Complementary medicine fails to defend itself

The Guardian has the direct quotes I referred to this morning:

Dr Peter Fisher, clinical director of the Royal Homeopathic Hospital, told the programme: “I think what this suggestion amounts to is a form of medical apartheid: any therapy which can’t trace its origins to what is called the biochemical model should be excluded from the NHS.”

Then there’s this enlightened chap:

Terry Cullen, chairman of the British Complementary Medicine Association, said Prof Baum’s letter was “frustrating”.

He said: “It’s very frustrating that senior responsible people dismiss complementary medicine for the sole reason that it doesn’t have the definitive scientific proof that other drugs have. There is so much anecdotal evidence that thousands of people gain benefit from using complementary medicines. We shouldn’t dismiss that.”

Yes we bloody well should. The anecdotal evidence was looked at, and experiments were performed to see whether it has any basis in reality. It doesn’t. That’s all there is too it. Now we move on.

Incidentally, I know of a local homeopath who charges £90 per hour-long session, which ‘includes all remedies’. The remedy being, you know, water. I can only assume that the NHS is paying a similar amount.

Unfortunately, this kind of crap isn’t something that can be laughed off. Whether the espousal of complementary medicine is based in genuine belief or simply greed, it’s always insidious and it actively adds to the world’s suffering. No matter how eloquent the words of royalty, the voice of reason must speak louder.