Monday, November 30, 2015

Reality is optional

I see that Homoeopathy is in the news again.. This time the debate is about whether or not this controversial treatment should be funded by the state and given out free on the NHS?

The correct answer is, "of course not!" This answer seems pretty obvious to me, for pretty obvious reasons, i.e. that we already have an established set of mechanisms (peer reviewed double blind trials) for determining whether or not any particular treatment works and should therefore be subsidised by tax-payers cash. According to that (agreed) standard Homoeopathy doesn't work and so shouldn't be funded, hardly rocket science! If fans of whatever "alternative" medicine wish to propose a better (or different) mechanism for determining drug efficacy then they are free to do so and lift the Nobel prize in the process; but if the basis of their argument is simply that "they felt better once after taking a sugar pill" then I'm afraid that's not good enough.

No one is saying that people aren't free to spend their own money on whatever treatment they like, if some numpty thinks "beating with sticks" cures haemorrhoids then have at it, so long as that person is a consenting adult then no one is going to stop them chucking their money at some huckster who offers this. At best the person might benefit from a placebo effect that improves their condition and at worst the person will simply be ruthlessly ridiculed by all and sundry in the best tried and tested tradition of these things until they go to a proper doctor.


A Heron's View said...

Same old, same old stuck in the mud Borthwick comments about homeopathy.
You are terribly boring at times but then of course you are also a consumer of alcoholic drinks, probably suffering from brain shrinkage. No cure for that until you give up your addiction.

Steve Borthwick said...

HV, Ha! you could be right about the brain shrinkage, what's worse is that it wasn't big to begin with!

At least I can sleep easy in the knowledge that the couple of pints I might buy in a week do actually have a real effect on that little brain of mine, the active molecules can at least be detected. Unlike all those who seem happy paying for sugar water that does sweet FA?