Skeptic organizations are decrying the use of anecdotal information as a means of validating a therapy or invalidating certain conventional drugs and vaccines. Yet anecdotal information is the most important consumer and clinician tool for knowing what works, does not work and what is harmful in a real time not academic or laboratory setting.
And more importantly the body of information on side effects from drugs is for the most part based on anecdotes from patients and consumers- not laboratory evidence.
The MILLIONS every day who use homeopathy have depended on its profound clinical results. Seeing family, children, pets and even herds of animals respond so well to homeopathic remedies have made it one of the most rapidly growing health modalities in the world.
Homeopaths have built an important body of knowledge in the treatment of chronic disease by listening carefully to their patients. This includes honestly evaluating their results- what works and what does not work- and, over time, seeing the best approaches. It also has included the importance of referring patients to conventional medical doctors and working in combination with them. Clinically, the safety and effectiveness of homeopathic remedies have been proven in a 200- year old record with both scientific studies and clinical results. And yes, for the most part homeopathic treatment works on an individual basis, but there are times when it does not.
But now, there comes along a group of fundamentalist “skeptic” organizations funded by pharmaceutical companies recruiting academics who have no medical clinical experience to say that anecdotal information is not relevant to medicine and is, in fact, detrimental to it. They are saying, “Give me the evidence” only through scientific laboratory data and the double blind test. They also want you to believe that this narrow drug company sponsored view is science. Many scientists and medical clinicians would disagree with them and their approach. For instance, most surgical techniques have been developed over years of feedback from clinical information and, of course, not from double blind studies.
This is a drug company dream made into reality! Why is that?
Well, the body of information on side effects from drugs is, for the most part, based on anecdote and not on laboratory evidence.
It has been shown again and again that both the safety and efficacy of drugs has not been determined by double blind studies- the only “evidence” that skeptics want you to believe is important. Many drugs that have successfully undergone double blind studies have been many years later determined to be harmful by clinical results and patient reports, (anecdotes!).
It is rather strange that the organization that is the most opposed to validating anecdotal evidence and is fighting homeopathy the most is “Sense about Science” (and similar organizations that have now opened around the world). “Sense about Science” is almost entirely funded by the conventional pharmaceutical and medical industry- to the tune of 250,000 GBP and counting.
Luckily, authorities responsible for drug safety don’t listen to the denials of drug companies themselves, or these drug-company sponsored skeptics, but rather to the public and their suffering as a result of taking a particular conventional drug. They have also seen the effectiveness and safety of homeopathic remedies validated through scientific testing, clinical results and demand.
It was for this reason that in England, the “Evidence Check Report” on homeopathy, which was primarily based on recommendations from two well known pharmaceutical company- sponsored skeptics, was not accepted by Parliament and strongly opposed by many members of Parliament who saw through the canard. The Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) is now linking to that report as if it was passed without further investigation, which gives you an idea of their bias.
Eventually, a conventional drug is proved to be harmful by a body of anecdotal information. Skeptics and drug companies would like you to believe that this is primarily “in your head”, or in the head of the victim, or caused by the “placebo effect”. This is why for many years drugs that are harmful are kept on the market. The FDA estimates that Vioxx killed or injured over 55,000 people in the United States by the time it was finally pulled from the market. The leading cause of liver failure in children in the United States is Tylenol, but we have yet to hear a peep out of skeptic groups about these problematic situations. Why? Because of their unquestioning support of the pharmaceutical industry and the very large research industry, including University researchers that get all their funding from pharmaceutical companies.
Homeopathy will continue to be strong in spite of some mainstream press outlets who have decided to pick up the battle cry of pharmaceutical company advertisers and skeptics- “evidence only and forget what happens in the clinic”.
There are many good laboratory studies showing it works, validating its clinical value and intelligent approach to the human condition and suffering- making it a number one choice for the millions who use it daily.
But if you value the positive results both in yourself, friends, family and colleagues, homeopathy at this time needs to your support to protect it from the substantial interests working against it.
And if you have had some positive effects from homeopathy, it is important for you to get involved and be a voice of reason in all the shouting going on against it. Make your voice heard.
A special thank you to the number of homeopathic clinicians, medical doctors, including medical specialists, who contributed to this editorial.
Filed under: Homeopathy, Homeopathy and Conventional Medicine, Skeptics and Homeopathy | Tagged: anectodal verses evidence, BBC homeopathy, CBC Marketplace homeopathy, Center for Information, evidence check British parliament, Sense about Science, skeptics | 1 Comment »