Tuesday, 23 February 2010


There is no evidence that rubbing oil on your head will cure cancer, therefore it is not paid for on the NHS. Similarly there is no evidence that Homeopathy works, therefore it should not be paid for on the NHS, unfortunately it is.

Homeopathy has been proven not to work, if it did a whole new force would have been discovered, not just in medicine but in physics. The person who discovered this force would have won a Noebel prize. Unfortunately it has been proven not to work. End of story

Whats more relevant and interesting is discussing whether or not doctors should be able to prescibe a placebo. There is some cognitive dissonace on the topic within the medical professions. One one hand we are against it (we would be deceiving patients, they would not be fully informed) but there again somedoctors are quite happy with there patients trying out alternative medicines and not telling them about the placebo effect.


  1. The great problem of placebo... if you're informed of what you've been given the effect is immediately lost. Thus a slight deception is essential for it to work. In truth I think we use the effect more than we realise and I'm sure it has its uses.

  2. If a patient asked you about homeopathy and said they were going to use it would you explain the placebo effect or would you say something vague along the line of it can hurt?

    I dislike the idea of patients forking out money on something that wont make a difference

    On another topic, going to the GP can often be enough of a placebo effect in the first place.

  3. Recently retired Professor of Pathology23/4/10 12:20 am

    Medical literature is inundated with papers which indicate that the placebo has beneficial effects on patients healthy. In this instance, one could argue that the patient's belief that the homeopathy will work is the nobel winning 'force' behind a cure. In the faithful patient, homeopathy is an effective placebo thus homeopathy has been proven to work. Religion has also proven to to have similar beneficial effects through praying. You tell us that we should deny patients right to believe in homeopathy. Should we also deny patients' right to believe in God? It would be interesting to know your religious views or lack of them as the case may be.

    Reinforcing the belief that homeopathy would reinforce the placebo effect and increase the chances of favorable outcome thus it is our duty to do this.

    A Career in Medicine, is all about doing what is best for the patient. Your beliefs should not interfere with this. If you believe, the patient will believe. If you believe in the patient, the patient will believe in you. I wish you all the best in your medical career and hope that one day you will believe and unfuddle that foolish title of yours.