Homeopathy in the news: The Richard Dawkins TV programme
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The Enemies of Reason, C4, 20.08.07
Statement from The Society of Homeopaths, regarding 'The Enemies of Reason', presented by Richard Dawkins and broadcast by Channel 4 on 20.08.07
"The Society of Homeopaths, Europe's largest body of professional homeopaths, is concerned at the lengths yet another eminent professor and scientist is prepared to go to discredit homeopathy and patient choice, in what appears to be no more than a fear-laden reaction at the growing popularity of complementary medicine.
Dismissing anything that he himself cannot explain, Professor Richard Dawkins ('The Irrational Health Service') leaves the viewer unsure about who the real enemy of reason is as he insists on polarising the debate between homeopathy and medical science.
The real issues of patient choice and integrated health are swept aside as Dawkins unhelpfully pitches Herceptin against homeopathy. And not only does he omit to mention the four out of five meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials of homeopathy which have reached broadly positive conclusions, he also forgets to add that prescribed drugs can have significant side effects and indeed do not work for everyone.
Homeopathy has been around for over 200 years, treating the patient rather than the disease. And in 2000, the House of Lords' Select Committee on Science & Technology cited homeopathy as one of the five Group One therapies, having "an individual diagnostic approach" along with osteopathy, chiropractic, herbal medicine and acupuncture.
Dawkins et al are right to observe that its mechanism of action has yet to be proven. But nevertheless, the fact remains that it works. And with thousands of people seeing a practitioner and a £38m spend on homeopathy predicted for this year, why would so many return again and again for treatment if it was not effective?"
Paula Ross, Chief Executive, The Society of Homeopaths
Notes to Editors:
House of Lords Select Committee on Science & Technology. 'Complementary & Alternative Medicine.'Session 1999-2000, 6th Report. The Stationery Office, 2000 P17
* The homeopathy market for 2007 is estimated to be worth £38m and projected to reach £46m in 2012. "Homeopathy is showing steady growth and this is likely to continue". (Mintel, Complementary Medicines, April 2007)
* Homeopathic remedies are regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA)
* Homeopathy has been available on the NHS since its inception in 1948 and there are 5 NHS homeopathic hospitals in Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Tunbridge Wells
The Society of Homeopaths
The Society of Homeopaths is the largest body of professional homeopaths in Europe. Established in 1978, it has over 2,300 members.
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