Tuesday, 29 January 2013

BHA: The Dangers Of Homeopathy (Guest Post)

There are a lot of reasons to be concerned about homeopathy, but the casual way it is accepted by the wider public as, at best, quaint and harmless, is something we are concerned about. As its use in state-funded schools and as a treatment within the NHS gets wider publicity we want to shine a light on the practice that causes real harm.

Humanists generally support scientists and researchers in their quest for knowledge and the improvement of human health and wellbeing. Much scientific evidence has been put forward refuting the claims that homeopathy can improve health and be used to treat various illnesses.

In February 2010, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee produced a report on the available evidence regarding homeopathy. They concluded that “The Government’s position on homeopathy is confused. On the one hand, it accepts that homeopathy is a placebo treatment. This is an evidence-based view. On the other hand, it funds homeopathy on the NHS without taking a view on the ethics of providing placebo treatments. We argue that this undermines the relationship between NHS doctors and their patients, reduces real patient choice and puts patients’ health at risk. The Government should stop allowing the funding of homeopathy on the NHS.'

Last week Professor Dame Sally Davies, England’s chief medical officer, told the Commons Science and Technology committee that homeopathy ‘is rubbish', and suggested that there is no evidence to support the claim that homeopathic remedies have any medical impact beyond the placebo effect. Davies went on to condemn the public funding the controversial treatment receives telling the committee, ‘I am perpetually surprised that homeopathy is available on the NHS.’

Take action now and find out more on our campaign on Homeopathy.