British MPs: Stop funding homeoquackery

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Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Unionist wrote:

Like the Mary Ellen Carter, she'll rise again!

 

Laughing

lonewolfbunn lonewolfbunn's picture

Timebandit wrote:

lonewolfbunn wrote:

If these "Faith Healers" were truly working for God they would do it without requiring millions of dollars in profits.  And the money that the faithful donate without request would go to doing benevolent work other than promotion of the frauds and paying for air-conditioned dog houses for the poodles of people like Tammy Fey Baker - who by the way has made a come back!

Must be quite a comeback, seeing as she's dead.

Okay whatever.  I can honestly say at the cost of making me sound coldhearted I don't couldn't care less, which is why I wasn't aware that she died.

Just curious, did she die from one of the things her husband claimed to heal people of?

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Cancer.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

You have never been to a doctor, that after hearing your laments, tells you to take rest and drink plenty of fluids. Is that not a form of faith healing, and we pay our doctors for that advise. As we should.

 

Uh, no, it's not faith healing.

 

Quote:
I am not sure what you were trying to get at.

 

Oh, I think you know.

 

So, faith healers, of the "let me lay my hands on you and you shall walk again!" variety: should we publicly fund them? Yes or no?

Bubbles

Snert wrote:

Quote:

You have never been to a doctor, that after hearing your laments, tells you to take rest and drink plenty of fluids. Is that not a form of faith healing, and we pay our doctors for that advise. As we should.

 

Uh, no, it's not faith healing.

 

Quote:
I am not sure what you were trying to get at.

 

Oh, I think you know.

 

So, faith healers, of the "let me lay my hands on you and you shall walk again!" variety: should we publicly fund them? Yes or no?

Ofcourse we should fund them. I have no experience with the "let me lay my hands on you and you shall walk again" variety, but if the results are satisfactory to the patient, the healer should be payed. After all, the patient contributed to the public purse just like everyone else.

In my view there are many kind of illnesses. I suspect  that many are caused by our own fears or stresses. And if someone can help you resolve those fears  that can greatly improve the outlook.

Adout twenty years ago my knees started to get very painfull when walking. To the point that it started to impair my mobillity. At the time I had a very good doctor, so I went to see him, he asked a lot of questions and made me do some knee bends and listened to the knee joints. After about thirty minutes of this he said 'Well your knees are fine. You have a bit of artrose, but nothing that should interfere with normal functioning of the knees.' Then he explained that my brain was probably amplfying the bit of discomfort from the slighly worn knees and that in turn made the muscles around the knee joints tense up and cause them to hurt as well. So I decided to have faith in his judgement, ignore the pain and the thought that I was damaging my knees, and tried to relax a bit more. It worked almost instantly, two or three days later the pain was gone and has not been back since. It worked for me. Should the doctor not be payed for that? Even though it would be next to impossible to do a double blind test on that type of cure.

Sven Sven's picture

Bubbles wrote:

Ofcourse we should fund [faith healers]. I have no experience with the "let me lay my hands on you and you shall walk again" variety, but if the results are satisfactory to the patient, the healer should be payed.

I'll bet you a thousand grand that if you pour a pot of cold, wet spaghetti on the heads of enough stressed out people, you'll find those who respond positively to such "treatment".

Does that mean spaghetti-pot-pourers should be paid with tax dollars, too?

j.m.

Sven wrote:

Bubbles wrote:

Ofcourse we should fund [faith healers]. I have no experience with the "let me lay my hands on you and you shall walk again" variety, but if the results are satisfactory to the patient, the healer should be payed.

I'll bet you a thousand grand that if you pour a pot of cold, wet spaghetti on the heads of enough stressed out people, you'll find those who respond positively to such "treatment".

Does that mean spaghetti-pot-pourers should be paid with tax dollars, too?

I am sure we could recommend a number of MDs for the job from our own experiences.

Bubbles

Sven,

I can even go better on your suggestion. Why not have the state fund a holiday trip every second year for everyone. I would not be surprised if the government would save billions in the long run.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Great posts Bubbles and j.m.  Getting to the crux of it.  You don't need a pill for everything.  I can't believe how many pills I see popped daily.  Seriously. 

j.m.

Everytime I "quack out" I think about this thread.

*drop drop drop drop drop drop drop drop drop drop drop drop drop drop drop drop drop drop drop drop*

j.m.

*drop drop drop drop*

jas

[broken record] I haven't seen any studies that show that homeopathy doesn't work. Obviously in many cases it does, or people wouldn't be using it. We spend far, far more on synthetic drugs and technological treatments of dubious benefit.

The anti-homeopathy, anti-naturopathy crusade is driven by protected interests. [/broken record]

But by all means, stop funding it. Stop funding everything. The only solution to this problem of protected-interest medicine versus alternatives is free market health care. Let consumers' money decide what works and what doesn't.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Because they haven't been able to understand the mind jas.  The single most ignored factor in medicine.

 

They pretend they can do science without that understanding...where's that broken record...

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

oh, faith healers already get preferential treatment.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

jas wrote:

[broken record] I haven't seen any studies that show that homeopathy doesn't work. Obviously in many cases it does, or people wouldn't be using it. We spend far, far more on synthetic drugs and technological treatments of dubious benefit.

The anti-homeopathy, anti-naturopathy crusade is driven by protected interests. [/broken record]

If you haven't seen one, it's because you're not looking.  Here you go:

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(05)67177-2/abstract

Here is the report House of Commons report that outlines the committee's recommendation. Their examination of evidence begins on about page 22.
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/45/4...

jas

Yes, it suggests that the evidence is weak and that this supports the notion that the effects are largely placebo.

Here's an article with different findings published in the same journal:

Is Homoeopathy a Placebo Response? Controlled Trial of Homoeopathy Potency, with Pollen in Hayfever as Model

p-sto

jas wrote:

Yes, it suggests that the evidence is weak and that this supports the notion that the effects are largely placebo.

Here's an article with different findings published in the same journal:

Is Homoeopathy a Placebo Response? Controlled Trial of Homoeopathy Potency, with Pollen in Hayfever as Model

Unfortunately it seems you have to buy the article to access it.  I'm curious if you have any idea what control group was given in comparison to the test group.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

If you have a look at the second link, you will find that the committee concluded that the studies that were positive to homeopathy were usually small numbers of participants, not well-controlled and did not always control or correct for the placebo effect.  I believe they cite a large meta-analysis of studies and a critical review of studies. 

Start on page 22.

p-sto

Interesting.

jas

p-sto wrote:

Unfortunately it seems you have to buy the article to access it.  I'm curious if you have any idea what control group was given in comparison to the test group.

Yes, unfortunately that was the same with the article that TB cited.

jas

Timebandit wrote:

If you have a look at the second link, you will find that the committee concluded that the studies that were positive to homeopathy were usually small numbers of participants, not well-controlled and did not always control or correct for the placebo effect.  I believe they cite a large meta-analysis of studies and a critical review of studies. 

Start on page 22.

I did read that, TB. I didn't comment on it because it comes to the same conclusions as the first article you cited and it's a committee reporting from studies, not a study itself.

zazzo

What I find interesting, and a little scary, is that you are told you should not dispose of man-made pharmaceuticals youself. You must bring them back to your pharmacist.  This indicates to me that these are poisonous, and that you must not put them back in the ground. 

For herbal medicines, it is completely safe to dispose of them back into the ground.

 

Unionist

How interesting. Pharmaceuticals can be toxic, while herbal medicines are harmless. Well, I'm sold.

 

Snert Snert's picture

It's certainly safe to dispose of homeopathic treatments however you wish.  Feed them to babies.  Water your plants with them.  Clean your contact lenses with them.  Dribble them on an open cut.

Not because "they're not poisonous" but because "they're JUST WATER".

j.m.

Snert wrote:

It's certainly safe to dispose of homeopathic treatments however you wish.  Feed them to babies.  Water your plants with them.  Clean your contact lenses with them.  Dribble them on an open cut.

Not because "they're not poisonous" but because "they're JUST WATER".

First time that I heard a tincture was "just water".

Sineed

I have access to a medical database, and downloaded and read this article.  I went through it pretty quickly, and noticed a few things.

The investigators measured effectiveness using a VAS, or visual analogue scale, where patients state the severity of their symptoms, like blocked or runny nose, itchy eyes, and so forth, on a scale from 0 to 4.  Needless to say, VAS scales are pretty subjective; when I was studying rheumatoid arthritis, the placebo effects were huge because clinical trials of arthritis drugs partly use VAS scales to measure effectiveness.

Anyway, back to this trial: the authors state, "Only the homeopathically treated group showed a clear reduction in symptoms."  But their own data doesn't show that at all.  I wish I could paste images - it shows a graph plotting the change in VAS between the homeopathically treated group and the placebo group, and they look almost the same.  The authors state that the mean change in symptoms of the homeopathically treated group was statistically greater than the placebo group, but the overlap is huge!! 

Quote from a skeptic site:

Quote:
All you need to know is, there are no homeopathic birth control pills. They never make pills for things where it’s obvious if it works or not.

Trevormkidd

j.m. wrote:
First time that I heard a tincture was "just water".

No one has claimed that a tincture is just water.

A tincture diluted far past the point that there was nothing left in it but water would be "just water."  

Homeopathy is not a tincture and is just water for the simple reason that it has been diluted far, far, far, far past the point that there is anything it but water.  Homeopaths don't even dispute this.

Sineed

Technically speaking, a tincture is an alcoholic extract, not water.

jas

Actually, allergies are kind of the one area where I can see homeopathy working.

Anyway, here's another article:

Is evidence for homoeopathy reproducible?

Quote:
A meta-analysis of all three trials strengthened the evidence that homoeopathy does more than placebo

j.m.

Trevormkidd wrote:

j.m. wrote:
First time that I heard a tincture was "just water".

No one has claimed that a tincture is just water.

A tincture diluted far past the point that there was nothing left in it but water would be "just water."  

Homeopathy is not a tincture and is just water for the simple reason that it has been diluted far, far, far, far past the point that there is anything it but water.  Homeopaths don't even dispute this.

No homeopath would qualify that a homeopathic tincture is just water.

 

lonewolfbunn lonewolfbunn's picture

j.m. wrote:

No homeopath would qualify that a homeopathic tincture is just water.

Their claim is that though there may be one or no molecules of the substance left - the essence or spirit of the substance remains.

As you know I am very much for natural medicines but I believe this is one that often gets confused with others.  I suggest researching deeper.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

No homeopath would qualify that a homeopathic tincture is just water.

 

Yes, that's true. They would insist that it's pure water with a magical, indetectable "memory" of some other substance.

 

So in other words, pure water + MAGIC.

Bubbles

Snert,

The Pieta, by Michelangelo, is just a piece of stone. Right?

It makes you feel no different then any other piece of stone. If you do not believe that, try a double blind test.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

Snert,

The Pieta, by Michelangelo, is just a piece of stone. Right?

 

It has an observably different shape from all the rest, and specifically, a shape that reminds us of our own form, and we like that.

 

What does that have to do with Magic Water?

Sineed

jas wrote:

Is evidence for homoeopathy reproducible?

Quote:
A meta-analysis of all three trials strengthened the evidence that homoeopathy does more than placebo

Okay - downloaded the article, and 2 rebuttals, letters to the editor published in a subsequent issue of the Lancet.  These letters were written by physicians, one in England and one in France - I'll just excerpt some parts, as the English doctor in particular gets into the nitty gritty of how the statistical analysis was cooked.

In brief: they used a visual analogue scale (VAS), where the patients rate their symptoms.  The authors did not examine how many patients improved.  They only quantified the total amount of improvement relative to baseline.  Here's the problem: the baseline measurements, which are those measurements made before the experiment starts, were highly variable.  For instance, they had a scale measuring from 0 to 100 ("fine" to "terrible"), and one patient measures 5, and another measures 40, if both of them double their symptom severity, the 1st patient contributes 10 while the second contributes 80.

The more appropriate way to count it is, how many people got better with homeopathy compared with placebo?  The English doctor worked it out, performing his own statistical analysis, and found that there was no significant improvement made with the homeopathy.

And the methodology was flawed:

Quote:
The trial was thought to be double-blind, yet patients and trial doctors correctly assessed treatment allocation significantly more frequently than would have been expected by chance.

What the French doctor said:

Quote:
Sir - Reilly is a well-known herald of homeopathy.  His work has been supported by homeopathic foundations including a French company which has an aggressive commercial policy.

<snip>

Improvement with placebo in the pilot study is barely different from the improvement observed with homeopathy in the so-called principle trial.  One can ask why placebo responds in such a non-reproducible way.  In figure 7, the authors pool 3 different trials done for different situations (two hay fever, one asthma).  Placebo responses do not leave the baseline, a surprising finding if one considers the well-known placebo sensitivity of many patients with allergic conditions.  Marcel Proust, who suffered severe asthma attack merely on looking at artificial flowers, was a good example of this sensitivity.

Homeopathy is big business.  In all cases where a lot of money is involved, we have to examine the evidence carefully.

jas

Gee, for a publication that claims to be "one of the world's leading medical journals" they sure seem to publish a lot of bullshit articles--according to Sineed, anyway. I think perhaps Sineed should be writing to the Lancet editor and letting him know about the rank BS he's publishing.

Quote:
The English doctor worked it out, performing his own statistical analysis,

It's so good the English doctor was able to work it all out, performing his own analysis. We automatically should trust his conclusions, communicated via Sineed.

Sorry, Sineed. I think I'd need to see the Lancet issue some kind of correction or qualification on those articles.

Sineed

Unfortunately, there's all sorts of bad science published in good scientific journals.

I offered an adequate rebuttal of the article - don't have time to get into more detail.

jas

Well, your rebuttal was based on the opinions of two physicians who sent in letters to the editor. Might we at least have their names?

 

Unionist

Ah, another thread where reality becomes a matter of opinion. How refreshing.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

jas

Hey, Hershey's Kisses!

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Yes, but very, very diluted.  Really, only the memory of kisses...

jas

Unionist wrote:

Ah, another thread where reality becomes a matter of opinion. How refreshing.

  By George, I think he's got it!

j.m.

Unionist wrote:

Ah, another thread where reality becomes a matter of opinion. How refreshing.

 

What is that supposed to mean?

 

Unionist

It's one of those things that either you get it right off the bat, or you'll never get it. Sorry.

 

j.m.

Unionist wrote:

It's one of those things that either you get it right off the bat, or you'll never get it. Sorry.

 

 

Maybe it's the disparaging tone...

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Strange how attempted uppercuts come flying after every jab but they seem to keep missing.

 

No knockout power for sure.

 

No time, no answers.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Unionist wrote:

It's one of those things that either you get it right off the bat, or you'll never get it. Sorry.

 

 

You got faith in Jebus?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

As a side observer, the anti-homeo's have done nothing but convince me to look deeper into this magic water they seem to resort to with side smears rather than links.

 

Never think you know everything.

Unionist

Let us know the results of your inquiries, RP. Meanwhile, I'll be setting up a lab to study the curvature of the earth. There are people who think they know all the answers to that too, believe it or not.

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