Monday, 22 August 2011

Homeopathy and Patient Choice

My last blog gave rise to some quite unpleasant remarks about Marjorie Titchen from 'homeopathy denialists', remarks that at best were completely devoid of any care or concern for her situation, and at worst totally callous. I have not published most of them, although I toyed with doing so in order to indicate the frame of mind of the anti-homeopathy dialetic, and the unpleasantness that it so often entails.

Perhaps the most distressing remarks were those that showed a total absence of concern, and the callousness of attitude, towards Mrs Titchen, and her situation:

     "I assume Marjorie is just doing fine without her sugar pills" is not only uncaringly callous, but completely ignores the fact that homeopathy was the therapy that controlled her arthritis over a decade ago.

The remarks also demonstrate that homeopathy denialists want to deny choice because of what they believe, and are not interested in what other people want for their health care. They clearly want everyone to be constrained within their own narrow and limited understanding of what medicine is safe and effective, and what medicine's are not.

     "....superstitious forms of treatment.... sugar pills.... have no place in the NHS"
     "...wasting public money on useless treatments.." regardless of whether people ask for them.

And them, anyone who wants to avoid the dangers of conventional medicine, and prefers the safety and effectiveness of homeopathy, are (as usual) derided. Homeopath's, apparently, make a living through

     "... other people's gullability and desperation".

In other words, Marjorie is asking for homeopathy because she is gullable and 'desperate'! This is groslly insulting. The fact that she has studied her condition for many years, and has come to clear, and informed decisions about how she wants to be treated (and how she does not want to be treated) is discounted - with abuse.

Several remarks demonstrate that denialists do not understand a remarkably simple fact - that we all pay for the NHS, every single one of us, and therefore should have the right to choose how we are treated.

     "Doctors are not retailers, there to dish out whatever a patient asks for - for free".

Homeopathy denialists want to dictate to everyone how we are all to be treated. It appears that whilst they, the denialists, presumably ConMed supporters, believe they should have the medicine they want, everyone else must have it too - whether we want it or not! They support the ConMed monopoly within the publicly-funded NHS. They support the paternalistic bureaucracy of the NHS.

Denialists are clearly autocrats rather than democrats. They are opposed to personal freedom. They not only want to deny us access to the medicine of our choice. They don't even understand why we want to have that choice.

There are two petitions about homeopathy on the government petition website at the moment. One asks that patients have a choice of treatment for their illness. The other demands that the NHS stops spending money on homeopathy. If you are a democrat, who believes in personal choice in the cars, or washing machines you buy, or the supermarket we shop in, please sign it. By doing so you will support the idea that we should be able to choose how we are treated when we are ill. The website can be found at:

Remember, unlike the denialists, we are not trying to force anyone to accept any form of medicine. We want to support everyone's right to make an informed choice.