Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Australia Medicine

Australia Declares Homeopathy Nonsense, Urges Doctors to Inform Patients 408

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the healing-crystals-considered-harmful dept.
jones_supa (887896) writes "Homeopathy is a 200-year-old form of alternative medicine based on the principle that substances that produce symptoms in a healthy person can be used to treat similar symptoms in a sick person. The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia has officially declared that homeopathic remedies are useless for human health. The body today released a guide for doctors (PDF) on how to talk to their patients about the lack of evidence for many such therapies. Doctors will also be told to warn patients of possible interactions between alternative and conventional medicines. On top of that, the council has produced a 300-page draft report that reviews the evidence for homoeopathy in treating 68 clinical conditions. It concludes 'there is no reliable evidence that homoeopathy is effective for treating health conditions'.

Representing the opposite viewpoint, Australian Homeopathic Association spokesman Greg Cope said he was disappointed at the narrow evidence relied on by the NHMRC in its report. 'What they have looked at is systematic trials for named conditions when that is not how homeopathy works,' he said. Homeopathy worked on the principle of improving a person's overall health and wellness, and research such as a seven-year study conducted in Switzerland was a better measure of its usefulness, he added. There are about 10,000 complementary medicine products sold in Australia but most consumers are unaware they are not evaluated by the domestic medicines safety watchdog before they are allowed on the market."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Australia Declares Homeopathy Nonsense, Urges Doctors to Inform Patients

Comments Filter:
  • by Roxoff (539071) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @09:33AM (#46703961) Homepage
    "There are about 10,000 complementary medicine products sold in Australia but most consumers are unaware they are not evaluated by the domestic medicines safety watchdog before they are allowed on the market." Why on Earth would you ever submit a product to the medicines watchdog when it doesn't contain medicine? You might as well ask them to evaluate the effects of Heinz Tomato Soup as a medicinal recipe. It does bring feelings of well-being and contentment, you know.
  • BS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @09:35AM (#46703985)

    Homeopathy worked on the principle of improving a person's overall health and wellness

    If this is true, then why are they marketed to help with specific ailments?

  • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @09:35AM (#46703995)
    Most people I know who spout this nonsense don't visit the doctor very much, after all "big medicine" is in the pocket of "big pharma," so they wouldn't hear the message anyway.

    For those who might listen, one might temper it by saying homeopathy *does* work, but it's thanks to the placebo effect.
  • by i kan reed (749298) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @09:41AM (#46704063) Homepage Journal

    Because not all of them are intentional frauds. Just like most pastors firmly believe in god(why did I have to go there?) many homeopaths firmly believe in their system of medicine. Others of each group are intentional frauds who see dollar signs, and have no qualms with manipulating suckers.

  • by symes (835608) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @09:59AM (#46704237) Journal

    Substituting one god for another isn't going to effect your well-being to any great extent. Substituting homeopathy for medicine will.

  • by 50000BTU_barbecue (588132) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @10:05AM (#46704277) Homepage Journal
    If it contains actual measurable quantities of something, it isn't homeopathy. Keep THAT in mind.
  • by sageres (561626) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @10:13AM (#46704359)
    STOP. JUST FUCKING STOP!!!! Why do you have to turn every fucking news into a political commentary? Just to troll people? Or just to make yourself feel better? You just made a few people sick regardless of your political affiliations, you asshole.
  • by rjstanford (69735) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @10:15AM (#46704385) Homepage Journal

    How about letting people choose what methods of healing they want to use?

    That's fine.

    Selling little bottles of very expensive water with labels that very carefully imply that they do, indeed, cure diseases (while legally not saying anything of the sort) to people who don't know any better is what gets people up in arms.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @10:19AM (#46704415)

    homeopathy, healing crystals and all that mystical unicorn feel-good hippy bullshit.

    Well, that's one way of describing Christianity. Still awaiting repeatability on water-into-wine.

    (TBH the Jesus character was a fairly decent superhero - reminds me of Crash Test Dummies' "Superman Song". But so many of his followers are cunts. What's up with that?)

  • by AlecC (512609) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @10:21AM (#46704441)

    Presumably chemicals in our drugs are often extracted from nature. why wouldn't the same chemicals in their natural form have the same potential to work?

    True - but nothing to do with homeopathy. You are describing herbal medicine which certainly certainly works sometimes - though there are dangers from unknown potencies and interactions with other medicines. Homeopathic medicines are based on something that causes the symptoms they are intended to cure - but diluted so far that not a single atom of the original substance remains. It is sort of an analogy with inoculation - by giving someone a killed or weakened version of a dangerous virus, you protect against the full-blown version of the virus. But we know what is happening in this case - we are pre-loading the immune system. The mechanisms by which we prepare wakened virus are well understood. Homeopathy has a theory that, by means unknown, dilution beyond non-existence somehow infuses the water with a potency to counteract symptoms similar to those caused by the diluted substance. Unfortunately,there is no theoretical or (importantly) experimental backing for this.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @10:24AM (#46704477)

    And that's why homeopathy continues.

    Homeopathy is indistinguishable from, "Take good holistic care of yourself and keep psychologically strong!" - two important pieces of advice which are significant to health. If medicines alone were so effective, you wouldn't need to do the whole double-blind placebo-controlled trial thing, would you? It'd be obvious from the medicine's effect alone.

    The trouble is that it's really hard to give people faith (in their own body's healing power) without giving them a icon, or some other symbol of their faith. Think of homeopathic medicine as such an icon.

    Not everyone who takes homeopathic medicines is dying of cancer - an example of a disease where medical intervention is often vital. By using these edge cases, people arguing against ineffective treatments are missing the point entirely.

  • by Russ1642 (1087959) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @10:30AM (#46704537)

    This is a political topic, whether you want it to be or not. It's politics that allows this sort of crap to persist in the US because people should be allowed to do whatever they want, up to and including completely ripping off their fellow man.

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @10:35AM (#46704573) Journal

    The problem is you're confusing herbal medicine, holostic medicine, drug descovery and homeopathy.

    No one sane denys the existence of herbal medicine: many drugs were originally dervied from plants, and many others are known to have a whole variety of different effects.

    Holostic medicine is not unreasonable: no point curing one ailment at the expense of creating others even worse than the original.

    For drug descovery, some are stumbled upon by pure chance (Viagra), and for many, especially brain related ones, the mechanism is poorly understood, and they only work on some people. Nevertheless they have been tested and it's reasonably well known roughly what proportion they do work on, the likely side effects and interactions with other common drugs. So, the knowledge is incomplete, but nor worthless.

    Homeopathy is by contrast utter crap.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @10:48AM (#46704695) Homepage

    I spent my youth on homeopathy w/o any major issues, and now that i'm sick, neither homeopathy nor commercial medicine are much help.

    The conflict is in the group that you missed out - when homeopathy doesn't help but "commercial" medicine does.

    Ask Steve Jobs if you don't believe it.

    Oh, wait, you can't... (because??)

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @10:51AM (#46704727) Homepage

    Placebo's have an effect on things the human mind can control.
    Medication has an effect on things the human mind can AND cannot control.

  • by Petersko (564140) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @12:06PM (#46705397)

    I spent my youth on homeopathy w/o any major issues, and now that i'm sick, neither homeopathy nor commercial medicine are much help

    For most people their youth is generally spent without major health issues. Attributing that to homeopathy is rather unnecessary.

  • Next up (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @01:13PM (#46706083)
    Next dismiss the imaginary, un-provable, invisible man in the sky and we can really start to make progress as a species.

Our informal mission is to improve the love life of operators worldwide. -- Peter Behrendt, president of Exabyte

Working...