.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            December 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

            I saw part of the Christmas episode of Mrs Brown’s Boys (never watched it before, won’t watch it again). ‘She’ complained of a sore wrist and one of the other characters suggested she try “something homeopathic”- a copper bracelet. Sadly, I don’t think it was a subtle joke about the unwarranted persistence of homeopathy through a deliberate policy of piggy-backing on the slightly higher plausibility of some other crank therapies. Instead, I think it was evidence that the policy was working very well on the programme’s not-as-clever-as-they-think-they-are writers.

    • December 9, 2012 at 1:51 am

      Oh dear.

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      December 9, 2012 at 9:37 am

      R. Ross

      Your opening line is just bizarre and difficult to answer without quickly disappearing into double negatives. Be that as it may, of course no conventional medic would assert that “radiotherapy is no substitute for homeopathy”. Radiotherapy is quite clearly a substitute for homeopathy. It has demonstrable biological actions. Homeopathy does not.

      However, if we flip that and, as you appear to confirm, find that no homeopath would assert that “homeopathy is no substitute for radiotherapy” we have what we need. In your closeted little world you may think it safe to say this, but in the wider world, getting you to confirm that you would use your useless sugar pills instead of a biologically effective treatment like radiotherapy makes the necessary point for us.

      Your post is quite remarkable. Thank you for comfirming that the true position of homeopathy is outright opposition to and intended substitution for conventional medicine. Many of your colleagues are normally more careful not to let the mask slip.

      Allopathy is not just destructive it is deadly

      Those of us who have frequented the private Internet forums of homeopaths can read what is said there and what it reveals about homeopaths’ attitude to conventional medicine. However, your leaders are generally quite careful in public to position homeopathy as a gentle complement to conventional medicine. Sceptics point out that this is not consistent with the core beliefs of homeopathy, but one assumes that political expediency usually trumps honesty. However, some of your colleagues are more explicit in their ambition of substituting for conventional medicine in all circumstances. It would be good for Steve Scrutton to make an appearance at this point..

      • Alan Henness (aka Zeno)
        December 9, 2012 at 11:28 am

        Thanks, BSM. I couldn’t be bothered.

      • MSB
        December 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm

        Badly Shaved Monkey

        Of course drug treatment is expensive and deadly.

        Lucien Leape of the Harvard Medical School in his excellent article, Errors in Medicine, published in 1994 in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol 272; page 1851-1857) gives a very graphic description of all the errors that we have been committing. This has been updated recently by Barbara Starfield in her excellent article in the same journal in the year 2000 (JAMA 2000;284:483-485) which reiterates the same, adding many more glaring dangers to the list already given by Leape.

        Nearly 225,000 people have died in one year in the US alone due to iatrogenic diseases. Of these 140,000 has been exclusively due to adverse drug reactions. In addition, an equal number died during out patient management of Adverse Drug Reactions that cost the buyer a total of $ 79 billion in prescription bills in one year. There have been three million injuries due to medical interventions in a year with 44,000 to 98,000 deaths annually. Nosocomial infections alone caused 80,000 deaths in one year in hospitals. One hundred million people suffer from chronic debilitating illnesses partly due to medical interventions. These figures are for the small population of US. When you extrapolate the numbers for the world, it would be in millions.

    • rita
      December 9, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      Excuse me, homeopathy IS deadly to the animals whose body parts are indiscriminately used in its preparations. Even if it worked (and I certainly can see no reason whatsoever why it should) on humans or other species (I see the American Association of Veterinary Surgeons is finally considering formally confirming homeopathy’s uselessness)it is lethl to many of its “ingredients”.

      • Marc Stephens Is Insane
        December 9, 2012 at 10:53 pm

        At least the T. Rex is already dead.

        Yes, there’s really a homeoquackic product made from the king of the dinosaurs.

    • December 11, 2012 at 12:08 am

      @R.Ross

      Given your abysmal understanding of the issues regarding medicine and homeopathy, I suggest that you should rejoin the Supremes and continue with your singing career. I still enjoy listening to your hits, such as ‘The Land Of Make Believe’ (1989), ‘Try It Baby’ (1981), and ‘This Magic Moment’ (2006), which I assume were also about complementary medicine.

      If you think this post is a bit daft, I have to say that you started it!

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        December 11, 2012 at 7:37 am

        I think she’s done a bunk.

    • Bumpsfelt
      December 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      Happily the response from R Ross is codswallop from start to finish.

      The information that I would like to see is the average age at death of Homeopaths (and other alternative practitioners). That can then be compared with Actuarial tables for the rest of the population

      • Andy Lewis
        December 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm

        Interesting, but I bet harder than might be apparent. Homeopaths, for example, may take greater interest in health and, say, eat better or smoke less. Such confounders would make a direct comparison not that compelling.

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          December 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm

          And in this country they need significant disposable wealth to afford all that over-priced sugar and socioeconomic class correlates with longevity.

          More interestingly, this touches on a wider issue. In the rich West few of us suffer life-threatening medical conditions that seriously risk compromising our lifespan. This is why mindwank like homeopathy can be used in relative safety most of the time: the patients either had not much wrong with them and/or real medicine was there to do the heavy-lifting while the homeopath dips in to cream of the credit and the cash.

        • Alan Henness (aka Zeno)
          December 11, 2012 at 8:17 pm

          For chiropractors:

          The mean ages at death of chiropractors is below the national average of 76.9 years and is below their medical
          doctor counterparts of 81.5.

    • Dr Richard Rawlins
      December 12, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      Wonderful!

      Please let me have your consulting rooms address ASAP.

      I’m so delighted to have found a practitioner who can “treat the smallest symptoms from the beginning so that the body does not get seriously ill”.

      I find I am out of bed some nights for a pee nowadays. Could be prostate cancer. It is very reassuring you will be able to treat this sympton and the my body “will not get ill”.

      Thank you for your reassurance.

  6. December 9, 2012 at 8:41 am

    It’s tragic to learn of children falling victim to bad science and sad to see the old/flawed argument once again: Homeopathy is gaining in acceptance so it must work and besides,there are problems with conventional medicine, too! Etc. If homeopathy were proven to be effective we would need to re-write some basic laws of science. Somebody would win prestigious awards and homeopathic remedies would push those awful Big Pharma pills off the store shelves forever so why – to date – can no homeopath prove its efficacy? They could also win Randi’s prize money, make gazzillions of remedies and cure illness in villages and cities world wide. Why not simply prove that it works and we’ll all live happily ever after? While researching this topic years ago I found this debate to be very informative: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKEtHtl97D0

  7. Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 9, 2012 at 9:11 am

    I always found it amazing that the homeoquack industry is able to win over believers because it asks followers to accept two ludicrous premises, not one. First of all, you have to buy into the whole “like cures like” nonsense, which of course has no basis in science and has never been proven. What “like” does T-Rex or Great Wall of China “cure”?

    OK, so getting past the first ludicrous premise of the law of similars, homeoquack customers are then asked to suspend disbelief AGAIN and believe in the dilution premise, which can be and has been proven to be impossible, over and over again, by every known law of science.

    In my personal anecdotal experience, the few people who have tried or expressed interest in homeoquackery have had no idea about either of these two ludicrous premises. Once it’s explained, with credible supporting documents from the industry itself, they usually say “you gotta’ be kidding me: I thought it was just herbal remedies. I’m not gonna’ waste my money on that crap.”

    And did I use the phrase “ludicrous premises” enough to make my point?

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      December 9, 2012 at 9:41 am

      With homeopathy you cannot use the phrase “ludicrous premises” enough.

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      December 9, 2012 at 11:03 am

      Further to what I just said, homeopathy is only allowed to persist because people are completely unfamiliar with the true import of its core principles and the fanatical absolutism behind the friendly public face. Homeopathy is not just buying a bottle of Arnica at the chemists, it is a whole fantastical scheme of belief. It is ironical that people like R Ross, who is being so strident here, utterly depend on the public not really knowing what homeopathy is.

      As MSII implies, the greatest threat to homeopathy is for it to be clearly explained to the public.

      We have long since won the scientific argument. Winning the political argument is proving hard, but probably all that is really needed is to show that homeopathy is in no way complementary to conventional medicine. R Ross is very helpful to us.

      • Ted Wrinch
        December 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm

        “As MSII implies, the greatest threat to homeopathy is for it to be clearly explained to the public.”

        This place is a hoot.

        Nope- anyone can find out anything these days, they just have to look. My wife was quite aware of the ‘quack’ basis of homeopathy and used it anyway (with considerable benefit, from the non RCT empirical evidence of the improved health of her own children – not something any mother is going to take risks with or not do her best for, I think you’ll agree). Some people may react like Mr Insane’s examples but then it’s probably best for them that they do. BSM, OTOH, after ten years of what must count as fanaticism by now, I’m sure will continue trying to ‘educate’ people that aren’t interested until he’s shuffled off his mortal coil.

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          December 9, 2012 at 10:36 pm

          not something any mother is going to take risks with or not do her best for, I think you’ll agree

          I’d have to disagree with that statement. I do so on behalf of Gloria Thomas. She can’t do it for herself because she is dead. She is dead because her fuckwit parents used homeopathy on her instead of useful treatments. Those scumbags are the people you ally yourself with, Ted.

          • Ted Wrinch
            December 10, 2012 at 6:55 pm

            “Those scumbags are the people you ally yourself with, Ted.”

            Not really, BSM. For one thing, the mother in that unfortunate case did try to get help for her baby; and in any event my wife would have and has made the choice for mainstream medical intervention when that was appropriate (as have the homeopaths we’ve come across). The homeopathy in that case was not the cause of the baby’s death; the unwillingness of the father to seek alternatives when homeopathy failed was.

            Now lets move the subject on to the more serious one of mainstream failures. This subject is vast and I a mere beginner in the understanding of it. But from the over prescription of anti-biotics for viral infections  (!) to the conflict of interest biases across choice of research targets and medical interventions, the problems with our current medical model are apparent. And the damage to health and even life is likewise apparent. The selective evidence that is consulted on this site to supposedly indict ‘quack’ medicine merely aligns its proponents with the overwhelming financial and political power of the establishment, that has created and now maintains these problems. 

            Pick any ‘controversial’ topic you like and there is often scientific evidence on the side of the ‘quacks’. The new ‘wonder drug’  proton pump medicines are currently being prescribed as safe for lifetime usage by GPs (in spite of an early caution that they should be used only as a temporary palliative) but it’s easy to find contrary views to this in the literature (see eg: “Iatrogenic Gastric Acid Suppression and the Risk of Nosocomial Clostridium difficile Infection”. Archives of Internal Medicine 170 (9): 78; notice the use of Andy’s supposed ‘quack’ word ‘iatrogenic’). 

            On the history of ‘wonder drugs’, does anyone remember the trumpeting of prozac’s virtues, followed  by its sinking into relative obscurity as the suppressed side effects became apparent and people wrote about their negative experiences? And I quite like this factoid from the Guardian as a totem for how unscientific much of what’s uncritically promoted by the likes of BSM as ‘non-quack’ actually is:

            “Interestingly, reports gained through the Freedom of Information act revealed that in half the 47 trials used to approve the six leading antidepressants, the drugs failed to outperform the sugar pills. When they did, it was by only two points on a 52-point depression rating. Frosties, anyone?”

            http://m.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/may/13/socialcare.medicineandhealth

            And we shouldn’t forget that Eli Lilly was garnering $2.5B a year for this ‘wonder drug’ before the patent expired, and that they were quite happy to promote it, to GPs and the public, via the unproven quack explanation that it alleviated depression by increasing serotonin levels.

            And of course, we also shouldn’t forget the allied behemoth subject, unlikely to be of interest here, of the medicalisation of youth:

            “Drugging Our Children scrutinizes the problem of overmedication in four ways: 1) The role of the pharmaceutical industry in creating a child market for antipsychotics …3) the factors that have led the field of child psychiatry to make a devil’s bargain with the pharmaceutical industry in its relentless promotion of antipsychotic medication as a first-line treatment…

            And based on MRI studies, we know that long-term use of antipsychotics leads to dose-related loss of brain tissue independent of the severity of psychiatric symptoms. So, it’s the drugs doing the damage and not any so-called “disease.” For those who take neuroleptics, we see a foreshortened life-span of about 20 years. Is this what we want for our children? I don’t think so.

            Etc”

            The overmedication of our youth: An interview with Brent Dean Robbins, PhD

            http://www.apadivisions.org/division-32/publications/newsletters/humanistic/2012/04/drugging-our-children.aspx 

            But back to death. Nosocomial infections, in part created by antibiotic overuse, are killing people and are not merely a random, unfortunate and concomitant  part of the process of medical intervention (as Andy  claims).

            From Wiki:

            “One-third of nosocomial infections are considered preventable. The CDC estimates 2 million people in the United States are infected annually by hospital-acquired infections, resulting in 20,000 deaths.”

            Think that’s enough for a starter. As I’ve said, if people here were really interested in helping ill people, rather than pursing their own skeptocratic agendas,  they would go after the much bigger and more insidious topic of the derailing of medical ethics by the destructive union of profit and medical research and treatment modalities within the ambit of  ‘conventional medicine’. 

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            December 10, 2012 at 11:28 pm

            Ted

            None of what you have said makes homeopathy work.

            The most curious thing about the homeopaths that you describe is that they advise conventional medicine when the problems are significant. Its almost like they know homeopathy is jut a useless distraction: harmless when the patient is not really ill, but dangerous when there is a real problem.

            If homeopaths stuck to the principles of homeopathy they should be able to treat anything. I can only assume some latent reflex for self-preservation kicks in for most of them.

          • MSB
            December 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm

            Badly Shaved Monkey

            ..I can answer your questions. There is no exact answer. The application of science to medicine is a continuing enterprise….

            This is what you write of the medical understanding TODAY.

            Who is the scum bag?

  8. Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 9, 2012 at 9:58 am

    And speaking of parenting, I’ve always found it ironic that the typical “holistic” natural, organic, hippy-dippy parents who refuse to allow their kids to consume candy or other forms of sugar happily shove the sugar pills down their kids’ throats when they have the sniffles or a sore throat.

  9. Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 9, 2012 at 10:58 am

    R. Ross,

    Do you think homeopaths can treat patients with AIDS, cancer or malaria? Do you think they should be allowed to claim they can treat those illnesses?

    And there’s no need for all the capitalization you use. Your profile claims you are a writer and an editor. If, you should know that.

    Words like homeopathy,radiotherapy and allopathy and phrases like “traditional medicine” or “medical treatment” do not need capitalization. To capitalize is, in fact, wrong. Unless you are just randomly capitalizing Words you think are Important to try to make a Point.

  10. Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 9, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Isn’t it always the case when one is being pedantic one makes a mistake oneself?

    The sentence should have read “If true, you should know that.”

  11. Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 9, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Oh, I should add when I asked if homeopaths can treat those conditions, I didn’t mean in a vague “we can help relieve the side effects” type of thing. We went through that with the reiki people on another science blog recently.

    I am asking if homeopaths are qualified to, or should be able to claim to treat and cure cancer, AIDS and malaria.

    Because there are homeopaths doing exactly that. Especially in some disease-ridden countries where they descend like missionaries.

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      December 9, 2012 at 11:48 am

      Is R Ross going to return? I’d really like to know whether she thinks HIV/AIDS should be treated with homeopathy instead of conventional drugs.

    • Pharmacist-in-Exile
      December 10, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Thankfully I come from a country where it is illegal for homeopaths to treat (regardless of possibility of any cure) AIDS, malaria and cancer, unless they are also a qualified and licensed physician. And as a qualified and licensed physician using homeopathy as an alternative to conventional treatment for these conditions they would loose their license!
      Sadly I now live in a country where there still are public homeopathic hospitals…

    • MSB
      December 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      Marc Stephens Is Insane

      …I am asking if homeopaths are qualified to, or should be able to claim to treat and cure cancer, AIDS and malaria…

      Malaria can be treated with homeopathic medicines always. Cancer possibly depending upon the severity and the state of the patient and AIDS??????????

      • Alan Henness (aka Zeno)
        December 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm

        MSB said

        Malaria can be treated with homeopathic medicines always.

        [citation required]

      • Marc Stephens Is Insane
        December 15, 2012 at 8:27 pm

        MSB,

        No idea who you are but you are definitely deranged. Can homeoquackery take care of mental illness too?

        • MSB
          January 2, 2013 at 9:07 am

          Marc Stephens Is Insane

          …..Can homeoquackery take care of mental illness too?…

          Yes. Most remedies have mind as symptom reference.

          Your insanity, definitely possible.

  12. Grumpycat
    December 9, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    This was never a story involving homeopathy and homeopaths. Initial reports said that the Mother was into homeopathy sure. However yesterday and today it turns out that the therapy concerned is oxygen therapy. I have no idea about oxygen therapy but I think that we can all sort of guess what it is and that it hasnt got anything to do with homeopathy. So this blog piece is all a non homeopathic story.
    Blanket statements about ‘allopathy being deadly’are I think emotional responses and cant always be taken seriously.If it came down to it hardly anyone would exclude all ‘allopathic’treatments from all situations. In this case it has been reported that the Mother was spooked by a comment from a consultant. It is a sad story but not one where homeopaths can comment on as it doesnt involve homeopathy in any way.

    • Mojo
      December 9, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      Pretty much any statement describing medicine as “allopathy” can be taken as strong evidence that the person making it is an apologist for quackery.

      • Marc Stephens Is Insane
        December 9, 2012 at 10:55 pm

        Yeah well, I was playing along.

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      December 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      Blanket statements about ‘allopathy being deadly’are I think emotional responses and cant always be taken seriously.

      You reckon? Let’s see whether R Ross wants to hide behind that feeble excuse. However, if you’re going to insist that homeopaths don’t really believe statements like that then…oh, I can’t think of a witty retort, but you can see where that was headed. Just go and read anything written by Steve Scrutton then come back and apologise for being a twerp.

      • Grumpycat
        December 9, 2012 at 11:13 pm

        Diverting away from my point and calling me a twerp BSM wont change the fact that this story is not about homeopathy. There is also a lot more to it than posted and Andy clearly blogged too soon.

        Still Andy got someone called R Ross whoever she is to write what he wanted. So maybe he is happy.

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          December 9, 2012 at 11:53 pm

          What was your point Grumpy? Distressed mother resists conventional treatment for child. Daily Express pops up with ill-founded claims about homeopathy. The conversation has been free to develop.

          Do you want to talk about other altie therapies for cancer? Feel free to do so. At the moment all you seem to want to do is to stop us talking about homeopathy. We can talk about homeopathy if we want to. It’s relevant to Andy’s post. What is your problem?

          I see you imply that R Ross is probably not a truly Scottish homeopath. We ought to set up a system for scoring SCAMster Bingo. Points would be awarded to contestants who are the first to point out a logical fallacy. You have not addressed the issue of her opinions being well-represented in the homeopathic community. I called you a twerp because the post you wrote was twerpish. Your more recent post add evasive weaselling to the picture. I’ve been watching your posting style for a while. You’re very good at complaining about criticism of SCAM but not very good at producing counter-arguments or saying what you actually believe in. I’ll give you a chance to correct that. Let me ask you a specific question. Is homeopathy an effective substitute for conventional treatment for cancer?

          • Grumpycat
            December 10, 2012 at 10:41 am

            My opinion and the opinion of most homeopaths is that Homeopathy is no substitute for the treatment of Cancer. Yes it does look like Steve Scrutton sees homeopathy as being alternative to conventional medicine.
            Does that answer your questions?
            I do not complain about what you write. I just point out logical fallicies and errors just like you like doing. In this instance for example this story was not about homeopathy in the first place. Worth pointing out as noone else did.
            Regards
            Twerp

          • Andy Lewis
            December 10, 2012 at 11:29 am

            This obviously raises many questions.

            Such as:

            How do you know homeopathy is no substitute for the treatment of cancer? There is nothing inherent in the laws of homeopathy that would rule this out.

            If homeopaths are treating cancer instead of mainstream treatment, this will put patients’ live in jeopardy. What is the homeopathic community doing to stamp out dangerous practitioners?

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          December 9, 2012 at 11:57 pm

          I’ll ask you another.

          What are Steve Scrutton’s views on conventional medicine? Does he see homeopathy only as being complementary to conventional medicine?

          If you don’t already know the answer, go and do some research then get back to us.

      • MSB
        December 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm

        Badly Shaved Monkey

        …Blanket statements about ‘allopathy being deadly’are I think emotional responses and cant always be taken seriously…..

        It is worse: Just read the first chapter.

        http://humanbeingsfirst.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/cacheof-eustace_mullins___murder_by_injection__1988_.pdf

    • December 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Fear is the child-killer.

  13. Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 9, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    The newspaper story had two elements: the mother who kidnapped her own child was only a couple of paragraphs, then the Express listed what they misleadingly and misguidedly called alternative cancer treatments. Homeopathy was included in that list. That’s what sparked this discussion. And it’s interesting and is generating posts, so who cares if it relates directly to the mother? As I’ve stated, there are plenty of homeopaths who advocate their magic water to treat and cure cancer instead of real medicine.

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      December 9, 2012 at 8:01 pm

      The No-True-Scotsman is much-beloved by SCAMsters trying to hide from well-directed criticism. Grumpycat has deployed it very neatly.

  14. Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Not to fall into grumpycat’s trap, but oxygen therapy is also full of woo. In the context he’s using, of course. There is plenty of evidence that oxygen is beneficial, for, you know, breathing and such. Curing cancer, not so much.

  15. Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 9, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Andy, you’ve got to get rid of that spam from the god-and-Gerson cancer clinic on “The Dirty Tricks…” thread. The Adventist Lifestyle Center. Those people should be forced to take their own enemas over and over again. And they only charge $1500 a week, instead of the $4500 Gerson charges. They really believe all you need to do is pray and pump coffee up your ass.

  16. Grumpycat
    December 10, 2012 at 11:55 am

    ‘How do you know homeopathy is no substitute for the treatment of cancer? There is nothing inherent in the laws of homeopathy that would rule this out.
    If homeopaths are treating cancer instead of mainstream treatment, this will put patients’ live in jeopardy. What is the homeopathic community doing to stamp out dangerous practitioners?’

    Never heard of anyone who has been influenced by homeopaths to stop their conventional treatments for Cancer and replace these with homeopathy. Please supply evidence of UK homeopaths actually influencing a patient to stop conventional treatment. This evidence does not include bluster from someone on a blog but actual evidence please.
    If their were any examples then you would be blogging about them.

    • Andy Lewis
      December 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      Steve Scrutton, officer of the Allicance of Registered Homeopaths, makes lots of direct and implied claims that homeopathy is superior to mainstream cancer treatment.

      http://safe-medicine.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=cancer

      Given the coyness of homeopaths in this area, we should not take lots of silence for evidence that homeopaths do not believe homeopathy can treat cancer. That no homeopath has publicly stated that homeopathy is not superior to radiotherapy should be a cause for alarm.

      Now, I asked some questions Grumpycat, do you need me repeat them?

      • Grumpycat
        December 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm

        You might get the odd homeopath replying to a non homeopathy story on your blog- most wont go near this blog. Dont expect anyone in homeopathy to take you seriously after your ridiculous and missleading ‘end of homeopathy’ posts last summer. I think that your blog has been very influential but in the opposite way to what you want. So keep posting and that applies to you BSM.
        I repeat again. Lets have some evidence that homeopaths are stopping people having conventional treatment for cancer. Silence on this question is your answer.
        You have no evidence only speculation and blog bluster. Not very scientific is it?

        • Andy Lewis
          December 10, 2012 at 11:17 pm

          This is looking like a simple tactic to avoid answering some simple questions.

          Homeopathy is founded on its opposition to conventional medicine. It is premised on the belief that homeopathy is superior in all respects to other forms of cure. To suggest that homeopaths do not act as if their treatments are all is required is absurd. The onus is not on me to show that homeopaths behave well, but on homeopaths to demonstrate that. Perhaps you can begin by answering my questions.

          Oh, do not be too glib thinking that homeopathy is not on the ropes over medicines legislation. The wheels are turning, albeit somewhat slowly.

          • Grumpycat
            December 11, 2012 at 11:53 am

            Andy wrote
            How do you know homeopathy is no substitute for the treatment of cancer? There is nothing inherent in the laws of homeopathy that would rule this out.

            There is nothing inherent in recent or contemporary homeopathic writings to shun modern conventional medicine and I am not counting one or two maverick blogs written to wind people like you up. Hahnemann shunned the medicine at the time true but things have moved on since 1800 and homeopaths realise that. Prove to me otherwise.

            Andy wrote
            If homeopaths are treating cancer instead of mainstream treatment, this will put patients’ live in jeopardy. What is the homeopathic community doing to stamp out dangerous practitioners?

            As you say ‘if’..Again please give examples of homeopaths treating cancer instead of mainstream medicine. There are enough homeopaths around so it shouldnt be too difficult for you to find lots of examples should this be going on.

            Yeah sure I am being glib. Maybe I shouldnt be but you were being rather glib earlier this year.Looks like the wheels have gone into reverse! Maybe there are more important matters to deal with.

          • Andy Lewis
            December 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm

            “There is nothing inherent in recent or contemporary homeopathic writings to shun modern conventional medicine”

            You have clearly not read any George Vilhoulkas then.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            December 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm

            GC you now seem to need the blogs of people like Steve Scrutton to be written for the sole purpose of winding up sceptics. That’s a bit of a desperate tactic you are calling upon to sustain a pretence that homeopaths do not oppose conventional medicine. Hey, but if you really believe it then it will be impossible to “Prove to [you] otherwise”. Your eyes are too tightly shut to see the proof.

            You are avoiding what must be a less convenient question for you,

            Why should conventional medicine be needed at all for cancer or any other disease?

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          December 10, 2012 at 11:45 pm

          Grumpycat, you are very funny.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=gb_qHP7VaZE

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=kQFKtI6gn9Y

          I don’t believe you ever intend to present any concrete opinions of your own, but will only whinge and complain about the terms of the discussion. But, if the black armour fits, you may as well wear it…

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            December 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm

            My recent run of responses to Grumpycat are rather disjointed. This is because a couple got held up the Mod queue so appeared out of sequence.

            Think of them as variations on a theme of Grumpycat avoiding the important questions

          • Grumpycat
            December 12, 2012 at 10:52 am

            BSM-It is no concern of mine what you and your friends talk about on Andys blog. I am merely pointing out a few facts for you to think about or more likely to mock. Mock or block me if you like it is all fine. Being called funny is good but just watch that the joke now isnt on you as well. Evidence for this is below.
            1 You and your friends didnt even know the most basic facts about homeopathic regulation. You are all experts on complex EU stuff but were blind to the obvious.
            2 Was it your negative campaign that managed to rescue the National Rules scheme from oblivion? Does everything you do go pear shaped?
            3 Trying to spin UK homeopaths into evil bastards who go round convincing people to give up conventional treatments isnt going to work without evidence. All it does is make you look like a muppet. If I am Monty Python then you BSM are a muppet.

            Anyway one last time (yawn). The vast majority of homeopaths in the UK do not work against Drs and use homeopathy at the exclusion of conventional treatments. Your answer to this is to post clips of Monty Python because you cannot provide evidence to back up your claims. Now that really is funny.

          • Andy Lewis
            December 12, 2012 at 5:21 pm

            1. I think you will find it was sceptics who were pointing out the nature of homeopathic regulation and how the consolidation was highlighting that homeopaths are and will be operating largely illegally. This has not changed. And the consequences are still unfolding.
            2. I doubt it.
            3. Without homeopaths being quite clear that they do not steer people away from conventional treatment when required (i.e patient is actually ill) then we must assume that homeopaths stick to the principles upon which homeopathy was founded. All we need do is look at the countless pages on the web where homeopaths undermine vaccination programmes to be convinced they are completely anti-medicine. You denials on their own are just not credible.

          • December 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm

            Grumpycat said:

            1 You and your friends didnt even know the most basic facts about homeopathic regulation. You are all experts on complex EU stuff but were blind to the obvious.
            2 Was it your negative campaign that managed to rescue the National Rules scheme from oblivion?

            Oh? What didn’t we know about regulation? And what oblivion was the NR scheme apparently rescued from?

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          December 11, 2012 at 7:49 am

          Lets have some evidence that homeopaths are stopping people having conventional treatment for cancer. Silence on this question is your answer.

          Only because MSII has very effectively answered it and a few minutes on Googke would have answered it for yourself.

          It is fairly obvious that there are homeopaths willing to use homeopathy to the exclusion of conventional medicine. As has already been pointed out, there is nothing in homeopathy’s founding principles that makes this wrong. If homeopathy really worked as claimed it would rightly be used instead of conventional medicine.

          I think it’s time for you to comment in this.

        • acleron
          December 23, 2012 at 9:30 pm

          You actually need a reference to confirm that homeopaths stop people getting proper treatment for cancer?

          Well, there is always the tragic case of Penelope Dingle.
          http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/13310801/woman-sues-homeopath-over-sisters-cancer-death/

          And here is someone who spends 16 paras about curing cancer with magic water and one single phrase about getting real treatment.
          http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/13310801/woman-sues-homeopath-over-sisters-cancer-death/

          And here is a real scientific paper about treating cancer with homeopathy. But its very odd, when properly examined it doesn’t work, strange that.
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16376071

          • Mojo
            December 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm

            That won’t be acceptable to Grumpycat; it needs to be a British homoeopath.

            No, the websites of individual British homoeopaths won’t do.

            No, even if a statement is posted on hundreds of British homoeopaths’ websites, that won’t do as evidence of what homoeopaths tell their customers, it has to be “come from an offical capacity eg the Faculty or Society of Homeopaths”.

            No, the current edition of a policy document on the Society of Homeopaths website won’t do. It has to be on the front page of their website.

            No, even if it was on the front page of their website as recently as last year and is still elsewhere on the website, that is still not good enough.

            All that smoke you’re seeing, by the way, is not Grunpycat’s smokescreen. It’s coming from all those smoking guns we’ve found.

  17. Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Maybe there are no homeoquacks in the UK making cancer claims because you’ve got the Cancer Act. But if you Google “homeopathic cancer cure” you will get page after page, dozens upon dozens of listings of magic water purveyors all over the world claiming that homeopathy can indeed cure cancer (and AIDS, and malaria, and autism, and everything else under the medical sun).

    Here is just one out of dozens and dozens I found.

    http://www.drramakrishnan.com/cancer.php

    • December 10, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      I came across a leaflet by one UK homeopath stating in no uncertain terms that homeopathy could treat cancer. Pic on blog here:

      http://www.skepticat.org/2011/05/first-we-went-for-the-homeopaths/

      That leaflet was quickly withdrawn when we complained but had been available for a couple of years before I spotted it. I dare say there are more like that out there.

  18. Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Another homeoquack here quotes Hahnemann as stating that indeed the sugar pills can be used for cancer. Here’s the homeoquack’s protocol as well as some of the magic water products he uses:

    A. States-pre-cancerous: homeopathy is the treatment of choice. (Conventional medicine has little or nothing to offer)

    B.”Cancer in very early stage: Only homeopathy.

    [edited to remove large amounts of cut and paste]

    It is very important to remember that our work is not only healing but also prevent, and of course, improve the quality of life of our terminally ill patients. It is very famous the great ability of homeopathy to alleviate cancer pain.

  19. Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    And one more, from a clinic in India. I think I’ve made my point.

    In the recent years, the most effective application of The Banerji Protocols has been for the treatment of Cancer . Even with advancements in all the areas of medical practices, Cancer is yet the dreaded disease, of which an effective and guaranteed treatment is yet to be found. ‘The Banerji Protocols ‘ plays an important role in utilising specific homeopathic medicines for the treatment of various types and stages of Cancer.

    The PBHRF clinic at Kolkata is frequented by 100 – 120 cancer patients daily. The exposure to the varied nature and intensity of the disease has helped the doctors at PBHRF to study and formulate standard protocols.

    Several of the cancer patients opt for no other treatment except the Banerji Protocols. Many other patients come to get relief from the side effects of conventional cancer treatment like chemotherapy.

    http://www.pbhrfindia.org/

  20. Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    There are just as many ludicrous Google results for homeopathic products for AIDS. You can play this game at home: pick any disease and Google it along with “homeopathy”. Bet you’ll also find page upon page of results.

    Here are the results I got using AIDS. Note one of the first results claims a 90% success rate using sugar and water:

    http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&tbo=d&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=homeopathy+aids&oq=homeopathy+aids&gs_l=hp.3..0j0i30l3.337.4889.0.5563.17.16.1.0.0.0.256.2811.0j13j3.16.0.les%3B..0.0…1c.1.ZzrD7PCumdI&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=8306cc0be30e730c&bpcl=39650382&biw=1219&bih=783

  21. Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    One last story that made headlines around the world this year. A scumbag homeoquack in Australia being sued over a cancer death.

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/13310801/woman-sues-homeopath-over-sisters-cancer-death/

    So yes, there are homeoquacks all over the world ready to claim they can cure cancer, and encouraging their victims to eschew real medicine.

    • acleron
      December 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Oops, sorry didn’t see you’d posted that.

  22. Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Couldn’t resist the AIDS story from Kenya. Note that while many people were on ARV and magic water, several were only using the magic water.

    http://homeopathyresource.wordpress.com/2009/10/25/homeopathy-aids-study-demonstrates-a-dramatic-ninety-per-cent-improvement/

    Within two weeks, an improvement in appetite and an increase in energy and weight could be observed. In addition, in more than 90 percent of the patients recovery from opportunistic infections, such as the disappearance of diarrhoea, respiratory infections and skin problems was seen. This applied to both patients treated with conventional drugs and the group not receiving any ARV treatment. The CD4 tests, which had initial values under 200, showed significant improvement. The levels increased by an average of 123 points (a CD4 value of 200 or less is a critical lower limit for which anti-viral therapy is deemed necessary).

    An improvement in quality of life could be observed in the whole research group. Restoration of independent functioning became possible for practically the whole population after treatment with Iquilai, [the homeopathic remedy].

    I’ll stop now. I’ve more than made my point.

  23. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 11, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Ted Wrinch

    Let’s boil down our recent exchange to you answering a simple question.

    if the claims of homeopathy are true why should conventional medicine be needed at all for cancer or any other disease?

  24. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Anyway one last time (yawn). The vast majority of homeopaths in the UK do not work against Drs and use homeopathy at the exclusion of conventional treatments.

    You are still dodging the question you have been asked before,

    Why should conventional medicine be needed at all for cancer or any other disease?

    I would also be interested to know the basis on which you grandly assert the you know what the “vast majority” of homeopaths do. You have been given numerous counter-examples. It has also been explained to you, and it beggars belief that you do not understand, that the principles of homeopathy are utterly contradictory to the practice of conventional medicine, so co-operation with conventional medicine looks very much like expediency rather than a proper reflection of what homeopathy really is.

    You may recall the sting carried out against homeopaths on the subject of malarial prophylaxis. Seven of the homeopaths not only failed to ask about the patient’s medical background but even failed to offer general advice about preventing mosquito bites. I suppose they were not part of your “vast majority”.

    P.S. It is interesting that you have moved from “Never heard of anyone who has been influenced by homeopaths to stop their conventional treatments for Cancer and replace these with homeopathy.” to defending only “The vast majority of homeopaths in the UK”. In other words, you have given up defending the wider world of homeopathy, faced we must assume with MSII’s many examples of their malpractice, and you now tacitly admit there is a minority of homeopaths even in the UK working against conventional medicine. The ground you are defending is tightening around your feet.

  25. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 13, 2012 at 9:58 am

    “Will Any Homeopath Say Homeopathy is no Substitute for Radiotherapy?”

    No.

    • Grumpycat
      December 13, 2012 at 10:35 am

      So no homeopath comes on this blog to write what you want. What you going to do about it then BSM? What political or medical clout have you got with no evidence? You need evidence not speculation to back up your claims. Not stings from 2006. Not examples of what is accepted by the authorities in other countries. Evidence BSM? Cases , examples of homeopaths influencing patients to stop radiotherapy. No good spinning my posts around. Ok just give me one example.

      As background to this I would like to show you some research. Please look at
      http://www.ncrm.ac.uk/news/show.php?article=5305
      It shows you just what you are up against.

      • acleron
        December 23, 2012 at 9:40 pm

        And that’s another problem with homeopathy in general, the incompetence of their ‘science’.

        That reference cheerfully mixes acceptance and efficacy, presumably to confuse the issue. It is only a discussion of a market survey.

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        December 24, 2012 at 10:32 am

        That Eur J Can citation is a particular problem for our feline friend because it analysed data from before 2006, which, according to him, was when their magic spells were still working.

        :)

  26. Grumpycat
    December 13, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Alan Henness wrote
    Oh? What didn’t we know about regulation? And what oblivion was the NR scheme apparently rescued from

    I suggest you read Andys blog End of homeopathy June 26th and look at the content and posts from you, Andy and Malleus. Then look at what has hapened. Then go to Andys follow up blog post

    http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2012/06/the-society-of-homeopaths-intend-to-ignore-the-law.html

    I did try to tell you around July 1st what would happen. It was like talking to a brick wall- none of you listen. I didnt read regulations for 100s of hours like Malleus. I just looked at the situation quickly and saw the obvious.
    The MHRA would not comment on the future of the National Rules scheme- it hardly looked great. The future was decided at the highest level. You can certainly organise things but you seem to have no influence at the this level.

    • Alan Henness (aka Zeno)
      December 13, 2012 at 11:37 am

      Be patient…

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        December 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm

        Allow more time for succussion and dilution?

        • Alan Henness (aka Zeno)
          December 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm

          ..and succussion and dilution, and succussion and dilution…

      • Grumpycat
        December 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm

        I am being very patient Alan. Sitting here dreaming of succussing and diluting whilst waiting for evidence of homeopaths preventing patients from having radiotherapy treatment. Lets face it you are not going to get far with this radiotherapy routine so you had better get back into a huddle and think of another angle.

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          December 13, 2012 at 8:56 pm

          You’ve been given it.

  27. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 13, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Ahem,

    Why should conventional medicine be needed at all for cancer or any other disease?

  28. Grumpycat
    December 14, 2012 at 9:38 am

    ‘Why should conventional medicine be needed at all for cancer or any other disease?’
    That is like an essay question. The easy answer is just ‘Conventional medicine is needed.’
    Who said homeopathy can cure cancer on its own? References please from UK homeopaths.
    Inspired by your blog tactics I would like to blatantly spin the question to ‘Is conventional medicine needed at all for cancer or any other disease?
    Anyway for the rephrased question the answer is yes.
    If you think the answer would be no from UK homeopaths then please provide references so that I can at least start to agree with you. Like Alan I am prepared to be patient.

  29. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 14, 2012 at 10:47 am

    My question sounding like an essay question does not invalidate it. I note that you have given a rather incompete answer.

    The easy answer is just ‘Conventional medicine is needed.’

    What principle of homeopathy requires that conventional medicine is needed? Feel free to cite Hahnemann on the subject. I’d be interested to hear from his works on the need for conventional medicine.

  30. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 14, 2012 at 10:48 am

    P.S. Have you heard of Penelope Dingle?

  31. Grumpycat
    December 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Oh dear! It does look like the ground I am defending is tightening around my feet as BSM would put it! Andy is on the case here. However, does Andy have any evidence of this person actualy influencing anyone to give up their conventional treatments or is this just self grandisement and bombastic bluster on a blog aimed at raising the blood pressure of Andy and friends. I am surprised that you bright people havent invoked the 1939 Cancer Act.
    Come on Andy this post has been up since Dec 19th 2011. What are you waiting for? Is it the one year anniversary? Are you all that useless at complaining? I dont think so- So what came of your complaints? It surely cant be that the powers that be dont want this stuff stirred up. So you tell me why your complaints have got nowhere?
    No evidence must be the answer.

    • Andy Lewis
      December 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      Scrutton’s public statements about homeopathy, cancer and mainstream healthcare are enough of a concern without further evidence. I do not need taped secret interviews to be deeply concerned. And so should anyone else be concerned who believes cancer requires evidence-based treatments.

      Scrutton used to allow comments on his site. Many homeopaths commented there. None challenged him that his post was just a ‘wind up’ or even took him to task over his dangerous comments. No. In fact, they cheered him on.

      Homeopaths failure to clean up up their own nest is why others are now engaged in doing just that. If you, Grumpycat, were involved in getting rid of dangerous beliefs within homeopathy rather than complaining about people that point them out, homeopaths would not be on the ropes.

  32. Grumpycat
    December 14, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Good effort BSM but must try harder BSM. Must be more contemporary than 2005 please and UK based not overseas.
    Nethertheless C+ given on reflection.

    • Andy Lewis
      December 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      Let us remember, I asked for any homeopath to say homeopathy should not be used for cancer in place of mainstream treatment.

      Can you tell me please how many have actually done this?

  33. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Sceptics: We are concerned that homeopaths may discourage patients from using conventional treatments for cancer.
    Grumpycat: Homeopaths don’t do that.
    Sceptics: Here’s a load of homeopaths who do so?
    Grumpycat: They’re foreign. Foreigners don’t count. UK Homeopaths don’t do that.
    Sceptics: Have you read what Steve Scrutton writes about cancer, he being an official of the ARH?
    Grumpycat: His blog is written just to wind up sceptics. The vast majority [citation needed] of UK homeopaths don’t do that.
    Sceptics: Have you heard of Penelope Dingle?
    Grumpycat: Evidence before 2006 doesn’t count to show what the vast majority [citation needed] of UK homeopaths do.

    Sceptics: Why should conventional medicine be needed at all for cancer or any other disease?
    Grumpycat: Conventional medicine is needed.
    Sceptics:What principle of homeopathy requires that conventional medicine is needed?
    Grumpycat: [Silence]

    • MSB
      December 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm

      Badly Shaved Monkey

      When will you grow up?

  34. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Grumpycat: P.S. Australia is obviously full of convicts and bloody foreigners so it doesn’t count either.
    Sceptics: Oh, dear…

    • Grumpycat
      December 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm

      Good funny answer BSM but humour dosent prove your point. Only evidence will get you the prosecutions that would do this and you have no evidence.
      Game set and match.x

  35. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 14, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Prosecutions? All I’m after is one defender of homeopathy, that’s you, to give an honest answer to a simple question, that’s this;

    What principle of homeopathy requires that conventional medicine is needed?

    Your slippery comments don’t conceal your steadfast refusal to engage genuinely with these issues. It’s a tired tactic used by many SCAMsters I have observed in discussions like this. I can only assume that the stonewalling is necessary to preserve your faith in your chosen form of quackery. The only curious thing is that this tactic so transparent yet you seem to lack the self-awareness to recognise it.

    • Andy Lewis
      December 14, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      I doubt Grumpycat has ever had to think about homeopathy in those terms. Homeopaths tend to show no insight into even their own beliefs, let alone try to think beyond them.

  36. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 15, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Come on, Grumpycat. Let’s pick up the pace;

    What principle of homeopathy requires that conventional medicine is needed?

  37. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 15, 2012 at 10:56 am

    “While waiting to see whether Grumpycat will risk an answer to my repeated question, the following is an interesting read;

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/disingenuous-deconstruction-of-a-naturopathic-white-paper/

    I became interested in SCAMs early in my practice when I was called to see a “leg infection”. What it was a dead leg, wet gangrene, with the horrible smell only rotting human flesh can produce. It was a 24 year old girl who had an osteosarcoma of her leg and rather than be cured with amputation she went to a naturopath who said she could he cured by, among other things, drinking alkaline water and herbs. It didn’t. She refused surgery by us. She had been brought in by her mother when she became unresponsive but perked up with fluids, letting us know her naturopath still assured her that he could cure the tumor, that the rotten leg was her body ‘rejecting’ the tumor. That night the tumor, or the infection, eroded into a major artery and she bled to death. That is my idea of the archetype naturopathic care.

    I have long been of the opinion that you can judge a person by the company they keep. The naturopathic education at my local school includes hydrotherapy, homeopathy, qui dong, colonics, the nature cure, herbs, and botanicals. Anyone who thinks homeopathy is an appropriate therapy for anything but thirst is in my opinion, unfit to care for others. They are divorced from reality as I understand it*.

    To save Grumpycat some time, I’ll point out that the story is from another one of those bloody foreigners, the patient was from an ignorant backward country with no properly founded public health system, it is not an event that occurred within Grumpycat’s critical post-2006 timeframe, the perpetrator was an ND and seems not to give involved the specific use of homeopathy (though NDs do routinely use a lot of homeopathy). Nonetheless, it does show was a stubborn idiot can achieve when schooled only in fantasy medicine. Grumpycat is doubtless proud to keep intellectual company with such people.

    The wife of one of my father’s oldest friends died in a similar manner from breast cancer, but that also occurred in the primitive nation well known by its abbreviated monicker, the USA, so is automatically disqualified from consideration here in Grumpycat’s dogged hunt for the truly Scottish homeopath.

  38. John Kay
    December 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    So the homeopathy substitute radiation question has been sorted and the
    ‘Why should conventional medicine be needed at all for cancer or any other disease question’. Now we have the ‘What principle of homeopathy requires that conventional medicine is needed question’.

    I assume that by the principles of homeopathy you mean the writings of Hahnemann.
    Hardly any homeopaths practise exactly according to the Hahnemanns writings. He didnt prescribe above 200c and in his 6th edition he only prescribed LM potencies. . Every homeopath who uses pills , tablets c or x potencies doesnt practise according to Hahnemann and his last edition. So that rules out the Organon. Anyway he was having a go at medicine in 1842. So that is evidence for you and it feels good to educate you. Boy do you lot need it.
    Prof Colquhoun has notes from his FOI requests from a University course on homeopathy which clearly state that conventional medicine is needed. Homeopathic courses in UK all teach that conventional medicine is needed. It is not difficult to prove this. That is your problem though and please spend as much time doing this as you like.
    So what are you going to do now?

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      December 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      homeopathy substitute radiation

      It hasn’t. But my questions have arisen from the way the conversation has developed. They remain unanswered.

      The fact that homeopaths cover their backsides with mealy-mouthed public pronouncements as to the complementary use of homeopathy does nothing to address the fact that at its heart homeopathy fundamentally contradicts the principles and practice of real medicine.

      We know homeopaths do not necessarily practise entirely as Hahnemann did, but this merely shows the way in which fantasy can pile upon fantasy when none if their therapy is based on valid evidence.

  39. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    So, to be clear, John, this question is unanswered and your post here simply goes off at a tangent.

    If the claims of homeopathy are true, what principle of homeopathy requires that conventional medicine is needed?

  40. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Homeopathic courses in UK all teach that conventional medicine is needed. It is not difficult to prove this.

    Since you say that, here are two for you, John.

    Do homeopaths wholeheartedly and uniformly support standard infant vaccination protocols?

    In the BBC/SaS sting, why did 7 of 10 homeopaths fail to advise on conventional strategies for risk reduction? Did all 7 skip the parts of their course that support proper medicine?

    • Grumpycat
      December 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      My first name is John as much as your first name is Badly BSM.

      Hold on! I am asking for evidence to back up your accusations against homeopaths in the UK. You come up with a case in 2005 in Australia. Now if I wanted to have a go at conventional medicine (which I dont). Lets just say that I did though. Well I would try to find a recent case from the UK and not a case of an Australian Dr fouling up in 2005. This seems reasonable to me. Again Mojo-. many things have changed since 2000 so get looking for a better reference.

      The Malaria sting in 2006. That sting would certainly have been repeated since 2006, or did Simon Singh just let it go? No it was repeated but you didnt get what you wanted did you? There is a medical hirarchy and homeopaths have had to abide by current medical practice. The vast majority will and you will have to trawl round for any that dont. You should recognise this even partly but by all means continue to try to paint a different picture as shows you up.
      As for vaccination. Answering this could surely get me an off topic blast from the formidable Mr Lewis. I wouldnt want that but hear goes!
      For those who want my opinion on vaccination I would politely suggest that members of the public consult their GP on the matter and make an informed choice. I would also point to comment on vaccination on the websites of the various homeopathic regulatory bodies.

      • December 16, 2012 at 6:49 pm

        “The Malaria sting in 2006. That sting would certainly have been repeated since 2006, or did Simon Singh just let it go? No it was repeated but you didnt get what you wanted did you?”

        When was it repeated? Got a link?

        • Grumpycat
          December 16, 2012 at 11:30 pm

          Ask around and you will get the answer. I dont think you will find a link which shows an unsuccessful sting. Most important thing is that some on hear know that I am right.

          • December 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm

            You’re right. I didn’t find a link which shows an unsuccessful sting. I did find the superb BBC Newsnight documentary, broadcast in January 2011, which made a compelling case against homeopathy and made the homeopaths very angry but I guess that’s not the one you mean.

      • Mojo
        December 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm

        @Grumpycat

        Again Mojo-. many things have changed since 2000 so get looking for a better reference.

        The example I posted of a proponent of homoeopathy denigrating medicine was not from 2000, as you would have seen if you had followed the link. It was posted in this very thread on December 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm. How much do you think things changed in the six hours and eleven minutes between then and your post?

        Meanwhile, do you have any comment on the hundreds of homoeopaths in the UK who claim on their websites, in December 2012, that homoeopathy is “a complete system of medicine”? What does this claim imply about whether they believe that conventional medicine is necessary?

  41. Mojo
    December 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Grumpycat, if you want an example of a proponent of homoeopathy denigrating medicine, try here:

    Of course drug treatment is expensive and deadly.

    Lucien Leape of the Harvard Medical School in his excellent article, Errors in Medicine, published in 1994 in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol 272; page 1851-1857) gives a very graphic description of all the errors that we have been committing. This has been updated recently by Barbara Starfield in her excellent article in the same journal in the year 2000 (JAMA 2000;284:483-485) which reiterates the same, adding many more glaring dangers to the list already given by Leape.

    Nearly 225,000 people have died in one year in the US alone due to iatrogenic diseases. Of these 140,000 has been exclusively due to adverse drug reactions. In addition, an equal number died during out patient management of Adverse Drug Reactions that cost the buyer a total of $ 79 billion in prescription bills in one year. There have been three million injuries due to medical interventions in a year with 44,000 to 98,000 deaths annually. Nosocomial infections alone caused 80,000 deaths in one year in hospitals. One hundred million people suffer from chronic debilitating illnesses partly due to medical interventions. These figures are for the small population of US. When you extrapolate the numbers for the world, it would be in millions.

    Do you seriously imagine that they magically turn all this off when they are dealing with cancer?

  42. Mojo
    December 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    And here he goes again:

    …I am asking if homeopaths are qualified to, or should be able to claim to treat and cure cancer, AIDS and malaria…

    Malaria can be treated with homeopathic medicines always. Cancer possibly depending upon the severity and the state of the patient and AIDS??????????

  43. JOMO
    December 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Mojo

    Somthing you do not know need not be incorrect. Remember the shock of finding the report on the epidemic of London.

    You should read more and keep an open mind. Focus on the first chapter: The Medical Monopoly.

    http://humanbeingsfirst.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/cacheof-eustace_mullins___murder_by_injection__1988_.pdf

    You are continuing the tradition.

    • Mojo
      December 17, 2012 at 11:55 am

      Remember the shock of finding the report on the epidemic of London.

      What shock? I was already fully aware of the claims homoeopaths make about the epidemic, and why they are invalid. Remember what you, yourself, posted about it when you were pretending to be “tijiva”?

      Here it is:

      Another reason why these amazing figures come forward from ancient records is that penicillin had not been discovered yet, so the means to treat epidemic diseases was largely absent in allopathic hospitals. And as we know from Hahnemann, a lot of what they did rather speed the process toward death.

      Just try to think about this: you claim (1) that the medicine of the time “did rather speed the process toward death”, and (2) that death rates at homoeopathic hospitals were lower than at medical hospitals. Just have a little think about this, and then explain, in your own words, why your first claim means that your second claim cannot be used as evidence that homoeopathy works.

      • MSB
        December 26, 2012 at 8:58 am

        MOJO

        ……..(1) that the medicine of the time “did rather speed the process toward death”, and (2) that death rates at homoeopathic hospitals were lower than at medical hospitals. Just have a little think about this, and then explain, in your own words, why your first claim means that your second claim cannot be used as evidence that homoeopathy works..

        You are implying that drugs of that time aided in killing people. This is true. There are many analysis to confirm this today. Only the stupid allopaths of that time refused to see this or were blind.

        Now to the next message: if no drugs were used, many would have been saved:

        “”The country that suffered most was India. The first cases appeared in Bombay in June 1918. The following month deaths were being reported in Karachi and Madras. With large numbers of India’s doctors serving with the British Army the country was unable to cope with the epidemic. Some historians claim that between June 1918 and July 1919 over 16,000,000 people in India died of the virus.””””

        http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWinfluenzia.htm

        Here the people died because there was a shortage of doctors. So the disease was killing people and with allopathic doctors you helped in increasing the mortality rate.

        Homeopaths saved patients and then the AMA started changing the rules to teach medicine, to register doctors, and to evaluate the effect of medicine. The focus shifted from CURE to MANAGE disease.

        • Mojo
          December 26, 2012 at 12:37 pm

          How about answering the question? I’ll rephrase it for you: why can the fact that homoeopathy produced better results than something that was actually harmful not be used as evidence that homoeopathy works?

          • MSB
            December 30, 2012 at 5:33 am

            Mojo

            ……..why can the fact that homoeopathy produced better results ….. that homoeopathy works?

            The evaluation methods are faulty.

            “Time evolution in a dynamic system, like the human body, depends on the total initial state of the organism. Any alteration in the initial state need not hold good as time evolves. If these two principles were understood, the concept of controlled studies in medicine, both drug and interventions would seem unreliable! In the conventional controlled studies two matched human beings are compared. The total initial state of both the patient and the control being unknowable: in fact, a large part of the initial state-the genotype and the consciousness-are unknown, the outcome would be fallacious. This is precisely the reason why most, if not all, controlled study results have come to grief on long term audits. However, short term observations might not show the reality unless, the drug under study is dangerous.”

            http://bmhegde.com/bmh/useartdetail1.php?aid=53

            Check the references.

          • Mojo
            December 30, 2012 at 12:45 pm

            The evaluation methods are faulty.

            They certainly are if you are using outcomes from the cholera epidemic to evaluate homoeopathy, so perhaps we are moving towards some sort of agreement.

            But your reply doesn’t actually address my question. I asked you to explain why your evaluation method is faulty. Why can comparing homoeopathy with something that is harmful not produce evidence that homoeopathy works?

            Your copy and paste from Dr Hegde is not actually relevant to my question, but it contains an important error. Controlled trials do not compare “two matched human beings”. They compare two large matched groups of human beings. This addresses precisely the objection to controlled trials that Dr Hegde raises.

          • Mojo
            December 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm

            We’ve covered that issue before, by the way, in the “Chekhov, Homeopathy and the Placebo Effect” thread, when you cited Valezquez EJ, Califf RM. All that glitters is not Gold. Lancet 2000;355: 1568-69 to argue that controlled trials don’t work. As I pointed out then, what the paper actually argues is that adequately sized trials, on appropriate populations, are needed to assess treatments because small trials may give false positives.

  44. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 16, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Um, Grumpycat, my response addressed to John was a response addressed to John.

    But since you have chosen to reply, please feel free to answer the actual questions rather than some others that suit you better.

    Also, you have still not specified which principles of homeopathy, if homeopathy worked as claimed, require the existence of conventional medicine.

    Look, mate, you are getting desperate trying to give a straight answer to that rather simple question, but it was you who made the original assertion so you really do need to answer it like a big boy capable of showing that he can think for himself.

    • Very Grumpycat
      December 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      Hi Badly,
      Things have changed since Hahnmann wrote his principles.
      You ask about principles of homeopathy and I direct you to the colleges.None of these colleges would last if they did not teach students to work with convential medicine. Surely teaching materials and what appears on regulatory organisation websites mean something? Are you going to give just an inch? Or do you just want total war where you are white knights taking on the evil homeopaths trying to stop people getting treatment? If it makes you feel good then carry on. I dont care.

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        December 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm

        Very Grumpy

        We know that homeopathy has altered in some respects since Hahnemann’s time. Homeopaths keep making shit up and accreting it in an ad hoc and arbitrary manner to Hahnemann’s sacred principles. They are free to do so because they depend entirely on anecdote and testimonial so their practice and habits are not anchored by objective reality. In contrast, modern medicine is very different from the allopathy of Hahnemann’s time because doctors and scientists have learned how to learn. The failure of homeopaths to do this is their single most important error.

        And here you are again still not answering a straight question with a straight answer. Homeopaths may be taught that as a matter of practicality and legal self-preservation that they must work with conventional medicine, which is, let us not forget, overwhelmingly the dominant system dealing with patients. However, I have not asked you about practicalities and cynical pragmatism. It is clear to us that working with conventional medicine goes completely against the grain of homeopathy and the proper application of homeopathy can never fit comfortably with medicine. You insist otherwise, so I ask you yet again, if homeopathy works as claimed, require the existence of conventional medicine.

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          December 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm

          Buggering typo, missed a bit, but I’m sure you know the question by now. However here it is again in full:

          which principles of homeopathy, if homeopathy works as claimed, require the existence of conventional medicine?

        • Grumpycat
          December 16, 2012 at 11:47 pm

          BSM wrote

          ‘Homeopaths may be taught that as a matter of practicality and legal self-preservation that they must work with conventional medicine,’

          I will settle for that. No endorcement of homeopathy of course but something I suppose
          Please give examples on the Faculty and Society of Homeopaths websites where the text implies that homeopathy does not require the existence of conventional medicine.
          If you can show that these bodies are promoting homeopathy at the exclusion of conventional medicine then you may be on to something.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            December 17, 2012 at 7:56 am

            Which principles of homeopathy, if homeopathy works as claimed, require the existence of conventional medicine?

            You have turned up bere to defend homeopathy, so enough with the weaselling and evading. Try giving an actual answer.

          • Slipp Digby
            December 17, 2012 at 11:25 am

            The professional bodies exist (supposedly) to uphold standards and protect the public.

            However they also work to protect their members interests, this is why such direct inflammatory statements are unlikely to be found attributed to either the Faculty or Society of Homeopaths (I note you exclude the ARH!).

            What is perhaps more relevant is whether indiviual registered member of the Faculty/Society hold these views and deingrate conventional medicine to promote themselves as the alternative.

          • Andy Lewis
            December 17, 2012 at 11:34 am

            Wouldn’t is be refreshing to hear a homeopath say, “Yes, we do have a problem within the profession.”?

            The reason we never hear such things is because it is not a profession, but a cult. And the cult must work as hard as possible to keep outside influences from inner beliefs.

      • Andy Lewis
        December 16, 2012 at 6:10 pm

        I have received teaching materials from a homeopathy college in the UK that explicitly talks about how homeopaths might deliberately mislead doctors when they are treating communicable diseases.

        The colleges survive by misleading the outside world about their beliefs and intents.

        http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2009/11/can-we-trust-homeopaths-to-accredit.html

        How long do you wish to keep denying there is a very serious and fundamental problem at the heart of homeopathy?

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          December 16, 2012 at 7:46 pm

          Which isn’t exactly like a cult at all. Not at all.

        • Grumpycat
          December 16, 2012 at 11:51 pm

          Werent those the notes from Wendy Pearman from her study in the 1990s at a now defunct college?

          • Andy Lewis
            December 17, 2012 at 12:28 am

            The same teachers are still teaching. The students are practising.

  45. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 16, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    P.S. I am intrigued to observe whether you will ultimately recognise in yourself this insistence on dealing with tangential matters rather than pursuing a direct and rational path that threatens your core belief in the power of magic sugar pills.

    • Grumpycat
      December 17, 2012 at 9:38 am

      Andy-I would like to put your comment in context. The person running that college who wrote those notes has long since retired. Things have moved on since the mid 1990s.

      • Andy Lewis
        December 17, 2012 at 11:17 am

        I would suggest the onus was you to provide evidence that this is true. Where we can we see evidence of a wide-ranging and comprehensive rebuilding of homeopathic education that is not full of dangerous and deceitful practices? You and I both know that the main characters in the so-called homeopathic revival over the past few decades hold great sway and adopt very anti-medicine stances – in line with the founding principle of homeopathy. Without an open, and full discussions by homeopaths about this and evidence that action has been taken to remove such dangerous beliefs out of the trade, I will be taking your assertions as just more denial and cover up of the sort that we see so commonly.

        The best way you could evidence this is by showing how homeopaths answer the following question:

        Which principles of homeopathy, if homeopathy works as claimed, require the existence of conventional medicine?

        If I recall, you have been asked this a number of times.

        • Grumpycat
          December 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm

          Andy -You are talking as though you have any authority over homeopaths. As you found out in 2012 it is not all as easy as you thought to end homeopathy. There are too many of us and we are too strong. All we have to do in the UK is work with conventional medicine and you cant touch us. You might be able to get at a few who dont if you can provide evidence. You need recent evidence though and it wont be easy.

          The political powers that be are much more concerned about important matters that affect public health. Who really cares what Grumpycat says to Badley Shaved Monkey on the Black Duck’s blog. You need to supply evidence not me.

          • Andy Lewis
            December 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm

            Which principles of homeopathy, if homeopathy works as claimed, require the existence of conventional medicine?

          • Andy Lewis
            December 17, 2012 at 12:59 pm

            Maybe I can ask you another question too. How credible do you think you appear when you consistently refuse to acknowledge and answer a very simple question that would cut to the heart of your argument?

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            December 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm

            All we have to do in the UK is work with conventional medicine and you cant touch us

            OK, the mask has dropped. What you say amounts to “We’re a bunch of deceptive weasels who know the right things to say in public.”

            It is just fascinating to see you posting time again but avoiding the question you have been asked that would give an insight into your true beliefs.

          • Andy Lewis
            December 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm

            Come on Grumpycat. We all know what the answer to the question is and so we all know why you refuse to even acknowledge the question’s existence, let alone give it an honest answer. We know the question puts you in an impossible bind that would expose your hypocrisy and deceit. We just enjoy seeing how long you can go on pretending black is white.

          • Grumpycat
            December 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm

            Which principles of homeopathy, if homeopathy works as claimed, require the existence of conventional medicine?
            I would like further information on “if homeopathy works as claimed. As claimed by who?
            Any reference has to surely come from an offical capacity eg the Faculty or Society of Homeopaths not from some maverick individual with a website. Anyway I thought the ASA had sorted out UK homeopathic websites to the satisfaction of Alan?

            Show me claims for homeopathy from an offical source that trouble you. Any concerns about any group of people by convention are usually adressed by representative organisations. If these groups have ignored you then maybe there is a reason for that.

          • Mojo
            December 17, 2012 at 10:53 pm

            @Grumpycat

            Any reference has to surely come from an offical capacity eg the Faculty or Society of Homeopaths not from some maverick individual with a website.

            OK, here’s a current policy document from the Society of Homeopaths website:

            Homeopathy can now become established as a major therapeutic system
            Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine. A number of factors make this a particularly propitious time to establish homeopathy in the U.K. and Europe as a major form of health-care.

            Official enough?

          • Andy Lewis
            December 17, 2012 at 11:16 pm

            Looking forward to seeing how Grumpycat will now try to spin that ‘complete’ does not mean complete.

  46. Slipp Digby
    December 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I don’t wish to pile on Grumpycat, but you appear to be simply denying what is very clearly in front of you. You are unlikely to find direct evidence of Homeopaths promoting their remedies for cancer, because they are all to aware of the Cancer Act. It’s is not true of other serious medical conditions. You only need to look at recent articles on Scruttons blog:

    “Why conventional medicine can never work”
    “The disease inducing effect of big pharma drugs and vaccines”
    “The disease inducing effects (DIEs) of big pharma drugs”
    “The treatment of malaria with Homeopathy”

    It does not take a genius to gather the message that conventional medicine is dangerous and ineffective and homeopathy is the alternative.

    The cats been out of the bag a long time now, Homeopaths are not CAM, many see themselves as a true alternative and bearing in mind the competence of many of them, that is what is such a concern.

  47. Slipp Digby
    December 17, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Remember Gemma Hoefkens? She very publically stated that Homeopathy cured her cancer.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFm4uCxbMU0

    She continues to says this today

    http://www.homoeopathysuttoncoldfield.co.uk/gemma.html

    Despite this evidence-less and outragous claim, she is still a member of the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths.

    Rachel Roberts of the Society of Homeopaths got caught out in 2008 publishing med cards detailing a Homeopathic remedy for breast cancer.

    http://www.dcscience.net/?p=1196

    Seems like good evidence that at least some registered Homeopaths hold the view that cancer can be cured by Homeopathy.

    Bearing in mind whats at stake, I think that makes Andy’s rather question rather relevant.

  48. Mojo
    December 17, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Grumpycat: I suggest that you Google the phrase “homeopathy is a complete system of medicine”. What do the results imply about whether homoeopaths think conventional medicine is necessary?

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      December 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Proof of your psychic powers, Mojo! That Google search was going to be the subject of my next post. Job done.

    • Andy Lewis
      December 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      That phrase is so common in the UK because it was used by the Society of Homeopaths on their front page until one bright spark there realised it gave the game away.

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        December 17, 2012 at 1:17 pm

        Oh, yes, I’d forgotten that.

  49. JimR.
    December 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    What will they say about proton beam therapy?
    A recent study reached the conclusion,”Although PRT is substantially more costly than IMRT, there was no difference in toxicity in a comprehensive cohort of Medicare beneficiaries with prostate cancer at 12 months post-treatment.”
    http://www.modernhealthcare.com/assets/pdf/CH845921214.PDF

  50. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Which principles of homeopathy, if homeopathy works as claimed, require the existence of conventional medicine?
    I would like further information on “if homeopathy works as claimed. As claimed by who?
    Any reference has to surely come from an offical capacity eg the Faculty or Society of Homeopaths not from some maverick individual with a website. Anyway I thought the ASA had sorted out UK homeopathic websites to the satisfaction of Alan?

    Show me claims for homeopathy from an offical source that trouble you. Any concerns about any group of people by convention are usually adressed by representative organisations. If these groups have ignored you then maybe there is a reason for that.

    I love the sheer brazenness of this response. Grumpycat, no one can honestly be this obtuse.

    Let’s remove the conditional element, it’s redundant, and let you try again:

    Which principles of homeopathy require the existence of conventional medicine?

    Oh, and stop trying to hide behind some need that you have invoked for homeopathic authorities to have pronounced on this, you are being asked the question as an individual homeopath who has at least the intelligence to find the power-on button on his computer.

    P.S. I note now that you have tightened the ground on which you wish to stand even further so if no public self-incriminating statement exists from a UK homeopathic organisation that would satisfy a criminal level of proof then homeopathy as a whole is in the clear. To mix a couple of metaphors, you are standing on thin ice and shooting closer and closer to your own feet. Hilarious.

    But seriously, Grumpycat, your behaviour here is exactly why many of us hold not just homeopathy but homeopaths in contempt. You patently know its a crock of shit but will split hairs more and more finely to excuse it and yourself from scrutiny.

  51. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Grumpycat, as an aside, do you know the difference between a bullshitter and a liar? I think some homeopaths are Tru Bleevers so are neither, but many are bullshitters who are simply careless of the truth provided they can make a gain. However, liars are different. Liars know the truth and incidentally respect it by asserting the opposite. A Tru Bleever would try harder than you do to make a positive case. Poor Avi looks like one of those. He seems really to believe his nonsense. We see bullshitters quite often. There’s one who has in common with depleted uranium two specific things beyond its density. I think he may be a bullshitter, but I’m not convinced. I also had you down as a bullshitter, but I think the smell of the byre is wearing off. The way you dance around the truth strongly suggests you know what the truth is and can recognise it, but you refuse to admit doing so and consciously make statements inconsistent with it.

    • Grumpycat
      December 17, 2012 at 11:45 pm

      I have really got to you BSM. Must have hit a nerve for you to call me a liar. Oh dear. Never mind dont get angry at least you are not a liar.You are not a bullshitter either.
      Once again though I will try and educate you. Remember last summer my posts on July 1st when you and your friends really made daft statements about the end of homeopathy on this blog? As I have said you should just look at things simply- easy for a twerp (as you called me) like me. Read your daft innacurate posts then read mine. I was right you were wrong. You were deluded. Utterly deluded.Sad.
      You havent learnt anything
      On this this topic the basic fact which you dont know seem to know about is that homeopaths dont do primary care. They dont diagnose. Patients come to them diagnosed to the hilt. Many Drs love us- we are helping them out. Soon there will be more homeopathy on the NHS-Might seem unlikely but be patient as Alan would say. The wheel turn slowly as Andy would say.
      Your question ‘Which principles of homeopathy require the existence of conventional medicine’ is irrelevant. You read it here first.

      • Andy Lewis
        December 18, 2012 at 12:15 am

        Ahhh. Bluster was the response of choice here.

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        December 18, 2012 at 12:42 am

        Either you can’t answer or you won’t answer. I think by now it’s pretty clear you have made a conscious choice that you won’t answer the question. But the question remains :

        ‘Which principles of homeopathy require the existence of conventional medicine?

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        December 18, 2012 at 12:56 am

        Must have hit a nerve for you to call me a liar.

        Not really. Just obeying forum etiquette of refraining from personal attacks unless they can be substantiated with evidence. You’ve provided quite a lot more evidence recently. Your posts had just been snide complaints whingeing about criticism of homeopathy. Now you’ve been tied down to have to take specific action in response to a specific question that cuts to the heart of the issue your posts have become more revelatory.

        The question that you keep dodging can be repeated as often as I can be bothered to copy and paste it or until you answer it honestly. No sign of the latter and I’m not bored yet, so we can carry on.

      • Mojo
        December 18, 2012 at 9:50 am

        Grumpycat, what do you think the Society of Homeopaths mean when they state that homeopathy is “a complete system of medicine”? What do you think all those British homoeopaths mean when they repeat that statement on their own websites?

  52. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 18, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Here’s another funny thing, Mojo posted the following about an hour before Grumpycat’s latest offering but he has not replied.

    @Grumpycat

    Any reference has to surely come from an offical capacity eg the Faculty or Society of Homeopaths not from some maverick individual with a website.

    OK, here’s a current policy document from the Society of Homeopaths website:
    Homeopathy can now become established as a major therapeutic system
    Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine. A number of factors make this a particularly propitious time to establish homeopathy in the U.K. and Europe as a major form of health-care.
    Official enough?

    • Grumpycat
      December 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      Dear BSM and Mojo,
      Thanks for the text from the Society of Homeopaths website
      ‘Homeopathy can now become established as a major therapeutic system
      Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine. A number of factors make this a particularly propitious time to establish homeopathy in the U.K. and Europe as a major form of health-care.
      Official enough?’

      So what? What is the problem? Homeopathy is a major therapeutic system in India, Russia, Brazil, Germany and France for example. Anyone stating this is not telling lies.

      When homeopathy is used to compliment conventional medicine most UK Drs are happy with this so long as homeopathy is used alongside their treatments and not to the exclusion of any treatments.

      As for your principle question. Lets try some logic for you to deconstruct.
      Symptoms are important to homeopaths as is diagnoses. Homeopaths dont do primary or emergency care nor do they diagnose. Conventional medicine is therefore essential.
      It is getting a bit harder for you now. x

      • Andy Lewis
        December 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm

        Which principle of homeopathy means a conventional diagnosis is important to a homeopath?
        Once diagnosed, which principles of homeopathy require treatment by conventional medicine?
        Which principles of homeopathy mean it fails with emergency care?

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        December 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm

        What Andy said.

        To summarise;

        Cmd-C
        Cmd-V
        Which principles of homeopathy require the existence of conventional medicine?

        My keyboard still works. Excellent. Am I bored yet? Nope.

      • Mojo
        December 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm

        @Grumpycat:

        What do the Society of Homeopaths mean when they say that homoeopathy is a complete system of medicine?

  53. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    So what? What is the problem?

    It would seem you do not understand the meaning of the common English word complete.

    complete
    adj 1: having every necessary or normal part or component or step…;
    2: perfect and complete in every respect; having all necessary
    qualities…

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      December 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      Hang on, perhaps Grumpycat only understands complete in the fifth sense given by that link.

      5: without qualification; used informally as (often pejorative)
      intensifiers; “an arrant fool”; “a complete coward”; “a
      consummate fool”; “a double-dyed villain”; “gross
      negligence”; “a perfect idiot”; “pure folly”; “what a
      sodding mess”; “stark staring mad”; “a thoroughgoing
      villain”; “utter nonsense”

      The phrase “complete homeopath”, as in “Grumpycat, you are a complete homeopath”, makes perfect sense.

      • Grumpycat
        December 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm

        No one cares about somantics BSM. It is all about intergrating homeopathy with conventional medicine. It is about looking at evidence of how homeopathy has been used in the UK and in other countries.It is not about trying to get a Mitchel and Webb emergency room.
        Andy wrote
        ‘Which principle of homeopathy means a conventional diagnosis is important to a homeopath?’
        The principle of totality of symptoms. The correct diagnoses is important in order to get all the symptoms.

        ‘Once diagnosed, which principles of homeopathy require treatment by conventional medicine?’

        Homeopaths dont do primary care. Drs do primary care. Some patients have conventional medicine and opt for homeopathy alongside it. What you dont realise is that some patients misstrust conventional medicine so much after treatment that they refuse it. There have been many many cases of homeopaths encourage patients to keep in contact with their Drs when they have given up. This is recognised by many Drs.You will never give any credit Andy and that is your weakness.100% criticism doesnt get believed as you really should know by now.

        Which principles of homeopathy mean it fails with emergency care?.
        The principle of common bloody sense.

        • Mojo
          December 18, 2012 at 10:16 pm

          What do the Society of Homeopaths mean when they say that homoeopathy is a complete system of medicine?

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          December 18, 2012 at 11:44 pm

          It doesn’t seem to be about spelling on your part anyway.

          It is about looking at evidence of how homeopathy has been used in the UK and in other countries.

          You don’t get to say what “it” is about. We know how homeopathy is used. The question is whether it should be used. This is Andy’s blog. It is about;

          Which principles of homeopathy require the existence of conventional medicine?

          I do find it interesting that you keep asserting that homeopaths do not provide primary care. I strongly doubt that every single patient and every single clinical problem has been through conventional medicine first before the quacks have a go. It seems important for you to have us believe your assertion. I don’t. I wonder why it matters to you.

        • Mojo
          January 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm

          Which principles of homeopathy mean it fails with emergency care?.
          The principle of common bloody sense.

          No, which principles of homoeopathy?

  54. Grumpycat
    December 18, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Mojo- all I can see on the home page is.
    ‘Homeopathy is a system of medicine which involves treating the individual with highly diluted substances.’

    So where does it say complete?

    They are not saying it now.

    • Mojo
      December 18, 2012 at 11:46 pm

      It’s on their website now. I’ve already linked to the document it comes from, in a post replying to you yesterday at 10:53 pm. You have even quoted it in a reply you posted today at 12:40 pm. That’s less than 12 hours ago. Do you really have such a short memory, or did you think I would have forgotten?

      Here it is again. Read page 6 of this current policy document:

      Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine.

      Follow the link and you will see that they are saying it now.

      What do they mean by it?

      • Grumpycat
        December 19, 2012 at 9:31 am

        Mojo. I quoted from the main page on the website- that is the page the public read.

        You are quoting from some policy document dated 2006 on page 6 buried away in the website.
        I challenge anyone to find the document on the website without the link.
        Big deal anyway. Only you lot would read this one liner as advocating homeopathy to treat primary care cancers and car accidents.
        Tell the ASA so that Scotland Yard can immediately cancel all leave and send a ring of police to surround the bastards in Northampton. Dont waste time as innocent members of the public having unfortunate accidents and dropping down with heart attacks must be ringing the local homeopath and not 999. All because of this one liner on page 6 on this policy document that Mojo found. You must be so desperate.

        • Mojo
          December 19, 2012 at 11:26 am

          Grumpycat, why are you so desperate to duck the question? It’s there in a current document on their site. Until last year it was also on their front page. It is on the websites of hundreds of UK homoeopaths.

          What do they all mean when they say that homoeopathy is a complete system of medicine?

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            December 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm

            Nothing ducks like a quack.

  55. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 18, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Grumpycat

    Your list of unevidenced assertions is growing. We’ve had you tell us that you know what the “vast majority” of UK homeopaths think even though we’ve given you strong and systematic evidence to the contrary.

    Your latest bons mots are;

    There have been many many cases of homeopaths encourage patients to keep in contact with their Drs when they have given up. This is recognised by many Drs.

    Grumpy, unless you produce evidence to support this, I think this is just in your lonely little office with your coffee machine and your shelf of sugar pills making shit up as you go along continuing the long tradition of ad hoc invention by which your trade has survived for 200 years.

    • Grumpycat
      December 19, 2012 at 9:14 am

      What is it like in your ivory tower BSM with just you and your computer? Get out more. All you see are googled websites and some blustering blog from one homeopath and then extrapolate that.
      I really do think that you are being honest and actually beleive what you say but it doesnt matter though as it is not reality. If there were 1000s or even 100s of homeopaths stopping people having conventional medicine then Drs would be up in arms. Goes without saying.
      Give me evidence to the contrary.

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        December 19, 2012 at 9:53 am

        Which principles of homeopathy require the existence of conventional medicine?

  56. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 18, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    100% criticism doesnt get believed as you really should know by now.

    Now you’re getting desperate. 100% criticism of lunar green cheese mineralogy is both well-founded and fully accepted. Between right and wrong there is not some point of compromise where wrong can be half-right. People may be uninterested in the wrongness of homeopathy, but that doesn’t make it any less wrong

    • Grumpycat
      December 19, 2012 at 9:49 am

      Dont worry BSM as you will get the odd one step forward in 2013 as you trawl through everything. By all means chip away at any remnants from the past. However the outcome will be dictated by the millions of homeopathic supporters, by Drs and by politicians. You had best get some evidence of the following otherwise everything you say doesnt hold up and it looks like you are just some frustrated bloke sitting by a computer with a fixation on green cheese.
      1 Homeopaths advising patients not to have radiation treatment
      2 Homeopaths doing primary care
      3 Homeopaths advising patients to not see their GP
      4 Homeopaths advising patients to not go to A& E
      I wont hold my breath.

      • Andy Lewis
        December 19, 2012 at 11:14 am

        Lets try a very specific question…

        Grumpycat. It is common for homeopaths to ‘antidote’ a new patient if the drugs they have taken before commencing homeopathic treatment. Often this involves giving the patient their drug ‘in potency’.

        Why do homeopaths do this?
        What messages does this give to patients either implied or explicitly?

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        December 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm

        Another worrying thing about you, Grumpy, beyond your evasiveness is your inability to follow a rational train of thought. And you are someone who presumes to treat sick people. It is just as well that real medicine is there to protect your customers from the consequences of their folly. But what is it about homeopathy itself that makes it so feeble that you depend on real doctors to prevent you harming patients? There must be something deeply wrong with it that you cannot ever deal on your own with a patient’s problem; there always has to be a real doctor around doing their job properly. It’s quite a mystery. How can we solve that mystery, there must be some specific part of homeopathy that means you absolutely need conventional medicine. Probably some principle of homeopathy dictates that you need real doctors so you don’t kill patients by your acts of folly. How could we explore this? I know, by finding the answer to a question:

        Which principles of homeopathy require the existence of conventional medicine?

  57. Mojo
    December 19, 2012 at 9:28 am

    @Grumptcat:

    What do the Society of Homeopaths mean when they say that homoeopathy is a complete system of medicine?

  58. Grumpycat
    December 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Andy- You think it is common for homeopaths to antidote a new patient for drugs they may have taken. I suggest that you do some research on this to verify the accuracy of the statement. You cant prove this statement to be true nor can I magically produce figures either.
    Again you are painting a false picture. You have some tatty old notes from someone who studied homeopathy a long time ago. You are out of context in 2012 and it is not for me to help you get your facts right by answering your questions.
    In fact it suits me if you and BSM just carry on seeing homeopathy as wrong and all homeopaths as threats to public health.

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      December 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      Which principles of homeopathy require the existence of conventional medicine?

      • Grumpycat
        December 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm

        It is a shame that monkeys cant read. I do recommend the availability of conventional medicine for all but especially you BSM. Lots of it- All in suppository form as this might shut you up.

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          December 19, 2012 at 6:58 pm

          I can read. I can also spell and parse grammatical sentences as well as framing logical arguments in marked contrast to yourself.

          I am pleased that you recommend conventional medicine for all, but you have still fail to explain why you need to do this. Evidently, homeopathy is not a complete system of medicine in your view,

          Which principles of homeopathy require the existence of conventional medicine?

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            December 19, 2012 at 6:59 pm

            Typo: conventional medicine for all, but you have still failED to explain why you need to do this.

    • Andy Lewis
      December 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      Are we to believe homeopathy has transformed radically in a few years with no kicking and screaming from the old skool? We are not idiots here you know.

      Are you denying that homeopaths ‘antidote’? If so, then fine. But if homeopaths do, then perhaps you would care to answer the questions as to why (at least some) homeopaths do this?

  59. Mojo
    December 20, 2012 at 10:20 am

    @Grumpycat:

    Remember what you wrote?

    Any reference has to surely come from an offical capacity eg the Faculty or Society of Homeopaths not from some maverick individual with a website.

    I’ve pointed out to you a reference from the society of homeopaths stating that homoeopathy is a complete system of medicine. I’ve also pointed out that there are literall hundreds of websites making the same statement. We are clearly not talking about “some maverick individual”. Then, when the exact kind of reference you asked for was provided, you move the goalposts and insist that it has to be on the SoH’s front page. You’re moving the goalposts.

    The reference you asked for has been provided. Now answer the question.

    What do the Society of Homeopaths mean when they say that homoeopathy is a complete system of medicine?

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      December 20, 2012 at 10:36 am

      If Grumpycat doesn’t like your citation he has only one logical (thought stupid) escape route: Prior to 2006 his trade body and all its trained initiates believed homeopathy to be a “complete system of medicine”, then the changed their corporate mind but forgot to tell anyone else.

      I wonder what evidence made them do that. It surely could not be cynical political expediency and a desire to protect their true, but politically inconvenient views, from public scrutiny.

      I predict this will be another logical conundrum that he will refuse to face.

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        December 20, 2012 at 10:37 am

        Typo: “logical (though stupid)”

    • Andy Lewis
      December 20, 2012 at 10:57 am

      I wonder if Grumpycat is able to make any associations whatsoever between the behaviour of homeopaths in being unable to publicly critically appraise their own trade and police its behaviours and the slow but continuous shut down of homeopathy in this country?

      • Grumpycat
        December 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm

        Slow and continuous shut down? Please provide evidence to back up this statement Andy? Looks like it is wishful thinking to me. A lot has changed and you dont want to recognise this in any way. You do have a blustering blogger providing you with ammunition and you will clutch at some other loose ends. However the powers that be can see the whole picture and your game is an open book.
        The core elements of homeopathy will continue with you snipping away painting a false picture and snatching your tit bits. One step forward and two steps back it is for you now. Andy you are now in reverse after punching above your weight for so long. 2012 didnt go as planned for you did it?- as you well know.
        You may want to ask yourself and the oh so rational, logical BSM the following questions.
        Why is homeopathy untouched in the UK despite all your efforts? Why do so many people still make an informed choice to use it?
        Why does anyone still see homeopaths knowing full well everything so say against it?
        These questions may get to the heart of the matter better than implying that homeopathy is used in preventing people from having conventional cancer treatments, primary care and in Mitchel and Webb type emergency scenarios.

        • Andy Lewis
          December 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm

          I am happy for you to think homeopathy is thriving in the UK.

          NHS Homeopathy is dying very quickly. From five dedicated hospitals just a few years ago, we are down to three. Two of which dare not call themselves homeopathic hospitals anymore. Bristol homeopathy is shrinking as attested by yesterday’s news.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-20780271

          Overall, the spending on NHS homeopathy is collapsing

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8729588/NHS-spending-on-homeopathy-prescriptions-falls-to-122000.html

          Now you might claim that lay homeopathy is thriving. But the Society of Homeopaths do not see it is as important to be public about their membership numbers or survey publicly how homeopaths are doing. One only need look at homeopathy discussion boards though to see how the talk is of the difficulty of making a living as a lay homeopath. I have argued that the only people making money in the UK with homeopath are the pharmacists and those in the training business. The Schools are essentially making promises to students of creating new careers for them that the market is not providing. Lots of bad publicity is one factor in that no doubt.

          Here is Mike Bridger, a prominent homeopath by all accounts bemoaning the state of UK homeopathy,

          http://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/sat-nav-for-homeopaths-orienteering-for-heroes-mazes-for-monsters/

          “There is much talk in England about how homeopaths are not busy and are no longer able to make a living out of practising. “

          To claim UK homeopathy is ‘untouched’ is incredible wishful thinking. It is clearly not true.

          You are in utter denial.

          • Grumpycat
            December 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm

            That makes both of us in utter denial then doesnt it?

          • Andy Lewis
            December 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm

            You asked for evidence. I gave it to you. And that is your best response?

            Do you ever feel ever so slightly ashamed?

        • Andy Lewis
          December 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm

          Oh and by the way, as I have said before, you are foolish in the extreme if you think that the 2012 focus on medicine regulations has played out yet. We are merely past the opening. The effects are already starting to be felt with the pharmacies being much more careful how they sell products and kits online. It cannot have done good for their business – and the noose will be tightening. If you think the homeopaths had a ‘win’ you really have little understanding about how the wheels are turning. It is quite extraordinary. The homeopaths had to settle for knowing that they were practising illegally and a hope that the authorities would never care about this.

          • Grumpycat
            December 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm

            Homeopathy has never thrived in the UK like in some other countries. I never said thriving. Untouched doesnt mean thriving – Ask BSM as he has a dictionary.
            Increase in regulation and controls are happening in all walks of life Andy. I dont doubt you are right about the pharmacies but the principal issues are unchanged.
            Practising illegally? Just how useless are you at complaining then? To think I thought that you were good at this.

            As well as pointing out issues in homeopathy it may also be an idea that you take stock of any changes made within homeopathy in recent years.
            You write as though nothing has changed and that weakens your arguments- You ignore the many homeopaths who just dont practise in any way like you think. So if you think that turning wheels will prevent homeopaths from practising primary care and A & E then that wont make any difference as it isnt happening anyway.
            So what are you trying to achieve with your turning wheels?
            It looks like you are trying to stop people from having a choice?
            With this in mind you may find that the noose is tightening around you

          • Andy Lewis
            December 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm

            One thing I always find remarkable when arguing with True Believers is that they are never able to acknowledge any error on their part. Grumpycat – you challenged me to find evidence of homeopathic decline in the UK. I gave you a substantial amount – you ignored it as if you had never asked the question.

            Are you prepared to accept now the decline of homeopathy in the UK?

    • Grumpycat
      December 20, 2012 at 11:48 am

      Bollocks Mojo. There is a difference between what is currently on a main page and what is buried away in a 2006 policy document on a large website. Anyway if it troubles you so much why dont you complain to the ASA. Complain to the MHRA as well as a matter of urgent public health. See how seriously they take you.
      Even better ask the Society of Homeopaths- they might even update it for you. I dont speak for them.
      Again I repeat myself. Only you and your friends see UK homeopaths as doing primary care and treating emergency cases. Keep going with this line. If you want to be taken seriously then I suggest you get some evidence rather than delusional speculation.

      • Mojo
        December 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm

        Bollocks Grumpycat. It’s on the website now. Far from being “buried”, it is linked from their current page about education policy. The fact that you would like it to be “buried” doesn’t make it so.

        You asked for a reference from “an offical capacity eg the Faculty or Society of Homeopaths”. That is exactly what has been provided.

        What do you think “homeopathy is a complete system of medicine” means?

        • Grumpycat
          December 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm

          Poor innocent member of the public stumbles on the Society of Homeopaths website.
          Home page comes up- thinks ‘whats this all about’
          Clicks on ‘About Homeopathy’ – System of medicine? Cor this looks good- Sod my 60K IT job.
          Clicks on Careers- Gotta find out more about this!
          Clicks on Course recognition- Fascinating! Thank God I havent read the Quackometer blog!
          Clicks on A guide to our recognition process- Sees 18 documents and reads them all.
          Looks at ‘2006 Education policy’- reads all 19 pages and sees ‘complete system of medicine’
          Then cancels appointment with GP.
          Mojo- what the hell are you on?

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            December 21, 2012 at 8:05 am

            Clicks on A guide to our recognition process- Sees 18 documents and reads them all.
            Looks at ’2006 Education policy’- reads all 19 pages and sees ‘complete system of medicine’
            Then cancels appointment with GP.

            I think by now we must assume that you are deliberately misrepresenting the arguments against you. No one on the rational side of this discussion posits that specific chain of events.

            What we are saying, and what we have demonstrated, is that homeopaths themselves believe that homeopathy is a “complete system of medicine”. If they believe that then it is simply not credible that they do not undermine conventional medicine. We have shown you evidence that this occurs. Demonstrating the nature of the homeopathic belief system is sufficient to underpin our calls for homeopathic services to be dismantled and for enforcement action to be taken against homeopaths using tools already available to deal with fraudulent and misleading marketing claims and business practices. The fact that this has not been done is because many in positions of authority simply do not take homeopathy seriously and/or misunderstand its nature. We should also not forget the pernicious effect of behind the scenes pressure from Camilla’s husband.

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        December 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm

        BAZINGA! I told you there was something stupid that you could say and you went and said it anyway. Brilliant.

        I am fascinated to know what, by your account, stopped homeopathy from being a complete system of medicine as it was apparently prior to 2006 to become the incompete state in which we now find it. Something must have stopped those magic spells from working on the sugar pills. That must be tricky for you.

        On the other hand the magic still seems to be working for others, all those that you have been shown still claiming it is a complete system of medicine. Grumpycat you are obviously a squib and should leave Hogwarts immediately.

        • Grumpycat
          December 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

          You are just too clever BSM. You spin me right round- like a record. You are not as amusing as Andy though.
          As I said complete system only to you means primary care and A and E.

          • Andy Lewis
            December 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm

            I did warn you that Grumpycat would have to redefine what ‘complete’ means.

            Are you going to answer my question after my kind actions of providing you with the evidence you requested?

            Are you prepared to accept now the decline of homeopathy in the UK?

  60. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    @Squibby

    As I said complete system only to you means primary care and A and E.

    Never mind whether that makes sense as a reply to my post it doesn’t even make sense as a sentence in English.

    It does not need cleverness to understand our arguments. It does require honesty to admit you’ve lost.

    I predict you will adopt another familiar tactic and run for the exit.

    • Grumpycat
      December 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      I must be the only person in your life who has run for the exit to get away from you.

      • Andy Lewis
        December 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm

        Are you prepared to accept now the decline of homeopathy in the UK?

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        December 20, 2012 at 5:16 pm

        Which principles of homeopathy require the existence of conventional medicine?

        Perhaps this is only since 2006, because before then it was perfect according to you.

  61. Grumpycat
    December 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Be patient……(Thanks for that one Alan)

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      December 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      You have been shown commendable patience. But clear, honest answers to some rather simple questions are certainly long overdue.

      Does it give you no pause for thought that you have found yourself incapable of providing those answers?

  62. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 21, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Wouldn’t it be nice if our friend the squib would stick around for something more like a real-time discussion? This game of correspondence chess has its own pleasures but it is needlessly protracted.

    So far, in all his/her time here, all Grumpycat has said can be summarised as “Ner, ner, ni, ner, ner. You can’t catch me”. He behaves as if he knows full well that homeopathy is a fiction, but this really doesn’t matter so long as we are unable to hang an actual criminal conviction around his neck.

    Squibby, just to be clear, while we would love to see you imprisoned for fraud, this is an internet blog not a court. It’s a forum for debate and what we are interested in are facts and the truth, which is why we want to get you to answer certain simple questions that reveal what is really going on with homeopathy. So, here is my question again;

    Which principles of homeopathy require the existence of conventional medicine?

    Come on, prove us all wrong by giving an honest and truthful answer.

  63. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 21, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Until our squib returns, this is worth a read, http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/bodytalk-medical-theater/

    The on-topic relevance here is the evidence it contains of a currently influential organisation, TED, waking up to the problem of pseudoscience and clamping down on it. Another little hole in your dam, Squibby.

  64. John H
    December 21, 2012 at 11:07 am

    An article in the Grauniad this morning said that Roberts wants to consider:

    – immunotherapy
    – boron neutron capture therapy
    – photodynamic therapy
    – hyperbaric oxygen therapy

    I imagine they are all forms of scientific sounding quackery probably based on some perversion of quantum weirdness.

    For evidence that photodynamic therapy is lethal rubbish I offer the following.

    I was in Ireland the week before last. In the papers I followed the case of an Irish doctor who used photodynamic therapy to try to cure cancers, for example liver cancer.

    His patients died.

    He is on trial. For fraud rather than criminal negligence. I find that depressing.

    Anyone interested in knowing more can google “Irish independent” and ” photodynamic therapy” for further details.

    I doubt if any of the other three “therapies” would demonstrate better results.

    I find it intensely sad that the “worried well” mentality of the average consumer of quackery to resort to mumbo-jumbo so often results in the death of their children.

    • Andy Lewis
      December 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      Interesting she is considering boron neutron capture therapy which involves sticking your head inside a nuclear reactor.

  65. John H
    December 21, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Andy

    I didn’t even bother looking up the other three therapies (loose usage).

    Along with the quack treatments listed on the SBM page referenced above that would make about seven new forms of quackery I have been exposed to today. Life is too short for this rubbish. In any case us lucky ones have you to do the masochistic bit for us. A crap job but someone has to do it.

    I did dip my toes into the Wiki page on BNCT and it does indeed seem to involve being stuck in some form of nuclear reactor.

    I may have got this wrong but it seems to require the injection of powerful drugs followed by exposure to radiation.

    Maybe, rather like my Essex namesake, i am being a bit dim but I cannot for the life of me see how this is materially different to chemotherapy and radiotherapy as practiced by evil slash/burn/poison allopaths.

    That Grauniad (my spellchecker does it automatically, which is somehow ironic) article went on to explain that the treatments (in addition to the four previously mentioned) include the usual quack suspects of:

    – herbs
    – nutritional supplements
    – enzymes
    – diet
    – psychological healing strategies

    Weedism, unproven (and almost certainly expensive) supplements, cod psychology. Yep – they should work.

    (Presumably with a name like Neon he is almost certainly an Indigo Chiild.)

    Poor child. Recklessly stupid mother

    • Andy Lewis
      December 21, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      I used to work in a medical physics group that was looking at BNCT. That was 20 years ago. It is a clever idea with huge practical difficulties, not least getting the boron containing drugs into tumour sites and not into healthy tissue. Getting a source of neutrons of sufficient size is also a problem – a few accelerators can do it – or of course there is the fall back of head in the old nuclear reactor. It may come of age. But research is obviously expensive. It is definitely not at the stage where it represents a better alternative to proven chemo + radiotherapy.

  66. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 22, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Hmmm…it’s been more than 36hrs since Grumpycat last posted.

    Maybe he’s just doing his Christmas shopping…

  67. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 23, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Here, kitty, kitty, kitty…

  68. John H
    December 23, 2012 at 11:57 am

    It just goes on and on and on.

    Article on the front page of the Sunday Times about quacks using “light bed and sonar treatment” as a treatment for cancer.

    The posh pseudo-scientific name appears to be SPDT (sono photodynamic therapy) – the same cobblers that killed those cancer patients in Ireland, presumably with added sound.

    Ernst calls it a rip-off and the NHS says its use is “fraudulent or misguided”. The quacks say it is superior to chemotherapy and that the survival rate is just under 10%.

    It must be a Christmas miracle.

    Why is it seemingly impossible to put an end to this rubbish?

  69. John H
    December 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Andy

    Just re-read the suggested blogs on Tredinnick and ear candling. A great pair of reads. Are you doing an Orac and suggesting old threads because you are off celebrating pagan festivals.

    I thought that with reference to Tredinnick I would rehash something I posted on Orac’s site.

    In the 1920′s there was a cartoon in Punch which showed a man being hit by a truck. (it was badly resurrected in the 60’s).

    The caption went something along the lines of “In a major step forward for the acceptance of astrology as a science everyone in England born under the sign of Aries was run over by an egg truck yesterday”.

    The Tredennick article was enough to convince me that there may well be a sound basis to astrology.

    After all he spent over £700 of our cash on astrology software so the suppliers quite clearly saw him coming. Case proved.

    The ear candling post is hilarious. Starts off with a well reasoned posting on an obvious piece of rubbish which like most quackery (all?) is potentially dangerous (although not very often, fortunately).

    Then the quacks join in with passionate defences of this rubbish. You start off responding with considered response, reason and politeness but gradually degenerate into abuse, bad language and terse replies (not that I blame you). Great read.

    You could probably force the evidence down their lugholes with a cotton bud and it still wouldn’t make any difference. You should have called the posting “Casting Pearls Before Swine”.

    Happy Christmas to you, Mrs Duck and ducklings and thanks for the posts.

  70. Akeso Therapies
    February 6, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    I have to admit there are many therapies that work wonders but again the are some that i wonder if they work. I have tried ear candling and didnt find any demonstrable improvement. Also when I tried a plantain medication it seemed to improve my symptoms but i couldnt say for sure it did. That said if I were suffering from cancer I would not do a Steve Jobs and go straight for Alternative medicine because that is something over centuries that no Homeopathic help seems to have cured.

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