Homeopathy Awareness Week 2010

April 11, 2010 at 7:56 pm (Homeopathy) (, , , , )

It is currently WHAW – World Homeopathy Awareness Week – so let’s be aware.

Sponsored by professional associations and businesses selling homeopathic remedies, WHAW is the creation of the non-profit volunteer organisation WHAO – who began WHAW in order to “promote homeopathic awareness all around the world”. Let the awareness-raising begin.

Science-Based Medicine give an answer to the old question “What’s the harm”, hjhop hosts an image with a rather pithy caption that some of you may enjoy, Skeptic Detective brings us news of WHAW from South Africa, and Liz Ditz began the week with links to a series of articles from a previous WHAW.

I have previously written a a beginner’s guide to homeopathy, which includes some rather handy links. I will reproduce one or two of these below:

A kind of magic from Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science blog.

homeopathy +ethics as covered by Gimpy.

Dilemmas at the heart of alternative medicine.

The powerful placebo (I am somewhat skeptical of the idea that the placebo effect is powerful enough to justify the use of intert treatments such as homeopathy).

A systematic review of systematic reviews of homeopathy.

I’ve also written about some of the Cochrane reviews of homeopathy:

If any medical (or pseudomedical) practitioner wishes to recommend homeopathy for ADHD, asthma, induction of labour, dementia, or side-effects of cancer treatments then I think that they should first provide good evidence that their choice of treatment is effective.

The same applies to any manufacturer or vendor of homeopathic remedies. If they produce or sell a remedy that is for a specific condition, they should show us the evidence of efficacy.

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11 Comments

  1. Skepticat said,

    Amen.

  2. Neuroskeptic said,

    I’ve always agreed with Ben Goldacre’s point that even if you think CAM can be a good thing in some cases because it provides a nice placebo effect and more sympathetic interaction than the average GP has time to give you – homeopathy is still the most un-scientific kind of CAM and homeopaths seem to be disproportionately anti-conventional medicine, anti-vaccine etc. compared to others.

    At least with acupuncture, you don’t have to throw out all of physics and chemistry to believe it works, and acupuncturers (acupunctists?) seem content to be complementary, rather than a direct opposition to proper medicine. So I have a lot more sympathy for acupuncture.

  3. Neuroskeptic said,

    Not acupuncture specifically, I mean. The same goes for, say, chiropracticers (as long as they’re not the BCA…)

  4. Prateek Buch said,

    I am now aware… :-)

  5. Cybertiger said,

    Wot’s an ‘intert’ treatment? And why can’t jdc523 spell ‘skeptical’ properly?

    PS. Beware the synaptically challenged SkepiticalNeurotic. Twat!

  6. michael said,

    The strength of the placebo effect also depends on who is dishing out the potions. We know that a sugar pill/aspirin given out by a doctor has more effect than one given out by a nurse. Perhaps the strength of homeopathy placebo depends less on how caring the homeopath is or how long he/she spends with the patient and more on the value the patient places on the homeopath.

    I reckon the anti-science, anti-medicine paranoia actually increases the placebo effect quite significantly among those who are susceptible to it, and this is not something that could be replicated if homeopathy were to become genuinely complementary to medicine.

  7. Mojo said,

    “At least with acupuncture, you don’t have to throw out all of physics and chemistry to believe it works…”

    But on the other hand you have to invent a certain amount of non-existent anatomy.

  8. warhelmet said,

    Good job they didn’t call it “World Homeopathic Awareness Week”. That would have been too descriptive of their levels of awareness of anything by far.

  9. Homeopathy: It’s Bullshit « Ranty McRant's Spleen-Venting Blog said,

    [...] It’s Bullshit Posted in Woo by rantymcrant on April 12, 2010 It’s World Homeopathy Awareness Week and skeptics have been telling us what’s the harm from homeopathy, and posting amusing images [...]

  10. Homeopathic HCG diets: they work, don’t they? « On the Axis said,

    [...] Stuff and nonsense [...]

  11. The Year In Nonsense. And Stuff. « Stuff And Nonsense said,

    [...] Association, Singh won a “resounding victory” in the Court of Appeal. April was also World Homeopathy Awareness Week, and several bloggers duly obliged – writing blogposts about the nature of homeopathy in [...]

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